If you are planning on having your child fly alone this summer, be aware of some changes to the rules various airlines are implementing when it comes to unaccompanied minors.
Due to busier than ever flights and the responsibility cabin crew have for looking after unaccompanied minors during their flights, most airlines are raising the standard fee for transporting an unaccompanied minor. On top of the regular ticket price, parents or guardians of unaccompanied minors will now have to pay somewhere between $200 and $300 round-trip for their child to fly solo. According to Consumer Reports, Alaska and Southwest will keep their standard fee at $100 roundtrip.
Many airlines are now also stipulating unaccompanied minors need to be booked on straight-through flights with no layover, or change as a result of several reports regarding minors being placed on the wrong connecting flight, missing their connecting flight, or even being placed on an international flight to the wrong country!
According to Consumer Reports, several airlines have taken a tougher stance on unaccompanied minors by deciding it’s just not worth the hassle.
Consumer Reports reveals Frontier has stopped accepting any unaccompanied minors under the age of 15. Allegiant Air has stopped flying unaccompanied minors all together and British Airways announced last year they would no longer accept unaccompanied minors under the age of 14.
If you are planning on having your child fly solo, Consumer Reports reveals most carriers still accept minors as young as 5. Sharing statistics from the Department of Transportation, Consumer Reports reveals of the 8,876 complaints received last year, only 26 concerned unaccompanied minors.
As always check with the airline directly to verify their rules regarding unaccompanied minors.