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Advice on an 11 year old flying alone for the first time...

My son will be flying to see his father in a few weeks...and it is the first time he is flying alone. In fact, it is the first time he is flying, so I am a bit concerned about that. At first he was nervous, but then I showed him the airline website where they explained the policies and procedures for unaccompanied minors and he agreed to the trip. He seems to be okay with the whole idea now, but I do hope we don't have a problem at the last minute. Has anyone had any experience with this? Any ideas to make it easier for him?

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Asked by BJoan at 2:08 PM on Jun. 17, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 6 (114 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • I flew alone at that age, they had the flight attendants walk me on the plane first and get off first and they always sent extra time with me during the flight. I loved it.

    Answer by HolliBerry21 at 2:11 PM on Jun. 17, 2009

  • Give him a few things to do while he is flying so he's not too bored. Make sure you stay positive and tell him with a smile "you will do great" If you dont act too concerned he should be fine. Make it an exciting adventure and send a camera so he can take pictures everyday and show you all kinds of fun stuff.

    Answer by ria7 at 2:12 PM on Jun. 17, 2009

  • My boys have flown quite a few times alone, both together and totally alone. They love it. My oldest son is 12 and just flew and changed planes by himself (he is considered an adult on South west lol) and did it all like a champ! I make sure to pack something to keep them busy, snacks and also show them online flight tracker ( the day or two before with their actual flight number and refresh it off and on to see where the plane is at so he can see his actual flight land etc, plus let him know you will be watching while he is in the sky :-) who is he flying? I used to fly alone all the time. I loved it, the attendants will treat him great too. It will be a great adventure, you will be so worried but it is ok, that is normal. Hang in there!

    Answer by FLMomof3Boys at 2:17 PM on Jun. 17, 2009

  • and great responses! He is going to see his Dad who lives a 12 hour car ride away, and he only gets to see him every few months. If he can fly by himself, we will be able to get him to see his Dad more often....He really hates 12 hours in the car and that is a motivator too. I will share your responses with him and I am sure that will make him feel even better about it! Once he does it, I am sure he will like it....I will call it a fun adventure for him and keep myself upbeat about it. I am fine with it, as long as he is but I don't want him to mistake my concern about his feelings for concern about the flight or the traveling itself. Sounds great...thanks again!

    Answer by BJoan at 2:32 PM on Jun. 17, 2009

  • My son has been flying alone since he was 8 my sis and mom live 3000 miles away and like him to visit at least once a year. We always pay extra and get him a flying companion its there job to see that he is comfortable, safe and gets to his destination. We have never had any problems!!! He will have a great time!!!


    Answer by JULIAN01 at 2:41 PM on Jun. 17, 2009

  • son's grandmother, aunts and cousin also live far away in the same general area as his Dad and this will allow him to see them more often as well....we will pay the extra money to get the help for him through the unaccompanied minor program and I think he will be just fine too. I am sooooo happy that I am getting such supportive responses....I was worried that people would be telling me it is a bad idea. What a relief! And I am letting him know about the great things people are saying, which is support to him as well.

    Answer by BJoan at 5:04 PM on Jun. 17, 2009

  • My daughter has flew alone since I could remember, since the airlines allowed it, I think since she was 5. She flies 10-11 times a year ALONE. Her dad lives in L.A. Your son will be fine, the flight attendant escorts and watches them. You have nothing to worry about.


    Answer by BingsMommy at 11:34 PM on Jun. 17, 2009

  • Is he flying on a direct flight? If so, that is really pretty simple. I'd be a bit more concerned if he has a stop over - but even then, he will always with with an attendant, so there should be no issues. I certainly would explain to him if there is any issue, he can always ask an attendant (and show him how to recognize them) and my rule of thumb to my young kids (like at the mall) us that if you can't find an 'official' person, go up to a mom with a stroller and ask for help.

    Also, when he gets his ticket, since he is 11, I'd read it with him - show him the origin & destination cities, his seat number, the airline & flight number, etc. just so he is comfortable and feels in control of the situation. Also, make sure he has back up info to contact you or his dad.

    He really will be fine. And yes, pick out some books or magazines to take, pack a snack, give him some money to buy a soda on the plane, etc.

    Answer by PhillyinFrance at 10:14 AM on Jun. 22, 2009

  • Thanks for the helpful answers! I feel so much better...He won't have to change planes. He is leaving really early in the morning, which is good for him because he won't have time to think all day....he will be there before he knows it! He seems okay with I think it will be fine. Thanks again to all of you!

    Answer by BJoan at 10:19 AM on Jun. 22, 2009

  • Ladies....
    I googled "can an 11 year old fly alone?" and this page popped up.

    Cafemom Answers has the answers to everything.

    Answer by meooma at 4:39 PM on Apr. 19, 2012

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