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"Unaccompanied Minor (UM) " is an official airline status that refers to children who are travelling under the care of airline personnel for their entire trip (it does not refer to children simply flying without an adult). You must specifically request and pay the airline extra for this service; the cost varies from airline to airline.
Please Note: We understand that you might have some reservations about your child travelling alone. If you feel that your teen is not capable of (or you are not comfortable with them) travelling alone and you are interested in a program that does not support this service, please contact us before making a booking and we can review the options and issues.
Each airline has a unique policy regarding the age of children who must travel as an Unaccompanied Minor (UM). For most major airlines, children must travel as a UM if they are 11/12 or under. For some airlines (American Airlines & Delta), the age is 14 or under. If your child is older than the cut-off age listed by the airline, you can still book this service as an option but please contact us first to make sure your program of interest supports this service.
While the check-in and arrival procedures for children who are travelling as a UM vary from airline to airline, this is typically what you can expect:
At check-in: At the airport the child should be accompanied to the gate by a parent or appointed person. Please note that you must remain at the airport until the flight is airborne so that you are able to take your child home again should the flight be cancelled.
Upon arrival: A chaperone will be waiting at the destination airport to meet your child and hand him/her over to the person designated to collect him/her. At many airports there are supervision rooms in which your child is looked after. For security reasons, the person collecting the child must produce valid identification, which is then compared to the information on file before the child is entrusted to them.
For specific information and policies relating to UM/children tavelling alone, we recommend that you visit the website of the airline(s) you are considering for your child's travel. For your convenience, we have provided links below to some of the more popular carriers.
Questions about Unaccompanied Minors/children travelling alone? Please call us toll-free 1 888 386 1411.
Inside Exploration Inc.