When your child needs to travel alone preparing them well in advance will make the world of difference. If they know in advance what to expect it will make if fun for them and limit some of the fear or anxiety, especially for TSA.
- You should educate yourself and your child on the policies and procedures.
- They should know what to expect and how they should be handled by the airline and staff.
- Contact the airline for their policies on pricing, age requirements, flight cancellations and delays.
- Try to avoid a connecting flight if possible but if necessary give more than the minimum connecting time to avoid missed connections and possible stand by situations.
- Familiarize yourself with the connecting airport, the arrival and departure gates. Most airports have a website and layouts on their website.
- Try to book them during less busy times like the middle of the day and steer clear from late night flights that could result in a night at the airport.
- This is certainly a good time to give your child a cell phone if they don’t already have one and have them call or text you when they land and just before take-off when they’re on the plane and before the shut off electronic announcement. (Remember the two children who were scolded for violating this policy)
- They should also report to you any delays or cancellations to you immediately.
- Give them some cash for snacks and a gift card for emergencies.
- The most important thing is to have a plan and to make sure that the drop off and pick up persons have complete details on the process of an unaccompanied minor.