Traveling an unaccompanied minor on an American Airlines plane

Language stays, family visits, sports exchanges, many children travel alone by plane every year on international flights. A source of anguish for parents more than for young people, delighted to stand on their own feet in a safe environment.

On American Airlines alone, more than ten thousand children travel in UM (Unaccompanied Minors) each year. It is on flights outside the United States, and in particular to Europe, that the most children are seen traveling alone.

Tight supervision

The national airline of the United States accepts unaccompanied children on board, and the supervision is very strict. They are permanently under the responsibility of either a flight attendant during the flight, or a company agent on the ground before departure, on arrival or during a stopover. We maintain a small ratio of children per flight attendant as a function of age. If they are young children, we do not exceed three per officer. They are accompanied to collect their luggage and go through customs. On the plane, they are seated near the spaces where the flight attendants are to watch over them and check that everything is fine.

Once at destination, the person responsible for picking up the child must present an identity document whose information corresponds to that indicated by the parents on the papers requested by the airline.
It is thanks to these safety rules that parents, reassured, agree to let their children leave by plane alone.

The US carrier accepts children unaccompanied by an adult from the age of 2, knowing that the accompanying person must be sixteen years or older.

In order to have their children travel on American Airlines flights, the child’s parents or guardians must make an advance reservation by telephone.

From the age of fourteen (14), children can usually travel alone without having to take the escort service of the airline.

A ticket provided by American Airlines for a child unaccompanied by an adult costs $ 150 each way more than a regular child ticket.

American Airlines does not accept children traveling alone if their journey includes a stopover, and if their children are under the age of seven.

Other conditions to be fulfilled, restrictions to be observed

Although American Airlines has its own conditions for the carriage of minors traveling alone on its planes, certain other restrictions may apply, and may vary depending on the travel destination. For example, if your child is flying to a destination in Brazil, they must have their birth certificate and a travel authorization signed by both parents. It must be issued by the Brazilian embassy or consulate.
On the other hand, if the flight will land at an airport in Italy, children under the age of fourteen must be in possession of their own passport, in addition to a traveler’s declaration signed by one of their parents (issued by the local police).

For passengers who do not have Italian nationality, they should go to an Italian embassy or consulate in their country, to obtain more information on this subject.

Travel restrictions for passengers flying to a city in Mexico may differ. They need to present a notarized parental authorization established in the Spanish language (signed by one parent at least), and that if they are under eighteen only.

Will your child be traveling alone to a destination in Spain? Generally, the Spanish authorities allow children to leave Spanish territory without being accompanied by their parents, on condition of providing an authorization signed by both parents, in addition to the local police, civil guard and the town hall.

For all passengers residing in Spanish cities but who do not have Spanish nationality, they must approach the consulate to complete the procedure.

American Airlines invites you to make your reservation early

Be careful, places in UM are few and crowded during school holidays. So book early. Basically, a child traveling alone abroad must have the following documents with him:
– His passport;
– A letter of consent explaining that his parents allow him to travel alone abroad. It is not useful for all countries, but it is wiser to write one, especially for returning to Canada. Service Canada recommends that this letter be certified by an official representative (notary, lawyer, etc.);
– Any document required according to your personal situation (shared custody, etc.);
– Identity documents requested by the airline.

Important information to remember

With respect to international child trafficking, illegal entry into the United States is defined as when a person enters the country with one or more minor children without proper permission. An unaccompanied minor is a minor (under the age of 18) who is prohibited from entering the United States alone under any immigration law. An unaccompanied minor cannot be held against his will. However, most states have laws that allow authorities to detain minors who cannot consent for any reason. This means that minors can be deported from the United States without the consent of their parents or legal guardians.

If you plan to transport an unaccompanied minor by air to another state or province, you must complete an application detailing identity, date of birth, identity, location, phone numbers and other details. identification of the minor. Upon arrival, minors will be escorted off the plane by a trained flight attendant and placed in a holding cell. It is common for many airlines such as American Airlines to call law enforcement if they have concerns about the flight. However, some air carriers still won’t. If you choose to take this route, keep in mind that many airlines will not be carrying minors by air and you should always use the same means of transporting your children as you would otherwise. For example, if you want to transport three children by plane, most airlines will not allow you to do so.

It is important to remember that minors cannot sign an authorization form allowing them to board a plane. Even when flying alone, minors must be accompanied by an adult, or a responsible adult who has the authority to accept them at the airport. An example of this would be an older relative or friend. It is up to the parent to ensure that their child has reached this age.

Many parents choose to fly with their children on planes because the alternative can be extremely dangerous. There are a number of cases where children are lost or injured on board an airline. Some of these incidents occurred because of poor management of flight crews. An example of this would be an airline whose crew mistakenly brought a minor back to their home country when they mistakenly thought they were on a domestic flight. While there are legitimate reasons why an aircraft may carry an unaccompanied minor, airlines should be especially careful when transporting minors, as they are always at risk of being separated from their parents or relatives or from their families. be mistreated during the trip.

If you choose to fly on your own, remember that you need to be specific about the area in which you plan to fly. There are some areas in the world that do not allow children to fly on their own. Additionally, some countries only allow certain types of adults on their planes, including those over 65. If you are traveling abroad, it is very important to know your country’s rules and limitations when it comes to traveling with children who fly alone.

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