Unaccompanied Minor: Kids Flying Solo!
Dedicated lounges, help through the airport, priority boarding, on-board care and support on landing plus much more – here’s why kids will love flying as unaccompanied minors!
When I walked out of the front door of my family home, packed my doll’s suitcase full of clothes at the age of four, my mum knew, I would return within half an hour as my world was only as big as the row of houses in my street. When my daughter told me at the tender age of five, she wanted to travel the world, by herself; I knew I was in for a little more. Her world had expanded further than a block of houses, due to the many travels as an expat child.
A few years later, when the protective mother in me was ready for her adventure and her request came again to travel by herself, I knew I had no reasoning to stop her, except from my parental fears of letting go. We did our research and choose a direct flight– the unaccompanied minor departure lounge made the holiday start in Dubai, the ‘hand-to-hand’ service was without a worry and very much felt like the airline was in charge of every single detail, which reassured us in all the worries, which had crossed our mind. Grandma in Europe was called to be ready at arrival and so my daughter caught her first ever flight alone – and she loved it!
Her enthusiasm, after a few tears at departure, was so overwhelming, it reminded me of my own fun at summer camps as a child. My daughter would recall the abundance of attention, from the smiles of the designated flight attendant to the sweet little extras on her tray (a few chocolates to ease the goodbye) during her endless movie watching and the pride she felt, as she managed the flight on her own.
It was the start of many more solo flights near and far as an unaccompanied minor and this year her younger brother is joining her, as –his words – ‘he will never let her holiday like that on her own again’.
How to book:
Children from 5 to 14 years of age can use the Unaccompanied Minor service with Emirates, although this might not be the same for all airlines. Make sure to book in advance, call the airline service centre for further details and have the contact details from the persons at departure and arrival ready. Safe travels!