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AA Unaccompanied Minor / UNMR Policy and Discussion (consolidated)

Old Feb 24, 16, 9:06 am
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Last edit by: JDiver
Unaccompanied Minor Service / Travel on AA

Q. What does AA UNMR / Unaccompanied Minor Service consist of, and are there restrictions?

Unaccompanied minor service

Our unaccompanied minor service is to ensure your child is boarded onto the aircraft, introduced to the flight attendant, chaperoned during connections and released to the appropriate person at their destination.

We wont accept unaccompanied minors when their itineraries include:

  • A connection to/from another airline, including codeshare and oneworld partners
  • Ground / co-terminal connections (unaccompanied minors under 15 years, cant use ground transportation alone)
Link to full AA policy.
Q. How old must minors be to travel unaccompanied?

Guidelines for children traveling alone:

Age range Restrictions

0-5 Children under 5 years of age may not travel alone under any circumstances.

5-7 Can only travel on nonstop or direct flights. They cant travel on certain flights on smaller aircraft when a flight attendant is not required.

8-14 Can travel on any nonstop or direct flight, or any connecting flight through Charlotte, NC (CLT), Washington Reagan, D.C. (DCA), Dallas Forth Worth, TX (DFW), New York, NY (JFK and LGA), Los Angeles, CA (LAX), Miami, FL (MIA), Chicago, IL (ORD), Philadelphia, PA (PHL) and Phoenix, AZ (PHX).

15-17 Children in this age range dont have to use the unaccompanied minor service, but its still available to them. When traveling alone, children 16 years of age and older can book online, to book children 15 years of age, youll need to call Reservations.

Note: Children 2-14 years old can travel as an 'accompanied minor' with someone 16 years or older.

American Airlines' UNMR policy: Link

Link to PDF.
Q. Does airline unaccompanied minor travel any cost in addition to the ticket?

That will also differ by carrier, just as connection and other policies will differ. American charges $150 for one or two UNMRs each way.

American Airlines:
  • The unaccompanied minor service fee is $150 (plus tax) each way
  • 2 or more unaccompanied minors from the same family, traveling on the same flights, will only be charged $150 (plus tax) each way
Q. Do unaccompanied minors require identification?

Yes. AA requires proof of age for the child traveling alone (birth certificate, passport, etc.). The TSA will likely require this as well.

Q. What documentation do minors require for international travel?

Unaccompanied minors will generally require a passport internationally.

Be sure your unaccompanied minor has a letter signed by both parents / guardians (or copy of documentation showing there is one person with sole custody) granting him permission to travel and noting who s/he will be residing with (and I suggest another granting the adults s/he to secure medical care for the minor). The letter should probably be notarized.

US Department of State:

LETTER OF CONSENT FOR TRAVEL OF A MINOR CHILD

Because of increasing instances of child abduction in custody cases, and a growing number of children who are the victims of trafficking or pornography, an immigration officer, airline, or travel company may ask you to provide some form of letter of consent if your child is traveling internationally with only one parent or with another adult, such as a grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc. The sample letter below is a guide only. You may also wish to have the letter of consent notarized.

Link to PDF of sample letter.
If your minor does not possess such a letter s/he may be denied flight, or otherwise be inconvenienced due to the international convention on childhood abduction the USA and most nations are signatories to.

Q. What if the minor is traveling internationally with another adult (accompanied minor)?

See the letter authorizing travel, mentioned above. As well, you can ask AA to add a "TCP* note" in his PNR (booking record) to show s/he is traveling with another adult(s) other than both parents (one parent, relatives, friends). It might be useful to do the same for the adult; this also may help the airline to assure they're not assigned different flights in case of travel disruption.

Q. Anything else?

Yes. It may be wise to assure the unaccompanied minor is covered by health / medical insurance or coverage in the destination country in addition to having a medical care authorization letter.

Even some countries with universal healthcare may be quite expensive for a person who is not a legal resident of that country.

