Thursday, September 22, 2016

Flying an ‘unaccompanied minor’

Worried about sending your 10-year-old alone on a flight? Don’t. Most airlines take good care of ‘unaccompanied minors’ on both domestic and international flights – from handling their boarding, escorting them to the plane, keeping an eye during the flight, helping collect baggage, and handing them to authorised persons at the destination. All this, after some paperwork and for a fee.

Airlines in India charge ?1,500 to ?2,000 a flight on domestic routes for an unaccompanied minor; this is in addition to the ticket cost which is the same as the fare for an adult traveller. The fees are generally higher on international routes and vary with the station of departure.

For instance, SpiceJet charges 200 Dirhams for an unaccompanied minor on its flights from Dubai and 1,575 Thai Baht on its flights from Bangkok.

But if you thought all minors are allowed to fly unaccompanied, sorry. This facility is not allowed for those less than five years - they have to travel with someone aged 18 or more. For infants – kids from seven days to two years – special lower ticket fares apply but they don’t have separate seats.

Also, some airlines such as GoAir and SpiceJet do not allow baggage allowance for infants. The infant’s valid age proof such as birth certificate needs to be shown at the check-in counter for the concessional fare.

Kids between two to five years have to be accompanied by an adult, are charged adult fares and enjoy matching benefits. Minors between five to 12 years are allowed to fly as unaccompanied minors for the specified fee, while those between 12 to 18 years are allowed to travel alone like other adult passengers.

The latter group, known as young travellers or young customers, also has the option of being flown as unaccompanied minors with the attendant care by airline staff, if their parents or guardians so desire. Airlines do not allow young travellers to be held responsible for unaccompanied minors.
22/09/16 Anand Kalyanaraman/Business Line
To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment