• GirlWellTravelled

Is My Child Old Enough To Fly Unaccompanied? Unaccompanied Minors

Updated: Sep 8, 2019

This was the question I braved in August.


Nonetheless, faced with one less week of holiday planning during the long summer break and the opportunity to travel to some place new and with friends. Being the good parent, I am, of course I said yes to her flying unaccompanied!


Additionally, the opportunity to have another week to myself - worth a king's ransom! (Thank you Mrs H!)


A completed and signed consent form, a copy of my passport attached, a speedy check-in at Heathrow, a drop off at passport control and that's it.

'Bye mom!'

They were off to join their friend in Europe.

The good news, well she'd been through an airport before. The flight was two hours only, an eleven-hour flight to South Korea. (That's an idea for next summer - South Korea for two months hard labour.) Then there was the bonus of travelling with another of her classmates.

A phone call two hours later confirmed they landed safely and cleared immigrations.


It dawned on me, kids across the UK and Europe travel unaccompanied more often than we know. Further, having sat next to an unaccompanied solo traveller on a flight to the Middle East 4 years ago, the onboard care demonstrated by the flight attendants, was faultless.


Children travel as unaccompanied minors (UMs) for a variety of reasons such as attending school, visiting family members or joining friends on holiday. Subject to the airline's minimum age requirement they may be permitted to travel without adult supervision or the airline may offer both a mandatory and or optional chaperoned service.


Some airlines Such as Virgin and Emirates offer an unaccompanied minor service where the parent or guardian flies in a separate cabin or class to their kids.


Whatever, the reason your minor may need to travel unaccompanied, below are eight airlines, their minimum age requirements and the service they offer.

British Airways - Age 14 years and above are officially allowed to travel unaccompanied.

Chaperone Service: None

Forms: Completed and signed British Airways Consent Form.

Virgin Atlantic - Age 12 years and above can fly solo.

Chaperone Service: This is available for children ages 5 - 18 years travelling alone but is a requirement for ages 5 - 11 years.

Forms: Completed and signed Declaration Indemnity Form

EasyJet - Age 16 years and above can travel alone

Chaperone Service: None

Forms: None required

Ryanair - Age 16 years and above are permitted to fly unaccompanied.

Chaperone Service: None

Forms: None required


Emirates - Age 12 years and above can travel unattended.

Chaperone Service: Required for ages 5 - 11 years travelling alone, optional for ages 12 - 15 or where the parent or guardian is travelling in a different class / cabin.

There is the added bonus of a dedicated Unaccompanied Minor Lounge at Dubai International Airport.

Forms: Completed and signed Declaration of Indemnity Form

Qatar Airways - Age 16 years and above are authorised to fly solo.

Chaperone Service: Qatar Airways offers both a chaperoned service and an escorted service. Required for ages 5 -15 years old.

Cost: Tickets are charged as an adult fare for the chaperoned service. For the escorted service, a return ticket is charged for the airline's employee who accompanies your child.


Cathay Pacific - Age 12 years and above are permitted to travel alone.

Chaperone Service: This is a mandatory for ages 6 -11 travelling alone but is also available up to the age of 17.

Forms: Yes


Singapore Airlines - Age 12 years and above can be given consent to fly unchaperoned.

Chaperone Service: This is a requirement for ages 5 - 11 and optional for ages 12 - 18 years.

Forms: Unaccompanied Minors Waiver Form


The following is worth noting in respect of the above:

- Flights should be booked with the airline reservation team or your preferred travel agent and NOT online.

- Applies to British Minors travelling from the UK

- Airlines do not permit carriage of any person under 5 years to fly alone.


* The above minimum ages were sourced from the individual airlines websites on

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