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minor travelling alone uk

  • Visas and immigration
  • Visit the UK

Visit the UK as a Standard Visitor

If you're under 18.

You may visit the UK if you’re under 18 and:

  • you’ve made suitable arrangements for your travel and stay in the UK
  • you have written consent from your parent or guardian to travel to the UK (if travelling alone)
  • you’re able to pay for your return or onward journey
  • you have enough money to support yourself without working or getting help from public funds, or you have family and friends that can support you

Travelling alone

You can travel to the UK without an adult (someone over the age of 18).

Your parent or guardian will need to provide their:

  • written consent for you to travel to the UK
  • full contact details

They’ll also need to provide proof that you have somewhere suitable to live during your stay in the UK, including:

  • the name and date of birth of the person that you will be staying with
  • an address where you will be living
  • details of your relationship to the person who’ll be looking after you
  • their written consent for you to stay with that person while you’re in the UK

If you’re not staying with a close relative

Your parent, guardian or school must tell the relevant local authority about your visit if you’re both of the following:

  • under 16 (or under 18 if you have a disability)
  • going to be looked after for more than 28 days by someone who is not a close relative (called ‘private foster care’)

You should provide a reply from the local authority if you have one.

The same rules apply to education exchange visits that last for more than 28 days, unless:

  • you’re part of a group that is travelling and staying together, for example a school group
  • you’re accompanied by an adult, for example a teacher

There are different rules in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Read the guidance for more information .

Travelling with an adult

You’ll need to show that your parent or guardian consents to your travel and accommodation arrangements. If you do not need a visa to travel, you’ll need to prove this at the border.

If you do have to apply for a Standard Visitor visa, you’ll need to identify the adult travelling with you in your visa application.

If the person you’re travelling with is not your parent, you’ll need to provide specific information about them in your application.

You can identify up to 2 adults in your visa application. Their names will appear on your visa. The adult can apply for a visa at the same time, but you must each complete separate applications.

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minor travelling alone uk

  • News & Blog

What do I need to consider if my child is traveling alone to the UK?

minor travelling alone uk

Are you embarking on a journey to the United Kingdom with your child? If so, the UK Child Visitor Visa, nestled within the UK Standard Visitor visa route, is designed for overseas nationals under 18 who wish to explore the UK for up to six months. This blog serves as your go-to resource, detailing the ins and outs of this visa and ensuring a seamless travel experience for you and your young explorer.

The UK Child Visitor Visa, a component of the broader UK Standard Visitor Visa pathway, caters to individuals below the age of 18 seeking a visit to the UK lasting up to six months. This visa allows holders to enjoy a stay in the UK for various purposes, including holidays, visits to friends and family, participation in recreational courses, receiving private medical care or undertaking a short course of study.

Not everyone necessitates a Visitor Visa to enter the UK. Therefore, it is imperative to verify whether a Visitor Visa is required before initiating the application process. Holders of the UK Child Visitor Visa can travel with or without an accompanying adult. However, eligibility requirements for the Child Visitor Visa differ slightly depending on whether the child is travelling with an adult or alone.

While it may be feasible to stay beyond six months for medical treatment, for stays exceeding six months, alternative visa options should be considered, which include the UK Student Visa, UK Child (Family) Visa and Child Dependant Visa.

Child Traveling Alone to the UK:

Children traveling solo to the UK, without an adult (i.e. a person over 18), must obtain written consent from their parent or guardian. The applicant’s parent or guardian must also provide:

  • Full contact details.
  • Proof of a suitable place to stay in the UK, including the address where the applicant will be staying, the name, contact details and date of birth of the host in the UK.
  • Details of the relationship between the applicant and the host, along with written consent for the stay.
  • If the host is not a close relative, the parent, guardian or school, they must inform the relevant UK local authority about the visit, if the applicant is under 16, or under 18 with a disability, and they will be staying with a distant relative for more than 28 days.
  • It is essential to note that the same rules apply to children travelling alone for educational exchange visits of more than 28 days, unless they are part of a group or accompanied by an adult.

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to  contact us  for advice, send us an  e-mail , or, alternatively, follow us on  X ,  Facebook ,  In stagram , or  LinkedIn  to stay-up-to-date.

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

© Gherson  2023

UponArriving

UponArriving

minor travelling alone uk

British Airways Unaccompanied Minor Policy Explained [2023]

If you want to send your child or a minor on a flight alone on British Airways, your booking experience might be quite different from many other airlines, especially those located in the US.

To help with some of the confusion, we’ve created a guide that will help you understand how British Airways treats unaccompanied minors and what you can expect.

So keep reading below for everything you need to know!

What is the British Airways unaccompanied minor policy?

British Airways does not have an unaccompanied minor service although they do allow children 14 years or older to fly alone.

If the child is 14 or 15 years old and traveling alone a parental/guardian consent form must be completed before travel.

Despite being one of the most popular airlines in the world, British Airways ended its unaccompanied minor service in 2016.

The program was called “Skyflyer Solo” and ended as a result of budget cuts and also reduced popularity of the program.

Reportedly, there was a big drop in the unaccompanied minors that used to fly between ex-pat hotspots like Hong Kong, Kenya, and the Caribbean.

The drop of the unaccompanied minor service appears to be unrelated to the legal issues British Airways dealt with related to sex discrimination.

Basically, British Airways would not allow men to sit next to unaccompanied minors which resulted in some legal issues until they ended the practice in 2010.

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

minor travelling alone uk

What are the British Airways unaccompanied minor fees?

Since British Airways does not provide an unaccompanied minor service they do not require any fees.

If you would like you can look into the Meet and Assist program available at London Heathrow.

Whether you are arriving, connecting, or departing, you can have a staff member help assist your minor at the airport from the beginning to the end of their airport journey. Prices may depend on the route but you can expect to pay around £125.00.

Related: British Airways Boarding Groups Explained

British Airways unaccompanied minor rules

Minimum age.

If a child is under 14 years old, they cannot fly alone under any circumstances. British Airways is very clear about this and as far as I can tell there are no exceptions.

However, if a child under 14 is traveling with someone 16 years or older on the same itinerary they will be allowed to fly. In that situation, I don’t believe any paperwork is needed.

If a child is 14 years old or 15 years old and traveling alone they must have a completed parent/guardian consent form filled out in order for them to travel.

The consent form is pretty basic.

It requires you to fill out contact information and also requires you to provide a copy of a signed identification form such as a passport.

The form does speak to the issue of handling a delayed or canceled flight where your child will need overnight accommodation.

The key is to make sure that you or someone else is available to pick up the kids from the departing airport in that situation.

If not, then British Airways will contact the authorities and/or child protection authorities to provide advice or care which just does not sound like a great situation.

The form also grants permission for the minor to travel by taxi or stay in a hotel room unaccompanied if there is a travel disruption away from the point of departure/destination.

minor travelling alone uk

How to book a British Airways unaccompanied minor reservation

Unlike many airlines that allow you to book special bookings for children, you cannot do this with British Airways online.

If you need to make a booking for someone under the age of 16 who is traveling solo, you will need to  contact British Airways  to make the booking. 

International flights

Unlike in the US were many unaccompanied minors are simply flying around the country domestically, in the UK a lot of flights will be headed to international destinations.

Since there is no unaccompanied minor service, your child of 14 years or older will be flying as an adult. This means that he or she will have to learn how to navigate the airport and get through customs and immigration on their own.

For that reason, you want to make sure that your child is responsible and mature enough to get through those areas without major complications.

Encourage the child to ask questions from officials in the airport that have uniforms on or that are working information desks.

Some airports are extremely easy to get around in while others can be more confusing, even for adults.

In some cases, you may be able to print out a map and show your kid where to go but sometimes that is much easier to do on paper than it is in real life.

Try to book nonstop flights

One thing that you can do to make life easier for the minor is to book nonstop flights.

Nonstop flights are usually recommended for younger kids under the age of 18.

This is for two reasons.

First, dealing with connections can be stressful and difficult especially if there is a limited time window and the airport is particularly large or confusing to navigate.

