How do you feel about unaccompanied minors on flights?

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by RookieLady, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. RookieLady

    RookieLady Mouseketeer

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    My 20th anniversary is coming up next year, and I want to go to Disney without my children for a couple of days. However, I cannot bring myself to go to Disney without my kids, despite my repeated readings of posts about it being okay. I am seriously considering driving down to Florida with my husband and visiting the World a few days. Then, I am thinking about having my mother put my children on a direct flight to Orlando, where my husband and I will pick up the children and complete our trip with them. Has anyone sent children (2 in my case) unaccompanied on a direct flight and what were your experiences?

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. robinb

    robinb DIS Veteran

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    How old are your kids?
     
  4. RookieLady

    RookieLady Mouseketeer

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    They will be 13 and 10. They will have flown twice before, but with parents on prior occasions.
     
  5. brymolmom

    brymolmom DIS Veteran

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    Agreed. Totally depends on the ages of the kids and also how the kids are with it. My son would be fine and I would be fine sending him...He is 10 and as long as Grandma watched him board a direct flight I would be OK on the other end. My dd, however, is 9 and would be very scared to go 'alone' - even tho her brother would be with her. Of course, if I told her it was either that or no Disney at all - she likely would be fine with it. And having them together would make it a bigger bonus.
     
  6. I loveStitchnippyjon

    I loveStitchnippyjon DIS Veteran

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    As long as it's a direct flight, and the kids have been coached on what to do at every step along the way, I would consider it if my kids showed enough maturity to handle it.
     
  7. BrDubs

    BrDubs Earning My Ears

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    When I was a minor, I flew alone. My parents contacted the airlines prior to and Delta knew to watch for me. I had to switch planes, and the airline had someone waiting for me to take me to the gate. Very nice service that hopefully they still do and may give you some piece of mind.
     
  8. lost*in*cyberspace

    lost*in*cyberspace DIS Veteran

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    I think you mean a nonstop flight, not a direct flight. There's a difference.

    Kids fly unaccompanied every day. It's not a big deal. Choose the airline carefully; many require you to pay an unaccompanied minor fee and it can be expensive.
     
  9. RookieLady

    RookieLady Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for your replies. It seems I have some investigating to do.
     
  10. theworldneedscolor

    theworldneedscolor DIS Veteran

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    My sister flew alone last summer (she was 13) and even had to catch a connecting flight! She was too old to have someone escort her, so she was nervous, but she handled it very well. She just asked the airline staff for help if she needed it. If your kids are mature, I think they will be fine.
     
  11. mm1971

    mm1971 DIS Veteran

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    I would probably not with my kids (based on my kids and our situation), but I know people who have had their kids fly to relatives several times without any issues.

    If you feel they would handle it well then there should be no issues, especially if they are together. If you make the airline aware, they usually will take extra steps to make sure they are OK.
     
  12. DisneyRegulars

    DisneyRegulars DIS Veteran

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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!
     
  13. SmallWorld71

    SmallWorld71 DIS Veteran

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    Totally depends on the kids - but I don't think it's a crazy idea. I have a 13 year old and a 9 year old and I would let them do it if need be. They have flown multiple times and they are very responsible. I took my first unaccompanied flight at 12 - with my 9 year old brother and 3 year old sister.

    That said, I would be thinking about their upcoming arrival the entire time I was there alone with DH and that would put a damper on the fun. DH and I would probably end up talking about them the whole time and it wouldn't seem very much like an anniversary. While I have absolutely no problems with people who take adult only trips to WDW, they're just not for me. I would be much more inclined to bring the kids and then plan a few adult activities/ an adult evening or two into the trip.

    Oh, and congrats on 20 years - it will be 15 for DH and I next year.:)
     
  14. Lizzybean

    Lizzybean Mouseketeer

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    I first flew alone at 10 I think? Maybe 9. Once my parents divorced at 11 I flew alone or with my little sister (who was 6) every other weekend back and forth between Chicago and D.C. I remember my mom dropping me at the curb outside of O'Hare and walking myself to check-in, through security and to the gate by myself. Many times my just picked me up outside baggage claim which I got to alone. When I flew they didn't assign a Flight Attendant to supervise me but when my sister flew alone they did (and of course she wasn't running around the airport by herself).

    I was already well-traveled by that age by I know the experience made me a much more confident, independent, self assured traveler. I wouldn't hesitate to fly my kids at that age, particularly if they were flying together. We almost always drive to FL b/c it's become tradition and is usually just so much cheaper that I prefer it but otherwise we fly everywhere else.

    My solo minor trips were shortly before 9/11 but that doesn't change how I feel at all (other than disliking the TSA). I think it will be a great experience for them!
     
  15. Lizzybean

    Lizzybean Mouseketeer

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    You beat me lol! Seriously though, this is another great example in favor of kids flying solo.
     
  16. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    That's how I would be, too. Maybe. I've done actual solo trips, knowing that DS was home and happy with DH. I'm not sure if I could handle knowing DS would be on a flight coming to me on vacation. Then again, we have NO trusted family to watch DS, none at all. The one that would do in a pinch has now had a series of strokes that have damaged her memory, and also she had a BIG one right in front of him and he's terrified it's going to happen again.

    So I can't come close to putting myself in your shoes, OP, since you have trusted family and I do not.

    But we that your third flight in your life, or had flown more than that?




    I have a friend who puts her now 9 year old on cross country flights to visit her husband's parents. I can't imagine doing the same with DS, who is 8.5. He's a seasoned traveler, but for one thing, she is FAR ahead of him in reading, which can be a big deal with being comfy in an airport. On every flight I try to help HM learn more about navigating airports, as I want him to not be nervous in airports and on flights!

    Maybe by ten I'd be comfy with my son flying alone. The OP has the advantage of the teenager! No the question is if they get along, and if they would listen to each other and not fight.
     
  17. BreeBree

    BreeBree Earning My Ears

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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.
     
  18. 4HppyCamprs

    4HppyCamprs DIS Veteran

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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.

    Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards
     
  19. mjkacmom

    mjkacmom DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  20. okeydokey

    okeydokey Frosty the Snowman scared me as

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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.
     
  21. DISNEYWITHCHILDREN

    DISNEYWITHCHILDREN Mouseketeer

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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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