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Old 09-11-2013, 05:40 PM   #1
lugnut33
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Question about minors flying

Can my 16 year old act as the adult chaperone for my 13 year old? Or does there need to be a +18 adult chaperone for the 13 year old?

I'm going to be in FL at the end of Feb. for the Daytona 500 and was thinking about flying them down afterwards so we can go hang out at WDW. Milwaukee to MCO non-stop.
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:51 PM   #2
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It depend on te airline. You should check the website of the airline(s) you may travel and see their rules.
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Old 09-11-2013, 06:23 PM   #3
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The only air line I could find that would fly a minor at age 13 was Delta and they charged an extra $250. Don't know about 16 year old. You should just start calling.
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:03 PM   #4
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On United Airlines, children ages 12 to 17 can travel as adults. So your 13yo and 16yo will be fine, as long as you trust them. Most teenagers who have flown before should not have any problems navigating an airport or sitting on an airplane. It's certainly easier than going to high school!

Optionally, you can pay the service charge to have them fly with unaccompanied minor service.

See http://www.united.com/web/en-us/cont...s/default.aspx

----

On American Airlines, the rules are similar to United. For children ages 12 through 17 years, use of the Unaccompanied Minor service is not required, but is available upon request (for a fee). Your 13yo and 16yo will be fine traveling as adults.

See http://www.aa.com/i18n/travelInforma...nTraveling.jsp

----

Southwest Airlines only requires children ages 5 through 11 traveling without an accompanying passenger age 12 or older to travel as an Unaccompanied Minor. So even a 5 yo traveling with a 12yo could travel as adults (technically as a child and a chaperone). Your 13yo and 16yo will be fine.

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

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Well, there you have it for three major airlines. I assume all domestic airlines have the information on their websites.
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:40 AM   #5
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The only air line I could find that would fly a minor at age 13 was Delta and they charged an extra $250. Don't know about 16 year old. You should just start calling.


All US airlines will fly age 5+ as unaccompanied minors.

A 13 year old can travel without you having to pay an unaccompanied minor fee. As already posted, this information will be available on your airline's website; did you check?
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:06 AM   #6
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lugnut33,

I think it's safe to say that most, but not necessarily all, domestic airlines will allow a 16yo and a 13yo to travel as adults, without paying for unaccompanied minor service and without the 16yo officially classified as the chaperone for the 13yo.

I think it's safe to say that most airlines give parents the option of paying for unaccompanied minor service for teenagers if the parents feel it's necessary.

If one of the children were 11 or younger, it would be more complicated.

It varies by airline. Check the airline website. Talk to the airline.

Then please post what you learned dealing with your airline.
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:14 AM   #7
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Periodically on some travel message board or another there will be an "outcry"

"Delta/SW/United etc.. stranded my 15 year old at the airport all night" Further prodding by folks on the message board generally turns up these facts...

A. Child was traveling as an adult... in other words the parents did not pay the unaccompanied minor fee
B. Child was booked on the last flight/connection of the night. (In other words they left after school and tried to catch the last flight out of Atlanta/Chicago/etc .. to their final destination)

And yes, in that case you child is on their own.

So I always suggest that if you are going to send a teen alone (and I did it a lot, but I was going non stop from TYS to ATL ) that you try to avoid connections and the last flight issue.
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:47 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by OrangeCountyCommuter View Post
Periodically on some travel message board or another there will be an "outcry"

"Delta/SW/United etc.. stranded my 15 year old at the airport all night" Further prodding by folks on the message board generally turns up these facts...

A. Child was traveling as an adult... in other words the parents did not pay the unaccompanied minor fee
B. Child was booked on the last flight/connection of the night. (In other words they left after school and tried to catch the last flight out of Atlanta/Chicago/etc .. to their final destination)

And yes, in that case you child is on their own.