Be sure to prepare a "care pack" - perhaps school size backpack - with books, games, etc. for distraction and entertainment. Airline unaccompanied minor services do not include continual supervision on the plane, nor are the crew charged with entertaining a child, merely with safeguarding their safety and boarding, disembarking, assuring they get available water and food, etc.

* "To Complete Party"
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AA Unaccompanied Minor / UNMR Policy and Discussion (consolidated)

Old Mar 12, 15, 4:00 pm
  #31  
 
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Unaccompanied minors

Can I use Avios to book two unaccompanied children on AA ?
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Old Mar 12, 15, 4:07 pm
  #32  
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I see the simple:

BA does not allow UMNRs on award bookings
Which makes me think answer is no, although it could be read/assumed that means on BA metal. But I tend to assume it might be difficult/not possible based on that language.
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Old Mar 12, 15, 4:49 pm
  #33  
 
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But could I book then through my AA account using Avios?
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Old Mar 13, 15, 12:55 pm
  #34  
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Originally Posted by mike turnbull
But could I book then through my AA account using Avios?
How exactly would you do that?
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Old Mar 13, 15, 1:08 pm
  #35  
 
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In my experience I think that you would be able to. I recently booked my family of 5 a set of tickets on ba.com using avios. For some reason, the web site would not let me buy a seat for my 8 month old (even in the same itinerary as the rest of us) - it just automatically assumed he was a a lap child. I went in and entered his age as being over 2 (which would require his own seat) and went ahead with the booking.

After booking, I called AA and had them change his age to the correct age - no problems whatsoever.

I would assume you could do the same with your UM's. Just enter an acceptable age and then call up AA to have them put the correct age in and pay the appropriate UM fees.
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Old Nov 2, 15, 12:50 pm
  #36  
 
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Unaccompanied minor fee on linked iten?

So yesterday I got an email about my flight numbers being changed on a upcoming STL-PHL-FRA flight (us air numbers to AA numbers) on miles. I had originally booked it for 2 seats, but due to a CC fiasco, my ticket cleared but my daughters didn't. about 2 weeks after ticketing, I noticed hers wasn't ticketed, and the agent said the only way to fix it, since mine was ticketed, was to split the iten. No problem, seats kept in the same place, what did I mind.

Anywho, fast forward to yesterday. I log in my account to make sure everything is fine, and it is. I log into her account and it says that its a status of ticketed, but an extra fee is required at the airport or reservations. I call international reservations, they say the ticket looks fine, but they cant figure out what the charge is, and they forward me to someone who can. On the phone with that person, I'm told I need to pay a $150 fee for an unaccompanied minor. I explain that they are not unaccompanied, and that my iten matches hers. They looked it up, said they once again linked it, that the message wouldn't go away but I wouldn't be asked to pay at the airport.

Anyone else had this happen to them, and is there a way to avoid any surprise at the airport?
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Old Nov 2, 15, 1:04 pm
  #37  
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Happens to me all the time. You'll get (sometimes) someone at the airport asking you to pay the fee. Just show them your itineraries and they won't charge you.

The problem with have two separate itineraries is if IRROPS occurs you'll be treated differently by default. Sure you can call in and correct it, but by default your daughter will have less of a priority.
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Old Nov 2, 15, 1:22 pm
  #38  
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Ugh, what a mess.

Are these refundable tickets? Is there a way AA could cancel the tickets and rebuild the record without any fare increase or fees?

