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Old 10-08-2012, 05:15 PM   #61
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I'll preface this with that I haven't read the whole thread.

I'm 18 and a sophomore in college. I didn't fly alone for the first time until this past summer. There was never a need for me to do so before that. However, at 13, there's no WAY I would have been comfortable flying alone with a layover, let alone being in charge of my two younger siblings. I wouldn't even have wanted to (nor would my parents have entertained the idea).
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:12 PM   #62
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My kids have been flying alone since they were 12 & 9, but that's from Sacramento to San Diego, non-stop flights only. I would not let them do a lay over at the ages your children are, I don't know that I would let them do lay overs know and they are 12 & 16. Too many variables and too much uncertainty. I would let them do it if they had been doing it for a while and were familiar with the process but until they are I wouldn't do it. I would go with them on a Friday night and return on a Sunday and ask that FIL come back with them when they return, that would just ease my mind.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:04 PM   #63
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only read page 1 so not sure if this has been discussed - but can you drive to an airport where there WOULD be a direct or non stop flight? Or is there a direct or non stop into somewhere you FIL would be able to get them? Seattle or such?
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:09 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinderella94 View Post
I'll preface this with that I haven't read the whole thread.

I'm 18 and a sophomore in college. I didn't fly alone for the first time until this past summer. There was never a need for me to do so before that. However, at 13, there's no WAY I would have been comfortable flying alone with a layover, let alone being in charge of my two younger siblings. I wouldn't even have wanted to (nor would my parents have entertained the idea).
Well on Delta they do a have a secure lounge area for unaccompanied minors to wait in between flights. So , I think it would be a little more controlled environment for the minors and less overwhelming.

My kids had flown a number of times as a family by that age and I probably would consider the option.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:46 PM   #65
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Well on Delta they do a have a secure lounge area for unaccompanied minors to wait in between flights. So , I think it would be a little more controlled environment for the minors and less overwhelming.

My kids had flown a number of times as a family by that age and I probably would consider the option.
My kids flew Delta for that very reason.

Like most other things, some kids are ready sooner than other kids to handle a challenging experience.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:51 AM   #66
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First off,this is a tangent, but I wanted to throw out there that on Southwest this very group COULD fly alone without ANY of them having "unaccompanied minor" status. On Southwest the 12 year old is allowed to accompany their younger siblings. My kids flew Southwest at 12 and 10 and I just double checked that it is still the policy.

http://www.southwest.com/html/custom...inors-pol.html


So, having said that--I would obviously allow my kids to do the flights you are talking about. Then again, by 12 mine could stay home all day long (and do simple cooking)with no issues and both were seasoned travelers. What worries me most about your situation is it seems your children are not used to stepping up to the plate and taking care of themselves for long stretches and you feel they cannot be trusted to behave themselves without you there to crack down on them.

Otherwise---I would look at it like this. They are likely much safer in an airport than at home really. In a medical emergency at home they have to keep their heads in a stressful situation and call for help, etc. At the airport--dozens of adults will be there to get them help and medical personnel will almost certainly be close by.
At home, if someone were to break in and try to harm them they have no help. At the airport, if someone tried to harm them and they scream for help there is a TON of help available. Etc.
I think the airport just FEELS less safe to you because it is unfamiliar.



I believe most kids can handle so much more than we give them credit for---and that in general our society has become too sheltering and that it is not good for kids in the long run. but that is just how I personally feel.

Mine have flown totally alone and "alone together" from age 12 on up--including international flights and flights with connections(and international flights with connections in the past year for the 15 year old). At 12 and 14 mine even followed DH and I and my in laws from Germany to Spain. We only had room in the car for four and it ended up working best for the kids to fly, so they got themselves out of the house, to the airport (on a street car and two trains), checked in and flew to Barcelona all while we were in route in the car. They had money for a cab to the hotel and pizza in case they beat us there--but we were pulling into the city as they landed so DH was able to drop us off and then go pick them up (though they took a cab back to the airport after the cruise we were all on and then got home on trains, etc totally on their own).

The first time (and often the second and third and . . .) that my kids do any of this stuff I am never 100% comfortable with it. I am always worried and stressed--but I feel I need to let them spread their wings and build independence. Heck, if I waited until I was truly comfortable to let them do things, they would still be tethered to my side 24/7 lol
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:53 AM   #67
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[QUOTE=descovy;46368697]For example, I let my kids stay in the house alone (doors locked, no cooking) for up to 3 hrs. I can call them/they call me if ever a question or a squabble. I wouldn't allow them to stay home for an 8 hr workday, yet I am supposed to allow them to roam 3 airports and 2 airplanes in a 8 hour day.

