flossybeth

Unaccompanied Minors

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    Would you send your children back to the UK (or wherever "home" was) on their own for a holiday without you? How young would you think would be acceptable - I know the airlines have unaccompanied minors services (for which you pay extra and full adult price ticket) which take children from 5+ and there are obviously families for whom this is an essential service but would you do it just for a holiday, or would it have to be a special occasion or emergency? How young (or old) would say is OK to go?

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    Guest Mrs Bon Jovi

    I went to the U.S. as an unaccompanied minor when I was 15 - 1 international flight, 2 internals... I was pretty well looked after but wouldn't ever consider sending my 2 now (7 and 10). Hubby's parents sent him and his brother on a UK flight to grandparents when they were young - plane couldn't land due to weather and they were redirected elsewhere so there are too many unexpected things that could go wrong for me to feel confident doing it at a young age.

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    My daughters were 17 and 14, flew with Singapore airlines and I signed a waiver that they did not have to be minors. This would have meant them sitting in a supervised room at Changi for the duration of the transit time between flights (6 hours). When they reached manchester airport however due to a duty of care the airport would not let them through until their picking up Uncle had made himself known.

     

    I have travelled next to UMs internationally, they are well looked after and they never seat an adult male next to them, if they are on their own they will try to leave a seat between them and another passsenger. The UM is usually boarded first and stays on the plane until escorted off to either the immigration or who ever is supervising them between flights. They are escorted right through the process until delivery into the presence of the agreed person who has to show exact ID that you have stated in the forms ( beware a spelling mistake!). So until the UM reaches the relatives regardless of redirections or delays, they are looked after and fully supervised until that point.

     

    Many children fly internationally as UMs these days. I would say the age is right if your child is happy to have an adventure without you. Some 12 yo are clingy some 8 year olds will be fine with it, particularly if they have flown before and are familiar with the process.

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    I sent my daughter, aged 10, to the UK to spend some time with here grandmother. That was 15 years ago. She had flown many times before. It was a direct flight and she was handed over to a stewardess at the airport. She flew Virgin airlines and was well looked after.

    I have to admit that we were worried about her but she was an "older 10 year old".

     

     

    The world does seem a different place though today and i'm not sure whether she would allow her own daughter to do the same when she's the same age.

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