Children flying alone – When will my child be ready?

norwegian airliner
Sometimes children need to travel on their own. Several carriers offer a service that allow children, this may surprise you but sometimes as young as five, to be travelling unaccompanied. Are you thinking about letting your child fly alone?

The unaccompanied minor service offers parents great flexibility, allowing the children to enjoy their holidays with family and friends, even when the parents don’t have the opportunity to join them.

We’ve tried Norwegian Airlines Unaccompanied Minor service for children from 5 to 15 years of age. You will have to book the flight within 48 hours of the flight, and fill out a handling advice document prior to departure, at check in with details on yourself and who’s picking up at arrival. An airport assistant will walk the child through airport security and passport control, then by the door of the aircraft they are handed over to the cabin crew that will seat the child. After landing the crew will hand over the child to an airport assistant that will walk your child to arrivals and hand over to the person picking up. Easy peasy!

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This is Little A, beaming with pride as she’s about to fly on her own for the very first time, age 7. We chose Norwegian but SAS and British Airways also fly unaccompanied children (from age 5 with assistance and from 12 they may fly alone if they wish). The assistance is at an extra cost, depending on destination and carrier.
Find out more information for children flying solo with Norwegian Airline

Our top advice would be to to travel unaccompanied as long as they are ready for it. Choose direct flights and of short duration (no longer than 2-3 hours). Then secondly, prepare the child. Go through what will happen and what to do. There’s no reason to scare the child as this is perfectly safe. Be aware that there will not be anyone sitting next to them at take off or landing, and they’ll be on their own during the flight. But when that’s said our experience is that both the flight attendants and fellow passengers are both helpful and friendly. And when they’ve been through their first flight their confidence has properly reached sky high levels -and all they want is to go unaccompanied again!

If you want to know more, read the Top 10 Safety Tips for Children Traveling Alone – AirSafe.com

Let us know if you have experience with and advice for children flying on their own! Or if you would consider send off your child at all!

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