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Old 12-23-2011, 09:21 AM
 
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I've sent my kids on flights as unaccompanied minors many times. I will grant you this; it isn't something that all kids should do. However, my kids were matured, experienced flyers, familiar with emerency procedures. I NEVER put them on a connecting flight, always sent them with food, books, games, etc. Most flights were 60 minutes or less. If I was depending on flight attendants to take care of them, I wouldn't have sent them in the first place. But amusing themselves for an hour or so wasn't too much for my kids.
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Old 12-23-2011, 10:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jasper12 View Post
As a former flight attendant, I think people have a completely different perception of what happens when you put your child on a plane alone. Especially at the holidays.

On Southwest, they fly 737's, with a passenger load of 145 customers. And three flight attendants. Flight attendants are responsible for their job duties, which is safety, and customer service. Babysitting is pretty far down on that list. You may get lucky, and have a flight attendant who is a parent, and will take more responsibility than others. Most of the time, your child is herded tothe back, placed in a seat, and ignored, with everything else going on. They will get a drink, and pretty much expected to be self sufficient. Don't fool yourself into thinking someone is really watching your child. We don't even remember, especially on short flights, less than an hour and a half. That is the truth.

I would never put a child on a flight, that has connections, unless they are pretty old, like 11 or 12. There is too much that can go wrong, weather, diversions, and you have no clue who is taking care of your child.

As a flight attendant, my responsibilty is done at the door. The child is handed over to a gate agent, usually stressed, and overwhelmed.

There are stories I could tell you, that would horrify you, all true...I won't. Just take it from me... Don't expect airlines to take care of your child.
What else really need to be done with a chld on a plane? My kids have traveled alone. As long as they get on the plane ok, and get off the plane and released to the right person, why would they need constant supervision while they are on the plane? Of course, I am talking about school aged kids, not toddlers.
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Old 12-23-2011, 10:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
Due to newer homeland security laws, only ticket holders can be at the gate.
You can get a gate pass to accompany a minor to the gate.
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Old 12-23-2011, 01:50 PM
 
32,538 posts, read 29,325,866 times
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Anyone here ever sat on a plane next to an unaccompanied child? I have. Many times. One word to parents out there who do it: Talk to them about spilling family secrets to the nice lady sitting next to them. I don't know how many divorce stories I've heard. I've had family relationships explained to me. I've heard admissions that Mommy hates Daddy because he slept with the woman across the street. I've been told where kids live. Who they live with. What kind of car Daddy has.

Most kids are such blabbermouths. I've gotten off the plane, seen Daddy and wanted to give him advice on what he should do about the growth on the bottom of his foot.

(I've also held hands during take-offs and assured young kids that if something happens I will most certainly grab them and make sure we both get off the plane. And I've meant that very seriously. Someone here said they go over safety procedures with their child. Good for you! I've handed the exit instructions to the child next to me and said, "Let's read them together.")
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Old 12-23-2011, 02:48 PM
 
14,253 posts, read 14,738,973 times
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Originally Posted by Book Lover 21 View Post
I've sent my kids on flights as unaccompanied minors many times. I will grant you this; it isn't something that all kids should do. However, my kids were matured, experienced flyers, familiar with emerency procedures. I NEVER put them on a connecting flight, always sent them with food, books, games, etc. Most flights were 60 minutes or less. If I was depending on flight attendants to take care of them, I wouldn't have sent them in the first place. But amusing themselves for an hour or so wasn't too much for my kids.
This pretty much sums up how it was for my kids. They travelled UA to spend holidays with their grandparents. Relatively short flights (around 90 mins) and never any connections. They quickly became 'experienced' fliers and we never had any problems other than a little lateness (which wasn't a problem because the parent/grandparent was always at the gate).

I grew up in the UK and my sister was at boarding school. She would come home on the train .... 6 hours with stops. One time she got on the wrong half of the train and went to Edinburgh instead of Glasgow. But, other than that (and we worked that one out), there were never any problems. Kids travelling alone was pretty common in those days. I really do think that parents tend to be over protective and over focused on any 'potential' problems that might occur. Most kids are perfectly okay with reasonable length flights as a UA.
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Old 12-24-2011, 07:57 AM
 
Location: 500 miles from home
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I flew alone when I was about 11 - with one flight change. I remember it being so exciting but I was a little worried about the fight change. The stewardess was really nice and pointed me in the right direction.

Today though - not sure I would send my 11 year old on a flight alone. There just seems to be so many more crazies out there. It's a shame.

I was so proud of myself at the time!
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Old 12-24-2011, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Wherever life takes me.
5,944 posts, read 6,379,685 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ringo1 View Post
I flew alone when I was about 11 - with one flight change. I remember it being so exciting but I was a little worried about the fight change. The stewardess was really nice and pointed me in the right direction.

Today though - not sure I would send my 11 year old on a flight alone. There just seems to be so many more crazies out there. It's a shame.

I was so proud of myself at the time!
Are there really more crazies out there?
Or are there just more names for those illnesses and more publicity about the crazies?
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Old 12-24-2011, 08:37 AM
 
Location: 500 miles from home
27,248 posts, read 15,033,121 times
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Originally Posted by txtqueen View Post
Are there really more crazies out there?
Or are there just more names for those illnesses and more publicity about the crazies?
Is that a rhetorical question?
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Old 12-24-2011, 08:43 AM
 
47,576 posts, read 58,699,632 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txtqueen View Post
Are there really more crazies out there?
Or are there just more names for those illnesses and more publicity about the crazies?
I think there really may be more crazies out there.

They used to put people away in mental institutions and they've closed those. More people take psychotropic drugs both legal and illegal.

But really I don't know if there are.
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Old 12-24-2011, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Wherever life takes me.
5,944 posts, read 6,379,685 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ringo1 View Post
Is that a rhetorical question?
No I seriously want some answers.
Back then things were not talked about.
People didn't report things.

So you have to ask yourself, are things actually happening more often or are we just reporting more often?

Back in the 50's women would have never reported a rape and today women are more likely to do so without hesitation.
Back then you didn't have Nancy Grace telling you child predators are around every corner, now people can't go anywhere with their children without wondering if someone is a creeper or not.
People today are expected to report anyone they think is sketchy which results in some innocent people being reported for just being weird.

The word "creeper" is thrown around so easily. People are so easily to call someone a Pedo. Its now even a running joke with "Pedo bear".
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