Also, if there happens to be a delay and the kid is forced to stay overnight they would have to check into a hotel and many hotels have age limits on checking in.

This is especially true in the US.

They may not allow a kid under the age of 18 to check in and that could be a very difficult situation to put your child in.

Make sure to get signed permission forms

If the minor is traveling internationally including Europe, the minor may need an official document signed by their parents or legal guardian(s) providing them with permission to travel.

There are  no universal EU rules  on permission forms for minors. Instead, each EU country decides if it requires the child to have an official authorization. You can search for the country your minor is traveling to here to see the requirements.

Also, the UK has special rules for taking children abroad. You are required to obtain permission of everyone with  parental responsibility  for a child or from a court before taking the child abroad.

I would suggest that you read up on this resource so that you don’t get charged with child abduction by failing to get permission!

In addition, you can search country specific requirements for various travel documentation here .

minor travelling alone uk

British Airways recommendations

British Airways has some specific recommendations to help your young traveler. Many of these are pretty much common sense but I’ve added some additional insight.

If you really want to get deep into all of the tips for traveling with unaccompanied minors, then you should check out our guide .

Verify the travel documents

You’ll want to make sure that the child has any necessary travel documents such as a valid passport, any visas, and proof of return travel (as required).

If you think the minor might lose the passport or travel documents, consider attaching them to a minor’s neck lanyard or something similar.

You might also think about using something like Apple ID tags for the minor’s luggage so that things can be easily tracked if lost.

Bring the signed consent form

Make sure that the child has the signed British Airways consent form and a copy of the parent/guardian’s passport or other form of photographic identification showing a signature attached to the form.

Ideally, the parent/guardian would take the child through the check-in process and verify that the travel documents and consent forms are sufficient.

It’s also always recommended that the parent or guardian remain at the airport until the plane has taken off.

If you want to take your child to the gate but are not able to do that, one trick is to book a fully refundable flight.

As long as you cancel that in time you won’t be out any money but the ticket should give you access through airport security and allow you to drop the minor off at the gate for a proper goodbye.

Any required medication and/or health certificates

Even with airlines that have unaccompanied minor policies, they usually state that they do not administer medication to minors.

And since British Airways does not have an unaccompanied minor service, you need to ensure that your child is well aware of how to administer his or her own medication.

Also, if there are any health certificates needed related to any conditions, make sure the child has them in their possession so that they can show them to someone in the event of an emergency.

Charged devices

You want your child to have the ability to communicate with their parent or guardian and also the individual who will be picking them up at their destination.

Make sure that the child has a fully charged mobile device with sufficient credit and roaming activated if needed. If you’re worried about the device going dead, you have a couple of options.

You can try to book an aircraft that has power outlets although that may not always be feasible. And even if the aircraft does have outlets the outlet being used by the minor could be out of service.

Second, you can buy a battery juice pack that will allow the minor to charge his or her device while traveling.

Something else to consider is that it should not be hard to find a plane with Wi-Fi .

You can go through the steps to help your child know how to connect and if they have issues they can even ask a flight attendant who should be able to assist.

This could help you to remain in communication throughout the flight if you would like more peace of mind.

Credit card or cash

You never know what type of expenses a child might have unexpectedly. They may need to buy a phone charger, a taxi to a hotel, a hotel night, a prepaid phone that works, etc.

It’s a really good idea to send some cash or a credit card with your child and just explain to them the parameters of using it.

Related airlines

Flights operated by SUN-AIR or Comair have different age requirements for unaccompanied minors.

They allow young children between the ages of 5 to 11 years to travel without a parent or legal guardian provided you contact the airline in advance. So be sure to look into those airlines if you would like to book an unaccompanied minor service.

Also, American Airlines is a partner of British Airways and they do have an unaccompanied minor policy that you can read about here .

Unfortunately, British Airways does not provide a traditional unaccompanied minor service to help young kids through the airport.

Instead, they simply don’t allow any kids to fly alone unless they are at least 14 years old.

This means that you need to take extra care to make sure your child is mature enough to handle navigating through an airport and that you take all the precautions necessary to ensure that you will be able to communicate with them throughout the process.

minor travelling alone uk

Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and the credit card app, WalletFlo . He is a former attorney turned travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, and CNBC. Read my bio .

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British Airways: Children Flying Alone

  • Planes & Seat Maps

What is Unaccompanied Minor Service?

Young children traveling without a parent or legal guardian are considered to be Unaccompanied Minors. Most airlines provide a service to assist these children from their point of departure to their final destination.

What age does my child have to be to qualify as an Unaccompanied Minor?

The service is mandatory for children ages 5-11 traveling without an adult who is at least 16 years old. Children under 5 years of age are not allowed to travel unless accompanied by an adult who is at least 16 years old.

What are the fees associated with this service?

In most cases British Airways will charge the adult fare for children traveling alone. In addition to the flight price, the Skyflyer Solo service fee per child, per sector, is approximately:

  • $50 for short haul flights and flights within the UK
  • $75 for long haul flights

Contact your local British Airways office or your travel agent for further information.

Are there any flight restrictions?

  • Children from age five upwards can travel alone only on a single sector, direct, non-stop flight.
  • Children from the age of six can travel alone on any British Airways flight.
  • Check that all visas and other formalities have been completed.
  • The Skyflyer Solo service must be booked and paid for together with your child’s flight. If not, cancellation and re-issue fees will be charged.
  • Skyflyer Solo service must be booked at least 48 hours in advance of the flight’s departure time.
  • Due to the lengthy process for gaining visa clearance for the escort on routes to Algeria, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Russia, British Airways offers only a limited number of bookings for unaccompanied children on these flights.
  • Skyflyer Solo service is not available on flight numbers BA001, BA002, BA003 and BA004 (Club World London City).

British Airways cannot accept:

  • children traveling on journeys which include a transfer between London Heathrow and London Gatwick airports.
  • children on journeys which involve a night-stop, transfer, or stopover exceeding six hours, unless you have arranged for your child to be met and cared for at the transfer point. Full contact details must be provided before the child can be accepted for their first flight.

How do I book this service?

Contact British Airways Reservations

SeatGuru was created to help travelers choose the best seats and in-flight amenities.

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Children travelling on aircraft

Children travelling abroad alone: the safety checks that need to be in place

D uring the recent summer holidays, 11-year-old Liam Corcoran left his home in Wythenshawe , caught a bus to Manchester airport and boarded a Jet2 flight to Rome. The tabloids had a field day, but the incident highlights a serious concern for the travel industry: child safety and protection.

Liam was escorted home on the return flight. But with millions of families jetting off on foreign holidays every year, what can the travel industry do to ensure their young charges arrive back unharmed?

Getting there

The fact that an 11-year-old could board a plane without a ticket or accompanying adult raises very specific issues. Airport security was clearly grossly inadequate. UK Border Agency rules do not permit children to fly without correct documentation or boarding pass.

Likewise, standard airline procedure requires security staff to check a child's boarding pass and passport at check-in and at the gate, as well as the boarding pass stub once the child is on board. A passenger headcount before take-off is also habitual – a procedure that Jet2 had discontinued, but has since reinstated.

Over and above these routine checks, special provisions are in place for children (generally defined as under-16) who are travelling without adults. Responsibility for these unaccompanied minors falls to the airline or their handling agent, clarifies Sarah Brookes, head of public affairs at Manchester airport.

Policies on unaccompanied minors differ from airline to airline. In the case of Jet2, it – supposedly – operates a blanket ban on children flying without an accompanying adult. Higher-end carriers are more lenient. British Airways, for instance, will carry unaccompanied children under 12 as long as they are registered under its Skyflyer Solo service.

The UK carrier insists that the child is checked-in in person, not online or at an airport kiosk, and that the adult stays in the airport until the plane has left. Other provisions include photographs of the person responsible for meeting the child at the other end.

Ferry and train companies exhibit a similar range of policies . Many ferry companies refuse to take unaccompanied children full-stop. Others have an age limit. Eurostar, for instance, will not take unaccompanied children under 12, but "will consider" taking children aged between 13-17.

