Elizabeth Sadowski posted the following helpful information on the State Bar's listserv on Friday. Summer is coming and many children will be traveling from the home of the custodial parent to the non-custodial parent's home for parenting time.
Liz says that "Policies for unaccompanied children differ among airlines, so you need to check the website for that particular carrier. " She did, however, post the rules for US Air and for Northwest Airlines.
U.S. Air Unaccompanied Minor Rules:
Children traveling without a parent or legal guardian are considered unaccompanied minors.
When a young adult traveling alone checks in on the day of departure, a notation will be added in our computer system which will alert other US Airways personnel of the young adult's presence on the flight. This notation will aid US Airways personnel in providing assistance to the young adult in the event of an irregularity.
- Children under 5 may not travel without parent or legal guardian.
- Children 5-14 may travel unaccompanied on non-stop flights for an additional $50 fee each way. US Airways assistance is required.
- Children 15-17 may travel unaccompanied on non-stop and connecting flights without US Airways assistance.
- Children 15-17 who require US Airways assistance may travel unaccompanied on non-stop flights only. There is an additional $50 fee each way. Uniformed employees provide assistance for children traveling alone from the point of departure to their final destination. Personnel are not qualified to provide certain types of medical assistance, and are not permitted to administer or dispense medication. Please take these points into consideration if the child requires specialized care.
If an unaccompanied minor is traveling on a flight operated by one of our Star Alliance or codeshare partners, you must contact the carrier directly for their policies on unaccompanied minors. Some airlines may charge an additional fee for these passengers.
Northwest Airlines Unaccompanied Minor Rules:
To ensure a safe, comfortable and fun trip for the unaccompanied child traveler, Northwest has established a program for children traveling without an adult 18 years of age or older.
If your child will be traveling alone, please contact Northwest Airlines Reservations at 1-800-225-2525 to book their travel. Northwest will waive the ticketing fee on tickets purchased through our Reservations Department for children participating in our unaccompanied minor program.
- Children between the ages of 5-14 may travel unaccompanied when participating in Northwest's unaccompanied minor program. An unaccompanied minor fee will be assessed prior to departure and certain exemptions to this fee apply. Please see the chart below for details. In addition, the following policies have been established:
- Any child age 5 through 14 traveling without an adult 18 years of age or older must participate in the Unaccompanied Minor Program. All rules and fees apply.
- Children ages 5 through 7 may fly unaccompanied on nonstop, direct flights only, even when traveling with another child age 8 through 17 (no connections that change planes allowed).
- Children ages 5 through 14 will not be accepted on red-eye flights.
- Children ages 5 through 14 will not be accepted on the last direct flight of the day.
- Children ages 8 through 14 will not be accepted on the last connecting flight of the day. Policy change effective for tickets issued on or after May 1, 2006, for travel on domestic and international flights.
- Red-eye flights are defined as departures between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. local time. The following are exempt from the red-eye restriction:
- International Flights
- Domestic short-haul flights (2 hours or less)
- Flights to and from Alaska and Hawaii
- Unaccompanied minors will not be accepted for international travel if their itinerary includes a connection to an off-line carrier. Northwest code-share partners are not included in this restriction.
- Reservations must be confirmed to the child's final destination.
The Northwest unaccompanied minor service is mandatory for children ages 5-14, and optional for children ages 15-17. The ticketing fee will be waived if the unaccompanied minor service is purchased for children ages 15-17. The fee will not be waived if the service is declined.
Northwest will provide supervision for children accepted under the program from the time of boarding until the child is met at the final destination.
- Up to four children (related or not related) traveling together will be assessed only one service fee. Exception, more than four related children traveling together will be assessed only one service fee.
- Children under the age of 5 are not eligible for unaccompanied minor services and must be accompanied on the same flight and in the same compartment by a passenger at least 18 years of age.
- Unaccompanied minors must be checked in with an agent. They are not eligible to use the self-service check-in devices
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