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AA Unaccompanied Minor / UNMR Policy and Discussion (consolidated)

AA Unaccompanied Minor / UNMR Policy and Discussion (consolidated)

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Old Jul 29, 18, 1:27 am   -   Wikipost
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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 won’t 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, can’t 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 can’t 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 don’t have to use the unaccompanied minor service, but it’s still available to them. When traveling alone, children 16 years of age and older can book online, to book children 15 years of age, you’ll 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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Old Dec 29, 13, 1:09 pm
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AA Unaccompanied Minor / UNMR Policy and Discussion (consolidated)

Hi all. Since unaccompanied minor flying is a topic of interest to many people, I thought I'd start a thread on discussion/speculation of what the policy will be for the new AA. As a recap, here are the pmAA and pmUS policies:

AA
http://www.aa.com/i18n/disclaimers/c...eChecklist.jsp
Ages 5-11, $100, limited connections allowed
$100 fee charged per child, but multiple kids of the same family only charged as one person
Disallowed conditions include codeshare/partner airlines, co-terminal transfers, and last connections of a day
Ages 5-7 include the addition restriction of non-stop itineraries only

US
<redacted URL no longer working>
Ages 5-14, $100, non-stop itineraries only
No fee traveling between CLT and Brazil


P.S. As an aside, ages 5-7 on AA are also not allowed "on certain American Connection flights operated with aircraft not requiring a flight attendant." What kind of flights are those?
P.P.S. Anyone know the reason US can't/won't charge fees between CLT and Brazil?

Last edited by JDiver; Feb 24, 16 at 8:56 am Reason: Restore original post title / strike US policy
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Old Dec 29, 13, 3:36 pm
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It might be Brazilian law. There's a very generous free baggage allowance on Brazil flights for this reason.
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Old Dec 30, 13, 5:50 pm
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Originally Posted by SFOPhD View Post
"on certain American Connection flights operated with aircraft not requiring a flight attendant." What kind of flights are those?
Many years ago I flew CHS to RDU in a 12 seater turbo prop which had pilot and co pilot but no FA.
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Old Dec 30, 13, 7:49 pm
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Originally Posted by petewinca View Post
Many years ago I flew CHS to RDU in a 12 seater turbo prop which had pilot and co pilot but no FA.
I'm not sure what planes types meet this but per FAR Part § 121.391

(1) For airplanes having a maximum payload capacity of more than 7,500 pounds and having a seating capacity of more than 9 but less than 51 passengers—one flight attendant.

(2) For airplanes having a maximum payload capacity of 7,500 pounds or less and having a seating capacity of more than 19 but less than 51 passengers—one flight attendant.

So

if max payload is 7,500lbs+ and 9 or less seats no FA is required
If max payload is 7,500lbs or less and 19 seats or less, no FA is required
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Old Dec 30, 13, 9:38 pm
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The "19 seats or less" exception is why the smaller commuter turboprops generally had exactly 19 seats, like the Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner, the BAe Jetstream 31 and the Beech 1900.

As to the UM policy of the new AA, here is a thread from another forum where an employee claims that the US policy is moving toward the AA policy:

http://www.airlineforums.com/topic/5...mal/?p=1048436
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Old Jan 16, 15, 10:05 am
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Need some advice sending unaccompanied minors

I have two children (11 and 13) that I want to put on a direct flight (domestic only). It's USAir. I want to avoid the $150 each way fee that they list on their website. Both my kids are well traveled and we have very little concern as long as we can drop them off at the gate and grandparents can meet them at the gate.

USAir has the following policy:
Children 14 and under:
  • Children 2 – 14 can travel as an 'accompanied minor' with someone 16 or older.
  • Children 5 – 14 can travel as an 'unaccompanied minor' on nonstop flights only and must have our assistance. The unaccompanied minor service fee is $150 (plus tax) each way.
Young adults (ages 15 – 17)
  • A traveler 15 – 17 is considered a young adult and may travel unaccompanied on nonstop and connecting flights without our assistance.
  • When the young adult checks in, we’ll make a note in our system so our personnel know that a young adult is traveling unaccompanied.

Can I lie and say my oldest is 15 (Since it's domestic I don't believe I have to show their passports) therefore allowing them both to travel without paying the $150 fee? Anyone have experience/advice/opinions on the matter?

Thanks in advance.
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Old Jan 16, 15, 10:12 am
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Even if you lie and say your eldest is 15 (which I am not a huge fan of, what happens if something happens and the flight is diverted to a third city (e.g. another passenger's medical emergency) that is an awful lot of pressure to put on a 13 year old. It would likely never happen, but it is the 1 in a million anomaly that counts), that wouldn't solve the problem since it says that the 11 year old would have to be "with someone 16 or older".

