Tips for when children fly alone - FOX 35 News Orlando

Tips for when children fly alone

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ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -

'Tis the season to travel.

Often that means putting your little one on a flight by himself or herself.

It's tough enough to travel as an adult these days, but do you know what you need to do if your child must fly solo? FOX35 helps point you in the right direction!

"She's traveled since she was two weeks old," said Sunshine Baker, an Orlando mother.

Baker's daughter Cassidy Davis has flown alone about four time; her first time when she was 14 to visit friends.

"I was kind of afraid," said Davis. "I was going to Tennessee. It got bumpy and I was like ahh!"

"I felt she kind of knew her way around the airports and knew what to do and was smart enough to figure out what was best to do," said Baker.

Baker has it down, but it can still be a nerve-wracking process for many parents and guardians.

"I'd be doing the sign of the cross at the gate a lot," said Carol Margolis, a travel expert.

Margolis remembers putting her children on a plane to Chicago to visit their dad years ago.

She said many rules have changed, but her number one rule remains the same: know the rules! Each airline has its own.

"Get on the airlines websites," said Margolis. "Their rules are all online."

Margolis said when shopping around for tickets; don't just look for the best price. Book the first flight of the day.

"Never ever book the last flight of the day," said Margolis. "If there is ever a weather delay, a mechanical delay, now your child is stuck overnight in an airport."

Before you leave home make sure your child has an itinerary, a list of contact information, and label their bags, electronics and toys.

"Identify everything, including your baby," said Margolis.
 
"Just make sure that they have snacks and the phone numbers and cash just in case," said Baker.

Once you arrive at the airport, ask for an unaccompanied minor pass. You won't be able to board the plane with them, but you will be able to walk them to the gate.

"I also have the people at the end do the same thing so they can receive her when she gets out of the gate rather than her having to wander around by herself," said Baker.

And don't leave that gate until your child does.

"Do not leave the gate area until, not only the plane has backed up, but until that plane is in the air because if anything happens with that flight and they return to the gate, you want to be there," said Margolis.

One more thing…

"Hold the tears until they're boarded," said Margolis. "Don't make it harder on your child."

"You'll be fine," said Davis. It's not scary. Unless it moves weird in the plane. Other than that it's pretty good."

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