Breaches are possible, but extremely rare, transport operators say. In Jet2's case, the airline undertook a thorough investigation following the Corcoran affair. "Revised procedures have now been implemented," clarifies Gaby O'Grady, a spokesperson for the airline.

Once on holiday

Travelling alone is the exception. The vast majority of children heading abroad for their holidays do so in the company of their family. Ensuring these child holidaymakers come to no harm starts with basic health and safety in their hotel or resort, insists Angela Hills, destination services manager at the UK travel trade association Abta .

Abta produces a Health and Safety Technical Guide, which includes child-specific safety measures, such as signing children in and out of the hotel, and notification of parents' contact details. Since the guide was introduced in 2003, Abta has distributed it to all its 5,500 members, plus around 40,000 suppliers.

At a facilities level, child-related risks tend to be wrapped up in general health and safety management, according to Barbara Powell, senior director of corporate social responsibility at the hotel chain Marriott International.

Where specific child protection policies kick in is to cover child violence or trafficking. Since the Madeleine McCann case in Portugal in 2007, such issues have become a top-line priority for the tourism industry, notes Abta's Hills.

Marriott follows many other large hoteliers and tour operators in having tailored training for all its employees on child protection and human rights . The training provides guidance on how to spot suspicious activity, as well as protocols on how to report it, Powell explains.

"We don't put this in the hands of an associate [hotel employee] as it's too sensitive", she states. "Instead, they are told to report it to their supervisor and then it goes through a chain of command in the hotel."

It falls to the hotel's head of security or hotel manager to then investigate and intervene if necessary. Depending on the seriousness of the case, hotel security will either approach the guest directly or put in a call to the local police.

Marriott's position keeps with the zero tolerance approach set out in the Industry Position Statement on Human Trafficking – a collective agreement drawn up by members of the International Tourism Partnership , which represents 16 global hoteliers.

Leading tour operators take a similar approach. The global travel company TUI has gone further than most. Working with children's charity NSPCC , it has set up a train-the-trainer programme that sees all its 350 childcare staff receive instruction on child protection issues. This is in addition to the child safety content of the NVQ2 qualification required of all TUI's childcare staff.

In addition, NSPCC provides a 24-hour helpline service that TUI staff can call when suspicious incidents arise. The charity's expert staff can advise them on what action to take locally, as well as dealing with social services and other agencies in the child's place of residency.

"While kids are away, we need to make sure that doesn't become a vulnerable time", clarifies Ian Chapman, director of holiday experience at the TUI brands Thomson and First Choice . "The NVQ and in-house training, plus the NSPCC partnership, means that we've been able to deal directly with the handful of cases that we've had or pass them on to the appropriate authorities."

The tourism sector cannot make the scourge of child trafficking disappear for good. That said, it is making "positive" steps to combat it when incidents occur, insists Fran Hughes, spokesperson for the International Tourism Partnership.

"We've gone from a position where child trafficking wasn't on the radar for some companies", she notes, "to one where they are developing their own policies and training."

Oliver Balch is author of India Rising: Tales from a Changing Nation , published by Faber

This content is brought to you by Guardian Professional . Become a GSB member to get more stories like this direct to your inbox

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Child Visitor Visa UK

Child Visitor Visa UK

Amar Ali Immigration Solicitors

By Amar Ali, Immigration Solicitor

The UK child visitor visa (part of the UK Standard Visitor visa route) is for overseas nationals under the age of 18 who wish to visit the UK for up to 6 months. This visa enables holders to spend time in the UK on holiday, visit friends and/or family, attend a recreational course, receive private medical care, or do a short course of study.

Not everyone needs a visitor visa to come to the UK. Therefore, it is important to check if you (or your child) require a visitor visa before applying 1 . UK child visitor visa holders can travel with or without an accompanying adult. However, the child visitor visa eligibility requirements do vary slightly, depending on whether the child is travelling with an adult or alone, as will explain in this article.

It may be possible to stay for longer than 6 months, but only if receiving medical treatment. See our UK medical visa article for more information. For stays of longer than 6 months, other visa options are available, including the UK student visa, UK child (family) visa, and child dependent visa .

UK Visitor Visa requirements for a child

To qualify for a child visitor visa as a person under the age of 18, applicants must:

  • Intend to come to the UK for up to 6 months and leave at the end of their stay
  • Have suitable arrangements in place for their travel and stay while in the UK
  • Have sufficient funds to pay for their return or onward journey
  • Have sufficient funds to support themselves while in the UK without the need to work, seek help from public funds, or have family and friends that can provide this support

Child visitor visa applicants will also need to meet additional requirements depending on whether they are coming to the UK with an adult or alone, as follows:

Child travelling alone to the UK

Children travelling alone to the UK without an adult (i.e. a person over the age of 18) must have written consent from their parent or guardian to travel to the UK unaccompanied. The applicant’s parent or guardian must also provide:

  • Their full contact details
  • The address where the applicant will be staying
  • The name, contact details, and date of birth of the person the applicant will be staying with in the UK
  • Details of the relationship between the applicant and the person they will be staying with in the UK, and
  • Written consent for the applicant to stay with that individual in the UK

The rules also state that if the person the child will be staying with in the UK is not a close relative, the parent, guardian or school of the applicant must inform the relevant UK local authority about the visit if the applicant:

  • Is under 16 or under 18 and they have a disability, and
  • Is going to be looked after for more than 28 days by someone who is not a close relative (i.e. private foster carer)

To prove that the relevant local authority has been informed, the application should include a letter of response from the local authority.

Please note the same rules that apply to children travelling alone also apply to those coming to the UK for an educational exchange visit of more than 28 days. This does not apply, however, if the child is part of a group that will be travelling and staying together whilst in the UK (e.g. in the case of a school group travelling to the UK) or if they will be accompanied in the UK by an adult (e.g. a teacher).

It is also important to note that the rules for unaccompanied children coming to the UK on a visitor visa are different for those travelling to Scotland and Northern Ireland 2 .

Child travelling with an adult to the UK

If the child is travelling with an adult to the UK, the child’s visitor visa application will still need to include a letter of consent confirming that their parent or guardian is happy with their travel and accommodation arrangements. It is important to note that even if the child does not require a child visitor visa to come to the UK, evidence of this consent will still be needed on arrival in the UK.

If the child is travelling to the UK with an adult who is not their parent, details of that individual must be provided in the child visitor visa application. It is possible to provide the name of up to 2 adults whose names will then appear on the child visitor visa. The child visitor visa UK guidance notes state that the accompanying adult/s can apply for their visa at the same time as the child, but this must be a separate application. In addition, where the child visitor visa holder arrives at the UK border without a person named on their visa, they must show a letter of consent from their parent or guardian agreeing to their travel and accommodation arrangements.

UK Child Visitor Visa Application Process

The process of applying for a UK child visitor visa can be completed online as follows:

  • Check if a child visitor visa is needed before applying using the Home Office online visa checking service 3
  • Complete and submit the online UK child visitor visa application form 4 - you can apply up to 3 months before you travel to the UK
  • Pay the child visitor visa UK fee of £100
  • Book and attend an appointment at your nearest UK visa application centre (to have your photo taken and fingerprints scanned, i.e. your biometrics)
  • Upload any UK child visitor visa documents required to support the application

The information and documents you need to provide with the child visitor visa application may include:

  • Date of arrival in the UK
  • Accommodation address in the UK
  • Letter of consent from parents agreeing to travel and accommodation arrangements
  • Estimated costs while in the UK
  • Current home address and duration of residence there
  • Name and date of birth of parent/s
  • Details of any criminal, civil or immigration offences
  • Name, address and passport number of family members in the UK

In most cases, you can expect a decision on a child visitor visa within 3 weeks. If you need a faster decision, you may be able to pay an extra fee to use the priority processing service, depending on which country you are coming from.

How can Reiss Edwards help?

