What the Heck is an ""Unaccompanied Minors"" Program?

An Unaccompanied Minors Program is a service many airlines provide for a fee (typically US$60-100) through which you hand off your child at the security station to a uniformed airline employee who is responsible for getting your child into her seat on the plane. Another airline employee will meet the plane at its destination and only release the child to the person you designated, after checking his/her photo ID to make sure Grandma is indeed the right Grandma.

If your airline offers this service on international routes, the airline employee should see your child through entry and security formalities at the destination. The airline employee(s) are also responsible for dealing with any delays or problems enroute.

This service is not always available and MUST be requested at the time you make your child's ticket reservations. Some airlines need time to set up this service, so be sure to make reservations early. Ask for details on how connecting flights are handled, and what the airline's policy is should your child miss a connecting flight.

You can find a great summary of children flying alone at Independent Traveller.

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