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Old 06-16-2003, 11:29 PM   #1
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Unaccompanied Minors

Hi all,

I found this forum when searching for info on children travelling alone.

I would be interested in hearing any stories, and advice you may have on this topic. My partner and his ex are understandably concerned about the prospect of their 9 year old travelling across country, and internationally. I have read all the info I can find, but little of it is personal, mostly it is industry info.

Thank you,
Peggy
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Old 06-18-2003, 12:30 AM   #2
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I know first hand about flying U.M. since, up until recently, I flew with that service. What type of information are you looking for specifically? UM service is very reliable, and there wasn't once where they lost me, or didn't offer help to me. (for the most part ) I'm sure you know about the service fees and all the other policies. If you don't i'd be happy to tell you. Also, just keep in mind that the UM cant be booked on the last connecting flight of the day or red-eye flights. If they are, it's possible that change fees will be issued at time of check-in. (not good) Although, I was booked on the last connecting flight quite a few times when flying UM, and the agents at check-in never seemed to catch on. Any other questions let me know.
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Old 06-18-2003, 12:30 AM   #3
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Old 06-18-2003, 03:13 AM   #4
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Thanks for the reply. Yes, the not losing you bit is good! I can find out lots about the fees, and regs, like not being able to fly in poor weather, when cancellations likely, etc. What is harder to find out is how does it work for a long international flight? The kid in question would be flying from Phx Az to Bris Australia. A good 24 hours, and a plane change. The concern is that she will find all the changes and bustle a bit frightening. She has flown before, but her mother's anxiety about letting her go on such a long trip might make it a bit worse for her. Did you have any experience with this type of flight? Were you scared, at first, and was there anyone who took enough interest to reassure you? What happens if the flight is cancelled, or delayed? Who looks after you, especially if this is in a foreign country? Would anyone notify the parents? Oh, a lot of questions, but you see what I'm trying to get at. I need to be able to reassure her mother that she will be cared for. Me, I flew unaccompanied at 11 without any special arrangements being made, because no one told us there were any availlable. Yes, it was a loooong time ago .
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Old 06-18-2003, 03:41 AM   #5
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Well, I can't say that I have experience in flight of that length, but I've gotten delayed before. If she becomes frightened I'm sure the F/A's would more than likely comfort her. If you didn't already know, connecting UM's will be met by agents at there arriving gate and will be escorted to there connecting flight. If a fight should become delayed/cancelled (which is very rare) then the agents will look after them and offer meals. It's very safe for children, and there really is no reason for fear. Just curious, what airline will she be making the long trip on?
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Old 06-18-2003, 11:32 AM   #6
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That does sound reassuring. I'm not sure which airline they will choose. I'd opt for Qantas, but that is a personal bias, no reflection on others. Last time I went to the States (going to Va) I flew Korean Air. It was fine, and I got to enter the US in Dulles, which is a lot more fun than coming into LA. (I've heard that it is even less fun now with the added security.) I don't think I'd recommend it for a kid, because of the language difference making communicating a bit more difficult. Plus the kid is a vegetarian, and Qantas does really good vego meals. You have any personal favourites?
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Old 06-18-2003, 01:26 PM   #7
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I'm not very familiar with the types of airlines that fly out there, but i'm pretty sure the UM policies are all more or less the same with everyone. Anythinhg else just let me know. Does the child speak a specific language?
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Old 06-22-2003, 06:28 AM   #8
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The kid is an English speaker and will be 10 1/2 by the first visit here. Air New Zealand has a lot of info on-line, but I was hoping for some personal experience stories as it is a very long flight, for anyone.

Did you have a favourite domestic carrier when you were a kid?
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Old 06-22-2003, 08:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Did you have a favourite domestic carrier when you were a kid?
Well, I go with NW and CO, but I don't think they'll be an option in this trip.
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Old 06-22-2003, 07:37 PM   #10
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I'll keep those two in mind. Child will also be flying between DC or Baltimore and Phoenix. Good to hear that things go smoothly for you. I read a few of your trip reports, sounds like you can't remember a time before this was normal routine! I have asked to join the Aus group, and will try there too. Thanks for all your help.
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Old 10-16-2003, 05:31 PM   #11
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i've been flying alone since i was about 11 years old. i never remember it being scary...just got put on the flight and picked up as soon as i got off...

i wouldn't worry too much.

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Old 10-16-2003, 07:50 PM   #12
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Any [b]international[/b] jet setting kids out there /

Thanks for that, Tod. What has her mother the most freaked is the thought of her changing planes in a foreign airport. Any of you done that as a kid, or know anyone who has?

I have been commuting between Brisbane and Dulles with Korean and have seen them with groups of kids, but when I asked, all had been straight through flights.

Peggy
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Old 10-22-2003, 01:17 PM   #13
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peggy,

I can't say I've ever had to switch flights when I was younger. I imagine that would be kind of scary, but very manageable.

Can you request a Flight Attendant or airport worker to escort the kids to their next flight. Is this even an option?
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Old 10-22-2003, 04:26 PM   #14
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Unaccompanied Minors

From reading, and talking to a former ground staff at Gatwick, the standard procedure is for the child to be handed to ground staff by the flight attendant. The airport/ground staff take the child to the Unaccompanied Minor's Lounge, or straight to the flight attendant on the next leg, depending on the length of stopover. I guess what I want to hear is how well this works, from a child's perspective. I also understand that to go on international flights, or to change planes mid journey, most airlines require the child to be minimum of 12 years old.

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Old 04-11-2004, 12:05 PM   #15
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Unaccompanied Minors(QANTAS SCHEDULE)

Hi all;
Thanks to send me the QANTAS' schedule for U.M.(Unaccompanied Minors), I want to send my two boys(9 and 11) from
Paris to Melbourne(AU) at the end of July 2004. Thanks to any information about.
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Old 04-14-2004, 09:37 PM   #16
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While you at it...........

Wow! No wonder this world is in such trouble. Between partners and ex's and hand bones connected to arm bones and ex's that should have no say in a child that's not hers. Now another one chimes in and wants to ship off a 9 and 11 year old too. Why? So you can go on "holiday" with your partner kid free? Kids deserve better! I suppose that if your child becomes sick or scared you'll feel assured that the airline will be right there to fill every need and void your or was it their child, may have. Since it appears that the "adults" caused this problem.....Here's a fool proof plan.....maybe one x-parent should take them and the other x-parent return them. Opps! That will cost more. Maybe it would be an investment.....hmmm. Of course if there is a problem or an issue we can always blame the airline. Gee, maybe even get a free upgrade.
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