While this may seem like an odd question to some, it is a commonly Googled question.
Minors who wish to visit relatives or visit colleges are among those under 18 years of age, who need to buy a plane ticket. However, as always, the regulations differ from airline to airline about actually traveling unaccompanied.
Can a Minor Buy a Plane Ticket by Themselves?
The short answer is yes. Currently there is no regulation about the age requirement to buy a plane ticket. With the internet accessible to everyone, children can purchase a ticket with no adult permission however it is when they get to the flying part which can become problematic.
Some airlines may require an adult to accompany a minor on the flight so it is advisable to check with the airline prior to flying.
Most airlines offer an accompaniment service, so minors can fly on their own, however this is specific to the airline and fees are charged for the service.
Do Minors Need ID Flying?
According to the TSA Website, those under 18 are classed as children and therefore do not have to have identification when flying domestically. They do state that the adult companion traveling with them will be required to have identification. Details of the types of identification that are accepted are also listed on the TSA website.
Of course if anyone is flying internationally, you are required to have a valid passport and any visa documentation. Ensure you check your passport expiry date as some destinations require a certain amount of time remaining before your passport expiry date.
How do you Buy a Plane Ticket for a Minor?
While the actual purchasing of an online flexi flight can be done without showing ID at the time of booking, when it comes to flying on a ticket like this, you may find yourself facing some difficulties. In most cases online reservations won’t allow the booking to go through if you are under the age of 11 and in some cases 15. And you certainly cannot lie about your date of birth.
The best way to purchase a plane ticket for a minor is to call the airline reservation line directly or use the services of a travel agent. This way you will ensure you do not miss out on any important information from the airline’s policies of traveling as a minor.
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How do Minors Travel Unaccompanied?
Most airlines require traveling minors to check in at a service desk and not a self-serve kiosk. This is to ensure the child is checked in by an adult that is aware they are traveling. In most cases that adult will be required to produce a photo ID to check the child in. Most airlines consider children between the age of 5 and 11 to be unaccompanied minors, therefore you will be faced with additional fees for the services these children will need. Children are to be checked in to a designated airline staff member, who then hands them to the registered receiver at the destination.
It is recommended that the traveling minor is booked onto a direct flight. Not only does this make the traveling less stressful on the child but also keeps the additional fees down that come with the service.
Offering to accompany a minor during a flight is a service that most airlines offer and is more common than you think. There is no need to be nervous when doing this for the first time as you will be assured you have a specifically trained professional assisting the minor during their flight.
Always check the rules and regulations for your chosen airline and don’t be afraid to ask any questions.