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Old 07-12-2008, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Portland OR
6 posts, read 50,467 times
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A relative who is 15 years old was sent to visit relatives via a flight with two connections. She has never flown by herself and does not have any credit cards so if there were problems in the connecting cities she would be in serious harm, in my opinion. What if her flights were cancelled and she had to try to find a hotel for the night? Would the Airport Hotel rent a room to someone who has cash but no credit card that age? Would someone that age know about standby and cancelled flights?

She has alot of travel experience but with parents and other relatives along.
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Old 07-12-2008, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
10,732 posts, read 31,784,257 times
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I don't think I would do that. When I flew at that age, I always had a direct flight.
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Old 07-12-2008, 10:01 AM
 
Location: The Big D
14,874 posts, read 37,253,110 times
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She would be classified as an "unaccompanied minor" by the airlines and they would be responsible for getting her to each connecting flight. If there was a delay of any kind she is NOT responsible for paying for a hotel room - the airline is (there are some tricky catches w/ what they cover and don't cover but being a minor they should handle it). It would not be the first time a unaccompanied minor got stuck in a connecting city at all. j

My children are just about "expert fliers" for domestic and international. If I had to I think I could let my 15 y/o go alone even on a flight w/ a connection. However, I'd find the flights w/ no connections if at all possible and if I had to just 1 connection but not 2. It usually costs more to go nonstop or only 1 connection but worth it.
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Old 07-12-2008, 10:14 AM
 
12,617 posts, read 28,098,945 times
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I wouldn't. My 15 year old just flew alone to the mid-west last week but we didn't register him as an unaccompanied minor and even at check in the rep had no problem with him flying alone. Actually, he flew alone last year as a 14 year old also. BUT, direct flights are so different, I would not do two flights, the chance of a missed connection is too high.

However, when flying cross country if you want to fly on a certain airline, i.e. Northwest, then you may have to make at least one stop. I'm guessing economics played a big part in the choice.
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Old 07-12-2008, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood, DE and beautiful SXM!
12,054 posts, read 20,253,959 times
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No way. Too many things happening to young people today.
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Old 07-12-2008, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
343 posts, read 846,241 times
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Sure, why not? 15 is old enough to take responsibility for things like that and airports are some of the safest places in the country. Being able to travel alone is a very important adult skill set. I say, you owe it to you 15 year old daughter to let her do this.
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Old 07-12-2008, 11:30 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 58,387,722 times
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Library 56: Am I reading correctly from your post that the 15 year old already made the trip but that you're questioning the parents' good judgement in having sent her solo? I don't have much experience but my brother and sister-in-law sent their then 15 year old all the way from England to visit me in the Caribbean some years ago - direct flight to Puerto Rico then on to St Thomas. He was of course sent as an "unaccompanied minor" and the airline personnel took excellent care of him from the moment he set foot on the 'plane in England all the way through to when I met him at the gate on St Thomas. He was never left alone at any point and thoroughly enjoyed all legs of his journey. Cheers!
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Old 07-12-2008, 12:41 PM
 
12,617 posts, read 28,098,945 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Library56 View Post
A relative who is 15 years old was sent to visit relatives via a flight with two connections. She has never flown by herself and does not have any credit cards so if there were problems in the connecting cities she would be in serious harm, in my opinion. What if her flights were cancelled and she had to try to find a hotel for the night? Would the Airport Hotel rent a room to someone who has cash but no credit card that age? Would someone that age know about standby and cancelled flights?

She has alot of travel experience but with parents and other relatives along.
Please read the post - The OP said 1) this was a relative 2) NOT a direct flight. The chance of missing the connections is the concern, not the traveling.

Missing connections can be a horrible experience for an adult with a credit card, let alone an underage child. Most hotels will not let you reserve a room if you are under 21 and spending the night alone in an airport can be unnerving if not unsafe.
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Old 07-12-2008, 12:46 PM
 
Location: The Big D
14,874 posts, read 37,253,110 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toobusytoday View Post
Please read the post - The OP said 1) this was a relative 2) NOT a direct flight. The chance of missing the connections is the concern, not the traveling.

Missing connections can be a horrible experience for an adult with a credit card, let alone an underage child. Most hotels will not let you reserve a room if you are under 21 and spending the night alone in an airport can be unnerving if not unsafe.
Yes, I did read the OP's post.

1. If the OP is NOT the parent there is not much they can do about it. Doing too much protesting just becomes butting in to where they don't belong No need to cause a family rift for something that for the most part can be COMPLETELY safe.

2. My children have experienced missed connections and delays while traveling with us. Hopefully they have been paying attention.

3. The airline is RESPONSIBLE for the hotel NOT the passanger no matter what age they are. Just recently on the local news two VERY YOUNG unaccompanied minors were delayed overnight at their connection point. The airline personnel stayed w/ them the ENTIRE TIME, got them a hotel room right at the airport, got them there and STAYED THERE with them and got them back to the airport for the rest of their journey.

The kids can probably handle a delay or missed connection a LOT better than most adults.
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Old 07-12-2008, 02:18 PM
 
12,617 posts, read 28,098,945 times
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Momof 2d,
I don't think the OP was posting to ask us for a solution to the problem, I think she/he was just venting. I know I often have frustrating conversations with my husband about little problems at work and he right away jumps in with a solution when all I wanted was a, "Wow, that's tough honey. What are you going to do about it?" I think bulletin boards often serve as vent boards. Also, venting here is probably much better then getting into a family squabble as you correctly pointed out.

You DO NOT have to register your child as an unaccompanied minor, that is not a given. All three of my kids have flown by themselves without us registering them before they turned 16. I know three foreign exchange students (who did not speak English very well) that missed a connection last summer at O'Hare and were told just to wait for the next flight - in six hours. So they did, not realizing that there may have been other choices.

This is interesting - I just googled, "airlines, unaccompanied minors" and a quick look shows that each airlines interperts this differently. Here's the scoop from United,

"12-17 years (Optional)
Unaccompanied minor service is available, but not required, for this age group. We strongly recommend that teenagers who are not using our unaccompanied minor service be confirmed on flights early in the day. Unanticipated delays or cancellations and unexpected weather such as fog, snow, thunderstorms or air traffic congestion may disrupt flight schedules and result in misconnections. If delays result in travel the following day, United may not be able to offer overnight accommodations since many hotels will not accept minors aged 17 or younger.If unaccompanied minor service is requested, standard fees will apply.

If a child aged 12-17 years is traveling as an unaccompanied minor, he or she will be accepted under the conditions specified for unaccompanied minors aged 8-11 years."

Southwest only calls them unaccompanied if they are under 12!

Continental says, "Continental will allow unaccompanied minor travel only on Continental Airlines, Continental Micronesia, Continental Express and Continental Connection flights.
Unaccompanied minors under 5 years of age are not accepted.
Unaccompanied minors ages 5-7 may only travel on nonstop flights.
Unaccompanied minors ages 8-14 may travel on any flight (nonstop or connecting) operated by Continental, Continental Micronesia, Continental Express, or Continental Connection. However, travel will not be allowed on the last connecting flight of the day – unless the connecting flight is the only published service to that destination. Unaccompanied Minors are not accepted on flights which require an overnight stay in order to make a connection.
Special supervision for children ages 15-17 who are traveling alone will no longer be offered.
Children under the age of 15 traveling alone may not travel on any flights operated by Continental that connect to/from other carriers, including SkyTeam and other partners."

There's more but this post is probably long enough. My twenty one year old son says that I should be accompanied more then his younger brother!
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