Complete Guide to American Airlines Unaccompanied Minor Policy

Monday, February 15, 2021

American Airlines Unaccompanied Minor Policy

Complete Guide to American Airlines Unaccompanied Minor Policy

A child is precious to every parent. But what would you do when you have to send your child alone on a flight? It's scary and several thoughts will come to your mind. You will be concerned whether your child will be safe on board the flight and reach the destination safely, especially when he/she is not accompanied by an adult on the airline. However, you needn’t worry anymore when you have decided to fly your child with American Airlines. You just need to know about American Airlines Unaccompanied Minor Policy beforehand to make things easier, convenient and hassle-free.

Unaccompanied Minor Eligibility When Flying with American Airlines

The child who needs assistance of an adult passenger to travel on a flight, and is aged between 5 and 14 years is categorized as an ‘Unaccompanied Minor’ by American Airlines. The parents of such a child traveling alone without the physical presence of a known adult passenger on the same flight are required to pay an extra unaccompanied minor service fee to the airline. The child will be escorted by American Airlines staff at the airport and left in the care of the aircraft’s crew members on board the flight till the time when the airline arrives at its final destination and the child is finally handed over to the designated person at the destination airport.

Unaccompanied Minor Age Requirements and Restrictions

According to American Airlines unaccompanied minor policy, there are multiple limitations and restrictions depending on the child’s age at the time of travel and the final arrival destination. The airline also has special rules for connecting routes through certain airports.

0-4 Years: A child between 0 and 4 years is not permitted to travel alone on American Airlines flights, and must be compulsorily accompanied by an adult passenger.

5-7 Years: For a child between 5 and 7 years, American Airlines provides unaccompanied minor reservation service. The child is permitted to travel on nonstop flights only. The airline also requires guardian contact and gate escort for such unaccompanied minors.

8-14 Years: The rules for unaccompanied minor aged between 8 and 14 years is similar to that of 5-7 years, with the exception that apart from nonstop flights, the child is also allowed to travel on any connecting flight through Washington (DCA), New York (JFK and LGA), Miami (MIA), Philadelphia (PHL), Charlotte (CLT), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX), Chicago (ORD) and Phoenix (PHX).

15-17 Years: For a child between 15 and 17 years, the unaccompanied minor service is optional and depends on the traveling child’s parents. If the parents however decide to avail the service for the child's comfort and their own satisfaction then a guardian and gate escort contact for the child will be required by American Airlines. The flight boarding rules for such unaccompanied minors though remains the same as that of 8-14 years child.

A child between 2 and 14 years will however be allowed by American Airlines to travel as an “accompanied minor” with a passenger aged 16 years and above.

Additionally, there are other applicable restrictions for unaccompanied minors too. American Airlines won’t allow unaccompanied minors to travel alone if their itineraries will be the following:

  • Overnight connecting flights (unless it is the only scheduled flight being offered)
  • The last flight of the day from the final connection city, with the exception being that it is the only scheduled flight being offered
  • Co-terminal or ground connections where the child is required to be transferred from one local airport to another
  • Connecting flight on another airline including codeshare and oneworld partners

American Airlines Unaccompanied Minor Service Fee

The unaccompanied minor flight service fee payable to American Airlines will be $150 (plus tax, where applicable) each way. This will have to be paid extra, apart from the price of American Airlines flight tickets. The advantage of flying with American Airlines is that if two or more siblings are flying along with the unaccompanied minor then the parent is required to pay the fee of only one, and the remaining siblings will be covered in the same unaccompanied minor service fee.

American Airlines Unaccompanied Minor Facilities

The unaccompanied minor services provided by American Airlines are the following:

  • Early boarding for allowing extra time to the child in order to meet the flight attendants and settling down
  • Kids-only lounges in hub cities available during flight connections
  • Airport escort provided to the child to reach the gate during flight connections
  • Airline staff escorts the child to the designated adult for pick up at the destination airport

Unaccompanied Minor Lounges

In case of a connecting flight, American Airlines has dedicated lounges for unaccompanied minors at its hub airports including Phoenix (PHX), Philadelphia (PHL), Chicago (ORD), Miami (MIA), Los Angeles (LAX), New York (JFK and LGA), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Washington (DCA) and Charlotte (CLT). American Airlines business partner personnel will be supervising the child while he/she plays games waiting for the connection. If need be, the child will be taken outside the lounge for buying food and drinks.

Travel Tips for Unaccompanied Minor

Every precaution needs to be taken when your child is traveling alone, without the physical presence of a known adult passenger. You need to prepare your child beforehand and assure them that they will be safe and in the proper care of the aircraft crew members. You should talk to your child about the trip and what to expect. Here are some helpful tips that will help you and your child prepared for the solo flight:

  • Make your child aware of how to identify American Airlines team uniforms at the airport by pointing it out to him/her. Also, do remember to always remind your child to seek help from a uniformed team member only
  • It’s recommended that you should attach contact information and an ID card to your child’s jacket or carry-on bag. Additionally, you should also write down phone numbers for your child as well
  • Pack the items required by your child to keep him/her engaged throughout the duration of the flight. These may include electronic devices, books, games, snacks and money. The electronic devices should be fully charged. Don’t forget to pack headphones and chargers too
  • Teach your child to be patience and wait for the airline staff to walk him/her off the plane after reaching the final destination in order to be handed over to the authorized person
  • Reach the airport with your child at least 2 hours before scheduled departure for check-in online or at the kiosk. Your child will need assistance for check-in. It will be good that you speak to a ticket counter agent about your child traveling alone
  • Fill out the required unaccompanied minor form and complete the necessary Customs and Immigration documents for the day of departure. Do remember that the form must be in the possession of your child throughout the journey
  • Don’t forget to contact the designated person coming to pick up your child at the destination airport informing that the flight has departed and he/she is on way
  • Make sure that the designated person coming to pick up your child at the destination airport carries a government-issued photo ID matching with the information provided in the unaccompanied minor form. This is absolutely necessary for showing it in order to secure a security pass for meeting the child at the gate and showing it to the authorities before getting the child released

Your child will reach his/her destination completely safe and secure with the finest American Airlines unaccompanied minor policy. The airline takes every step to take care of the child on board the flight till he/she reaches the final destination and handed over to the designated person.

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