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StrongerToday

Would You Let Your Child Fly Alone?

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To give you the short version, my ex has recently relocated to Orlando. We're trying to work out a visitation, but one of the few options we have is to let our 9 year old daughter (she'll be 10 in August) fly as an unaccompied minor. Frankly, this idea does not thrill me.... but before I completely kill this idea (and thus, her chance to visit him) I'm wondering if anyone has ever done it? I need to do some research, I thought I'd heard that the airline would have someone with her at all times... but I'd appreciate anything you know about this type of travel arrangement.


Ev in Michigan

GFDF since 8/20/05

Negative Bloodwork ~

Dr. encourages me to trust my

"Gut Reaction"

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You daughter will be fine. The airlines will never leave her unattended. On arriving in Orlando, all the other people on the plane will depart, and she will remain in her seat. Then a flight attendent will excort her off the plane and he father will be there and show identification. The airlines take unattended children very seriously.


Lisa

Gluten Free - August 15, 2004

"Not all who wander are lost" - JRR Tolkien

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Our daughter flew when she was 12. You pay a little extra and they have an attendant with the child at all times -- at least back then.

richard

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Yeah, they take unattended minors VERY seriously. You have to pay a small extra fee and I don't think you can book online through Expedia or anything, but it's worth it for your daughter's safety. You can call the airline and airports to double check on their policies. They should be able to put your mind at ease.


~Angie~

Gluten free since May 2004

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Personally, I would only do it if it's a direct flight. I've had too many experiences with missed connections and being stuck in hotel rooms in strange cities overnight to ever risk my child having to deal with that without me.

Jeanne

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The idea of my child flying alone would make me extremely uneasy too. However, call the airlines and discuss their unattended child programs in detail. You may find you only have a few airlines you feel truely comfortable with or you may find that all of them work well for you. I have no idea what the unattended child policy is. But young kids do fly alone and the airlines don't take risks with kids.

As the parent, you can get a gate pass, meaning that you walk your child all the way down to the get (through security adn all) and then you sit with her and wait for the flight attendants to tell you when it is time for her to board with them, and then wait for the flight to take off. The parent on the receiving end can do the same thing to meet the flight. I would feel much better watching her board the plane and having someone on the other end watching her walk off the plane.

I would get a direct flight, Orlando is busy enough you should be able to get a good rate.

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Personally, I would only do it if it's a direct flight. I've had too many experiences with missed connections and being stuck in hotel rooms in strange cities overnight to ever risk my child having to deal with that without me.

Jeanne

I agree with Jeanne, I would only consider booking a direct flight.


Phyllis

Gluten Free - 30 years

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I agree with Jeanne, I would only consider booking a direct flight.

And I put in a third vote for direct flights only! I've travelled a lot with my 2 kids, and you just never know what's going to happen when you have to make a connection; we've had to RUN from gate to gate on a couple of occasions. I'd be okay with a direct flight, though. I was on the receiving end when my nephew flew out to see us by himself. Not only was he wearing a tag on his shirt that identified him as an unaccompanied minor, but he was escorted off the plane by a flight attendent, and not allowed to leave with me until I showed a photo ID to prove who I was! As someone already said - they appeared to take the unaccompanied minor thing very seriously.

Rho

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I used to fly as a kid all the time, for the same reason (divorced parents). I loved it. It always was big adventure for me.

Direct flights would be a good idea.


Celiac - Gluten Free since Late December 2006

Positive Dietary response, biopsy, Enterolab

Lactose intolerant - dietary response test only

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Oh, I would only send her on a direct flight. And fortunately we're in a major airport with a straight shot to Orlando, with pretty good rates (although I think her dad should pay).

thanks for your advice, I will certainly take it under consideration.


Ev in Michigan

GFDF since 8/20/05

Negative Bloodwork ~

Dr. encourages me to trust my

"Gut Reaction"

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We sent our son to Germany when he was 12, to stay with my family for six weeks. He flew from Toronto to Amsterdam, and had to change flights there to get on a plane to Hamburg. They had all the unaccompanied children who had a stopover in a locked room with food, games, tv etc., with people watching them at all times. I think he had a two hour wait. Whenever a kid had to get on a flight, somebody would come and get them and put them on that plane.

John thought it was a great adventure, and not once did he feel unsafe.

So, yes, I think a domestic flight would be no problem at all. They really make awfully sure that unattended children are safe.


I am a German citizen, married to a Canadian 29 years, four daughters, one son, seven granddaughters and four grandsons, with one more grandchild on the way in July 2009.

Intolerant to all lectins (including gluten), nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) and salicylates.

Asperger Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency), hypothyroidism, fatigue syndrome, asthma

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We sent our son to Germany when he was 12, to stay with my family for six weeks. He flew from Toronto to Amsterdam, and had to change flights there to get on a plane to Hamburg. They had all the unaccompanied children who had a stopover in a locked room with food, games, tv etc., with people watching them at all times. I think he had a two hour wait. Whenever a kid had to get on a flight, somebody would come and get them and put them on that plane.

John thought it was a great adventure, and not once did he feel unsafe.

So, yes, I think a domestic flight would be no problem at all. They really make awfully sure that unattended children are safe.

I used to fly alone all the time. I'm 16 and still do it but the first time I flew I was 7 from LA to Seattle Washington. It wasn't a big deal and I loved doing it. Make sure she brings things to do and some snacks bcuz I thought the food was gross and they ran out of kids meals. Lol. And I had to wear a BRIGHT red necklace with unaccompanied minor written across it. Then my aunt had to show I'd to take me. It isn't that big of a deal.and definitely get a pass to go all the way with her but make sure you call ahead of time bcuz they are strict about giving them out.


Dairy/Casein Free- March 2007

Gluten Free- May 2007

Soy Free- August 2007

Sugar Free- January 2008

Starch Free- January 2008

Egg Free (again!)- February 2008

Sulfur Free- May 2008

Dx'd Lyme Disease and co-infections- December 2007

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Guest j_mommy

i started flying alone when I was 5. I flew from wisconsin to Texas. I did this every year until I was old enough to drive!

Even back then I was escorted everywhere! If I had connecting flights, they let me off first and an attendent would take me to my next flight!

Not a scary experience at all!

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