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Old 12-05-2012, 01:29 AM   #16
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When I was younger my parents would have been completely lost if I hadn't been able to fly by myself. I think from the age of 9 onward I flew alone at least 4 or 5 times a year to stay with relatives or just meet them in certain places. When I was a teenager it was even more frequent. When I first started I believe I always had an attendant keep a close eye on me and I never had a problem. My niece flew to stay with my husband and me for a few days when she was 14 and she didn't have a problem.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:07 AM   #17
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I first flew unaccompanied at age 9 and frequently after that. My parents paid a higher price for a unaccompanied minor because I did have a flight attendant shepherding me through layovers.

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Old 12-05-2012, 08:10 AM   #18
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Dd16 has been flying alone since she was 11. I did pay the fee for the first two times, but I believe AirTran doesn't require it after the age of 12, so I stopped.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:05 AM   #19
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My 14 year old DD flew home alone as an unaccompanied minor from a summer program this year. At 14 I had to pay the Delta $100 for her. Next year I won't have to, but can if I want to. For a non stop flight, I wouldn't. Even for a connector, I think she would be fine.

When we fly as a family, we let the kids navigate for all of us so they can get used to reading the signs and figuring out where to go.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:30 AM   #20
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Ok-I see basically everyone is for it. Now I have a 4.5 year old so my thinking towards the future with regards to that may be skewed.

I think I would have a hard time with it. I feel like the world I grew up in and the world we live in is now different. I don't want to really write down all the bad scenarios, but let me say this-what is there was a passenger bothering your kids on a flight. I find attendants to be stretched thin. Also with flying, you just never know, passengers go crazy and an emergency landed is needed. Now the kids are in a different airport.

I hate being a debbie downer-I just know I couldn't do it.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:43 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DISNEYWITHCHILDREN
Ok-I see basically everyone is for it. Now I have a 4.5 year old so my thinking towards the future with regards to that may be skewed.

I think I would have a hard time with it. I feel like the world I grew up in and the world we live in is now different. I don't want to really write down all the bad scenarios, but let me say this-what is there was a passenger bothering your kids on a flight. I find attendants to be stretched thin. Also with flying, you just never know, passengers go crazy and an emergency landed is needed. Now the kids are in a different airport.

I hate being a debbie downer-I just know I couldn't do it.
You're not alone. I wouldn't send my son (age 11) on a plane alone in a million years.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:04 PM   #22
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We sent my daughter to New York this summer at 13

When I was young, my best friend and her little sister escaped the fall of the Shah in Iran by getting on one of the last flights leaving Tehran without their parents and making their way from France (where the plane landed) to their grandmother in the U.S. Traveling is a life skill you teach your kids, you can't expect them to hit eighteen and be independent unless you give them independence gradually as they grow up. For one thing, they may need those skills sooner than you imagine.

Their mother escaped five years later, their father a year after that.
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:00 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crisi
We sent my daughter to New York this summer at 13

When I was young, my best friend and her little sister escaped the fall of the Shah in Iran by getting on one of the last flights leaving Tehran without their parents and making their way from France (where the plane landed) to their grandmother in the U.S. Traveling is a life skill you teach your kids, you can't expect them to hit eighteen and be independent unless you give them independence gradually as they grow up. For one thing, they may need those skills sooner than you imagine.

Their mother escaped five years later, their father a year after that.
What an amazing story.

I fully agree it's so important to teach life skills early on. I want my kids to feel confident and comfortable so when they become adults it doesn't hit them all at once.
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:12 PM   #24
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They should be absolutely fine. At age 13 I flew by myself from malaysia to the US, including an overnight in Singapore, and stops in singapore, taiwan, seattle, detroit and finally boston. A single flight with no customs to go through seems like a cakewalk. Unless your kids have behavioral problems they will be fine!
Wow. Major, MAJOR bonus points.

I'm probably still wandering around the Taiwan airport.
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:34 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MouseEarsForAll

Wow. Major, MAJOR bonus points.

I'm probably still wandering around the Taiwan airport.
Yeah for bonus points! And to answer somebody elses question, this was definitely not my first or second trip on an airplane, although it was my first solo trip. We lived overseas and flew places all the time.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:32 PM   #26
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I would never do it. Nope. I'd fly back home myself, get the kids, & fly WITH them before I'd ever let them fly alone. Too much could happen & I would never put my kids in that position of being alone on a plane if something were to happen.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:00 PM   #27
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I think it would be fine for their ages, but, but...its your anniversary! I think you should leave them behind. 1) its good for you and your husband and 2) its good to teach your children that you and husband come FIRST and 3) they don't always get what they want. It sounds like a LOT of hassle just for what would be a weekend trip away with your husband. Just let your kids stay with Grandma and spend some quality time with her, and honor yourself and your relationship and have fun just the two of you.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:01 PM   #28
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Oh, and then use the money you would've spent on extra plane tickets and park tickets, and treat yourselves to a super nice dinner out and buy something fun in the park to remember your vacation.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:08 AM   #29
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We sent our youngest son at 10 across country non stop to visit my sister. He was very mature, and we had only the *normal* parental anxieties, wasn't really worried that he wouldn't do just fine. Actually, we could have sent him at 8 if we had needed to, as he was always very mature and trustworthy.

So, it really depends on the maturity level of your child (no matter the age) and how much you can trust them in everyday life.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:04 PM   #30
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hi. when i was 13 i flew a 2 hour flight from indiana to see my dad in New Jersey and there was a stop. I was not allowed off the plane yet everyone else left. There was hopefully someone actually there, but it seemed like i was alone on the plane. It was right at lunch time and before the flight attendant told me to stay put i asked about food and told her i was hungry and didnt have any food. I asked if i could get some and then come back on, but they just said no.

Once the plane boarded again I told my story to this guy sitting next to me and he gave me 1/2 his sandwich, but i was leary b/c i was always told not to take food from strangers.

Just sharing my story, yours will probably be fine since it is a direct flight. Do pack snacks for them though.
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