View Full Version : Long Flight for Unaccompanied Child
I have an issue with my Ex-H about the fact that he wants our son (currently age 6) to travel unaccompanied with a connection from Australia to continental Europe. Even though I have offered to accompany our son to the connection at my own cost, and the Ex-H meets the child and accompanies him to the destination, the Ex-H is saying that the airlines allow unaccompanied minors, and that I don't have any trust in the airlines.
Does anybody have any experience with children travelling on long-haul flights? My ex-H has asked for the child to travel at the age of 8.
Usually it is at an extra fee.
I looked into it for DD#1 last year as she was travelling to stay with family in Europe at the age of 14. After discussion with her language teacher at school who had sent her 13 y.o. without unaccompanied supervision, and after us having sent DD#1 unaccompanied from Melbourne to Cairns once before when the airline staff nearly missing putting her on the connecting plane from Brisbane, we sent her on her own.
She managed fine. I made sure she had plenty of cash in case of emergency, and a calling card as well as her phone set up for global roaming. She SMS's me at the refuelling stop in Singapore, again when she landed in Vienna, and then when she finally reached her destination.
8y.o is a whole other story. I'd be sending as an unaccompanied minor, if at all. Too far, too many things which could go wrong.
I wouldn't do it at all
A long haul flight can be tough for an adult, let alone a child. With all the best intentions of airline staff, they won't take the place of mum if your son feels sick or scared. They also won't be able to devote full attention to your child like you would be able to.
I personally wouldn't touch it but do send hugs to you with having to deal with such a complex and major issue. It can't be easy for anyone.:hugs:
i thought the airline would be asking an adult to fly to the connection? maybe i thought wrong. i wouldnt let a child go on such a long flight by themselves.
IMO you have every right to feel concerned. I personally would not allow one of my children to fly alone at that age & you are being more than reasonable by the sounds of it by offering to pay your own way to accompany your son. I hope you hold to your first reaction/instinct not to allow your son to go alone.
Best of luck with it all:)
I dont think I could let my child travel that far by themselves - who knows what could happen :confused:
I had my first unaccompanied flight when I was about 11 and it was fantastic. The airline looked after me very well from the time I was dropped off to the time my father came to pick me up at the airport and there was a person assigned to look after me at all times who did everything for me - check-in, luggage etc.
On the plane I sat next to the airline stewardess who treated me like a princess and I got to go up into the cockpit and say hello to the captain and the pilots who showed me how the plane worked etc. It was an amazing memory and journey for me but of course this was many many many moons ago and way way way before airline security is as tight as it is now.
It really depends on the airline as well (as to how they will treat unaccompanied minors) because another airline didn't do justice in comparision when I went unaccompanied again but this time with my brother (we were still minors though).
I guess different airlines have different policies and care so if you had to send an unaccompanied child then really ask the airline what the procedures are and if there would be someone there at all times from drop off to handover.
It's not that you don't have trust in the airlines - you are just being a good mum to be concerned and I would be too.
If you were an 8 year old....
Would you want to sit still on a plane for um-teen hours with no-one you know to talk to, not knowing ho to find your way from one flight to the next, what is expected of you on the plane, not being able to speak the language at the change over airport etc etc....
I wouldn't send him alone, I hope you stick to your gut instinct and stand your ground.
Domestic yes International No
I was having kittens when I sent my children unaccompanied after the flood we had otherwise I wouldn't have at all. Due to the circumstances i had no choice and it hurt ALOT watching them go off in the middle of the night onto the plane.The situation was made even worse when they came back off after 30 mins because the plane was faulty.I had to go through it all again.The kids were excited but my gut was wrenching.I have never cried so much.Of course they survived and so did I but there is no way I would do it again (nothing to do with airlines,they were great but they are my babies, they need me..simple)
So my answer is no way, not without me.
Good Luck, I feel for you.
No way would I send an 8 year old on such a long flight! It's painful enough when you're an adult and you're going on a big, fun adventure! I flew Paris- Sydney when I was 10 and although I was looked after extremely well, it was still terrifying and frightening. There is no way in the world I would send a young child halfway across the world unaccompanied! not in this day and age :no:
I wouldn't let my child at 8 years old go into a public toilet on his/her own. I wouldn't let them go to the shops on their own or on a train trip etc etc.
There's no way I'd be flagging for a plane full of complete strangers that this child has no accompanying adult who will protect and support this child at all costs. Children are easy targets - particularly children who are apprehensive and looking for an adult who looks like they know what they are doing and are interested in the child.
I vote "no" - and yes, I have no faith in strangers when it comes to the wellbeing of my child.
I say no also. You just don't know what could happen. I just don't think it would be worth it.
I realise that this was a long time ago, but when I was 7 I flew unaccompanied from Mauritius (we lived there) to England (born there, went back to my nanna's). It was a 2 day trip and I loved it. The crew are really really good with unaccompanied kids.
I will let Ellie & Heidi fly up to Mum and Dad (In Brisbane) when they are 7 and 5, if they want to. But it really is a case of put them on the plane this end and Mum picks them up the other end. And the flight crew really do watch them like hawks.
Yes, I would be worried on an overnight, long haul - what parent wouldn't. Hmmm, hard decision to make. Sorry I don't have any more useful advice.
My mum & I were actually talking about this today as she is babysitting a boy who just came over from America. He is 4 years old & came over on the plane by himself to stay with his mum (apparently he does this all the time when visiting each parent) me on other hand would never let my kids do this
No, too young, flight too long. It would be psychologically taxing on the child and not necessary since you have already offered to accompany him. If you must, then you go as far as the connection and he flies unaccompanied from there. But ideally, a parent with him at all times.
He's so liddle.
My DSD has flown unaccompanied since she was five. However the longest flight unaccompanied has been 2.5 hrs and only domestic. We had one flight where there was a stop over and we arranged for her god parents (who lived in the stop over town) to meet her at the airport and wait until the plane reboarded just in case.
Depending on the child and circumstances I would consider it ONLY IF it was a straight through flight, and I think a night-time flight would be less boring for a child.
There is no way on this planet I would let my DD travel on an airline (or any transport) completely alone, especially at that age:no: . My dd's dad lives in another state and I wouldnt even let her travel to another state alone - I would travel with her or get him to.
My brother and I travelled alone (but together) when we were young between parents - often on long bus trips.
But it is something I would definately NOT allow my child to do. She is my baby girl and I couldnt bring myself to send her on something like that all alone.
I'm afraid I would have to agree that I woudn't do it. I have seen so many kids completely forgotten by airline staff, and when they find them somewhere the staff have always yelled at them for not doing the right thing! I can think of at least 10 times I have seen this happen, kids wandering airports on their own.
I sat next to a 13 year old who was served alcohol and got alcohol poisoning once! (Unfortunately the airline staff didn't believe me that the kid was underage and supposed to be one of their unaccompanied minors!) This last issue happened because there was a flight delay and the cabin crew changed over and didn't hand over the details. It doesn't take much. In this day and age I would be scared stiff. I don't imagine the airlines would take any responsibility either.
No way. In addition to what the PP have said, planes get delayed, connection flights get missed or cancelled, and what if the person sitting next to your child is a pervert? No, no, no.
It is such a long trip for a child to do on their own.
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