Putting the ‘Accompanied’ into Unaccompanied Minor….. All you need to know about children travelling alone.

2017-03-20T19:51:40+00:00 March 20th, 2017|Blog, Unaccompanied Minors|

What is an Unaccompanied Minor (UM)?

This is an airline term used for children who have booked and paid for a UM service with an airline. Most airlines have rules in place as to how old children must be to fly alone, under this age they are required to book the UM service, the ages vary with each airline.

At the time of booking, parents are required to provide full details of who will be meeting the child at the destination airport. The airline staff who escort the child from the aircraft will only handover to the person who is named on the form and will require photographic ID. On arrival at the departure airport for check-in, the person checking in the child will take them to the desk for Check-In and then remain with them until approximately one hour prior to the flight departure time when they will hand the child over to a member of the airline staff who will escort them Airside and onto the aircraft. This person is then required to remain in the airport until the flight had departed.

Where do Airport Angels Fit in?

Airport Angels can provide both Unaccompanied Minor Check-In services and Meet & Greet, our staff members are conversant with the paperwork and procedures required by the airlines. The Check-In service we provide includes meeting your child from their transport on arrival to a UK airport, assisting them with the check-in procedure and caring for them until they hand them over to the airline staff at which point the Airport Angel will remain in the airport until the flight has departed. For young ones arriving into the UK, our Airport Angel will be waiting for them at Arrivals and carry out the handover from the airline staff. They would then be chaperoned to their onward transport. On booking our Meet & Greet service for UM’s our office will provide the name and contact details of the Airport Angel that will be meeting them so that this can be passed to the airline who require these details at the time of booking the service.

What about Children not booked with the airline as a UM?

Some airlines don’t offer UM services, British Airways announced the end to their provision of this service in February 2016 and although do not allow children under the age of 12 to travel without an adult they still allow children aged between 12-16 years to fly independently. “This is great!” we hear you say but how would your child navigate themselves through the airport once they have left you at security? How would you possibly feel safe in the knowledge that they would reach the right boarding gate at the right time  and would you be sitting anxiously awaiting that text that they forget to send once they have made it !!

Airport Angels provide an Airside service which will save all that worry. We can meet you at Check-In or a pre-arranged area or if your child is not accompanied by a parent when leaving the UK, we can meet them from their transport, which could be coach, taxi, train or school bus. After assisting with Check-In our Airport Angel will remain with your child through security, in the departure lounge and escort them to the boarding gate ensuring they are onboard. We are happy at this point to text you and confirm that they are safetly onboard.

On your child’s arrival into the UK our Airport Angel will meet them from the aircraft with a name sign and assist them through immigration, baggage reclaim and onwards to meet with the person collecting them or see them to their onward transport.

Where can you find our services?

We provide services for young people at Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh & Dublin.

Anything Else?

Airport Angels can provide transport services to tie in with our Airport services. We have a great team of drivers, all highly experienced in working with our youngsters providing a friendly, yet safe solution to and from their school to the airport.