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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 Feb 24, 16, 8:28 am
  #46  
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Yes. He is only UM if he is not accompanied by an adult on each segment. It need not be a relative and it need not be the same adult. He will, however, need that adult physically with him at the check-in counter and at boarding and he won't be able to OLCI.
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Old Feb 24, 16, 8:31 am
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Unaccompanied Minor - to merge

Back in the long-ago days when I was a minor traveling to Mexico, my parental permission letter had to be notarized. Un-notarized was not an option.
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Old Feb 24, 16, 8:44 am
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Thank you all for your prompt replies.

On the outbound he will be travelling with his Father and on the inbound with me. Since he is my brothers child and we have the same surnames i was assuming such letter would not be necessary.
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Old Feb 24, 16, 9:46 am
  #49  
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Originally Posted by QueenOfCoach
Back in the long-ago days when I was a minor traveling to Mexico, my parental permission letter had to be notarized. Un-notarized was not an option.
Yes. My situation is the same, and my niece has exactly the same requirement with her two children today. One parent or no parent / guardian accompanying (not both or one with proof of guardianship), a notarized letter is required.

It might not be asked for, but it well might.

Originally Posted by acbs
Thank you all for your prompt replies.

On the outbound he will be travelling with his Father and on the inbound with me. Since he is my brothers child and we have the same surnames i was assuming such letter would not be necessary.
Uh, no, that is incorrect. See my reply to QueenOfCoach; I'm not guessing here; most of my family resides in Mexico, we travel back and forth regularly, and that includes family members with children.
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Old Mar 4, 16, 6:03 am
  #50  
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Minor ID Requirements [for Flying AA]

My 16 YO will be taking his first flight (Domestic) alone on AA during spring break this month

He does not have a license

He has a passport but it expires during the middle of his trip

he has a school ID but it does not have his age on it.

So my questions are:

1. Does he even need an ID?
2. Will the passport suffice even for the return if it had just expired?
3. Will the school ID suffice?

my search results only yielded a closed thread in the legacy AA forum which of course is closed.


thanks
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Old Mar 4, 16, 6:07 am
  #51  
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A passport should more than suffice, even if recently expired; student ID?

TSA: TSA does not require children under 18 to provide identification when traveling with a companion within the United States. Contact the airline for questions regarding specific ID requirements for travelers under 18. Link.
AA: You may be required to present proof of age (such as a birth certificate) for any children under the age of 18. Link.
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Old Mar 4, 16, 6:45 am
  #52  
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Not sure if they can turn it around fast enough, but you might check with your DMV to see if he can get a state ID (not a drivers license). If you have a passport office nearby, they may be able to do something (renewing passports six months out seems to be the normal advice).

For ID purposes, I've never understood how one "expires". It's not like you stop being who you are just because a date passes. Now the privileges that go with it, like driving, crossing boarders, and the such OK. And in this case being able to fly I guess falls in that list.
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Old Mar 4, 16, 6:54 am
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Originally Posted by RogerD408
For ID purposes, I've never understood how one "expires". It's not like you stop being who you are just because a date passes. Now the privileges that go with it, like driving, crossing boarders, and the such OK.
Also, things like evolving anti-counterfeit technology, the need for recertifications and retests, anticipated wear and tear on the physical ID, and anticipated wear and tear on the ID holder (causing them to look substantially different from their photo as time goes by).
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Old Mar 4, 16, 8:14 am
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The expired passport will be fine for TSA.

I can't imagine that AA will want proof of age and he will never have to show an ID if he does OLCI and does not check a bag, but given the website provision, why not just bring his birth certificate along just in case.

TSA will clear a passenger where ID can be independently validated without a valid ID. But, that is needlessly time-consuming and stressful. Just stick to the passport.
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Old Mar 4, 16, 8:17 am
  #55  
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Isn't the expired passport better as proof of age than a birth certificate since the former has a (five year old) photo.
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Old Mar 4, 16, 11:11 am
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I second the advice about getting a state ID from the DMV. Some states have expedited processing, so you might still get it in time.
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Old Mar 4, 16, 11:32 am
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Often1
The expired passport will be fine for TSA.

I can't imagine that AA will want proof of age and he will never have to show an ID if he does OLCI and does not check a bag, but given the website provision, why not just bring his birth certificate along just in case.

TSA will clear a passenger where ID can be independently validated without a valid ID. But, that is needlessly time-consuming and stressful. Just stick to the passport.
Best answer in this thread.

School ID and passport (even an expiring passport) are sufficient. Adding the birth certificate is a perfect "belt and suspenders" approach.

No need to obtain a state ID card before the trip.
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Old Mar 4, 16, 11:33 am
  #58  
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ID card route:
https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/drivers/#id/get_id.asp
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Old Mar 4, 16, 11:38 am
  #59  
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Link to VDMV: A Virginia adult ID card is available to an individual age 15 and above who does not hold a learner's permit or driver's license issued by any state within the United States. The fee for an ID card is $10.00.

To find out about the requirements and the application process for an ID card, refer to Obtaining an Identification Card.

You may also apply to exchange your driver's license for an ID card.

What Is Displayed On an Adult ID Card
The ID card contains the following:
  • Customer number
  • Date of birth, height and gender
  • Expiration date and issue date
  • Full legal name, address and signature
  • Full-face photograph
  • Statement "Not a license to operate a motor vehicle"
  • Statement "Organ donor information"
  • Statement "Under 21 until date", if applicable
  • Statement "Under 18 until date", if applicable
I agree this would be the best solution. Every young adult should have some kind of credible, validated identification.
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Old Mar 4, 16, 2:25 pm
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Expired passport is acceptable. More details here: http://getawaytips.azcentral.com/can...-usa-5475.html
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