I am not sure many people are going to accept the 13 year old is 16.
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Old Jan 16, 15, 10:19 am
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Welcome to Flyertalk bigger thumbs.
As you are specifically discussing US Air, I will move this thread to the US Forum for further discussion.
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Old Jan 16, 15, 10:42 am
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"Can I lie?"

Yes, you can lie. No, you may not lie.

The fee is not there because your kids are or are not experienced travelers. It is there to deal with IRROPS and with assuring that your kids are handed off to a properly identified responsible adult whom you list in advance.

There are places to save money. Protecting your childrens' welfare is not one of them.
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Old Jan 16, 15, 10:50 am
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Originally Posted by bigger thumbs View Post
Can I lie and say ...
You can always lie. Should you? No.

I don't like that this is for non-stops only, but it is what it is.

If SHTF what will you do?

Would $300 each way for total of $600 not pay for a 3rd ticket for someone 16 or older to accompany them?
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Old Jan 16, 15, 11:00 am
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If you can, you may want to look at the AA side. They're a bit more relaxed on the UM policy.

Our 12 year old flew on his own from MIA-DCA this summer. AA gave his dad a gate pass to take him to the gate in MIA. We probably would have gotten one at DCA, but we got there late. He ended up calling us and meeting us at the entrance to the concourse. It went pretty smoothly.
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Old Jan 16, 15, 11:08 am
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Aside from all the other considerations, lying to save money is not the best example to set for your kids. If you lead them to believe that lying is okay, you will probably pay the consequences later. I speak from experience. My father lied all the time and I never felt any obligation to tell him the truth about anything. On the other hand, I hated his lying so much, that I go out of my way to be honest with everyone else.
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Old Jan 16, 15, 11:26 am
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Originally Posted by bigger thumbs View Post
Can I lie and say my oldest is 15 (Since it's domestic I don't believe I have to show their passports) therefore allowing them both to travel without paying the $150 fee? Anyone have experience/advice/opinions on the matter?
Uhh, that's not how it works. 15 year olds aren't permitted to accompany 11 year olds to avoid the UAM procedures. 16 year olds are permitted to accompany younger children outside the UAM procedures. 15 year olds may fly unaccompanied by themselves, but they have to be 16 to supervise younger children.

So do you think your 13 year old can pass for 16? If so, then have at it. One tip: the typical airline ticket agent, gate agent and flight attendant aren't all that stupid. They'll be able to tell the difference between a 13 year old and a 16 year old.

Children under 18 don't have to show photo ID to clear security, but airlines are free to require proof of age for any children (and many do require proof of age, like a photocopy of a birth certificate).

My advice? Buy them tickets on a different airline that permits younger children to fly alone than AA does under its newer, more restrictive rules. When new management took over at AA, the ages were increased so that fewer children would be permitted to fly alone without the expensive UAM fees/rules.

Welcome to Flyertalk.

Originally Posted by Superguy View Post
Our 12 year old flew on his own from MIA-DCA this summer. AA gave his dad a gate pass to take him to the gate in MIA. We probably would have gotten one at DCA, but we got there late. He ended up calling us and meeting us at the entrance to the concourse. It went pretty smoothly.
If I were you, I would not expect your experience to be duplicated next time your child flies AA or US. The ages and rules are the same at AA and US. "One time at band camp" exceptions happen all the time, but others probably shouldn't plan on them.
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Old Jan 16, 15, 11:44 am
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All -

Thank you for the information. I will strongly reconsider based on the consensus thus far. I didn't know if I was going to get lit up for my suggestion (like I have) or if I was going to get a bunch of "we do it all the time with out kids, never had a problem". I don't know the acronyms SHTF or IRROPS are but I will look them up.

Please understand I'm not coming to the group in arrogance or stubbornness. I'm coming out of ignorance and simply don't know how this works. I see/hear of kids traveling unaccompanied often and I can't imagine parents easily tacking on an extra $300 for older kids that know how to sit in an airline seat, not cause a disruption, nor need additional attention (my kids have been on a dozen plus trips). I was purely curious on those that know more about the specific matter than I do. As you can fairly assume, I haven't been down this road before so I am not even unaware of how to get identified individuals a pass to get through security without a ticket which apparently is part of where $300 goes.

I'd paint it as an ROI question (I have no idea what I get for $300/kid) if I could get a realistic answer but it would be kind of difficult as we're talking about kids. I mean, who wouldn't spend money to increase the odds of their kids' welfare, right?

Again, thank you for the information, I'll start pursuing the options you all suggest.
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Old Jan 16, 15, 12:36 pm
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Need some advice sending unaccompanied minors

IRROPS is irregular operations, which can range from weather and air traffic delays/cancellations, flight diversions to a different airport causing lengthy delays or unplanned overnights, crew timing out, all sorts of things that can happen in an imperfect world. In those cases the UM fee more than pays for itself as minors aren't able to rebook themselves or get a hotel room on their own if needed.
SHTF is basically s*** hitting the fan, as in what happens in IRROPS situations
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