Edit ModuleShow Tags

Children Flying Alone

How to prepare your kids to fly as an unaccompanied minor



(page 1 of 2)

Summer is the season most kids fly alone as unaccompanied minors, to visit family over their vacation.

Two summers ago, Solomon Lapides was eager to visit his grandmother, Debra Zalut, in Cherry Hill, NJ. Trouble was, he lived thousands of miles away in California and no family trip was planned. After carefully discussing the situation and researching their options, his parents agreed that Solomon, then 11, was ready to fly cross-country by himself. 

Estimates peg the annual number of “unaccompanied minors” — kids between 5 and 11 who fly (mostly to visit relatives) without adult supervision — at 7 million, according to USLegal.com. Though rules differ by airline, safety is the ultimate concern: Unaccompanied minors are assigned to airline personnel who ensure that kids board the right aircraft, are seated properly and are delivered to their designated parties after deplaning. However, these staffers have other responsibilities, so it’s essential that kids who fly solo are responsible enough to feel comfortable on their own.

Ready for takeoff?

Experts agree that knowing when your child is ready to fly alone is less about chronological age and more about maturity. Solomon, now 13, was keen to make the trip by himself. “I had gone multiple times on a plane before with my family, so I was used to the whole procedure,” he says. In fact, he appreciated the special treatment being an unaccompanied minor afforded him: “A woman working for the airport met me at security and let me cut the line to go right to the front. That’s normally an hour-long process.”

“Although there are minimum and maximum ages set by the airlines [see “Unaccompanied Matters,” above], parents are in the best position to decide whether their child is ready to travel alone,” says Caitlin Harvey of the US Department of Transportation. “Ask these questions,” suggests Voorhees, NJ psychologist Randi S. Kell, PhD: “Is your child confident in identifying airline personnel and seeking out help? How does he handle unexpected situations that arise without warning? How independent and responsible is he? Does he have good common sense?”

Next page: Flight plan for solo-flight success

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

The Cost of Kids' Classes

What's the average cost of karate, music, dance or art classes in the greater Philadelphia area? Find out here!

How Do We Elect a President?

A quick, visual guide to the presidential election process, with some fascinating facts about the origins of the donkey and elephant party mascots

Summer Travel Tips & Tricks

Make your family vacation easier with these handy tips for kids of all ages!

Add your comment:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags


MomSpeak

The voices of local moms
DIY Non-Toxic Bug & Insect Spray

DIY Non-Toxic Bug & Insect Spray

Want to steer clear of chemical bug sprays? Try these recipes for non-toxic alternatives made with essential oils.

Comments


MomSpeak

The voices of local moms
Movie Review: The BFG

Movie Review: The BFG

Mom blogger Rachée Fagg and her daughter review Disney's new movie, The BFG, based on the book by Roald Dahl.

Comments


MomSpeak

The voices of local moms
Hey, Special Needs Moms! You Complain Too Much!

Hey, Special Needs Moms! You Complain Too Much!

Mom blogger and special education advocate Lisa Lightner looks at the complaint-based nature of laws to protect individuals with disabilities.

Comments

Edit ModuleShow Tags


MK Memo

MK Memo: Moms Know
Book Review: Passing the Bone: America's Next Pup of the United States

Book Review: Passing the Bone: America's Next Pup of the United States

This adorable children's book explains the transition from one POTUS to another but with a twist — here POTUS refers to the first Pup of the United States.

Comments

More Fun Facts About the Presidents

More Fun Facts About the Presidents

Get the facts about some of the earliest presidential elections in U.S. history.

Comments

An Overview of PoliticalFest in Philly

An Overview of PoliticalFest in Philly

Kid blogger Sarah Hullihen provides an overview of what you can see at PoliticalFest.

Comments

Fun Facts About a Few Presidents

Fun Facts About a Few Presidents

Learn some fascinating trivia about three past presidents of the United States from kid blogger Sarah Hullihen.

Comments

KidSpeak: The 2016 Presidential Election, Part 3

KidSpeak: The 2016 Presidential Election, Part 3

We asked local kids, ages 5-10, what they would do if they were president. Check out their answers!

Comments

{/if}