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You are watching: How old you have to be to travel alone

Airlines have drastically varying policies and also fees when it comes to children flying alone under the designation of one unaccompanied minor. Below is a ring up of the United says based airlines policies and also fees because that unaccompanied minors…

Editor’s note: This short article has to be updated with the recent information.

“Mom, i think I’ll have actually an easier time walking into summer camp if i don’t have actually you over there to bail me out.”

And through those wise and insightful words, my 11-year-old signed it s her up for a flight as one unaccompanied minor from Houston to Philadelphia for her an initial stint in ~ a two-week-long summer camp.

There room all sorts of factors why you may discover yourself in a case where her child requirements to fly together an unaccompanied minor if you continue to be behind on the ground. That could include your child traveling to their other parent’s house, visiting their grandparents or, in our case, heading to summer camp.

Ready to fly solo (Photo by Summer Hull/The clues Guy)

My an initial unaccompanied minor trip was in ~ 5 year old and my eldest daughter’s first unaccompanied minor trip was in ~ the age of 6. While us don’t use the airlines’ unaccompanied minor solutions often, we do have some experience in this area.

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As a parent, I’ll to speak it have the right to be scary to have actually your kid flying miles above the ground there is no an adult, yet it’s likewise one that those cases where the much more you — and also your son — know, the less intimidating it becomes. Here’s what you need to know prior to using one airline’s unaccompanied young service.

In This Post

My daughter flying because that the first time together an unaccompanied minor. (Photo by Summer Hull/The points Guy)

What is an unaccompanied minor?

Starting when youngsters turn 5, you deserve to pay a fees to plenty of airlines to have actually your son registered as an unaccompanied minor so they can fly without an adult. In return for the fee, the airline provides the boy some extr supervision, assistance gaining on and off the plane, escort to any type of connections and also assistance in the event of irregular operations.

Typically, a parent or guardian will complete the paperwork and also obtain the boarding happen at the check-in desk, acquire a door pass, escort the child through security and also then wait in ~ the child’s gate until their airplane is in the air. ~ above the other end, in ~ arrival, a designated adult will go through approximately the same process and be wait at the gate when the aircraft arrives.

Should my boy fly as an unaccompanied minor?

Some parental balk at the notion of a child flying there is no them due to the fact that of safety or logistical concerns, and also those can definitely be really valid concerns. On the various other hand, I understand that the dangers of on regular basis riding a school bus without me are more than likely much higher than the sometimes commercial flight.

Related: youngsters ages 2 and up need face masks to fly

That said, ns wouldn’t rush down the unaccompanied minor route until both you and your son are ready. That may be at 6, 9 or 11 years old. However, if your kid is 12 year old before the require arises for a solo flight, you may be shocked to find that part airlines won’t carry out unaccompanied minor services to children once they turn 12, even if you’re ready to pay.

While all airlines space different, I’ve never seen one area of family members travel that varies as dramatically as the rules for unaccompanied minors.

Even in ~ the united States, part airlines don’t accept unaccompanied minors at all; others require the organization until a son is 14; and also others don’t market it in ~ all as soon as a child turns 12. It’s not just the ages that differ; the fees range widely from $50 to $150. And at the very least one airline offers the business for complimentary … as lengthy as your child has elite status.

Some airlines let you attach on worldwide itineraries to other airlines and also some only permit nonstop domestic flights. The rules and fees for unaccompanied minors room truly all over the place.

Alaska Airlines

Alaska airlines unaccompanied boy policies and fees

(Photo through Darren Murph/The point out Guy)Alaska airline calls its regime Junior Jetsetters, however has limited meals, so asks the caregivers pack meals and also entertainment.Fees are at this time $50 every direction per kid for sewage or straight flights and $75 per direction per child for connecting flights.Children eras 5 to 7 are thought about unaccompanied minors and may just travel on sewage or straight flights. Travel might not start between 9 p.m. And 5 a.m.Children ages 8 come 12 are thought about unaccompanied minors and may take trip on a flight that requires a connection, however not with a layover of more than two hrs or top top the last trip of the day unless there is no other option. As with the younger age group, travel may not start between 9 p.m. And 5 a.m.Children ages 13 come 17 might request the unaccompanied minor business (it is optional) and also are subject to the same rules as children 8 to 12.Unaccompanied minor organization fees are waived for kids who have actually attained MVP, MVP yellow or yellow 75K Mileage plan status.Unaccompanied minors space not embraced if weather or other determinants are most likely to interrupt the routine operation of their location or connecting-point flights.Children might not travel alone to or from sun Valley, Idaho (SUN), between Dec. 1 and April 1.

Related: Why Alaska airline miles are the most valuable

Allegiant Air

Allegiant does no accept unaccompanied minors under the age of 15. Passengers 15 years or older are thought about adults. Passengers younger 보다 15 years old have to be attach by one adult who is ticketed on the exact same reservation.

American Airlines

American airlines unaccompanied boy policies and also fees

The unaccompanied minor company fee is $150 (plus tax) every way, despite this fee additionally includes brother on the very same flight.Travel is not permitted if it includes a connection to or from another airline (including partners), calls for ground transportation/co-terminal connections, is the last trip of the work from the final connection city (unless that is the just option) or entails overnight connecting flights.Children periods 5 to 7 have the right to only travel on nonstop or straight flights. Kids over 8 can connect through Charlotte (CLT), Washington, D.C. (DCA), Dallas-Fort worth (DFW), brand-new York City (JFK and LGA), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), Chicago (ORD), Philadelphia (PHL) and Phoenix (PHX).Children ages 15 to 17 deserve to travel together an unaccompanied minor, but it is no required.Children periods 2 come 14 can travel as an “accompanied minor” v someone 16 years or older.Reservations need to be made end the phone in ~ 1-800-433-7300.