I agree with inpd that things should be fine unless there's IRROPS. Things could get ugly then.
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Old Nov 2, 15, 2:33 pm
  #39  
 
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I just dealt with this situation (linked reservation with the minor on their own record locator) and found that the system will not let you do OLCI for the minor.
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Old Nov 2, 15, 5:19 pm
  #40  
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You'll be fine. We fly with our kids on separate itineraries all the time, because they are usually on award tickets. You will need to check in at the airport and make sure you don't select an exit row for yourself.
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Old Nov 2, 15, 5:40 pm
  #41  
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Call - yet again - and ask the agent to put a "TCP" ("to complete party) note in each PNR (itinerary). (Some erroneously call this "linking" PNRs - it's adding a note so in case of OSO / IROPS the agent will read the note in either itinerary and know to keep both passengers together.
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Old Nov 3, 15, 12:42 am
  #42  
 
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It's just a system limitation. AA automatically flags any PNRs containing minors without an accompanying adult (16+), but as others have mentioned, all it takes is an agent to add a TCP and there's no problem. Online and self-service check-in will not be possible, though.
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Old Feb 24, 16, 7:55 am
  #43  
 
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Unaccompanied Minor - to merge

I am hoping someone can give me some guidance on this issue.

My 12 year old nephew will be flying MEX-ORD-MEX. He will be staying for 3 weeks. On the outbound he will be accompanied by an adult and on the return accompanied by a different adult. For this reason his ticket has to be purchased separately from the other adults (outbound and inbound) due to the difference in travel dates. In this situation is it possible to avoid the Unaccompanied Minor charge since he will be travelling with an adult, just on separate reservations. Is it also possible to link his ticket with the adults tickets.
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Old Feb 24, 16, 8:07 am
  #44  
 
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Originally Posted by acbs
I am hoping someone can give me some guidance on this issue.

My 12 year old nephew will be flying MEX-ORD-MEX. He will be staying for 3 weeks. On the outbound he will be accompanied by an adult and on the return accompanied by a different adult. For this reason his ticket has to be purchased separately from the other adults (outbound and inbound) due to the difference in travel dates. In this situation is it possible to avoid the Unaccompanied Minor charge since he will be travelling with an adult, just on separate reservations. Is it also possible to link his ticket with the adults tickets.
I have done this in the past (like 8 or 9 years ago) with my kids and it was not a problem. Though things may have changed since then. This issue might be booking the ticket online as you now have to enter the birth date and they can calculate the age. You may have to book with an agent
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Old Feb 24, 16, 8:09 am
  #45  
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Originally Posted by acbs
I am hoping someone can give me some guidance on this issue.

My 12 year old nephew will be flying MEX-ORD-MEX. He will be staying for 3 weeks. On the outbound he will be accompanied by an adult and on the return accompanied by a different adult. For this reason his ticket has to be purchased separately from the other adults (outbound and inbound) due to the difference in travel dates. In this situation is it possible to avoid the Unaccompanied Minor charge since he will be travelling with an adult, just on separate reservations. Is it also possible to link his ticket with the adults tickets.
It won't be a problem. You can ask AA to put a "TCP* note" in his PNR (booking record) to show he is traveling with another adult. It might be useful to do the same for the adult; this also may help the airline to assure they're not assigned different flights in case of travel disruption.

Be sure your nephew has a letter signed by both parents / guardians (or copy of documentation showing there is one person with sole custody) granting him permission to travel with the people he will be with (and I suggest another granting the adults to secure medical care for him). The letter should be notarized.

US Department of State:

LETTER OF CONSENT FOR TRAVEL OF A MINOR CHILD

Because of increasing instances of child abduction in custody cases, and a growing number of children who are the victims of trafficking or pornography, an immigration officer, airline, or travel company may ask you to provide some form of letter of consent if your child is traveling internationally with only one parent or with another adult, such as a grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc. The sample letter below is a guide only. You may also wish to have the letter of consent notarized.

Link to PDF of sample letter.
If your nephew does not possess such a letter he may be denied flight, or otherwise be inconvenienced due to the international convention on childhood abduction both Mexico and the USA are signatories to.

We will merge this into the existing thread. /Moderator

* "To Complete Party"

Also see: Travel with Cildren forum.

Last edited by JDiver; Feb 24, 16 at 8:15 am
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