Have you decided to book the flight tickets for your child’s stay yourself? Here are our tips to keep in mind when booking so that your child can leave (and return!) in the best conditions.
Online search engines
Many of us now use search engines to compare prices online. But, be careful! Often the prices indicated do not include luggage or reservation fees. Therefore, if at first sight the proposals of some airlines appear cheap, the overall cost of travel may be higher. Instead, contact quality airlines, such as Air France, where the risk of delays or cancellations is lower. These also have proposals adapted to children travelling alone.
Unaccompanied minor procedures
Each airline has different procedures for unaccompanied minors (UMs), which can change from one year to the next. Some offer support for all minors, whatever their age, others allow young people to travel alone from the age of 12, or from the age of 15, etc. Before taking a flight ticket for a minor, refer to the airline’s regulations for the most recent travel terms and conditions.
Namely: some companies, notably Aer Lingus, do not offer accompaniment for minors, but provide a release document that must be signed by the parent or legal representative at the airport, in front of the company’s staff. In this case, you must accompany your child to the check-in counter.
Days, times and places of arrival:
- When choosing your child’s flight ticket, it is essential to respect:
- the days of arrival and departure
- slots (if specified)
- the proposed airport/station
This information is systematically provided in the confirmation of registration documents: wait until you receive it before making your reservation!
If your tickets do not comply with these instructions, an individual transfer should be arranged for your child.
Be very careful when entering the traveller’s first and last names when booking online. Spelling errors (even small ones) can cause problems in customs procedures, especially when travelling to the United States. Remember that the name indicated at the time of booking must correspond exactly to the name in your child’s passport (pay particular attention to particles and hyphens).
Some flights are sometimes “overbooked”, especially in summer (the number of tickets sold exceeds the number of seats available). To avoid being on the waiting list, we advise you to check in online as soon as this service is available (usually about 30 hours before the plane takes off).
Here you go, five little tips to help your child travel with peace of mind!