Spirit Airlines’ minor policy is very straightforward and also helpful for the minor’s parents and/or guardians. It is true that every parent/guardian is protective of their child, especially, If there are instances where a minor has to travel alone by air. Most parents/guardians may not feel comfortable letting their child travel alone on any airline. But, if they do, then the most worrying part of the travel is to make a reservation for the minor.
Spirit Airlines understands your concerns about your kid(s). That’s why the airline did not put lengthy terms and conditions section, especially regarding the flights and policies for minors. Spirit Airlines not only eases the process of making reservations for minors, but the airline is also ready to offer you discounted fares too.
In this travel guide prepared by Treknova, we will provide you with an insight into Spirit Airlines’ unaccompanied minor policy and the fees charged that you need to know.
A Detailed Overview of Spirit Airlines’ Unaccompanied Minor Policy
Spirit Airlines is a U.S. based ultra-low-cost commercial airline carrier that mostly caters to destinations in the United States, including Puerto Rica, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Latin America.
Now, as per their policy toward children travelling alone, who are referred to as “Unaccompanied Minors”, the airline carrier takes a strict and safe approach. This is required concerning the safety and smooth experience of children flying alone, whether on domestic flights or international flights. Spirit allows children to travel alone, but with a few restrictions.
The following highlights the policy, eligibility of children and which flights they are allowed to fly. Of course, there are also fees charged for the service rendered on-flight.
Eligibility for Unaccompanied Minors
Spirit Airlines allows children of certain ages to travel alone on their flights and to certain destinations only. Given below are the age requirements for children flying with Spirit.
(a) 4 years and minor: Children 4 years old and younger may not travel alone. Another guest who is at least 15 years of age must accompany them. It is pretty standard for airlines to prevent children four years old and younger from travelling alone and for good reason. That is just a little too young to be making your way through an airport all by yourself.
(b) 5-14 years: Children 5-14 years old must travel as an Unaccompanied Minor when not travelling with an adult who is at least 15 years old. Unaccompanied Minors are accepted only on direct flights which do not require a change of aircraft or flight number.
(c) 15 years and older: Guests that are at least 15 years old and older are not required to have Unaccompanied Minor service, but they may be asked to present a photo ID or birth certificate to verify their age. The Unaccompanied Minor service charge will be collected if guests who are at least 15 years and older if the service is requested.
Guidelines for Unaccompanied Minor travel in Spirit Airlines
Spirit Airlines has its own set of rules and regulations for the unaccompanied minor that should be followed by the passengers to stay out of any trouble in the future.
- First of all, you have to inform always when you booked your reservation for the unaccompanied minors.
- For unaccompanied minors, the check-in time limit is 60 minutes. So reach the airport and request check-in at least 60 minutes before the flight departure.
- At the time of check-in of the unaccompanied minor parents should fill out the minor form with photo identification which is verified by the officials. This identification must be worn by the minors throughout the flight so that their employees identify the unaccompanied minor.
- The person who is dropping off for unaccompanied minor should need to request a gate pass till the flight takes off. Gate pass is issued to the nontravelers only if they provide their valid Id which is issued by the government.
- The person who is dropping off the minors and entering with the gate pass issued by the officials should remain at the gate until the flight takes off.
- Te children or minors should be reached at the airport at least 1 hour before so that the minors will be pre-boarded to ensure the introduction with the flight attendant because the flight attendant is the only person available on the flight for the help of the unaccompanied minor.
- The guardian or the parent who is picked up at the destination airport should need to reach the airport early and get the gate pass to enter and the Flight attendant will determine the custodian as per mentioned in the minor form then they escort off the minor to the custodian. These steps are taken to prevent the abduction of the minors.
Thus, from the guidelines mentioned above, Spirit Airlines takes crucial measures for the safety of children who are travelling as Unaccompanied Minors.
Permitted Flights For Unaccompanied Minors
Spirit Airlines has mentioned in its policy which flights and destinations are permitted to unaccompanied minors. Minors are accepted only on direct flights which do not require a change of aircraft or flight number. So, parents/guardians cannot send their children(unaccompanied minors) on a connecting flight.
Unaccompanied minors are also not allowed on international flights. Do note that domestic flights include Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Unaccompanied Minor Booking Reservation & Fees Charges
Fees are charged to unaccompanied minors for in-flight services. Spirit Airlines’ unaccompanied minor service fee is $100 per person each way. When compared to fees of other U.S. airline carriers, a fee of $100 for a minor is not cheap, but it is cheaper than the legacy carriers.
While the fees for unaccompanied minors are quite reasonable, you should also be aware of how the baggage fees apply for Spirit Airlines, since they are a bit different from the legacy carriers. For example, Spirit charges a certain fee for carry-on items. Also, the prices for both the carry-on and checked baggage increase as you approach your departure date. So, you need to be mindful of how much baggage you will need when booking online.
When you book the reservation, make sure you select that a child is flying and supply the necessary birthday information. You can find out how to do that in the later section.