Related: American airline miles no much longer expire because that children

Delta wait Lines

Delta air Lines unaccompanied minor policies and also fees

Delta fees $150 for each direction that travel, which covers up to 4 children.The Delta unaccompanied minor routine is compelled for all kids ages 5 to 14 no traveling in the same compartment through an adult that is at least 18 years old or the child’s parent/legal guardian. The regime is optional for kids ages 15 to 17.Children ages 5 come 7 can only take trip on sewage flights. Kids age 8 and also older might travel on nonstop and also some connecting flights.Domestic and also international take trip is permitted.Travel is not permitted on the critical connecting trip of the day.Travel is not allowed on red-eye flights in between 9 p.m. And also 5 a.m. Uneven it is an global flight, a domestic short-haul trip of two hrs or less, a flight to/from Alaska and also Hawaii or in a market with only one link per day.Reservations should be made end the phone in ~ 1-800-325-8847.All youngsters will receive functions like a trackable wristband, accessibility to a skies Zone lounge for kids and also a Delta personnel escort because that your son throughout their travel day.

Related: how to conserve money with the Delta companion certificate


Frontier exposed its unaccompanied minor regimen in 2018. Children younger 보다 15 years old need to travel on the exact same itinerary with one more passenger who is at least 15 years old.

Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian airlines unaccompanied young policies and also fees

(Photo by Summer Hull/The clues Guy)The unaccompanied minor fees is $35 per segment within Hawaii and $100 every segment because that flights in between North America and also Hawaii. The fee covers as much as two youngsters from one family.Children who are 5 come 11 year old and traveling there is no a companion 15 year of age or enlarge on the same residential flight and also in the same compartment are considered unaccompanied minors; for global flights, the travel companion have to be at the very least 18 years of age.Passengers 12 years old and over may travel alone on residential flights there is no the use of the unaccompanied young program.Unaccompanied minors arenot permittedon worldwide flights.Fees should be paid by a parent or responsible adult upon check-in.Unaccompanied minors room not allowed on flights departing between 9 p.m. And 5 a.m. Unless the flight operates out of Honolulu and also is the only flight of the day. Travel is not allowed on the critical connecting flight of the job or top top connecting flights whereby the connection time is much longer than two hours.Travel is not permitted on flights that require an overnight stay to make a connection, on any type of codeshare flights or those connecting to/from an additional carrier.Whether in advance or in ~ check-in, if there’s a possibility an unaccompanied child’s flight may be delay or there might be a let go connection, Hawaiian airlines may adjust the child’s trip schedule, including the departure date.Unaccompanied minors might travel in economy or very first class.Contact bookings to publication an unaccompanied minor’s flight at 1-800-367-5320.

Related: flying Hawaiian Airlines an initial class through a family


JetBlue unaccompanied minor policies and also fees

There is a $150 fee every direction of take trip per person.Children in between the eras of 5 and 14 are thought about unaccompanied minors. You deserve to request additional assistance for children over 14 by calling 1-800-JETBLUE.A boy as young as 2 might fly with a kid who is at the very least 14 there is no unaccompanied minor status.Travel is just permitted on nonstop flights. Travel is not permitted on connecting or straight flights or in Mint seats. Flights may be residential or international.Every nation requires distinct documentation, such together a notarized letter, stating that the unaccompanied minor has permission to paris alone. JetBlue proposal contacting the nearest embassy/consulate for much more information.At this time, unaccompanied minors room not may be to travel on JetBlue flights to and from London.There is a maximum of three unaccompanied minors per trip — book far in advance to for sure there’s availability.Unaccompanied minors room seated in seat A, B and also C in the last heat of the aircraft. They may not paris in Mint or Even much more Space seats.Unaccompanied minors are always permitted to lug a carry-on bag top top board with them, even when booked on a Blue simple fare.Reservations can be do online.

Related: What it’s choose to fly JetBlue from NYC to Florida

Southwest Airlines

Southwest airlines unaccompanied boy policies and fees

Southwest charges a $50 fee every direction of travel per child.Children ages 5 to 11 traveling there is no an accompanying passenger period 12 or older are considered unaccompanied minors. Youngsters 12 and also over have the right to use the airline’s Young Travelers company that has actually no fee, but does enable for gate passes for adult escorting and also picking up the child or children.The unaccompanied minor business is only valid for travel on domestic nonstop or straight flights. A straight flight is one that renders one or 2 stops but does not require a change of plane or trip number. Not valid for worldwide travel.You can book these flights digital by simply entering the child’s date of birth on a reservation with no one 12 years old or larger or you have the right to call1-800-435-9792.Southwest make reservation the ideal to not deliver unaccompanied minors top top flights that might be diverted or canceled as result of inclement weather or various other operational abnormalities.

See more: How To Catch A Blue Marlin, How To Catch Blue Marlin In The Gulf Of Mexico

Related: just how to earn the Southwest Companion Pass

Spirit Airlines

Spirit airlines unaccompanied young policies and also fees

(Photo through JT Genter/The point out Guy)There is a $100 fee per direction of take trip per child.Children 5 come 14 year old should travel as unaccompanied minors as soon as not traveling v a human being at least 15 year old. Kids 15 and also older might request and pay for the unaccompanied minor service.Unaccompanied minors are welcomed only on straight flights that do not require a readjust of plane or flight number.Only valid for domestic travel (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands).The unaccompanied minor dues does include an onboard snack and drink.Reservations have the right to be made online.

Related: everything you have to know before flying spirit Airlines