(/QUOTE]

This stands out at me more than anything- my daughter is 12 and babysits neighbors kids until 1am some weekends, if its early in the evening she will take them ouside into the back yard to play before bringing them inside for he night. If you don't let a 13 year old stay home more than 3 hours then no way are you ready to let them fly alone someplace.
Fly with them to your father in laws then fly home, have him fly back with them then he flys back home. Or meet in the layover spot and you each only have to fly halfway.
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:58 AM   #68
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The no cooking is weird too, imo. I've always liked to cook, and was doing food for entire parties by 12, but even my friends who didn't love to cook could produce basic stuff by then.
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:07 AM   #69
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Just for fun, I asked my teen (14) what she would think about taking her two younger siblings (9 & 6) on a flight to visit their grandparents. She told me she'd have no problem with her brother (9yo) but isn't sure she could handle the youngest.

Let's just say the youngest is "high maintenance".
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:14 AM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinderella94 View Post
I'll preface this with that I haven't read the whole thread.

I'm 18 and a sophomore in college. I didn't fly alone for the first time until this past summer. There was never a need for me to do so before that. However, at 13, there's no WAY I would have been comfortable flying alone with a layover, let alone being in charge of my two younger siblings. I wouldn't even have wanted to (nor would my parents have entertained the idea).
As someone that didn't fly until I was 22 I think your experience here may be changed by the fact that you didn't fly before 18 though.

If at 13 you had flown once or twice a year every year you may have been fine.

I was nervous as hell the first time I flew. It was for my 23rd birthday and I was with my DH going to disney.

I just had my 26th birthday and now due to work have flown alone, with connections so many times that I could easily see how even a child could manage this if they were used to it. It doesn't seem any harder at this point then taking the bus to my sisters house (which was something I would do frequently as a kid)

I agree with the person before that said see 1) what your kids think and 2) Let them do some more things on their own. Its amazing how much better some kids do at things when not with mom.

I remember working at a summer camp seeing kids hiding behind mom and not talking to anyone. They looked about to cry. Then mom would leave and the kid would be playing with other campers in about 2 min and were never a problem again!
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:20 AM   #71
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I didn't even notice the no cooking thing...

I was home alone for a few hours by myself at 9. I only remember needing help twice Once my parents spilt sugar making coffee that morning and there were sugar ants all over the kitchen so I called my big sister to figure out what to do - she was babysitting my cousin the next town over. The other time I fell and cut open my chin and needed stitches. For some reason my older sister (different one didn't live at home anymore) was up to visit and she took me to the hospital) but honestly if she didn't when I couldn't stop the bleeding I would have called mom she would have driven the 5 min home and took me.

I was cooking for myself around the same time too. Not big things just pasta or canned stuff (chef boyardee) My mom would have a meeting and Dad and I were on our own for food once a week. Well eventually I learned that I could wait for Dad to cook or I could make myself something and not have to wait till he wakes up on times he overslept.

In general I think kids are capable of much more then many adults give them credit for.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:03 AM   #72
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In general I think kids are capable of much more then many adults give them credit for.

So very true!
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:12 AM   #73
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I see that a pp did mention this. I wanted to add that there IS a nonstop flight between Seattle and Houston. If FIL is in WA, ask him if he's willing to do the 4 hour drive...and if so I'd consider allowing them to fly. I'd be more comfortable with a nonstop than a connection.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:16 AM   #74
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DD18 was a nervous flyer as a child but got used it to it and started flying alone when she was 13 to go see her dad. She was also watching her sibs full days in the summer at that point (they are 6 & 8 yrs younger than her).

It doesn't sound like you're ready for them to go yet and I would wonder how well the 3 would do together. I guess it partly depends on how well they get along on a normal day. I would not feel bad about not wanting to send them, that is a long day if they're not used to it. I think kids need to work up to situations like that.

If you ever do send them alone, don't pick the last flight of the day! We learned that the hard way when DD was 15. There were bad storms in Chicago in August and her flight got diverted, had to go to another one for fuel, and finally landed at 3am. By that time, it was too late to continue the next leg so all the passengers were stuck. She was able to get re-booked for a 6:30am flight but it was pretty stressful at that point.

I will say though that other than tears upon finding out the connecting flight was cancelled, she handled it very well. I talked her through it over the phone. She is now a very confident flyer and very capable of handling things on her own.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:23 AM   #75
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Forgive me if this has already been asked/answered....how do the girls feel about it? I'd get their opinion. If it's "eek, no, we don't want to fly by ourselves", that would pretty much settle it for me, no matter what the grown ups think.
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