ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Traveling With Kids: Children Flying Alone

Updated on June 8, 2007

Millions of children fly alone each year. You can make sure your child is ready for this adventure with a little advance planning. For your child's safety and your own peace of mind, take every precaution to ensure an uneventful trip.


Provide the airline with contact information for the adult who will drop the child off at the airport as well as the person who meet the child at the destination. Include names, addresses, and phone numbers of each party, as well as your own. Make sure the person picking up your child has identification. Whoever picks up your child needs the child's full itinerary.

The child should carry identification, cash, a cell phone, and ideally a credit card of yours as well. If you can get away with it, send the child with only a carry-on bag marked with their name and address inside and out.

Give yourself plenty of time. There will be paperwork. The person who takes the child needs to remain at the airport until the flight has departed. Introduce the child to the gate agent and remind the agent that your child is traveling alone. The gate agent should give your child's travel documents to the flight attendant, who will then give them to the gate agent at the destination, who will check the identification of the person picking up the child.

If your child has special dietary or medical needs, put these in writing to the airline

Unaccompanied Minors Rules

Rules vary from one airline to another, but the general guidelines are that children ages 5 - 12 who travel without a parent or guardian are "unaccompanied minors." They may or may not be allowed to make connections, but if they do you will probably be charged and additional fee.

  • Most airlines require a child to be at least five years old to fly unaccompanied.
  • Many airlines require a child to be at least eight in order to made a connecting flight.
  • If your child is over twelve, you can request an airline escort, but generally it will not be required.

Expect to pay anywhere from $40 - $99 each way as an escort fee for unaccompanied minors. The exact fees are determined by each airline depending on the age of the child and whether or not a connection is made.

Remember that legally your child is treated the same as an adult passenger. The airline does not take on any special responsibility for the guardianship of your child during flight.


Go over safety reminders with your child before you get to the airport. Make sure the child understands they are not to speak to anyone besides the gate agent and flight attendant. The airlines are wonderful to children and you really have little to worry about. Just make sure the person picking the child up on the other end arrives early enough to get to the gate.

Explain to the child they need to be a big boy or girl. It doesn't hurt to bring up emergency scenarios such as the case that the airplane needs to land in another location. Explain that the flight attendants would take care of the child. Inspire confidence and your child will not let you down.


Submit a Comment

  • Isabella Snow profile image

    Isabella Snow 

    11 years ago

    I used to fly from JFK to LAX every summer when I was a kid. It was fun, because you get special treatment from the flight attendants. But once you land, I was always on my own!! I had to make them go with me to find whomever was picking me up, and they always acted rather annoyed at having to help a 10 year old find the baggage claim!


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)