Southwest Unaccompanied Minor RulesGuide To Red Eye FlightsAirport Expenses To Avoid
Above articles may also help you find more discounts on flights

Cheap Flights for UM and why its so complex

Planning for sending your kid to Grandparents but not able to accompany them? 

Do read this full post to understand how to get cheap flights for unaccompanied minors.

Not all airlines allow unaccompanied minors, even for those where it’s allowed the rules may be different for different airlines!

My recommendation is Southwest Unaccompanied Minor which charges $50 one way, the other is Alaska Airlines which charges $25 one way.

My first choice is Southwest as it allows 2 check-in bags free!!

Table of Contents

Who is considered an Unaccompanied minor?

Any child 5-17years of age traveling alone can be considered an unaccompanied minor. They need special supervision from the crew members.

The section below gives a list of airlines that allow solo travel by minors and the price you will have to pay for availing this facility.

Few airlines have different age bars where anyone above 15 years may not need unaccompanied minor service.

Do note that 15-17 years can opt in for the unaccompanied minor facility or go without it.

How to book a Cheap flights for Unaccompanied minors?

The section below gives a list of airlines that allow solo travel by minors and the price you will have to pay for availing this facility.

Your favorite airline booking platform may not allow booking flights for unaccompanied minors. It’s best to book directly with the airline.

Note: Google Flights and Skyscanner do not allow booking tickets only for minors, please see the Gif below.

Watch this video if you are not much of a reader.

Airlines that allow unaccompanied minors and its fees

AirlineAge AllowedCost(1 Way)RestrictionsHow To Book
Air Canada8-11$100Nonstop flights onlyOnline
Alaska Airlines5-7/8-12$25/$50Nonstop only/Connecting flightOnline, Phone
American5-7/8-14$150Nonstop flightsPhone
Delta5-7/8-14$150Nonstop/Connecting flightsPhone
Frontier5-14$110Nonstop flights onlyOnline, Phone
Southwest5-11$50Nonstop flights onlyPhone
United5-14$150Nonstop flights onlyOnline, Phone
Spirit5-14$100Nonstop flights onlyOnline

Guide for Unaccompanied minors travel

Process of unaccompanied passenger boarding and deboarding

You will have to drop the minor at the family check-in counter of the flight. 

There the staff will verify if he is booked as an unaccompanied passenger and will check the ID of the adult dropping him off.

Note: Make sure the person mentioned as drop off and pickup are the same who see him off and receive the minor. Airlines will not hand over the kid to anyone else.

The flight is aware that there is going to be an unaccompanied passenger (from the booking done), and one assistant will be present to escort the unaccompanied minor.

The attendant will take the minor through all the other processes and will let him on the plane.

The adult dropping off the minor will have to be present in the airport till the flight takes off, this is to ensure you are reachable in case of any hiccups.

Once the flight takes off, you will receive a call from the airline informing you that the minor is safely on the flight and you may leave the airport.

Once the flight lands, the minor will be escorted by an attendant out of the airport and handed over to the person receiving the kid, after checking the valid ID of the person receiving the minor.

You will receive a phone call from the airline informing you about the same.

Keep the following things in mind while planning to send your minor kid on solo travel:

Mentally prepare them for the trip

Traveling could be fun or sometimes stressful. Talk to your kids about the travel, the fun of solo travel, and what precautions to take.

Explain to them all the process of boarding and un-boarding the flight so that they do not get overwhelmed.

Clearly communicate that airline staff will be looking after them to make them comfortable. The minor can reach out to the attendant in case of any need or problem.

Pack all essentials

Make sure to give your kid a cellphone so that communication can happen. 

Apart from being in touch on phone, you can also enable tracking on the cell phone so that you are always aware of where your kid is.

Do remember to pack the kid’s favorite snacks in case he does not like what is served on the plane.

Depending on airline policies, you may have to provide a consent letter for the minor traveling alone.

Do ensure to add your name, full address, and contact number of yourself and the person receiving the child at the destination.

Also, ensure that the child carries something to keep him entertained/engaged during the flight.

Make sure to put some kind of sign on the check-in luggage so that the child is able to identify it easily at the luggage collection area.

Travel Essentials

Make sure to arrive at the airport early, it will not only keep the child relaxed but will also give airlines enough time to check in the kid and provide a good seat.

Keep Id’s and tickets and other documents in an easy-to-carry bag as travelers will have to frequently produce it at various checkpoints (ids may not be mandatory but still advisable to carry it).

The airline person will check the IDs of the adult who has come to drop off the minor and will accompany the minor to the plane.

The same process will be followed while handing over the minor to the person who has come to receive the minor.

Note: Unattended minors are the first to board and last to un-board the plane.

Inform the person receiving the child as soon as the flight takes off. Don’t forget to share the flight details and track the flight.

Do call at least 30min before the expected landing of the flight to ensure the person receiving the child has arrived or is on the way to receive the kid.


Is it safe to send minors unaccompanied on a flight?

The airlines that allow minor unaccompanied service ensures that someone is helping the minor during the flight and ensures that the minor meets the person receiving him/her at the destination.

Is there an additional charge for a minor traveling solo (unaccompanied minor)?

Yes, the different airlines have different charges for an unaccompanied minor, keep on reading for details.


Solo travel of minors can both be exciting and stressful. Preparing before the unaccompanied minor travel goes a long way in ensuring the travel is smooth.