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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 4, 16, 2:32 pm
  #61  
 
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Why would a 16 yo need any id at all? TSA doesn't require id below 18, does AA ?
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Old Mar 4, 16, 2:40 pm
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Originally Posted by djk7
Why would a 16 yo need any id at all? TSA doesn't require id below 18, does AA ?
Originally Posted by JDiver
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, 2:42 pm
  #63  
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Originally Posted by djk7
Why would a 16 yo need any id at all? TSA doesn't require id below 18, does AA ?
Their website says no when travelling with an adult. They say nothing about a minor travelling alone. I'd suggest having something, as I think everyone should.
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Old Mar 4, 16, 10:14 pm
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The website states that AA may require proof of age for minors. In practice, unless the minor looks like he or she could be in their twenties, I haven't seen AA ask for this.

I wouldn't worry too much about it, especially if he checks in online and has no bags.
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Old Mar 4, 16, 10:54 pm
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May have to prove being 16, as 15 requires paying unaccompanied minor fee.
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Old Mar 5, 16, 6:09 am
  #66  
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Originally Posted by VickiSoCal
May have to prove being 16, as 15 requires paying unaccompanied minor fee.


This too, its (no fee) also why I didn't mind sending him on this trip. His younger brother (14) will have to wait.

to the rest, thank you very much. We will go to the DMV early this coming week and get him a state issued ID. If it doesn't arrive in time then we will just have him take his passport and school ID. I'll give him a copy (as in not the real version) of his birth cert as well. I'll be with him on the IAD end but not at the LAX end. It will be another relative meeting him.

Just curious, do they still give passes to accompany him to the gate (I'm not traveling) - not that he can't do it himself, but IAD is a bit more confusing than LAX which is pretty much idiot proof.
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Old Mar 5, 16, 6:21 am
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Originally Posted by ThreeJulietTango
The website states that AA may require proof of age for minors. In practice, unless the minor looks like he or she could be in their twenties, I haven't seen AA ask for this.

I wouldn't worry too much about it, especially if he checks in online and has no bags.
The airline could also question whether the kid is old enough to travel alone without payment of the UM fee.
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Old Mar 5, 16, 6:26 am
  #68  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist
The airline could also question whether the kid is old enough to travel alone without payment of the UM fee.
I think that is what Vicki was referring to in post 16
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Old Mar 5, 16, 6:28 am
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
I think that is what Vicki was referring to in post 16
Yep, and I saw Vicki's post after I made my post and FT went to the second page of this thread.
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Old Mar 5, 16, 6:32 am
  #70  
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
Just curious, do they still give passes to accompany him to the gate (I'm not traveling) - not that he can't do it himself, but IAD is a bit more confusing than LAX which is pretty much idiot proof.
They can. Ask for a gate pass to accompany him into the terminal and odds are you'll be accommodated.
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Old Mar 5, 16, 8:00 am
  #71  
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thanks SBM

also, here is what I just did - I went to the Pre-check site to enroll him in that when I remembered that its only $15 more for Global entry.

I just applied for Global Entry for him (I have it) however with Pre-check I was able to get him an appointment on Monday but with GOES it didn't give me an appointment option even though I paid the fee.

I presume I can get an appointment fairly soon.
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Old Mar 5, 16, 8:55 am
  #72  
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Depending on location and flexibility, it can take days to several weeks to get a GE interview appointment. For sure IAD doesn't accept walk ins - at all (sign on office door, and I've observed people being turned away).
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Old Mar 5, 16, 8:57 am
  #73  
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
thanks SBM

also, here is what I just did - I went to the Pre-check site to enroll him in that when I remembered that its only $15 more for Global entry.

I just applied for Global Entry for him (I have it) however with Pre-check I was able to get him an appointment on Monday but with GOES it didn't give me an appointment option even though I paid the fee.

I presume I can get an appointment fairly soon.
IIRC you cannot get an appointment for a GE interview until after you have been notified that your GE application has received preliminary approval.
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Old Mar 5, 16, 9:29 am
  #74  
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
thanks SBM

also, here is what I just did - I went to the Pre-check site to enroll him in that when I remembered that its only $15 more for Global entry.

I just applied for Global Entry for him (I have it) however with Pre-check I was able to get him an appointment on Monday but with GOES it didn't give me an appointment option even though I paid the fee.

I presume I can get an appointment fairly soon.
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist
IIRC you cannot get an appointment for a GE interview until after you have been notified that your GE application has received preliminary approval.
Correct. I applied last weekend and still haven't gotten my conditional approval. I have to fly somewhere to have the interview so I'm holding off booking two trips this summer in the hopes I can do the interview during then. People are reporting months to get appointments in most places, unless that location happens to take walk-ins.
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Old Mar 5, 16, 9:32 am
  #75  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist
IIRC you cannot get an appointment for a GE interview until after you have been notified that your GE application has received preliminary approval.
That is correct. Once you receive your approval notification, you have a defined period of time in which to make an appointment. (Kicking the can down the road by rescheduling is OK, but not making the appointment defaults to a new application requirement.)
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