Reiss Edwards specialises in all aspects of UK visitor visa applications, including child visitor visas. Our immigration solicitors can:

  • Prepare and submit your child’s visitor visa application on your behalf
  • Advise on a range of questions (e.g. can a child go to school on a visitor visa?)
  • Explain the long-term visa options available for stays of longer than 6 months
  • Handle the extension of your visitor visa if you are in the UK receiving medical treatment
  • Handle any queries raised by UKVI on your behalf, and a refusal of a child visitor visa application

For assistance with any aspect of applying for a child visitor visa, please speak to our immigration lawyers for a free telephone consultation on 020 3744 2797 or by email at [email protected] .

1 GOV.UK: Home Office visa online checking services

2 GOV.UK: Visit guidance

3 GOV.UK: Home Office visa online checking services

4 GOV.UK: Online child visitor visa application form

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minor travelling alone uk

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minor travelling alone uk

Young Persons Travelling Alone

We know that sometimes a young person (14-16 years) will need to travel with Virgin Atlantic alone. It’s really important that both the customer and their parent / guardian understand our policies and what’s required of them. Health, safety and security always comes first.

On this page:

minor travelling alone uk

Our policy and mandatory requirements

The minimum age of a person permitted to travel alone on Virgin Atlantic is 14 years of age at the time of travel. We have recently updated our policies meaning we no longer accept children aged 13 or under travelling alone, or unaccompanied minors.*

If a young person is accompanied by someone who is aged 16 or over (on the same or a linked booking), Virgin Atlantic will allow them to travel.

All young persons aged under 16 and travelling alone must have their parent or guardian complete a consent form before travel, regardless of when the booking was made. The consent form is available here . A copy of the parent/guardian’s current passport (or other form of photographic identification showing a signature) must also be attached to this form and brought to the airport.

If you would like to make a booking for a person under the age of 16 who is travelling on their own, please contact Virgin Atlantic directly to make the booking. Our partner airlines may have different regulations, age limits and charges.

When travelling with children on the same flight but in a different cabin, the following criteria must be followed:

Children aged between 14 and the day before their 16 th birthday can travel in a different cabin on the same flight as an adult aged 16+.

Children aged under 14 must travel with an adult aged 16+ in the same cabin.

*if a booking for a 12 - 13 year old travelling alone was made and ticketed on or before 24 November 2022, for future travel, we will honour this and support their travel plans. They must also have a completed consent form in order to travel. On and after 25 November 2022, we will not allow bookings for 12 - 13 year olds travelling alone.  

What to expect during the journey

A young person (14-16) travelling on their own will have the same responsibilities as an adult. This means they will need to be confident and competent in making their way through departure and arrival airports and boarding their flight(s) without a chaperone . While we maintain a duty of care for them when they fly with us, Virgin Atlantic cannot accept parental responsibility for the young person’s journey through the airport and onward destination.

The parent or guardian accompanying the young flyer to the airport is required to wait until their flight departs before leaving the terminal.

It’s very important that the young person does not leave the airport for any reason until they have reached their destination and met the designated adult collecting them, unless they’re accompanied by a Virgin Atlantic employee or uniformed police officer.

Young persons travelling along cannot check in online. They must come to the airport with a parent or legal guardian, where our airport team will check them in.

Young persons travelling alone will be met on arrival at the aircraft door by a Virgin Atlantic representative and escorted through Customs & Immigration at the following airports: • Barbados • Cape Town • New York JFK • Johannesburg • Montego Bay • Orlando • St Vincent • St Lucia

What a young person travelling alone should bring

The parent / guardian should ensure that the young person carries with them at all times:

Any necessary travel documentation such as valid passport(s), visas and proof of return travel (as required).

A signed Virgin Atlantic consent form and copy of parent/guardian’s passport or other form of photographic identification showing a signature attached to the form.

Any required medication and/or health certificates (including COVID-19 documentation if the destination requires this).

The ability to communicate with their parent/guardian and/or the person collecting them at the destination (please ensure all phones/mobile devices are fully charged, with sufficient credit and roaming is activated).

The means of payment should it be necessary for any expenses en route – ideally a credit card.  

We will not be able to accept the young person if:

They aren't checked in by a parent or legal guardian

They won't be collected directly by a parent or guardian upon arrival

They will be connecting from or onto another flight. The journey must be ‘point to point’ without a transfer

They do not have a signed Virgin Atlantic consent form and copy of parent/guardian’s passport or other form of photographic identification showing a signature attached to the form.

There is required medication and/or health certificates which don’t have pre-clearance from our Special Assistance team.

They do not have the correct documents for travel.

Young people travelling alone with medical conditions or allergies

All young persons travelling alone with medical conditions or allergies, must declare these to our Special Assistance team at least 72 hours before travel – simply complete a special assistance contact form . On some occasions, our Special Assistance team may ask for supplementary documentation to confirm fitness to fly or confirmation from a parent/guardian that the child is able to manage their condition independently.

The young person must be able to recognise their own symptoms and administer any required medication/treatment. If they are unable to recognise their own symptoms or administer medication, they must travel with a safety assistant and cannot travel unaccompanied.

If the young person travelling alone is unable to manage their condition independently, we may refuse travel without a safety assistant accompanying them, which the parent/guardian would then need to arrange themselves. 

Delays, Cancellations or Diversion

From time to time there may be disruption to our published schedule. If we have any indication that the young person’s flight may not operate as planned, we will advise the parent / guardian and suggest that you book travel for another day.

If a delay occurs en route, once the young person’s journey has started, Virgin Atlantic will contact the person at the destination who is designated to pick up the young person and/or the person listed as the emergency contact. We will continue to attempt contact until contact is made.

Under very rare circumstances, an unscheduled overnight stop may be required (e.g. if severe weather results in a diversion to another airport). In these situations, we will provide overnight accommodation and meals for the young person, please note that the Young Person will be required to stay in a hotel room unaccompanied and may need to travel to the hotel unaccompanied.

You will be contacted with pertinent information if this unusual circumstance occurs.

Young Persons travelling into Barbados

Young people (under 18 years old) entering Barbados alone or with an adult other than their parent or legal guardian must have a written consent letter from a parent or legal guardian (the legal guardian must attach official proof of guardianship), signed and sealed by a notary public.

The letter must indicate the duration of stay, identify the accompanying adult (with address and phone number) and/or authorised adult who will receive the child on arrival (with their address and phone number).

Young Persons & Children travelling into, out of, or via South Africa

Since 1 June 2016, the South African immigration department have changed the requirements for children under 18 years of age travelling into, out of, or transiting through South Africa, with or without a parent or guardian. Please make sure you have all the correct paperwork:

South African requirements for children travelling alone

Children travelling alone

03/11/2021 • knowledge, article details, everything you need to know about children flying alone as unaccompanied minors (unmrs). , how do i make an unaccompanied minor booking, how old does my child have to be to fly alone, do i have to book my child as an unaccompanied minor, what documentation do i need for an unaccompanied minor booking, do unaccompanied minor bookings cost extra, checking in an unaccompanied minor, step-by-step at the airport.

  • Arrive at the airport and make your way to the check-in and bag drop counters
  • Have your personal ID and your child's ID ready, plus sender/receiver details to confirm with the airline staff
  • After your child has received their boarding pass, go to the gate at least 30-minutes prior to departure
  • A flight attendant will meet you at the gate and will go through paperwork before boarding
  • The attendant will accompany your child onboard and get them settled before other guests
  • Wait for the aircraft to depart in case it has to return to the gate for any unexpected reason

Don’t forget to bring:

  • The required unaccompanied minor travel documentation
  • Medical clearance forms if necessary
  • Your child's identification (birth certificate, passport or ID card)
  • Comfort items to make the journey less stressful for very young guests

Where will my child be sitting?

How does a flight attendant look after unaccompanied minors, in-flight food options for young guests, kid-friendly entertainment options, arriving safe and sound - what to expect, did you find this page helpful, related articles.

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Unaccompanied minors: Can children travel by themselves on flights?

Following one family’s distressing experience, we take a look at the rules around whether under 18s can travel alone, article bookmarked.

