Delta Airlines, being one of the major U.S.-based airline carriers, ensures in their travel policy a safe and hassle-free experience for minors traveling without adults. Parents will always be concerned about their children flying solo, especially those that are below 14 years old. Therefore, this becomes the sole responsibility of the airline that is carrying children on board who are flying without the company of their parents and/or legal guardians. This responsibility is crucial until the child arrives at his/her destination and is picked up by their parents/guardians at the airport.
In this travel guide prepared by Treknova, we will provide you an insight into Delta’s Unaccompanied Minor policy and also, the fees charged for in-flight services.
A Detailed Overview of Delta Air Lines Unaccompanied Minor (UMNR) Policy and Fees
Delta Air Lines provides special services in their policy for children who are flying by themselves. Children of ages 5-14 years that are traveling without an adult (of age 18 years and above) are considered an Unaccompanied Minor (UMNR). These minors are also required to participate in the airline’s UMNR program, which seems mandatory.
Their policy also makes it clear that children aged 5-14 years must be accompanied through the airport for an additional fee. If the child is 4 years or younger, he/she must be accompanied by an adult passenger who is at least 18 years or older. It is important to note that several rules and restrictions may apply depending on the age of your child and potentially the location of their travel.
The airline’s Unaccompanied Minor service is mandatory for children of ages 5-14 years old. On the contrary, children of ages 15-17 years are not necessarily required to have unaccompanied service. However, Delta does provide such a service, delta airlines manage booking if requested by the person. Also, there is a service fee charged for the service offered.
In the following section, we will take a detailed look at the various regulations that are included in Delta’s unaccompanied minor policy.
(a) Documents Required
A parent or guardian must always be present at the time of check-in for the process to begin. If an unaccompanied minor arrives at the check-in counter alone, a Delta agent will not be permitted to complete the check-in process.
At the time of check-in, the adult present with the unaccompanied minor must provide the following documents:
- Photo ID (driving license, passport, etc.)
- Address (must match with the ID)
- Phone number
- Name, address, and phone number of the adult meeting the unaccompanied minor at the destination
Once the agent has both your and the minor’s information, you will then be responsible for paying the unaccompanied minor fee. A Delta agent should also review the program rules with you. The agent will provide a wristband, which the minor must wear at all times. The wristband contains a unique barcode that will be scanned at important points. This will allow them to track where the minor is. You will also be issued an envelope for the child that will contain all the travel documents, such as a boarding card, unaccompanied minor form, and additional travel documents, like passports, baggage claims forms and more.
When you arrive at the check-in gate, you should check in with the gate agent for verification reasons. The parent or the designated adult companion must remain at the gate until the flight has departed and taken off.
(b) Age Restrictions
The age restrictions are applicable to children depending on their age at the time of travel. However, keep in mind that the child’s age is strictly determined based on their age at the time of travel and not at the time of delta airlines reservation/booking.
(i) Children aged 4 years and younger: If the child is 4 years old and younger, the child may not travel alone and must be accompanied by a passenger at least 18 years old.
(ii) Children aged 5 to 7 years: If the child is 5 to 7 years old they may travel on some non-stop flights only.
(iii) Children aged 8 to 14 years: If the child is 8 to 14 years old they may travel on some non-stop flights and on some connecting flights only.
(iv) Children aged 15 to 17 years: Children who are ages 15 through 17 years are permitted to travel as standard passengers. But, you can still pay for them to travel as an unaccompanied minors if that makes you feel more comfortable.
As already mentioned above, children aged 15 through 17 years that are traveling without their parents/guardians can apply for the unaccompanied minor service, for which a certain fee will be charged.
(c) Connecting Flights Restrictions
Delta Air Lines provides strict restrictions when it comes to allowing unaccompanied minors on connecting flights. Thus, unaccompanied children are permitted to travel on connected flights, such as Air France and KLM. However, Delta does not permit unaccompanied children to travel on the last connecting flight of the day and on red-eye flights, which are flights between 9 pm and 5 am (local time).
