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Kids flying by themselves?

Have any of you moms allowed your children to fly alone to go visit family in another state? My in-laws are asking if I would be willing to let my 6 yr old an 8 yr old fly from SC to MI so they can spend some time with them this summer. Honestly, my first reaction is to say no, they are too young to travel by themselves but I know how badly they want to see them (it's been a couple years). My MIL says that Delta charges an additional fee to ensure the children are taken care of but that doesn't ease this momma's mind...the idea is pretty scary to me, they are my babies and I would die if something happened to them. Have any of you had any experience with this?

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sdks2011

Asked by sdks2011 at 11:05 AM on May. 9, 2012 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 20 (9,157 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • I worked at a summer camp where we'd have kids fly in and we'd have to meet & sign for them at the airport... I did that part for years. We never had any issues that I know of. Look at the airlines "unaccompanied minor" rules & regs, speak to the airlines for more info... she if that helps your comfort level.


    http://www.delta.com/planning_reservations/special_travel_needs/services_for_children/children_traveling_alone/index.jsp


    http://www.southwest.com/html/customer-service/family/unaccompanied-minors-pol.html

    Crafty26

    Answer by Crafty26 at 11:14 AM on May. 9, 2012

  • **see if that helps** not she... sorry
    Crafty26

    Answer by Crafty26 at 11:21 AM on May. 9, 2012

  • I used to send my son from California to Texas starting at 5yrs old. Always SWA. They are very good about keeping them in the front. Whom gets to sit next to them and making sure ID is shown and the children are kept safe...... Its scary at first, but your kids seeing their grandparents and vice versa might be worth a few hours of nervousness.
    eluc

    Answer by eluc at 11:38 AM on May. 9, 2012

  • I am not sure if I could do it but honestly have you ever heard of anything happening to a little one flying unaccompanied?
    Melbornj

    Answer by Melbornj at 12:01 PM on May. 9, 2012

  • thank you Crafty, I will be reading that info here very shortly, maybe it will help ease my mind.

    thank you eluc, it is good to hear from a mom who has done this with her own child and had good experiences with it. Crafty was kind enough to provide me with a couple of links, one for SWA so I'm gonna read on it and see if I should suggest they look into tickets through SWA vs. Delta. Gonna compare the two and go from there...it helps to have another mommas recommendations on which airline they felt safest with.

    you are right Melbornj, I have not heard of anything at all. they would probably be fine and I'm just being a worry wart. If they were older, I think I would be more okay with it.

    I've thought about suggesting I meet them halfway but that puts us each on the road for two days...but the cost might be much less doing it that way and it would ease my mind. I'm gonna research first and go from there.
    sdks2011

    Comment by sdks2011 (original poster) at 12:23 PM on May. 9, 2012

  • I was 11 the first time I flew across country and continued to do so every summer until I was 18. I would not let my 6 year old fly alone but depending on how mature the 8 year old was I might consider it. Without a sibling I would definitely not let my child under the age of 8 fly alone, but again that would depend on maturity. I was pretty mature at 11 years old, had already flown enough times to know how an airport worked, what to do (and not to panic) if I got lost, I knew how to use a pay phone, I knew emergency phone numbers, I knew how to read my ticket information and to remember my flight number, etc. I think these are important things that a kid should be able to handle if they are to fly alone whether they are "assisted" or not.
    maecntpntz219

    Answer by maecntpntz219 at 12:28 PM on May. 9, 2012

  • I dealt mostly with Delta with my camp kids. I never had to deal with an issue even though many of our kids came in from places like The Dominican Republic, Japan, Europe, and mics US states - all flying into ME. I did have to show ID to accept the children, and the airlines needed to know who to expect at the gate ahead of time. They do take it very seriously. Good luck with whatever you choose to do ;o)

    Crafty26

    Answer by Crafty26 at 12:40 PM on May. 9, 2012

  • I wouldn't let my kids that young fly alone, even with the extra fee paid, unless it were a non stop flight. If it was and would be the two of them together I might consider it based on their maturity. I have a 10 and 12 yo now and I still wouldn't let them fly alone unless it were a non stop.
    missanc

    Answer by missanc at 2:17 PM on May. 9, 2012

  • I'm very tossed on this...in my heart, I feel they are too young and after talking with my DH a bit, he agrees they are too young as well. My 8 yr old is pretty mature for her age but I'm not sure if she is ready for this amount of responsibility. They would be flying together...if they were a few years older, it would be different. I am going to discuss meeting my in-laws halfway for them to get them and see how they feel about that before giving this much more thought. I think it will be cheaper in the long run and I will feel much more at ease doing it this way. I want them to have the opportunity to spend time with their grandparents, but I have to have a peace of mind about their transportation to and from.
    sdks2011

    Comment by sdks2011 (original poster) at 3:50 PM on May. 9, 2012

  • I have 2 kids flying alone to there grandma's in a couple weeks, my kids are 13 and 7 and have been flying since babies, it is a nonstop flight about 3 hour. we paid the extra fee's and i have talked with the airline. I think the fear is always there, with them being away from you but my kids r very mature and i have made sure they have things to do on plane and lot's of snacks. I am more worried about missing them, it will be so nice to have some time with my husband alone and we have made vacation plans. I would say you know your kids the best and if there ready, have they ever flown before?
    sabeena101

    Answer by sabeena101 at 11:59 AM on May. 11, 2012

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