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Should I let my child fly alone?

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Updated: 4/18/2007 9:11 am Published: 4/18/2007 9:11 am

Most airlines welcome children five years of age and older as passengers without an adult traveling companion. This is usually allowed even on international flights. These passengers, up to age twelve, are called unaccompanied minors. While this may be a new experience for your family, airline employees are accustomed to it. Each airline's policy will differ, but in general, children traveling by themselves are charged a full fare. Some major airlines also charge an additional fee for the extra handling and supervision unaccompanied children require. When you put your child on the plane, you'll give the child and supervising flight attendant the name, phone numbers, and address of the adult picking your child up. Of course, you'll have already provided this information during ticket reservation. Depending on individual policy, you may be allowed to get your child settled on the plane, but since the aircraft is a secured area, you'll probably be asked to say good-bye in the terminal. A flight attendant or other personnel will show your child where the bathrooms are, and demonstrate safety techniques. If your child is sick, keep in mind that airline employees usually aren't allowed to dispense medication, so you may want to consult a physician before your child boards the plane.

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