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Guide for Kids Flying Solo - Part 2

On Your Way

Bag packed, ticket ready -- did you forget anything? Now that your child is ready to fly into the wild blue yonder, AAA offers some suggestions.


Dress your child in comfortable, washable clothes. Pack a jacket or sweater.

Leave early for the airport. Arrive at least one hour before a domestic flight, two hours when traveling overseas.

Provide airline staff with your child's travel documents. Complete the 'unaccompanied minor' form, show your ID and supply the name of the adult who will meet your child at his destination.

Confirm special requests have been arranged. Wheelchair? Kids' meal?

Arrange an on-flight allowance. Give your young traveler money for headsets or other expenses. Provide a prepaid phone card for use when he lands.

At the last minute: Ensure your child's ticket is in a handy place. If your child is small, tell him that the ticket is very important -- but if it gets lost, just ask the flight attendant for help.

Instruct younger kids to stay seated after landing. A flight attendant will help them in a few minutes.

Prepare kids for what might happen on the plane. Discuss landing gear and wing flap noises. Talk about turbulence. Reassure your child that it's all part of flying and nothing to worry about. Suggest your child stay seated with his seat belt loosely fastened.

If parents are allowed to escort kids into the plane before the flight, familiarize him with the aircraft and fellow travelers. Instruct him in the proper use of the flight attendant button.

Prepare older children for alternatives. Tell your child to contact airline personnel if the plane gets rerouted, so staff can make arrangements for food and lodging.

Before take-off:

Don't leave for home until the plane takes off. Occasionally, a flight will be delayed and passengers will be asked to leave the plane.

Remind adults at the destination to arrive early. Emphasize they'll need proper identification. If there's a delay or a change in plans, notify them.
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