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Old 10-06-2012, 06:35 PM   #16
Janepod
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Some kids can handle it, some can't. If you think yours can't, end of story.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:37 PM   #17
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Could you fly to the layover, get the girls on the plane, then fly home. Then have your FIL do the same on the way home? It would then be a "direct" flight for them. I know a little more expensive and tell FIL that it has to be this way or they can't do it yet.

It something to think about.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awoogala View Post
I was going to respond, but what it really comes down to is this. YOU are obviously not comfortable with this. YOU are their mother. End of story. I wouldn't let someone else pressure you into something you don't believe your kids are ready for.
As an aside, I wouldn't do it with my kids, especially with layover, etc. I don't trust an employee of an airline with my bags, let alone my kids. ;-)
Yeah but it sounds like the Dad is comfortable with it so it isn't "end of story" they are his kids to and has an equal vote.
Have you asked the kids if they would be comfortable doing it?
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:39 PM   #19
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I would not do it unless it was a direct flight...but I had a bad experience of being sent to the wrong gate and almost missing my connection when I flew by myself at 15.

Is there another airport you can drive to so it would be a direct flight?

Even one that lands somewhere else but you dont get off I might be willing to have happen, just not getting off one flight and onto another at those ages.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:39 PM   #20
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The 11 yr old and the 9 yr old would have to fly as unaccompanied minors. They wouldn't be alone to fend for themselves in the connecting airport. An airline employee would "receive" the girls from the flight attendant and the take them to the next gate and sign them over to a gate agent there or a FA. If the wait is to long at the gate they would be taken to a room to wait with other UM's waiting on flights. The would not be left alone.
If it wasn't a layover, I wouldn't have a problem. With a layover, if the 13 y/o wants to go off and explore, the not quite 9 y/o may not be too happy about that since she wouldn't be allowed to join her. Plus, I would have more confidence in my 13 y/o to watch her sibling than an airline employee but I don't think a 13 y/o should have to do that. Hence, the not quite 9 y/o wouldn't go. But if it works for you, no problem. I'm sure they would survive but I likely wouldn't allow it.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:40 PM   #21
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Could you drive them to Seattle and send them on a nonstop from there?

My ds has flown multiple times on his own. He's 17 now and he's been flying by himself since he was 10. He could handle a one stop flight, but probably not when he was 13 and he was an experienced flyer then. DD flew unaccompanied for the first time when she was 13. It was a direct flight and she almost freaked out. She's a very experienced flyer, but did not like being alone on the flight AT ALL.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:42 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannathy View Post
The 11 yr old and the 9 yr old would have to fly as unaccompanied minors. They wouldn't be alone to fend for themselves in the connecting airport. An airline employee would "receive" the girls from the flight attendant and the take them to the next gate and sign them over to a gate agent there or a FA. If the wait is to long at the gate they would be taken to a room to wait with other UM's waiting on flights. The would not be left alone.
I'm sure you are right, but I still couldn't and wouldn't do it. My husband or I one would be making the trip with the kids.

When I have to make a big decision like this I always go with my gut and if something feels "off" then I trust that to be a warning for me.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:44 PM   #23
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I agree with the above. Is there a particular reason you feel your 13 year old definitely and probably also the 11 year old can't stay by themselves for a work day?


Maybe soon. But this year they are only 12, 10, 8. The 10 year old is the most responsible one of the bunch. I kinda go by what the 10 yo can handle

This year, right now it is 3-4 hours max that they are home alone.

No one in the house is yet 13! Considering there are folks who won't let the kids play in the yard without supervision, or worry about them being abducted at the school bus stop, I thought I was pretty calm & collected.

Prior to this thread I would have never labeled myself as over-protective. I suppose I am about to have the truth smack me upside my head! Maybe I am?????
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:47 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannathy View Post
The 11 yr old and the 9 yr old would have to fly as unaccompanied minors. They wouldn't be alone to fend for themselves in the connecting airport. An airline employee would "receive" the girls from the flight attendant and the take them to the next gate and sign them over to a gate agent there or a FA. If the wait is to long at the gate they would be taken to a room to wait with other UM's waiting on flights. The would not be left alone.
DS flew unaccompanied when he was 11. The arriving gate agent "received him" then told him where to sit, said if he needed to leave that spot to let her know and she spent the next 2 hours checking in people and chatting with her coworkers, and eventually she went on break and never came back and didn't tell the new person he was alone. She didn't notice when he left to go to the bathroom or to get something to eat, despite repeated attempts by him to just let her know he was going like she told him to. Thankfully he was smart enough to listen for his next flight (since I had drilled that info into him for weeks before he left) and he boarded himself.

Don't count on a gate agent or a FA to be there. The kids can be alone.

There are not rooms at every airport for unaccompanied minors, either.

Now our kids can only fly alone if they are on a direct flight. Too much risk otherwise.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:55 PM   #25
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One thing I just remembered: Airlines charge a fee for unaccompanied minors. Alaska Airlines has a $25 fee each way for direct flights and $50 each way for connecting flights. This will be per child.

Another rule I found on their website: The youngest Child Traveler's flight restrictions will apply to all of the other Child Travelers flying together, including those not requesting Unaccompanied Minor Service.

This means the 13 year old would have to fly as an unaccompanied minor even though they wouldn't have to if they were by themselves.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:59 PM   #26
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No one in the house is yet 13!
I apologize. I misread your post that the oldest was 13 now. Regardless, my oldest started staying home by herself when she was 11. We didn't let her "keep" her siblings for a full day until she was 12. A lot has to do with what each child can handle. I do agree if you're not comfortable, don't do it.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:38 PM   #27
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I have a DD (now 18...). We have an SIL/BIL in Florida that begged...begged and begged for years and years to have DD fly down to see them. I finally "allowed" it when the one particular airline allowed her to fly solo, without the need for an escort. She did have to transfer planes in Atlanta (which worked, since SIL had a close friend in Atlanta in case flights didn't work out.)

This worked out fine for us...

Despite my SIL's comments throughout the years...we simply did not let DD travel solo until she was allowed to do so with no restrictions. I'm thinking she travelled on Delta - when you can travel at 15 without the "escort".
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Perhaps - you can explain to your FIL that there is a fee of "$XX) for the unaccompanied minor fee, and that is the only way you would let your kids fly.

I know that your FIL really wants to see the grandkids. That is great...but your gut instinct could and should help with this decision.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:49 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awoogala View Post
I was going to respond, but what it really comes down to is this. YOU are obviously not comfortable with this. YOU are their mother. End of story. I wouldn't let someone else pressure you into something you don't believe your kids are ready for.
As an aside, I wouldn't do it with my kids, especially with layover, etc. I don't trust an employee of an airline with my bags, let alone my kids. ;-)
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:53 PM   #29
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Would you feel comfortable if there were no connection? You would take them to the gate and stay until the plane actually left the ground. FIL would meet them at the gate, he would be there before the plane landed.

If that's the case, maybe consider looking at some nearby airports -- maybe drive up to DFW? -- that they can fly nonstop between?
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:58 PM   #30
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I would only do it if it was nonstop.
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