First Steps

Each airline has its own rules about when and how children may fly alone.

Most have four layers of age groups: too young to fly alone (varies, but usually under 5 years old is a no-go), OK to fly if parent uses the airline's unaccompanied minor program (usually, 5-7, see below) and there are no connecting flights involved, OK to fly if parent uses the airline's unaccompanied minor program and connections OK (usually 8-11) and finally OK to fly no matter what.

To get you started on researching each airline's policies, here are some handy links right to the info:

  • United Airlines:
    General Policy on Unaccompanied Minors
  • Northwest Airlines:
    General Policy on Unaccompanied Minors.
    For more information, ask for a copy of Northwest's Unaccompanied Minor brochure available at their airport and city ticket offices, or by phone from their Distribution Center at 1-800-358-3100.
  • American Airlines:
    General Policy on Unaccompanied Minors

    For airlines not listed, look for information on their policy on Unaccompanied Minors under “Services”, or “Travelers with Special Needs”, or search their site with the term “minor”.


    If you want to call the airlines, but hate navigating their awful phone trees, try a new site called Bringo. They'll actually fight through the phone tree for you and then ring your phone once they've finished. Pretty cool. Try it for the airlines here.

User Feedback

Hi Wendy,
My daughter also has ADD and she is 19 and still has problems finding the gate. Kindergarten is very young to be travelling alone, especially when there is a gate change or a delay in plans. I almost missed a flight when I got to the gate early enough and didn't hear the reasignment to a new gate. I just made it into the plane and I was early, so I thought.

Please consider using a reputable sevice to assist you with your daughter. Preferred Travel Helpers does provide the type of service that would benefit your family. Please let me know if we could be of help.

Kim Jones
President, Preferred Travel Helpers

kim jones

Our company, Preferred Travel Helpers, provides trained, bonded, CPR Certified, fun, caring staff to assist minors in travelling. We can provide peace of mind to the parents by updating them througout the travel and provide a safer transport since our Helpers are experienced with children and traveling.

We can be reached at or for more information.

Let's Journey Together
Kim Jones, President

kim jones

my daughter has A.D.D. and she does not listen very well she has problems in school she repeated grade K for her learning problems I don’t think she is old enough to fly alone but her dad wants her to what do you think

wendy higgins

If you need to do a follow-up on this story, I am available. We are a secure transport and traveler services company and one of our services is unaccompanied minor transport. You can visit our website at for more information about our company and services

Shawn HabibiPresidentThe Trusted Traveler, LLC

Shawn Habibi

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