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Children over the age of five can travel alone on some airlines

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Air travel for unaccompanied children is possible, but there are various rules and regulations around it - meaning those aged under 18 can encounter issues with their journeys.

In Australia last month, 11-year-old Jack Garland was due to travel with his 13-year-old sister Scarlett from Sydney to the Gold Coast, when he was unexpectedly denied boarding and left at the airport .

The siblings had been scheduled to travel with their father, but last-minute work engagements prevented him from taking the trip.

The pair’s mother, Emma Garland, claims she checked beforehand with Qantas, through whom she’d booked the tickets, that the two could travel unaccompanied by an adult.

But she says that, once they had boarded the plane, Jack was removed with no explanation given to his sister.

Jetstar clarified that it does not allow 11-year-olds to travel without a parent or guardian over 18.

“While we enjoy welcoming young passengers on board our flights , Jetstar does not offer an unaccompanied minor service and young passengers must meet certain requirements in order to travel independently with us, including being of secondary school age,” said a spokesperson.

“A secondary school passenger can travel independently but must be at least 15 years old to accompany a child under secondary school age.”

So are Jetstar in the right, and how do you know what the rules are when it comes to children boarding planes without an adult?

What are the rules around unaccompanied minors?

Each airline may set its own rules when it comes to allowing or not allowing unaccompanied minors, including the documentation parents must provide, how they book, and the flights children may take.

The minimum age a child must be to fly alone is five.

In general, airlines that offer an unaccompanied minor (UNMR) service insist that it is used for children between five and 11, while it’s an optional extra that parents can request for children aged 12 to 15. However, there are exceptions.

There are also some restrictions around flight length, timings and stopovers - so booking your child under 16 on a flight with a long layover during the night, for example, may not be possible.

Unaccompanied children are not normally allowed to take the last flight of the day, in case of any delays that might strand them overnight in a foreign airport.

Parents need to check with their individual airline for their rules and services around UNMRs.

Emirates, for example, offers an unaccompanied minors service for children aged between 5 and 11 flying without their parents; parents of 12-15 year olds can also request the service, which involves a specially supported check in, boarding the plane first and staff checking in on the child mid-flight.

Meanwhile, British Airways only allows children aged 14 and up to travel unaccompanied; it asks the parents of under-16s to contact them directly to arrange an unaccompanied minor journey (these cannot be booked on the airline’s website). They must also complete a parental/guardian consent form before travel.

On the other side of the pond, American Airlines specifies that children aged five to seven can only travel unaccompanied on nonstop flights; meanwhile, children from eight to 14 can transit through a select number of US airports.

As a rule of thumb, UNMR services are most often available on long-haul flights with larger carriers, and less often on budget and short-haul carriers.

For example, Ryanair does not allow unaccompanied flyers under 16, saying: “We cannot provide an escort or special facilities.”

On easyJet, children up to 15 cannot board a flight unless they are accompanied by an adult, which they define as 16 years or older. “EasyJet does not provide an escort service or special requirements for unaccompanied children,” says the carrier.

If you’re booking through a third party site such as Flight Centre, check to see if they have a dedicated phone number for UM bookings.

What should parents know about booking travel for an unaccompanied child?

Different countries require different documentation when it comes to children entering or transiting through their airports alone; check with the relevant country’s authorities to make sure an unaccompanied minor has everything they need before travel.

BA advises: “The Iata Travel Centre can advise you what documentation is required for entry to each country. Just make sure you use the date of birth of your child to ensure the extra requirements are displayed.”

It’s important to be organised and book this service early ‒ there’s usually a cap on the number of unaccompanied children, typically six, allowed on any given flight.

In terms of cost, unaccompanied minors are usually sold as adult air fares, sometimes with a fee for the UNMR service.

The solo child is often seated close to a crew bulkhead or galley area, close to a toilet and with empty seats beside them if available.

In most cases, airlines will demand information on and contacts for the “sender” and “receiver” - the adults who will accompany the child to the departure airport and pick them up from the arrival one. In most cases, cabin crew will not be able to hand over a child to anyone other than an official pick-up contact shared with the airline beforehand - even if they can prove they are a family member.

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Travel Consent Form

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Travel Consent Form

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This document is a consent form which can be used to obtain consent from a parent or guardian in order to signify their agreement for their child/children to travel. The consent form is suitable for use where the child or children ordinarily reside in England and Wales . The document may be used in any of the following circumstances:

  • where a child is or children are travelling with only one parent/legal guardian (and consent is to provided by the other parent/guardian); or
  • where a child is or children are travelling with another adult member who is not a parent or legal guardian (for example another family member); or
  • where an organisation/group is travelling with children and requires parental/guardian consent; or
  • where a child is travelling alone (i.e without any adult supervision).

This document can be used where the travel is to take place within the United Kingdom . For domestic trips within the United Kingdom, these should always be conducted in consultation and agreement with all those who hold parental responsibility for the child. It can therefore be useful to have a written consent form in those circumstances so that there is no doubt in respect of the agreement.

The document can also be used where the travel is to take place outside of the United Kingdom . A correct consent form can be particularly important in this case. This is because the law says that a person (including a parent, guardian or relative) may only remove a child from the United Kingdom where they have consent from every person who holds parental responsibility for the child . Where a person has been granted a Child Arrangements Order which states that a child shall live with them , that person (often known as the 'resident parent') may remove the child from the United Kingdom for a period of no more than 1 month without the consent of the other person(s) with parental responsibility . Where a person has been granted a Special Guardianship Order , the person who is named as the special guardian may remove the child from the United Kingdom for a period of no more than 3 months without the consent of the other persons with parental responsibility . Where the travel extends beyond those prescribed periods, written consent should always be obtained.

Where an organisation is using the form for a trip, thought should be given to the signatures which will be requested. For school trips within the United Kingdom, the government has provided some advice for the consent which should be required. If the travel is to take place outside of the United Kingdom, the organisation should obtain consent from all persons with parental responsibility .

If the form is to be used for a child who is travelling independently, any relevant travel operator should be contacted to confirm whether they have any prescribed form which should be used.

Where one parent is concerned that the other parent may travel abroad without their agreement, they may need to pursue a court application .

How to use this document

This document should be completed with the relevant information for the child and the parent(s)/guardian(s) who will sign the form together with the details of travel . For organisations/group trips , it is possible to create a blank form which can be handed to the parent/guardian of each child for completion. Where a parent/guardian or other adult is travelling outside of the United Kingdom with a child, documentation should be attached to evidence the child's parentage and to confirm who holds parental responsibility for the child so that this can be shown to any border officials. For example, such documentation may include:

  • the child's birth certificate;
  • any parental responsibility agreement which has been sealed by the Family Court;
  • an adoption certificate/order;
  • the parents' marriage/civil partnership agreement.

Where copies of those documents are to be attached, it may be useful to have those copies certified to be true copies to minimise the chance of any difficulties leaving or entering a country.

In the more unusual circumstance that a child has more than two individuals who hold parental responsibility for them, consent should be obtained from all those additional persons with parental responsibility. Typically, where one parent is travelling with a child or children, they will only need a consent form from one other parent however in such limited circumstances any additional persons with parental responsibility should also complete a separate consent form.

For the purposes of leaving the United Kingdom , and for entering some other countrie s, the signature of the relevant parent(s)/guardian(s) will be sufficient provided that there are contact details on the form so that they may be contacted to verify their consent.

The parties may wish to have the consent form notarised where the country which they are travelling to requires this. This means that a notary (a specific type of lawyer who is appointed specifically to this role) will certify that the document has been signed by the relevant individual(s). If the document is to be notarised, the document should not be signed by the parent/guardian prior to meeting with the notary. The notary will ensure that they certify the signing of the document in the correct form and will have a specific format for this. In other circumstances, the parent/guardian may have their signature witnessed by a member of the public . Where the parties are unsure whether the document should be notarised or witnessed (or neither), it is best to check whether there are any specific entry requirements for the relevant country before travelling.

