Age 5 and up. Really? Grandma Wants to Know the Airlines’ Newest Unaccompanied Minor Policies

Airlines’ Newest Unaccompanied Minor PoliciesThis Grandma would love to have the grandchildren travel unaccompanied to visit in Florida.  Researching this issue, I discovered that each airline has different policies and they change.  For example, beginning September 3, 2014, American Airlines extended the age at which it will charge a fee for children flying alone, $150 each way for unaccompanied minors ages 5-14, up from age 11.  US Airways does not yet allow minors to travel on connecting flights, but as US Airways merges with American airlines, children ages 8-14 will be allowed on connecting flights.

Confusing, yes.  Complicated, yes.  And with the rising cost, it almost makes it reasonable for grandma to fly round trip to pick up the grandchild, which is what the parents of the grandchild prefer anyway.  When you read all the airline rules and regulations that one must comply with, it does seem simpler to just forget having a grandchild fly unaccompanied.  Aha!  That is exactly what it seems the airlines want!

You must check the website for each airline and forget looking at secondary websites that provide details that are likely outdated.

Here are some direct links:

American Airlines

Jet Blue Airlines

Southwest Airlines

United Airlines

Delta Airlines

Frontier Airlines

And, if you are not into figuring it all out, and want step by step assistance, there is actually a concierge service, “Fly My Kid,” 800.963.9330, which will do all the work for you.

Somehow the lower end at five years old seems too young to fly unaccompanied in today’s world, but it is not grandma who makes the decision.  Remember, as grandparents, it is best to be conscious of the fact that parents are the gatekeepers, and we want to keep the gatekeepers happy so we have access to our grandchildren.  Parents are in total control.  This Grandma suggests you let the parents of the grandchildren decide what age is appropriate for each individual grandchild.  Of course, if two can fly together that would be ideal.  In the meantime, grandchildren who visit alone will be accompanied by grandma—when the parents allow.  Any time we are able to have our grandchildren without their parents is ideal for grandparent







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