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American Airlines Unaccompanied Minor Policy, Fees and Forms

When your child must travel alone, American Airlines renders a special assistance to such children under their so-called Unaccompanied Minor policy.

In this travel guide prepared by Treknova, we will take a look at American Airlines’ unaccompanied minor policy in detail, including fees and forms.

An Overview of American Airlines’ Unaccompanied Minor Policy

American Airlines is one of the major airline carriers in the United States catering to several domestic and international destinations. Both young and old people travel daily, of which, children are amongst them as well.

Thus, their unaccompanied minor policy states that children aged 5-14 years are required to be accompanied through the airport for which an additional fee will also be charged.

Additionally, there are several limitations and restrictions that apply depending on the age of your child and potentially the location of their travel. So, be sure to keep reading below for more details.

Children Eligible to Fly on American Airlines Flights

There are certain eligibility criteria for children travelling alone that are regulated by American Airlines, also acknowledging children’s safety and smooth experience.

Children travelling alone

We want your child to have a safe and positive trip. For safety, we require children aged 5-14 years travelling alone to use their unaccompanied minor service. For children aged 15-17 years, this service is optional.

Children aged 2-14 years can travel as an accompanied minor with someone who is at least 16 years or older.

Age restrictions for unaccompanied minors

Below are the age groups for children who are permitted to travel on American Airlines flights.

(a) Children aged 0-4 years: Children of this age group are restricted from flying alone.

(b) Children aged 5-7 years: Children of this age group have the following restrictions:

  • Unaccompanied minor service is required
  • Gate escort and guardian contact is required
  • Can fly on no-stop flights only

(c) Children aged 8-14 years: Children of this age group have the following restrictions:

  • Unaccompanied minor service is required
  • Gate escort and guardian contact is required
  • Can fly on no-stop flights, or any connecting flight through Charlotte, NC (CLT), Washington Reagan, D.C. (DCA), Dallas Forth Worth, TX (DFW), New York, NY (JFK and LGA), Los Angeles, CA (LAX), Miami, FL (MIA), Chicago, IL (ORD), Philadelphia, PA (PHL) and Phoenix, AZ (PHX)

(d) Children aged 15-17 years: Children of this age group have the following restrictions:

  • Unaccompanied minor service is required
  • Gate escort and guardian contact is required
  • Can fly on no-stop flights, or any connecting flight through Charlotte, NC (CLT), Washington Reagan, D.C. (DCA), Dallas Forth Worth, TX (DFW), New York, NY (JFK and LGA), Los Angeles, CA (LAX), Miami, FL (MIA), Chicago, IL (ORD), Philadelphia, PA (PHL) and Phoenix, AZ (PHX)

Flight restrictions for children travelling alone

American Airlines does not allow children to travel alone when their trips include the following:

  • Flights on another airline including Codeshare and Oneworld partners.
  • Ground or co-terminal connections where the child must transfer from one local airport to another.
  • The last flight of the day from the final connection city (unless it is the only flight).
  • Overnight connecting flights.

Unaccompanied Minor Services and Fees

American Airlines provides special assistance service to unaccompanied minors travelling on their flights. Their service includes the following:

  • Early boarding to allow extra time to get settled and meet the flight attendants.
  • Kids-only lounges in our hub cities for flight connections.
  • An airport escort to help your child to the gate for flight connections.
  • Escorting the child to the authorized adult picking them up when they land.

However, keep in mind that since the flight attendants may be busy with onboard duties, they can’t continuously monitor your child during their flight. So, let your child know to ring the call button if they need anything.

American Airlines charge a $150 unaccompanied service fee (plus tax, where applicable) each way, in addition to the ticket price. This fee covers additional siblings on the same flight. So, your child’s round-trip will cost $300 in service fees along with the remaining tax (plus the amount of your airline ticket).

If there are two or more unaccompanied minors from the same family, then you only have to pay the $150 service fee for a one-way trip. For example, if you have three children set out on a one-way flight the total that you would have to pay is $150 (plus tax).

Temporary Changes to Food and Drink Service

Food and drink service is currently limited. So, it is recommended that you pack snacks like a sandwich, chips and cookies for your child to enjoy during their flight. Also, be sure to pack extra snacks if your kid(s) trip includes a connecting flight.

How to Book Reservation for Unaccompanied Minor

American Airlines requires that booking reservations for an unaccompanied minor must be done by contacting their customer service centre on the phone. However, keep in mind that trips ticketed by American Airlines reservations offices, airport ticket counters or travel centres in certain countries or regions are subject to a service charge.

Keep in mind that AAdvantage Web Special awards can only be booked online. But, if you call, an agent can help you find another award.

You can book a reservation for your kid(s) by phone at 1 800 433 7300. The service is available 24 hours within the U.S. and Canada.

Things to Consider and Tips for Parents/Guardians

There are, of course, a few important things that parents/guardians should take note of when sending their kid(s) to fly alone and also when receiving their children at the airport.