For travel which is taking place within the United Kingdom , the above steps (witnessing or notarising the document) will not generally be necessary . Furthermore, it should not be necessary to attach any evidential information regarding parental responsibility/parentage of the child(ren). For this type of consent form, the relevant parent or guardian may simply sign the form and provide their contact details.

One all the relevant steps have been completed, the form should travel with the child on the relevant trip together with any relevant documents, as described above.

Relevant law

The main pieces of domestic legislation which govern the issue of parental consent/child travel are:

The Children Act 1989

The Child Abduction Act 1984

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A guide to help you: Signing Documents in England and Wales

Other names for the document:

Travel consent form England, Authority for Child Travel, Child Travel Authorisation, Consent Form for Child Travel, Letter from Parent Authorising Child to Travel

Country: United Kingdom

Marriage, Divorce and Family - Other downloadable templates of legal documents

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  • Child Maintenance Agreement
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minor travelling alone uk

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Unaccompanied minors

Unaccompanied Minors travelling on Air India flights

When Kids Fly Alone

Your little one is in command! From check-in to landing, we are your young explorer's trusted co-pilot. 

Who is an unaccompanied minor?

Children between the ages of 5 and 12 travelling alone, domestically or internationally with us, are considered as unaccompanied minors.

We adore our youngest travellers. However, to prioritise their safety and comfort, we do not extend our unaccompanied minor services to children under five years. We request they remain in the comfort of their guardians throughout the journey.

Booking your child's solo adventure 

There are a few formalities that need to be completed before your little globetrotter sets off for the journey: .

  • You must print and fill out all required details and submit four copies of the ' Unaccompanied Minor Form ' at the nearest Air India office. Please submit the form at least three days before the scheduled departure date.
  • The check-in procedure must be completed at the airport counter to ensure all documents are verified and requirements are accommodated. Also, ensure that the check-in procedure is completed at least two hours before departure.
  • Additionally, ensure your child has all the relevant forms and documents on them, including a valid photo ID.

Think of the below as our commitment to your little one’s safety:

  • You or a trusted guardian must escort them to and receive them at the airport.
  • You (as a parent or a guardian) will need to present a valid photo ID when dropping off and picking up your child.

Assistance through the airport

Our crew member will become your child’s airport buddy. They will navigate together from the check-in gate, completing all the airport formalities, to the comfortable seat of the aircraft.

Trust us. Our staff members are not just aviation experts but also proficient at answering all those ‘Why’ and ‘How’ questions from your little one.

Care on the flight

  • Our skilled cabin crew are your child’s concierge in the sky. From fastening seatbelts to stowing up hand baggage and aiding in lavatory visits, they have got it all under control.
  • As for the in-flight experience, air travel can sometimes bring queasiness and a nip in the air. So, ensure you pack your kid's go-to essentials in their backpack.
  • Are you concerned about your little one's meal preferences? We have a unique child meal option and are here to cater to any dietary requirements.
  • Due to safety reasons, we do not allow unaccompanied minors to be seated in the emergency exit row.

After they land 

On landing, a crew member will guide your little one through all the airport formalities, including immigration and customs, for international journeys.

Here, we reunite your child with you or the designated guardian, as mentioned in the 'Unaccompanied Minor' form.

Minor in different classes of travel

If your child travels in a different class but with you or a guardian on the same flight, they will receive the same care as an unaccompanied minor.

They will take their seat before the other passengers have boarded the flight. After landing, we will reunite you with your little one at the airport.

 Is your child on a multi-city flight?

Multi-city flights can feel like a whirlwind. While our crew members are there to assist your child, we need your support with the following:

  • Please complete and sign the necessary form copies at the check-in point for each departure airport before the journey. 
  • We request you or the designated guardian be at the airport well in advance, allowing us to complete all the necessary formalities in time. 
  • Unaccompanied minor services are provided for flights operated by Air India only.

Age policy for travel between India and Gulf countries 

The age range for unaccompanied minors varies between United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other Gulf countries:   

  • In the UAE, children between 5 and 18 years old are considered unaccompanied minors.
  • In other Gulf countries, children between 5 and 16 years are considered unaccompanied minors.

If your travel squad includes children aged 5 to 12 years and 12 to 18 years travelling together, the children aged 5 to 12 years will be considered unaccompanied minors. To ensure a smooth journey, we must know who will drop off and pick up the child.

Minors travelling to and from the UK

Minors travelling to the uk.

For young travellers under 18 years jetting off without you or a designated guardian, the UK Border Force requires a  consent form  signed by both parents. For the latest information on the regulations, please click  here .

Minors travelling from the UK

If you are travelling with a young traveller below 18, you must follow a few rules and complete some formalities before you travel abroad.

Before you travel

  • You need to request permission from everyone responsible for the child.
  • If you have yet to receive permission from everyone with parental responsibility for the child, you must seek court permission.

Please click ' here ' to read more about the formalities and procedures. 

When you travel

  • Please fill out and bring the consent form with you. 
  • Carry a valid photo ID of both parents.
  • You need to carry your child's birth certificate.

Alternatively, you can email the documents mentioned above to  aitraffic.lhr@airindia.com .

Please ensure that this is done at least four hours before departure.

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Minors travelling alone

They may travel without a companion if a number of conditions are met..

Menores viajando solos

The person responsible for the minor must personally hand them over to the airline and remain at the airport until the plane takes off.  

Unaccompanied minor service: what it is and how it works

Is your child travelling alone? Don't worry, our Unaccompanied minor service guarantees their safety and well-being from the moment we pick up them up at the departure airport, throughout the journey and until they are met at the destination. We will be with your child at all times, either on their own or with a small group of other children.

We'll also look after them if they need to take a connecting Iberia Group flight in Madrid. If any unexpected situation arises, we'll be by their side and will keep you informed at all times. While your child is waiting for the connecting flight, we'll take them to our Unaccompanied minors lounge so that they can rest, play games, watch children's films and use the free wifi connection.

Check all the other details of the service here . If you want to book this service, please do so well in advance because places are limited.

Who can use this service?

Kids service

Children aged 5 to 11.

The service is mandatory for this age group.

Kids service

Young flyers aged 12 to 17.

The service is optional for this age group.

How to book this service:

Up to 48 hours before the departure of the flight,.

or for bookings made on Friday evening for flights on Monday morning: Call Serviberia or our office at the airport.

Departure date at the airport.

We advise you to bring the minor to the airport around two and a half hours before departure, with all the required documentation.

Buy the ticket for the minor

You can only buy tickets for minors under the age of 12 through Serviberia, the ticket office at the airport or a travel agency.

Service provision and cost

If you book the service at the same time as your flight, you will be charged for it with the ticket. If you book it as an extra at a later date, we'll re-issue the ticket to reflect the new service and fare.

These are the rates for our unaccompanied minors service:

Cost of services for direct flights

Cost of services for connecting flights (via madrid).

Please bear in mind the fluctuation in exchange rates when you book the service. There may also be additional charges, taxes and levies depending on the legislation in each country.

VERY IMPORTANT: Release of Liability Form

This form is mandatory for children travelling alone, on both the outbound and return flights. You can fill it in and print it here: Release of Liability Form in which case you should arrive in good time because it is quite a lengthy process.

The details required are as follows:

IMPORTANT: The person responsible for the child at the departure airport and the person who collects them at the arrival airport must be the ones indicated on the form and they will be asked to show valid photo ID.

Name of the person responsible for the minor at the origin; address and contact telephone number (preferably mobile to be able receive our text messages).

Name of the person responsible for the minor at the destination; address and contact telephone number.

Documentation required for minors

All passengers over age 14 must carry a national ID card or passport.

On domestic flights, minors under the age of 14 are not obliged to carry one of these forms of identification but it will be easier for them to prove their identity if they do carry an ID card or passport.

There is no standard procedure for international flights (European and third countries) but all minors, accompanied or not and regardless of age, will need to carry their national ID card or passport (plus a consent form authorised at a police station if they are travelling alone) and meet the requirements of the country of destination

For further information, please check Documentation required for minors.

