Age limit for the traveler of minors alone on board United Airlines flights

Children ages five through eleven may travel alone on United as unaccompanied minors.

– Age 5-7 years

Children age 5-7 may travel on United flights that are non-stop or do not require a change of airplane. They may not travel on connecting flights. They may also travel on the last non-stop flight of the day.

– Age 8-11 years

Children age 8-11 may travel on United non-stop, direct and connecting flights. (A direct flight makes a stop but there isn’t a plane change.) They may also travel unaccompanied on connecting flights to other airlines. Children age 8-11 are restricted from connecting to the last flight of the day which includes the last direct flight of the day. An exception can be made for children connecting to/from international flights.

– Age 12-17 years (Optional)

Unaccompanied child service is available, but not required for this age group. Standard fees will apply.

Please note that when two or more children are traveling together, the most restrictive age requirement will apply. For example, an 11 year old traveling with a 6 year old may only travel on non-stop flights or flights that do not require a change of airplane.

There are several convenient ways to book your unaccompanied child’s trip:

– On the website.
– Travel agency

If your unaccompanied child’s reservation was booked via please contact United Reservations at  1-800-UNITED1 (1-800-864-8331) to ensure essential information is entered into its computer system. Such information includes the names of individuals bringing your children to the airport and picking them up at their destination. Please have names, addresses and phone numbers handy to help expedite the call.

Unaccompanied minors must be brought to the departure airport by a parent or responsible adult who must remain at the airport until the child boards and the aircraft departs the gate. This individual must provide evidence that another parent or responsible adult will meet the child at their destination.

Fees to be paid

There is a $60.00 fee for unaccompanied children traveling on United flights worldwide. The fee applies in each direction of travel. Two or more children traveling together will be assessed one fee each direction.

Number of children traveling alone

Service fee for a one-way flight Service fee for roundtrip flights
1 $150



$150 $300
3 $300



$300 $600
5 $450





Seats your children sit on

United Airlines wants to make sure your child is seated where they can receive the care and attention of their flight attendants when needed, which is why they invite you to reserve a seat for your child, at least 48 hours in advance, whether online or by phone.

United still concerned for the safety of children on board

The airline needs information on who brings your children to the airport and who greets them at their destination. All information relating to unaccompanied minors is entered into their reservation computer. This essential information includes the name, address and telephone number of the responsible adult who brings them to the departure airport and collects them at their destination.

To ensure that children are released to the proper person, the adult meeting unaccompanied children at their destination must show photo identification.

How will you keep track of your child?

An unaccompanied minor form must first be completed. During travel, children are given a bright red and white striped button to pin on their clothes. This button easily identifies unaccompanied children to its staff on the ground and in the air.

What precautions does United take to ensure your child’s safety?

Our boarding representative will introduce your child to the flight attendant and provide the flight attendant with any information pertinent to your child’s flight.

Our flight attendants are instructed to turn any children traveling alone over to a United representative at the destination. These representatives are responsible for seeing that the child is released to the proper person. This person needs to present photo identification.

Advise your child to stay on board the flight until they are taken by a flight attendant to the United representative at the destination.

Will airline staff be able to contact you?

The unaccompanied minor form accompanies each child traveling alone. You may include your cell-phone and pager numbers along with the other required information when confirming your child’s reservation.

What happens if the flight is not on schedule?

If United has any indication that your child’s flight may not be performing as planned, they will let you know and suggest that you confirm travel on another flight or on a different day. Occasionally, unexpected weather conditions such as fog, snow, thunderstorms or air traffic jams can disrupt flight schedules. If this happens, the airline will try to inform you of the situation and keep you updated during the delay if possible.

Additional tips

Give your kids a calling card or teach them how to make collect calls so they can always reach you. Since unexpected weather conditions can disrupt flight schedules, the US carrier recommends that you confirm the reservation for your unaccompanied child on flights early in the day.

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