Nonetheless, there are certain exceptions to this rule. One such exception is that if the qualifying connecting flight is not available, then the following flights will still be allowed:
- Domestic short-haul flights (which are non-stop flights that are two hours or less)
- International flights
- Flights to and from Alaska and Hawaii
- Markets with only one connection when it is the last flight of the day
If the minor is connecting through another city, the minor will be assisted by a Delta or business partner employee. If the child is connecting through certain cities, they might be able to take advantage of Delta Sky Zones. These offer special children-only areas where they can use complimentary phones and take advantage of certain activities suited for kids, like books, toys, and video games. Delta Airlines cancellation and refund policy.
Below is a list of the cities that offer Delta Sky Zones to unaccompanied minors:
- Los Angeles
- New York (JFK)
- Salt Lake City
(d) Medication Services In-flight
If your child needs any type of medicine administered to him or her, unfortunately, Delta is not able to give them that medication service.
(e) Flight Departure
When it is time for the aircraft to depart, a Delta employee should take your child on board before the general boarding begins. This will help to give enough time to introduce the child to the flight attendants and crew. Also, for the child to take their seat and get familiar with the aircraft and some of its features such as where the lavatory is.
You will not be allowed to board the aircraft with your child and instead will have to say your goodbyes from the terminal area. And remember, you need to stay in the area until the plane takes off, just in case the plane does end up returning to the terminal gate.
(g) Airport Pick up for Parents/Guardians of Minors
Delta mandates that a valid ID proof must be presented with the signature captured of the person meeting the minor at the time of pick-up. Delta will immediately refuse to release the child to any person other than the individual named for the minor’s pick-up.
The parent or adult picking up the child must arrive to the destination airport two hours prior to the scheduled arrival in order to have enough time to get a gate pass. If, for some reason, the person changes who is designated to pick up the child, they must call Delta to provide new information. The parent or guardian picking up the child will also have to sign an acceptance of responsibility form.
(h) Country Specific Regulations
There are certain rules with regard to children below the age of 18 years flying alone that may differ among foreign countries.
Below are a few country-specific regulations toward minors traveling without their parents/guardians:
Any passenger under 18 years traveling alone to/from Mexico must have a notarized letter with authorization from a parent and translated into Spanish. And, if not done so, they will be refused entry.
Passengers traveling with minors will be required to present additional documentation in order to enter or depart South Africa.
Unaccompanied minors who are of Italian citizenship and under the age of 14 years that are traveling internationally will have to have additional documents.
Service Fees Charged to Unaccompanied Minors on Delta Air Lines
Delta does, however, charge a certain amount as service fees with regard to having unaccompanied minors on their flights. The unaccompanied minor service fee charged by Delta is around $150 each way, including tax. The service fee is usually charged in US dollars if the child is departing from an airport located in the United States. Similarly, the service fee gets converted into Canadian dollars or Euros when departing from an airport located in Canada or Europe.
This service fee is made applicable to unaccompanied minors traveling within the U.S., but also to international travel on both non-stop and connecting flights. Also, keep in mind that this fee is charged in addition to the cost of the ticket.
The fee charged seems pretty reasonable for up to four children. So, if there are four unaccompanied minors, then you only have to pay the $150 service fee, which is a one-time fee. Thus, for example, if you have three children set out on a one-way flight, the total amount that you would have to pay as the additional service fee is $150 plus tax.
Delta’s Unaccompanied Minor Customer Service
Delta Airlines offers a dedicated phone line assistance service for unaccompanied minors traveling on their flights. Parents, guardians, and even travel agents can contact Delta’s customer service center on the phone number +1 (800) 325 8847 for assistance.
If you want to book a reservation for an unaccompanied minor, you can also contact unaccompanied minor reservations at the same phone number mentioned above. This is a dedicated phone number for unaccompanied minors.
At the time of booking the adult reservation, you will be provided a four-digit pin/number. This four-digit pin/number can be used, in case you wish to make any changes to that itinerary, so keep it somewhere safe.
Thus, we can see that Delta’s unaccompanied minor policy is pretty straightforward, especially when compared to other similar programs of other airline carriers. However, the key is to be aware of any possible restrictions with routing and connections and to also do your best to prepare your child for the hassle-free travel experience. They should be in good hands with Delta Airlines, so there is probably nothing to worry about, but it always pays to be prepared.