The journey: arrival at the airport

On the day of the flight, report to any check-in desk at the airport with your child approximately two and a half hours before the departure of the flight, where we'll verify all the documents and do the check-in. Mobile and online check-in are not available for children travelling alone.

Once we've completed check-in, we'll tell you where to go and at what time, and we'll give the child a neck pouch for all the documentation (ticket, passport, release of liability form, etc.), which they should keep visible at all times until they reach the destination.

When you reach the place indicated, we'll accompany the child to the plane and hand them over to the crew.

Accompaniment to the boarding gate

At some national airports, you can go with your child to the boarding gate. Ask at the Iberia check-in desk at the airport whether this service is available.

As a companion, you will need to carry your valid passport or national ID card. For certain international flights, you will also need the relevant authorisations and exit and entry visas for the country.

Departures from Madrid Airport

We recommend that you arrive at Madrid Airport two and a half hours before the departure of the flight. To check in, go to the Customer Service point next to check-in desk 850 and our agents will assist you.

The recommended times are as follows:

60 minutes for flights departing from T4 (national and Schengen destinations. Zones H, J, K and M).

90 minutes for flights departing from T4S (Non-Schengen and intercontinental destinations. Zone S, connected by train to the main building).

150 minutes if you still have to fill in the Release of Liability Form.

Departures from London-Heathrow Airport

Please report to the Special Assistance area in Zone H (Terminal 5 > Departures) two hours before the departure of the flight, where they will ask you for the following documents: Release of Liability Form, duly completed and signed; a copy of the ticket; a receipt of payment for the service; and your national ID card or passport.

Departures from Geneva

Minors travelling alone from Geneva must be accompanied to the boarding gate by the person in charge of them, so you will need to ask for a companion boarding pass at the check-in desk. You will also be required to wait until the plane has taken off.

For all other airports in the network, we recommend that you arrive 60 to 150 minutes before the departure of the flight, depending on the destination. Add another 30 minutes if you have not filled in the Release of Liability Form.

As the child's companion, you must remain at the airport and be available for contact by phone until take-off.

The journey: on board

The child will board the plane first and will be seated conveniently near the auxiliary crew, who will give them their attention throughout the flight.

On long-haul flights they can enjoy our entretenimiento a bordo system, which includes films, cartoons and audio programmes suitable for children. In any case, the crew will activate parental control.

If your child is under the age of 12, we'll serve them our children's menu on intercontinental flights. If your child is under the age of 12, we'll serve them our children's menu on intercontinental flights. Don't forget to request it when you make your booking or up to 24 hours before the date of travel.

We recommend that you tell your child not to change seats during the flight and to remain seated on arrival until a member of the crew collects them.

The journey: arrival at the destination

On arrival, the minor will disembark last. A member of our assistance staff will accompany them and hand them over to the person authorised to collect them, who will be required to show valid photo ID. Once their details have been checked, they will have to sign the consent form accepting custody of the child.

If the child has checked baggage into the hold, we'll collect it from the arrivals belt.

If the child is taking a connecting flight in Madrid, our staff will collect them and take them to our Unaccompanied minors lounge, where they will remain in our care until it is time to board their next flight.

If the flight is delayed or cancelled, we will immediately contact the people indicated on the Release of Liability Form. During this time, the child will receive constant assistance and supervision.

Children aged 5 to 11

You must book the service if your child is travelling alone or if they are travelling in a different cabin from you. A child is considered to be travelling alone if they are not accompanied by someone who is aged 16 or over.

The service is offered on flights operated by Iberia, Iberia Express and Iberia Regional Air Nostrum. All children under the age of 14 travelling on British Airways flights and under the age of 12 on flights operated by Iberia LEVEL must be accompanied by someone who is aged 16 or over. On American Airlines flights minors under the age of 15 must be accompanied by someone who is aged 18 or over.

Other airlines may have different rules, age limits and rates, so you should check with them when you make your booking.

Young flyers aged 12 to 17

Although we don't consider this age group to be minors (and the service offered is therefore optional, not mandatory), if your son or daughter is travelling alone we can accompany them from the departure to the arrival of their flight, including during transit if any connecting flights are involved. For departures from Italy, the service is mandatory for minors under the age of 14. You can find all the information you need in Documentation and special cases.

The service is offered on flights operated by Iberia, Iberia Express and Iberia Regional Air Nostrum. Iberia does not accept bookings or tickets issued for unaccompanied minors who request this service if their journey involves other airlines, including codeshare flights.

All children under the age of 14 travelling on British Airways flights and under the age of 12 on flights operated by Iberia LEVEL must be accompanied by someone who is aged 16 or over. On American Airlines flights minors under the age of 15 must be accompanied by someone who is aged 18 or over.

The fare applied to the ticket is the same as the one for an adult.

Air Shuttle Service

To access the unaccompanied minors service from the website, the minor must be travelling on a flight to/from Madrid/Barcelona. If your child is travelling alone on the Air Shuttle Service, you will need to arrange it directly at our offices at the airport on the date of travel. We recommend that you fill in the Descargo de Responsabilidad Obligatorio in advance to speed up the process.

Adults and minors travelling in different cabins

A child aged 5 to 11 is considered to be travelling alone if they are seated in a different cabin from you and are not accompanied by a person aged 16 or over. In this case, you will need to book the unaccompanied minors service and fill in the Release of Liability Form.

Flights within the USA

Within US territory, children under the age of 14 are treated as minors and you must book the unaccompanied minors service.

Minors returning from schools outside Spain

If your son or daughter is studying abroad, we advise you to fill in the Descargo de Responsabilidad Obligatorio and send it to them directly, or through the school, so that the school simply has to sign and stamp it. If the minor arrives at the airport (especially on our flights departing from London or Boston) without this form, duly completed and signed, Iberia reserves the right to deny boarding.

Flights to or from Mexico

All minors who travel alone or accompanied by a third person who is not one of their parents or legal guardian must present a document signed by both parents or by the person who has parental custody or guardianship before a notary or pertinent authority which attests that the minor is permitted to leave the national territory.

When it is a document granted abroad, it should be authorised or apostilled, depending on the case, with a translation (if in a language other than Spanish).

In the specific case of Spain, the police have an authorisation document especially for these cases.

Unaccompanied minors departing from Italy

The Italian authorities require all minors under age 14 to be accompanied at all times by a person aged 18 or over. Italian unaccompaned minors under age 14 (UMNR) must also carry a passport and a sworn statement signed by their parents or legal guardians. This document must be authenticated by the police (Questura) and must include the name of the airline with which the minor is travelling.

FAQs regarding children travelling alone

Please check our FAQs about minors, which probably covers all your questions.

And remember

  • There is a special regulation for minors.
  • Cots for babies on inter-continental flights.
  • Adapted fares.
  • If you are flying with two minors, don't forget to bring and authorised car seat..
  • Find out about the documentation required to travel with minors.

See how it applies to flights operated by

British Airways

You might also be interested in

Recommendations.

The groundwork for good planning for a child's trip, from check-in through to arrival at the destination.

More information

Travel documentation for minors

All the requirements you need to meet when travelling with children and infants, considering their age, size and how many children are involved.

Children and infants

All the regulations and rules for travelling with infants under 8 months and children up to the time they turn 11.

Video link

Get ready for your new family flight experience.

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Prepare for your child's trip

How to book my child's ticket.

You can book your child's ticket online  for all flights operated by Air France.   However, if the Kids Solo service is not available when you book your child's ticket online, it may be because this service is fully booked for that flight. Only legal guardians of unaccompanied children or individuals with authorization from legal guardians can book a Kids Solo ticket.

girl-plane-pencil-pompom

Book a ticket on the Air France app

For children between 4 to 11* or 5 to 14** years old, you can also book their ticket on the Air France app.

Download the Air France mobile app

  • on Google Play for Android
  • on Apple's App Store
  • on AppGallery for Huawei

airfrance-app

* 4 to 11 years old for a trip in Metropolitan France, between Metropolitan and Overseas France or on our intra-Carribean network. ** 5 to14 years old on our international network.

