Can I Book Travel For An Unaccompanied Minor On Line?

Traveling with children can be daunting for families. Airlines provide special service for unaccompanied minors by paying an airline-designated person to accompany the child during flight and accompany it at all times during its duration. Parents and travelers should familiarize themselves with each airline’s rules so that they can plan accordingly.

Definitions of unaccompanied minors vary by airline and age, leading to considerable confusion for parents who wish to book travel for their unaccompanied minors without parental or legal guardian oversight. At its core, an unaccompanied minor refers to any child traveling alone without parental or legal guardian supervision; each airline has different age requirements, flight limitations and fees associated with unaccompanied minors, leaving many parents uncertain which airline best meets these criteria and how much their travel will cost them.

Dependent upon the airline and flight, additional restrictions may apply such as whether an unaccompanied minor can fly red-eye flights. Furthermore, certain cities are restricted based on routing rules of that specific airline; details on who dropped off and picked up children at airport and destination must also be provided along with proof of ID such as driver’s licenses or passports from both parties involved are often needed for proper verification.

As part of my effort to simplify life for families, I have put together a chart summing up the unaccompanied minor rules and fees for all major US airlines. You can download it (fully updated as of early 2023 here) to use when researching flights for your child. In addition to that, there is also a link in each airline’s chart so that you can read up on its fine print before making a decision about which carrier best meets your child’s needs.

If you’re booking travel for an unaccompanied minor online, start by finding a flight with award space on your preferred airline. Remember that airlines require extra time for checking unaccompanied minors into flights on departure day; additionally, some have special procedures for them at check-in and boarding so it may be important for you to be present at the ticketing counter on departure.

Delta Air Lines’ Delta Sky Zones provide children waiting during layovers with safe spaces where they can rest. Staffed by Delta representatives, the Sky Zones can take care of children while waiting; plus they have access to contact their parent/guardian at any time if needed.

Notably, Delta’s unaccompanied minor service only covers flights operated by Delta, Delta Connection and KLM, meaning you won’t be able to book an unaccompanied minor on another airline such as Air Canada even though those flights appear in your search results.