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Old 10-07-2012, 10:59 AM   #46
eebadeeba
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What are the fees for them to fly alone? Then what is the price difference of those fees and a ticket for you to fly to drop them off and pick them up?

Just a thought, I was surprised by how much extra it would cost when I thought I was getting a cheap ticket.
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:30 AM   #47
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No experience with flying... no flying with a layover in my household. I would however allow a direct flight for DS10 . Don't worry about being popular , you don't need to explain to FIL , the answer is no is that is what you want it to be.
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:48 AM   #48
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I flew alone at age 12 or 13 - including lay overs in major airports with gate changes taking me from one end of the airport to the other. And I was not an experienced flyer until I started taking those trips (annual trips to visit my aunt.) The first time I flew alone was only my second-ever trip on an airplane. And I managed. In fact, I loved it! Kids are often capable of handling much more than what parents are willing to allow.
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Old 10-07-2012, 12:08 PM   #49
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Honestly- if you are not comfortable with it then that is it. There is no reason why you have to give any reason at all. The answer is no. I know we will read about people sending their newborns halfway across the world and they changed their own diapers etc. but that doesn't matter. If YOU are not okay with it and YOU know your kids better than any of us then that is what you have to go with. FTR- there is no way on earth I would let my kids go on that type trip. That is my choice and I wouldn't care what anyone had to say about it. They get to raise their own kids. JMHO.
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:53 PM   #50
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I agree with other posters who wondered if you or FIL could drive to an airport where they could get a direct flight. If not, you might consider just sending one of the girls to visit this time: either the oldest or the most responsible.
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:29 PM   #51
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I am a Grandmother who looks very grandmotherly, if you know what I mean, so flight attendants have several times asked if I would sit with a child traveling alone. To be honest, it has made me less than enthusiastic about the idea. I remember one little boy, about 8 or 9, who was throwing up because we hit some turbulence. I held the bag for him and cleaned him up, but he was crying quietly and said "I wish my mom was here." Other kids have been scared to go to the bathroom on the plane, or couldn't figure out how to clear their ears and were in pain from that. Lots of little things can happen that are upsetting for kids, especially those who are a bit shy.

There was an article in our newspaper not long ago about a child who went missing in the airport for quite some time after the flight attendant forgot she was supposed to take her to the exit and so she just wandered off alone. It does happen.

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Old 10-07-2012, 03:47 PM   #52
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I'm not sure if it has been mentioned yet....but as it seems the layover portion is the where a lot of your concern is positioned....I suggest a flight that connects through SLC

Per the Delta Website
Delta Sky Zone

Delta Sky Zone is located in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, New York – JFK, Los Angeles, Memphis, Minneapolis and Salt Lake City which provide a secure area where unaccompanied children can wait for a connecting flight. Delta Sky Zone provides various activities such as books, TV’s, games or toys. Complimentary phones to contact parent/guardians are also provided.

Delta Sky Zone is staffed by Delta Air Lines employees who provide for your child’s comfort and safety during layovers at connecting hubs and coordinate the transfer of your child from arrival to departure flights. They also provide comfort and reassurance regarding travel when needed.

If you give them enough stuff to do on the planes and they are in a secure area in the connection zone I think all will be well even if they don't always get along.
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:56 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EMom View Post
I've heard too many horror stories about snafus with connecting flights. The only way DD would fly unacccompanied is on a nonstop flight.
I have to agree. My son is flying for the first time alone in a few months....he has a non stop flight and he is in college! I would be worried about many things, but one would be missing the connecting flight.
Why not have your father in law come to you and do things with your daughters at your house?
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:02 PM   #54
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My children have flown as unaccompanied minors. The airlines have been wonderful. The kids stayed in a special room and had activities to keep them busy. I believe it was $100 extra per child.

Last edited by jujube; 10-07-2012 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:08 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jujube View Post
My chlidren have flown as unaccompanied minors. The airlines have been wonderful. The kids stayed in a special room and had activities to keep them busy. I believe it was $100 extra per child.
Actually Delta's site says it's a $100 for up to 4 children...so the OP can fly all 3 kids for $100 fee.

I still think she would elevate a lot of stress if she has them fly through SLC and use the secure area for unaccompanied minors.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:11 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zurgswife View Post
Actually Delta's site says it's a $100 for up to 4 children...so the OP can fly all 3 kids for $100 fee.

I still think she would elevate a lot of stress if she has them fly through SLC and use the secure area for unaccompanied minors.
Great that the price is less!
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:18 PM   #57
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I didn't read the whole post, but I wonder if the kids feel comfortable flying alone. Maybe they wouldn't want to, even if mom were o.k. with it.

I wouldn't be comfortable sending my kids, but they are only 9 and 7 and not experienced flyers and tend to be somewhat shy and can be anxious.

So, it also depends on the temperament of the child, too.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:24 PM   #58
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OP, if you won't let them fly alone, tell your FIL that he will have to fly to pick them up at your nearest airport.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:44 PM   #59
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Would I let MY kids do it? Yes, I would, both domestic and overseas. My eldest is 15 and the younger is 5. They are both very experienced fliers and are both perfectly capable of navigating airports, except that DS has a bad habit of forgetting to empty his water bottle before heading through security. If DD were with her brother I wouldn't worry. Yes, they fight (constantly, it sometimes seems ), but when they are alone together without us the younger one instinctually realizes that she has to follow her brother's lead, and she tows the line and listens to him without argument.

On some airlines, your eldest is a year away from being old enough to supervise the younger siblings without any payment to the airline.

Mine both carry phones when they travel (DS has his own, DD carries our household emergency spare phone.) They also have cash and their passports. The biggest issue for kids traveling alone isn't the airport; it is hotels. Most US hotels will no longer allow anyone under age 18 to check in as the guest of record, so if there is a weather delay that requires an overnight layover, UM's will end up spending the night in the airport. (And that is why some airlines won't allow kids on connecting flights.)

Assuming that they do have some experience with flying, what I would do if I were in your position is to drive them to the nearest airport where you can put them on a non-stop flight to their destination. If you eliminate the possibility of a layover delay they should be just fine.

Count yourself lucky that you have grandparents in the family who are happy to take your kids on trips. I used to go gallivanting all over the world with my mother's sister when I was a kid; it gave my parents a much-needed break once in a while.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:06 PM   #60
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I wouldn't do it with the layover. I know many flight attendants & they are wonderful people but their hands are full juggling a lot of balls & wouldn't want my kid to be the one they dropped. I would check & see if there's a direct flight from DFW to Seattle before totally discounting the trip all together.
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