My child's travel documents

To avoid last-minute stress, complete the "unaccompanied minor" form online. You will need to provide this at the moment of checking in.

How many copies of the form you should bring to the airpot varies according to your child's itinerary:

  • 2 copies for a direct flight
  • 3 copies for a flight with a connection
  • 4 copies for a flight with more than one connection

Your child is traveling on a flight operated by our partner Delta? You do not need to complete "unacompanied minor" form. We will provide you with a specific form to fill out at the airport.

blue kids solo pouch

How do you change the accompanying persons details? If you want to change or correct the details that you provided for the accompanying or pick-up person, go to My Bookings :

  • Click on "Modify the details of the accompaying persons" under your child's name.
  • Review all the prefilled information and make any necessary changes.
  • Save and downlaod the travel form you have filled out.

orange kids solo pouch

Travel documents and stay requirements

Passport, visas, vaccinations, entry formalities… review the entry and stay requirements for your child's trip.

Use our search engine to check all immigration, health, and customs requirements.

Any passenger under 18 years old Whether they are a French citizen or a foreigner living in France, they must obtain authorization to leave the country for any journey outside France.

  • To learn more, go to our Formalities page ,
  • or downlaod the travel authorization .

Connecting flights

Our service for children traveling alone has resumed on almost all of our network.

Your child's journey with connecting flight:

  • The airports that allow for connections in France are Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Paris-Orly (ORY), and Lyon (LYS).
  • Since September 6, 2023, connections to and from China are possible with a connection at Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG).

Your child's journey with two connections: For the moment, the only possible itineraries with two connections are trips to and from Nouméa.

  • The airports that allow these double connections are: Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Tokyo (NRT), and Singapore (SIN).
  • The countries that allow these double connections are: Ireland, Italy, Metropolitan France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

sky view of paris cdg airport hub

Please note : transfers are not available between Paris-Orly (ORY) and Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG).

IMAGES

  1. 9 Top Tips for Children Travelling Alone

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  3. Unaccompanied minors: Can children travel by themselves on flights

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  4. What Documents Does a Minor Traveling Without Parents Need in 2024

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  5. Free Child Travel Consent Form Template Pdf Uk

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  6. Free Child Travel Consent Form Template Pdf Uk

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COMMENTS

  1. Visit the UK as a Standard Visitor: If you're under 18

    Travelling alone. You can travel to the UK without an adult (someone over the age of 18). Your parent or guardian will need to provide their: written consent for you to travel to the UK;

  2. PDF Children Travelling Alone Factsheet

    This newsletter issued by the British Embassies in Dubai and Abu Dhabi is provided as a public service. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information presented, it cannot be guaranteed. All information should be verified with the relevant UAE authorities. External links are selected and reviewed when the newsletter is ...

  3. Children travelling alone

    A child aged 14 or 15 years old travelling alone will be booked to travel as an adult. To book their ticket, please get in touch via our Contact Us page as you're unable to book this online. The young traveller will be making their own way through departure and arrival airports and boarding their flight (s) without assistance or a chaperone.

  4. What do I need to consider if my child is traveling alone to the UK

    Child Traveling Alone to the UK: Children traveling solo to the UK, without an adult (i.e. a person over 18), must obtain written consent from their parent or guardian. The applicant's parent or guardian must also provide: Full contact details. Proof of a suitable place to stay in the UK, including the address where the applicant will be ...

  5. Can I travel alone on a UK Child Visit visa?

    Form the UK gov website. Travelling alone. You can travel to the UK without an adult (someone over the age of 18). Your parent or guardian will need to provide their: written consent for you to travel to the UK. full contact details. They'll also need to provide proof that you have somewhere suitable to live during your stay in the UK, including:

  6. British Airways Unaccompanied Minor Policy Explained [2023]

    British Airways does not have an unaccompanied minor service although they do allow children 14 years or older to fly alone. If the child is 14 or 15 years old and traveling alone a parental/guardian consent form must be completed before travel. Despite being one of the most popular airlines in the world, British Airways ended its unaccompanied ...

  7. Children travelling alone

    Younger children must be accompanied by someone aged 16 or over on the same or a linked booking to travel with us. Our partner airline SUN-AIR of Scandinavia follow different guidelines - see below for more information. Consent to travel form. All children aged under 16 travelling alone must carry a printed copy of:

  8. British Airways: Children Flying Alone

    Children from the age of six can travel alone on any British Airways flight. Check that all visas and other formalities have been completed. The Skyflyer Solo service must be booked and paid for together with your child's flight. If not, cancellation and re-issue fees will be charged. Skyflyer Solo service must be booked at least 48 hours in ...

  9. Children travelling abroad alone: the safety checks that need to be in

    The UK carrier insists that the child is checked-in in person, not online or at an airport kiosk, and that the adult stays in the airport until the plane has left. ... Travelling alone is the ...

  10. Child Visitor Visa UK

    Child travelling alone to the UK. Children travelling alone to the UK without an adult (i.e. a person over the age of 18) must have written consent from their parent or guardian to travel to the UK unaccompanied. The applicant's parent or guardian must also provide: Their full contact details;

  11. Travel Documents Needed for Minors Traveling to England

    A passport is an absolute must for any minor visiting England. The UK requires only that visitors' passports be unexpired at the time of arrival, but make sure the minor's passport is valid ...

  12. Young Persons Travelling Alone

    All young persons travelling alone with medical conditions or allergies, must declare these to our Special Assistance team at least 72 hours before travel - simply complete a special assistance contact form. On some occasions, our Special Assistance team may ask for supplementary documentation to confirm fitness to fly or confirmation from a parent/guardian that the child is able to manage ...

  13. Children travelling alone

    An unaccompanied minor (UNMR) is any child aged between five and 11 (not yet 12 years of age) who is flying by themselves and not travelling with a parent, guardian, or immediate family member. Children younger than five are not permitted to fly by themselves. Children aged 12 and over are considered adults by airline ticketing standards, but ...

  14. Unaccompanied minors: Can children travel by themselves on flights

    Children over the age of five can travel alone on some airlines (Getty Images/iStockphoto) Air travel for unaccompanied children is possible, but there are various rules and regulations around it ...

  15. Prepare young people for travelling alone

    Write down or text them details of their departure and arrival stations, train times and who will meet them. Make sure their phone is fully charged and they know who to call in an emergency. Save the British Transport Police text number 61016 in their phone and explain that they can text the police if they need help on their journey. Tell them ...

  16. Travel Consent Form

    Travel Consent Form. Last revision 29/01/2024. Formats Word and PDF. Size 3 pages. 4.3 - 137 votes. Fill out the template. This document is a consent form which can be used to obtain consent from a parent or guardian in order to signify their agreement for their child/children to travel. The consent form is suitable for use where the child or ...

  17. Unaccompanied minors

    To fly alone, children aged 5 to 11 years old must travel on an adult fare and will receive our Unaccompanied Minor service. Children over 12 always fly on an adult fare and can travel alone without our Unaccompanied Minor service. However, you can book the service for children aged 12 to 15 for an additional fee of USD 50 for each leg of the ...

  18. Guidelines for Unaccompanied Minors travelling onboard| Air India

    In other Gulf countries, children between 5 and 16 years are considered unaccompanied minors. If your travel squad includes children aged 5 to 12 years and 12 to 18 years travelling together, the children aged 5 to 12 years will be considered unaccompanied minors. To ensure a smooth journey, we must know who will drop off and pick up the child.

  19. Travelling on Iberia for unaccompanied minors

    A child is considered to be travelling alone if they are not accompanied by someone who is aged 16 or over. The service is offered on flights operated by Iberia, Iberia Express and Iberia Regional Air Nostrum. All children under the age of 14 travelling on British Airways flights and under the age of 12 on flights operated by Iberia LEVEL must ...

  20. Preparing for your child traveling alone

    You will need to provide this at the moment of checking in. How many copies of the form you should bring to the airpot varies according to your child's itinerary: 2 copies for a direct flight. 3 copies for a flight with a connection. 4 copies for a flight with more than one connection. Your child is traveling on a flight operated by our partner ...