Every airline has its own policy that guides its handling of unaccompanied minors. And as written in a recent Consumer Reports story, many of these policies are becoming less forgiving—and more expensive—for travelers.
For starters, some airlines (like British Airways, Allegiant and, as of November, Frontier) don’t allow unaccompanied minors onboard flights. Age restrictions and per-plane limits also vary by airline. JetBlue permits a maximum of three unaccompanied minors per flight, for example. And per the story, “the standard fee for transporting an unaccompanied minor has risen to between $200 and $300 round-trip (in addition to airfare) on many major U.S. airlines (with the exception of Alaska and Southwest, which charge $100 round-trip). A little more than a decade ago, the fees were more in the range of $50 to $150 round-trip.”
The changes, according to Consumer Reports, fit into a larger pattern. “Airlines have been steadily increasing fees for lots of different services across the board, and watching over unaccompanied minors is no exception.” It is primarily flight attendants that are charged with looking after unaccompanied travelers. Noting that fact, Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, told CR that “aircraft are fuller than ever, and that limits our ability to check in regularly on the unaccompanied minors aboard.”
The Department of Transportation leaves each airline free to write its own unaccompanied minor policy, so the biggest takeaway here should be that you should check in with the airline before booking a flight for a child/family member/whoever. Begin the process as soon as you can, and read the full Consumer Reports story for more tips.
More tips for families and unaccompanied minors
- A New Way to Get Your Kids to Fall Asleep on a Plane
- 14 Products to Help Keep Kids Quiet on an Airplane
- This Transportation Service That Guarantees Secure Carseats for Young Kids
Have your own tip? Email it to email@example.com!
Want to see more tips? Click here for all 1,499!
Want even more travel tips? Sign up here for the Daily Travel Tip newsletter! Just fill in your email address and check the Daily Travel Tip box—and you’ll have Johnny’s best tips, straight to your inbox each day!
If you already subscribe to our weekly newsletter, you can sign up on the same page. Just fill in your email and check the Daily Travel Tip box on the same page and you’ll receive an email with a link to update your JohnnyJet.com preferences. On that page, just click the Daily Travel Tip box and Update Profile.
The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.