So I always suggest that if you are going to send a teen alone (and I did it a lot, but I was going non stop from TYS to ATL ) that you try to avoid connections and the last flight issue.
On SW you cannot send a teen (under 18) on a connecting flight....
this is their rule...
Unaccompanied Minors are allowed to travel on only nonstop or same-plane service (makes one or two stops but does not require a change of planes or flight number).
It also used to be that they also weren't allowed on the last flight of the day either, but apparently they have discontinued that policy.
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stitchlovestink View Post
On SW you cannot send a teen (under 18) on a connecting flight....
this is their rule...
Unaccompanied Minors are allowed to travel on only nonstop or same-plane service (makes one or two stops but does not require a change of planes or flight number).
It also used to be that they also weren't allowed on the last flight of the day either, but apparently they have discontinued that policy.
Respectfully, I'm not sure that's correct. SW is using Unaccompanied Minor as a defined term. Not to describe all minors who are traveling. This is from SW's website:

Note:

Children ages five through 11 traveling without an accompanying Passenger age 12 or older must travel as an Unaccompanied Minor (UM) on Southwest Airlines.

For travel booked on or after April 23, 2010, Southwest Airlines will charge $50 each way ($100 roundtrip) in addition to the air fare per child for UMs to travel.

UMs may only travel on nonstop or direct (makes one or more stops but does not require a change of planes or flight number) flights.

Shared itineraries, or AirTran-only itineraries booked through Southwest channels, cannot be purchased for Unaccompanied Minors. Learn More
Southwest will not transport UMs on flights that may be diverted or cancelled due to inclement weather or other operational abnormalities.

Southwest Airlines does not provide Unaccompanied Minor service to/from international destinations.

So, for those 12 and over, they don't have to travel as an UM, thus they are not UM's that are prohibited from making connections.

The OP should check with the applicable airline nevertheless for the 13 and 16 year old.
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:21 PM   #10
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Yes, it would be with Southwest Airlines and it is a direct flight. Wife would drop them off at airport, accompany them up til TSA security check, then I'd pick them up in Orlando airport. We'd all fly back home together.

Thanks everybody.
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Old 09-12-2013, 04:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandi

Respectfully, I'm not sure that's correct. SW is using Unaccompanied Minor as a defined term. Not to describe all minors who are traveling. This is from SW's website:

Note:

Children ages five through 11 traveling without an accompanying Passenger age 12 or older must travel as an Unaccompanied Minor (UM) on Southwest Airlines.

For travel booked on or after April 23, 2010, Southwest Airlines will charge $50 each way ($100 roundtrip) in addition to the air fare per child for UMs to travel.

UMs may only travel on nonstop or direct (makes one or more stops but does not require a change of planes or flight number) flights.

Shared itineraries, or AirTran-only itineraries booked through Southwest channels, cannot be purchased for Unaccompanied Minors. Learn More
Southwest will not transport UMs on flights that may be diverted or cancelled due to inclement weather or other operational abnormalities.

Southwest Airlines does not provide Unaccompanied Minor service to/from international destinations.
So, for those 12 and over, they don't have to travel as an UM, thus they are not UM's that are prohibited from making connections.

The OP should check with the applicable airline nevertheless for the 13 and 16 year old.
My info was cut & pasted right from SW's website....
I just only picked a portion though, not the whole thing.

I'm on my phone or I'd provide a direct link to the page I got my info from.
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Old 09-12-2013, 05:50 PM   #12
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Jet Blue considers a child unaccompanied until age 14.
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lugnut33 View Post
Yes, it would be with Southwest Airlines and it is a direct flight. Wife would drop them off at airport, accompany them up til TSA security check, then I'd pick them up in Orlando airport. We'd all fly back home together.

Thanks everybody.
I believe that you mean it is a non-stop flight. A direct flight has stops.

Another poster wrote:

On SW you cannot send a teen (under 18) on a connecting flight....
this is their rule...


Not correct. The website actually states:

Children ages five through 11 traveling without an accompanying Passenger age 12 or older must travel as an Unaccompanied Minor (UM) on Southwest Airlines.