Unaccompanied Minors Boarding and Pickup Process
Spirit recommends that you check-in at the gate at least 60 minutes prior to departure. However, it is advised to get to the check-in area at least 90 minutes prior to departure to be on the safer side. You must consider the factors that will take a little more time to process the unaccompanied minor form, get the lanyard printed out, and you also have to think about checked baggage, including any unexpected security checks, like the “SSSS” that could slow down your check-in process.
Getting to the Gate
The person dropping off the child at the airport is required to request a gate pass at the Spirit reservation counter. The person can only then escort the child to the gate and remain in the gate area with the unaccompanied minor until after the flight takes off.
Gate passes will only be issued to non-travelling persons that have a valid government-issued photo ID. So, do not forget to carry an ID proof along with you.
If you are dropping off an unaccompanied minor, your job does not stop at check-in. You are expected to obtain a gate pass that will allow you to get through security and on to the gate where the boarding will take place.
Boarding process for the Unaccompanied Minors
Spirit allows unaccompanied minors to enter the plane during pre-boarding. They are the first passengers to board and the boarding process is a little less stressful. If, however, the unaccompanied minor arrives late and does not make it in time for pre-boarding, they will be the last to be boarded.
This just underscores the need to get to the airport early, especially if your child is not necessarily very comfortable with flying alone.
Spirit’s policy requires that the person dropping off the child (minor) must remain at the airport for 15 minutes after the flight takes off. It is a common requirement for the parent/guardian to remain at the gate for 15 minutes after the flight’s departure, just in case something happens and the plane is forced to return to the gate.
Thus, if you are dropping off a child, just give yourself enough time to escort them all the way through security to the gate, then an additional 15 minutes after departure. Keep in mind that delays can happen, so try to be conservative with allocating yourself enough time for such situations.
Procedure after Arrival for Unaccomapnied Minors
Spirit makes it clear that when the flight arrives at its final destination, the child must be escorted off the aircraft by a flight attendant and released to the person designated on the Unaccompanied Minor form or to a Spirit employee.
Since flights often arrive several minutes early, it is, therefore, advised that you arrive at the airport at least 60 minutes prior to the scheduled landing time.
In-flight Services for Unaccompanied Minors
Spirit Airlines offers snacks and drinks on board to unaccompanied minors. While the airline offers children some snacks and drinks, only you know your kid’s appetite better than anyone else. So, it would probably be a good idea to send them flying with some snacks packed that you know they will like.
Also, you may need to think about what type of entertainment your child will need in order to keep them busy on the plane.
Cancellation and Change Fees for Unaccompanied Minors
Unlike other airlines, there is no reserved area for unaccompanied minors. So, if you do not purchase a seat, the child will be given a random seat.
Also, be aware of the Spirit cancellation and change fees for Spirit Airlines. Unlike other airlines, where you can make changes for free, you will have to pay fees to make changes on Spirit Airlines. Below are the change fees charged for the type of ticket purchased:
(a) Regular tickets: The change fee for a regular ticket is $90 for modifications made online or $100 for modifications made at the airport or over the phone. Same-day flight changes, or standby for an earlier flight, will be $99.
(b) Flex Flight tickets: This ticket type has no change fees for the first modification made online. However, after the first modification, you will be charged the standard change fee of $90 for modifications made online or $100 for modifications made at the airport or over the phone.
(c) Award ticket: The change fee is $110 for modifications made. Keep in mind that modifications can only be made over the phone.
Procedure for Booking Reservation for Unaccompanied Minor
Below are the steps to book a reservation online for your child travelling as an unaccompanied minor.
- Visit Spirit Airlines’ website https://www.spirit.comusing your desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone device.
- When you’re on their website, go to the flight booking option to add an unaccompanied minor. Be sure to select that a child is travelling on the flight and you will need to input the child’s information, such as their date of birth.
- After you input your flight details and select to search flights, a window will pop up asking you to provide the child’s date of birth. Enter the child’s date of birth and click the “Continue” button in order to proceed.
- The next screen will tell you if your child is eligible to fly as an unaccompanied minor and will also break down the fees for you. Simply click the “Accept” button to proceed with the reservation.
Note: The price of the airfare will include the $100 unaccompanied minor service fee. So, if you want to save on airfare tickets you should consider looking into the $9 Fare Club. This club will help you save on airfare and also on baggage fees.
You can also book a flight for your minor by contacting Spirit Airlines customer service centre at +1 855 728 3555. You may be able to grab the cheapest flight for your child.
Spirit Airlines has quite a typical unaccompanied minor policy and service fee. The $100 service fee may be on the lower side and the age requirements are roughly similar to that of other airline carriers in the United States.
However, an important thing to keep in mind is that unaccompanied minors are not allowed on international flights, and are also not allowed on connecting flights. So, if you wish to have your kid(s) fly by themselves to an international destination or need connecting flights, then other airlines will allow you to do that.