Kids Traveling Alone? What You Need to Know

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Perhaps little Johnny is going over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house this summer. Or maybe he's visiting another relative or family friend. Either way, it might mean your child flying by himself. And that's OK - as long as you review your airline's policies and get prepared beforehand. Unaccompanied minor - that's airline lingo for a child traveling alone - policies are different for each airline. However, no child younger than five is allowed to fly alone. From the ages of five to seven, kids must fly on nonstop flights, never stopping to change planes. And from ages 8 and up, if there is a plane change, then airline personnel must escort the child to his connecting gate, usually at a significant markup from the usual charge for helping an unaccompanied minor. Some airlines don't allow connecting flights for children younger than a certain age - for example, Southwest Airlines doesn't allow it for kids aged 12 and under; JetBlue's cutoff is age 15. Most airlines do charge an escort fee, regardless - usually between $75-100, but if siblings travel together, then it's usually just one flat fee for all children traveling together.