OP's youngest child is 13. Plus she is traveling with a 16 year old, so she would be good even if she were five.

Only ages 5-12 must travel as UAs.
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Old 09-13-2013, 01:36 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by lost*in*cyberspace View Post
I believe that you mean it is a non-stop flight. A direct flight has stops.

Another poster wrote:

On SW you cannot send a teen (under 18) on a connecting flight....
this is their rule...


Not correct. The website actually states:

Children ages five through 11 traveling without an accompanying Passenger age 12 or older must travel as an Unaccompanied Minor (UM) on Southwest Airlines.

OP's youngest child is 13. Plus she is traveling with a 16 year old, so she would be good even if she were five.

Only ages 5-12 must travel as UAs.
http://www.southwest.com/html/custom...inors-pol.html

Only ages 5 to 11 must travel as unaccompanied minors. BUT an unaccompanied minor ticket can be purchased for any minor!

So if you have purchased a ticket for ANY unaccompanied minor which would be a teen (under age 18) their rules say no connecting flights.

Now this is *MY* Opinion and my opinion only but I think it can be risky buyng 'regular' tickets for kids in the 12 to 17 age bracket and you take your chances that everything goes well. But when it doesn't!!! You (general you as in those who bought the ticket that way) want to blame the airline for the problems they encounter with a child being stranded or whatever other disaster that happens. And That is NOT the airline's fault!!! Great example!! Our control Tower here at BWI was struck by lightning yesterday shutting down the airport TOTALLY for several hours where there were NO planes departing or landing....flights diverted to Dulles/Reagan. If you had a connecting there, OUCH! I'm not saying don't buy a regular ticket for your kid, that is an individual choice. BUT understand the potential consequences. I would be more inclined to do it for my 16 or 17 y.o. than say a 13 y.o. and each parent knows their own child and how responsible they are and how well they can handle a crisis situation. I am CLEARLY not trying to start any arguments...only throwing out there food for thought for parents to really think about when making this decision. that's all. O
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Old 09-14-2013, 02:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stitchlovestink View Post
http://www.southwest.com/html/custom...inors-pol.html

Only ages 5 to 11 must travel as unaccompanied minors. BUT an unaccompanied minor ticket can be purchased for any minor!

So if you have purchased a ticket for ANY unaccompanied minor which would be a teen (under age 18) their rules say no connecting flights.

Now this is *MY* Opinion and my opinion only but I think it can be risky buyng 'regular' tickets for kids in the 12 to 17 age bracket and you take your chances that everything goes well. But when it doesn't!!! You (general you as in those who bought the ticket that way) want to blame the airline for the problems they encounter with a child being stranded or whatever other disaster that happens. And That is NOT the airline's fault!!! Great example!! Our control Tower here at BWI was struck by lightning yesterday shutting down the airport TOTALLY for several hours where there were NO planes departing or landing....flights diverted to Dulles/Reagan. If you had a connecting there, OUCH! I'm not saying don't buy a regular ticket for your kid, that is an individual choice. BUT understand the potential consequences. I would be more inclined to do it for my 16 or 17 y.o. than say a 13 y.o. and each parent knows their own child and how responsible they are and how well they can handle a crisis situation. I am CLEARLY not trying to start any arguments...only throwing out there food for thought for parents to really think about when making this decision. that's all. O
I've sent my DD on Southwest a few different times on her own when she was 15, 16, and 17. She was unaccompanied and a minor under the law, but she was not an "Unaccompanied Minor" as Southwest defines the term. She had connections -- missed one one time and she did fine. Southwest was aware of her age and her flight connections because they issued the tickets. Southwest's rules apply to who they have defined as an Unaccompanied Minor (capitalized and defined term), not to those persons 12 and above who are flying on their own. I agree that, as a parent, it is important to consider your own child's ability before sending them alone and/or including connections. Heck, I won't send my mom alone on a flight that needs connections because she would not handle it well.
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