1. Travel
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Unaccompanied Minors - Airport Procedures

Airport Procedures


A number of airports will have a specific area for checking in unaccompanied minors, or other passengers requiring special assistance. Look for signs that indicate this, or ask an airline representative before joining the regular check-in line.

  • Once at check-in you will be asked to provide information about the unaccompanied minor. Airlines complete forms that normally include the child's identification; flight itinerary; a parent or guardian's authorization; and the details about who will be meeting the child at the destination (may require all or any combination of phone number, address, name, and relationship to the child).
  • Airlines also have items to help keep track of unaccompanied minors. Airlines may provide a baseball cap, pin or button, or a lanyard (a hanging tag worn over the neck) in order that the child may be easily identified by all airline staff.
  • An airline representative takes the unaccompanied minor through security and brings them to the gate where the child will be escorted on board by an airline representative, normally prior to other passengers.
  • The adult who brings the unaccompanied minor to the airport is required to stay until the airplane departs. Stay within earshot of the airport representative who checked the child in so that you can be advised of when the aircraft has left. It is advisable to remain at the airport not only until the aircraft has pushed away from the gate, but until the flight is airborne. This way you'll have the peace of mind knowing that the child is truly headed for their destination.
  • During the flight, the unaccompanied minor is supervised by the inflight crew. Upon landing at the destination the child will wait until the passengers not requiring assistance have left the aircraft, and the inflight crew will hand the child over to a member of the airline's airport staff. The airline representative then escorts the child to the arrivals area to meet up with the meeting party.
  • After verifying photo identification, the unaccompanied minor is given over to the person who was designated to meet the child at the destination.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.