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Would you let your 10 year old son/daughter fly alone?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Relic, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    I've known of parents who've done this to visit grandparents and such and claim that it's no biggie. Me? Oh hell no. I go with them or we don't go at all.

    Check this out:


  2. MadMan118


    Jan 10, 2008
    Vallejo, CA
    Wooow. When I was a kid I took a flight by self to visit family in CA. And they had that unaccompanied minor stuff 'on lock' but now it seems kinda sketchy.
  3. JimB52

    JimB52 User Supporting Member

    May 24, 2007
    East Coast
    Outsourced? Did the 3rd party have to come in from overseas? I would be livid. I would push for fines from the FAA or something.
  4. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Wow, I was scared just reading that story.

    But to answer the original question, I'm not a parent but there's no way I'd let a 10 year old fly, unless they were really, really, really, really, super-duper mature. With cancellations, being put on stand-by, missed connections, and the like, there's just so much that can go wrong. I don't know how common this particular story is, but I'd hate to have a child stuck in an airport at some strange city with nobody there they can rely upon to get to their destination or back home.
  5. hover


    Oct 4, 2008
    No way. And in this case, and yeah, what JimB52 said. To the extreme.
  6. colcifer

    colcifer Esteemed Nitpicker Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    A Galaxy Far, Far Away
    I took one solo trip as a minor but being that I was a teenager and there were no transfers, it was relatively uneventful (I say 'relatively' because I came close to causing a bomb scare). To answer the question, probably not. I was going to say "it depends on the 10 year old" but then I thought about my kid sisters... No. They'd probably get there in one piece but no.

    Edit: Midnight summed it up nicely.
  7. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    Why was the girl not armed with a cell phone for this trip???

    As for me, I would let my 14-year-old travel alone on a trip like that, but I definitely would not have when she was 10.
  8. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Long Island, NY.
    I did it multiple times between the ages of 10 and 16. It wasn't a big deal, although the airlines tried to make it impossible for either of my parents to either walk me to a gate or pick me up from the gate. A few times I did have to do it solo, but it wasn't a big deal.
  9. babebambi


    Jan 7, 2008
    If you were gonna let your child fly alone, at least give her a cell phone with roaming plan ...
  10. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal

    Even if my kid were super mature I thik there is just way too much room for something to go wrong.
  11. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    Most flights I've been on have been relatively uneventful where a mature 10 year old would probably have been fine.
    But there were a few that I'm absolutely convinced would have been disasters for a younger kid or an inexperienced younger traveler had they been left to their own devices. I just could not put my kids through something like that...

    Also to add to the chorus here - why did this particular kid not have a cell phone?!
  12. Funky Ghost

    Funky Ghost Translucently Groovy

    This. The same experience as well. The pilot was super cool and took me to the cockpit, then they gave me wings ( pin on ) and a deck of cards :) Eastern Airlines. They rocked way back when.
  13. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    And Kareem Abdul Jabbar was the co-pilot, right?
  14. Funky Ghost

    Funky Ghost Translucently Groovy

    As I recall the salmon tasted funny...
  15. iJazz


    Jan 9, 2012
    Sussex, WI
    Not the same scenario but similar. When I was a kid of 10 we went to the NY Worlds Fair. Mom & Dad were perfectly comfortable cutting me loose for the day on the fair grounds with cash for lunch and dinner and a place to meet before closing.

    At age 14 for Expo in Montreal they sent me into the city with our host early AM so I could do the fair one extra day. I had to kill some time in downtown Montreal before the fair grounds opened. I had cash in pocket for meals, spending, and a bus ticket home for the last bus out around 11:30 to our host's home some 50 or so miles out of the city. As I recall I had to catch the train from the fair grounds to the bus station.

    iJazz - "It's Different For Girls"
  16. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    If I allowed my child to travel alone, they would be armed with a cell phone (for sure!), and would have clear instructions to call me the moment they were on the ground and through the gate, and at various points along the way. If ANYTHING doesn't go as planned, they call me, and I either walk them through it, or call someone who can help. If I don't get a call within a certain window of time, I'm on the phone with someone who can tell me what's going on.

    Although there were multiple fails along the way, the parents failed by not providing an efficient channel of communication during the trip.
  17. Definitely

    Definitely Banned

    I started flying alone around 8. Here in Canada (I'd imagine the States should be the same) you can't legally fly completely independently until the age of 12, but Air Canada has an Unaccompanied Minor program where you are escorted from security to the gate, onto the plane, off the plane, and back to your parents and you never leave the stewardess' sight. It costs more of course. As soon as I turned 12 I started flying independently and I've never had a hitch. It is completely reliable and safe.

    EDIT: I should add that I am 14 and am usually on around 16 planes a year, give or take.
  18. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    The airlines are very good about this. As a very frequent flier I see the Unaccompanied Minors quite often and there is always someone from the airline waiting for them as they are escorted off the plane.

    There are 30,000 flights a DAY in the USA - that there is ONE screw-up in months or years?? That is just Media Fodder. Greater chance your kid could get lost going to the 7-11.
  19. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    I don't have kids...thankfully.

    I have flown more in the last year than I did in the previous ten. So, a whole five round trips in the last ten months.

    It would depend on the setup of the flight, and the kid to me. I had a connecting flight where I had about 20mins to make it from one end of the airport to the other, complete with a trip on the inner-airport train. I made it just as they were starting to board the first class passengers.

    If it would have been the 10 year old me, I would have been screwed. I used to hate asking for help from others, and on that flight-the first thing I did when I couldn't find a map was find an airport employee and said "Can you tell me how to get to where I need to go?" That took care of the problem immediately (at least finding out how to get there). The lady gave me specific directions that got me there quick.

    For a direct flight? I don't think it would have been that big of a deal when I was ten, as long as it wasn't my first time flying.

    With the flights this year, I saw some kids as well as elderly being escorted through the airport by Airport/Airline Staff members.
  20. dozicusmaximus


    Mar 18, 2009
    Austin, TX
    I also started flying alone around 8-9 yrs old. By the time I was 10, I really didn't need any help anymore. But huge airports like Chicago were a little scary. With trains to other terminals and what not. But it was nice being escorted by pretty flight attendants :)
    This was before cell phones. And my Dad/Mom could actually walk up to the gate and pick me up.
    You definitely have to pay attention to what's going on.

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