What are the laws about plane tickets for unaccompanied minors?

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Inside the Law: Unaccompanied Minor Regulations

October 25, 2018 - 4:30 am

By Amy E. Feldman, Judge Technology Solutions​

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- What are the laws about plane tickets for unaccompanied minors? 

Passengers on a Frontier Airlines flight to Orlando in July were diverted to Atlanta due to bad weather. It wasn't until 2:00 a.m. that the airline decided to put the passengers up at a Holiday Inn for the night.  

Oh, among the passengers were siblings ages 9 and 7, traveling unaccompanied to visit their grandparents. The parents just hired a lawyer because according to them, they were never notified by the airline and only found out where the kids were because the 9-year-old borrowed a cell phone to call them.  

If your kids have to travel by air alone, what is an airline's legal duty to protect them? 

Surprisingly, there are no Department of Transportation regulations on unaccompanied minors, but instead each airline sets its own policies. Most airlines will allow kids who are at least 5 to travel alone, but some say only on a direct domestic flight, and for an increased fee.  

Most require an earlier check in than for other passengers and for parents to fill out forms regarding the person receiving the child at the end of the flight.  

As for the flight itself, it's up to you to remind your kid how to behave, whom to contact if they are scared or bored, and that ordering the mini Jim Beams, or taking them out of the hotel minibar, is a no-no.