Preparing for travel

Whether your child has travelled alone or this is their first time, it is recommended to talk with them about the trip and what to expect. Assure them the team is there to help keep them safe.

Here are some helpful tips to prepare for your child’s trip:

  • Point out the team uniforms at the airport. Remind your child to ask for help only from a uniformed team member.
  • Write down phone numbers for your child.
  • Pack snacks, games, books and money in one small carry-on.
  • Attach an ID card and contact information to your child’s carry-on bag or jacket.
  • Fully charge any electronic devices, and do not forget to pack chargers and headphones.
  • Be sure your child knows to wait for a team member to walk them off the plane when they land (this includes older children using the airline’s service).

American Airlines does not hold or give personal medication to an unaccompanied child.

At the airport

(a) Check-in and required documents

Arrive at least 2 hours before the scheduled departure time of your child’s flight and speak with a ticket counter agent. Children travelling alone are not permitted to check-in online or at the kiosk.

You will need to fill out an unaccompanied minor form and any necessary Customs and Immigration documents for the day of departure. This form must remain with your child during their journey.

At check-in, parents/guardians will also need to provide the following:

  • A birth certificate or passport as proof of the child’s age
  • The adult’s government-issued photo ID with their current address
  • Your phone number so we can contact you
  • The name, address and phone number of the adult meeting your child at their destination

Once your child is checked in, the ticket agent will give you a security pass from the airport ticket counter so you can take your child to the gate.

(b) Boarding and takeoff

Here are some things to consider for a smooth departure:

  • An adult must take the child to the departure gate and stay until the flight is airborne.
  • When you get to the gate, tell the gate agent you have an unaccompanied minor travelling on the flight.
  • The airline’s administrative staff will board your child early, so they can meet the flight crew and learn about the plane’s safety features.
  • The gate agent will let you know when the flight is airborne and you can leave the airport.
  • Parents/guardians will need to contact the adult picking up your child to let them know they are on their way.

(c) During the flight

The flight attendants will check on your child as duties allow, but they can’t continuously monitor your child throughout the flight.

So, it is important to remind your child to:

  • Tell a flight attendant if he or she needs assistance or feels discomfort.
  • Follow plane safety instructions, like wearing their seatbelt.
  • Wait for a uniformed team member to escort them off the plane once it arrives at the gate.

(d) Unaccompanied minor lounges

If your child has a connection, American Airlines have lounges for unaccompanied minors in the airports listed below:

  • Charlotte, NC (CLT)
  • Chicago, IL (ORD)
  • Dallas Fort Worth, TX (DFW)
  • Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
  • Miami, FL (MIA)
  • New York, NY (JFK and LGA)
  • Philadelphia, PA (PHL)
  • Phoenix, AZ (PHX)
  • Washington Reagan, D.C. (DCA)

While there, your child can wait for their connection and play games while supervised by American business partner personnel. These staff members will take your child outside the lounge to buy food and drinks, but they will not be allowed to walk around outside alone.

(e) Arrival and pick-up

For a seamless pick-up, remember to carry your government-issued photo ID. You will need to show it to get a security pass and meet the child at the gate (in the U.S.). You will also need to show it before your child is released to you.

It is advised to arrive at least 2 hours before the child’s scheduled arrival, so you have enough time.

(f) Flight status and notifications

You can stay connected with your child’s journey with flight notifications and also, remind the adult picking up your child from the airport to do the same. Be sure to get alerts for all flights on their trip.

Flight delays and cancellations

American Airlines will call the contacts on the unaccompanied minor form and arrange an alternate flight if your child is unable to make a connecting flight due to delays or cancellations.

In the rare case that your child needs to stay overnight because of a missed connection, the airline’s staff can arrange for overnight accommodations, meals and supervision. They will call if such a situation occurs.

Young adults (15-17 years of age)

If your young adult is not using the unaccompanied minor service and their flight is delayed or cancelled, you can remind them not to leave the airport for any reason unless they:

  • Are accompanied by a uniformed team member or police officer
  • Have spoken with a parent or designated adult

Also, be sure to tell your young adult to speak to a team member if they have questions or need help.

Children travelling outside the U.S.

You may not be able to escort your child through security in some airports. If this is the case, a team member will take your child to the gate and stay with them until the flight departs.

Children under 18 years may need a Letter of Consent to travel internationally without both parents.

Country-specific regulations

Some countries have additional restrictions for children travelling with guardians or as unaccompanied minors.

Conclusion – American Airlines Unaccompanied Minor Policy, Fees and Forms

Sending your unaccompanied minor through the airport to their destination does not have to be a very stressful experience. But, you definitely need to know about American Airlines’ unaccompanied minor policy, restrictions and rules for doing so. And also, try to make more effort for your minor to travel in comfort and throughout the process in the best possible manner.

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