As a parent, letting go of your child and sending them off on a flight alone can be an overwhelming experience. What ID does a minor need to fly? This question will naturally come to mind when planning a trip with a minor.
Whether your child is travelling to see family, for school, or for any other reason, there are specific requirements that minors need to meet before boarding a plane.
In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know to ensure your minor is well-prepared for their solo flight.
Age restrictions and requirements
The age for minors flying alone can vary by airline, so it’s crucial to check with your specific airline before booking.
Typically, children between the ages of five and eleven are considered an ‘unaccompanied minor’ and need to follow a different set of guidelines.
Airlines usually have different age limits for domestic and international flights, so make sure you plan ahead.
In addition to age requirements, minors may need specific paperwork. For instance, if the child is not travelling with both parents, a letter of permission signed by the second parent or legal guardians is usually necessary.
This letter should state clear permission for the child to travel with the accompanying adult and will be checked during the boarding process. Make sure to check what paperwork is required for your child before the day of travel.
Fees and extra services
Airlines usually charge extra fees for unaccompanied minors, which can vary depending on the airline and travel itinerary.
Services such as priority boarding, extra assistance, and in-flight babysitting can also be provided by some airlines for added fees. Check with your specific airline to see what services and fees are provided.
Pre-flight preparations with your child
Make sure to discuss airport and airline procedures with your child ahead of time so that they are prepared.
For example, inform them about the need to arrive at the airport early, how to find their gate, and what documentation they need to carry.
Explain that rules and regulations regarding air travel should be followed at all times. Encourage them to be independent but reassured, and inform them that help is always available if needed.
Safety and security while travelling
Remind your child to stay aware of their surroundings, never to leave their belongings unattended, and not to share personal information.
Encourage them to follow all safety rules and regulations, like fastening their seatbelt as soon as they can.
Most importantly, let them know that if they ever feel unsafe or uncomfortable, they are always allowed to ask for help from airline staff.
Following these guidelines, you can ensure your child is ready to fly alone safely and confidently.
Prepare ahead, educate your child about what to expect, and highlight the importance of following all rules and regulations. With the right preparation, solo flights can be a positive and rewarding experience.
Although it can be a tough decision to let go of your child and allow them to fly alone, be assured that it also acts as an opportunity for them to develop increased resilience, independence, and confidence.