Travelling is such an important part in of childhood, whether it’s around your local surroundings or to places further afield. We’ve already covered how to travel fly long-haul with kids but we forgot something very essential: how to plan a trip for your young explorer by plane if they need to travel on their own.
School kids have far more holidays than their parents and sometimes it’s a lot more convenient to “ship” them to their grandparents house in Cornwall or even to visit friends in Paris during Half Term or Easter Break. But is it safe to lets your kids fly on their own? Absolutely, with a travel companion service.
British Airways offers a travel companion service, called Skyflyer Solo, year-round and on all its flights. The service starts when you arrive at the airport but the conditions of the service vary according to the child’s age and trip itineraries.
- Under 5 years: Skyflyer Solo is unavailable. Your child must travel with someone over the age of 16.
- 5-6 years: You must book Skyflyer Solo but can only travel on BA non-stop direct flights.
- 6-12 years: You must book Skyflyer Solo and can travel on any BA flight.
- 12-18 years: Your child can travel alone or use the Skyflyer Solo service.
British Airways does not offer the service on London City – New York flights. They also don’t transfer children between London airports (City, Gatwick, Heathrow). The service is also unavailable on journeys with stopovers that are longer than 6 hours.
For more information, check out British Airways’ website for children flying alone.
And low cost airlines like easyJet and Ryanair?
Kids aren’t offered any special treatment on low cost airlines. easyJet does not accept solo travellers that are younger than 14. Ryanair doesn’t allow solo travellers that are younger than 16. Neither airline offers an escort or special assistance for unaccompanied passengers. In addition to a piece of ID, travellers that are younger than 18 must also present signed permission to travel from either parent or a legal guardian.