Travel Advice: Children flying alone

Some airlines will not take unaccompanied minors and others have age limits and fees

Transatlantic services with US carriers do allow children from five-14 or 15 to travel alone for a fee. Photograph: Istock

Transatlantic services with US carriers do allow children from five-14 or 15 to travel alone for a fee. Photograph: Istock

 

The capacity to send children unaccompanied on flights has reduced a lot in recent years. Some airlines will not take unaccompanied minors (UMs) and others have age limits and charges.

From Ireland Aer Lingus will accept unaccompanied children from 12-15 inclusive but will not provide special assistance. A Form of Indemnity must be signed by a parent or guardian at the airport. The person signing the form must have a passport or driving licence.

Children under 12 must be accompanied by someone over 16. Children travelling on partner airline JetBlue must be 14 or over and on United must be 16. Ryanair does not carry unaccompanied children under the age of 16.

British Airways is ending its Skyflyer Solo service on January 31st 2017 but bookings already made will be honoured. Air France, via its Kids Solo service, will accept unaccompanied minors from five on direct AF flights. The cost is from €50-€80 each. Children will be supervised by Air France staff.

Iberia will accept children from five-11 on flights it operates. Prices are from €65 each way.

Transatlantic services with US carriers do allow children from five-14 or 15 to travel alone for a fee. United charges $125 (€111) each way, American charges €150 each way and Delta charges $150 each way but does allow for some connecting services for eight-14 year olds.

Etihad and Emirates allow UMs from five-12 years old and Etihad allows some connections within its own network. Etihad charges $60-$100 each way and Emirates charges children the adult price.

If children are travelling on the same aircraft in a different class to you they must be booked as UMs. It is important to have all the paperwork, some airlines require numerous copies of the indemnity form. jscales@irishtimes.com

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