The straightforward answer to “What is the age limit for flying alone” is – that children should be 5 through 11 years old. However, children flying alone is something out of the ordinary. It’s common for children to fly alone, but the Department of Transportation has no regulations for them. However, airlines have some specific age limits and procedures to protect the well-being of youngsters flying alone.

In this blog, we will summarize the most common policies of the airlines concerning the age limit, but it is recommended to check the policy for the specific airline you choose to book a flight with, before making a reservation for your youngster.

General Airline Policy: Who Can Fly Alone?

All the US airlines permit youngsters to fly alone if they have an age of 5 years or more than that. However, here are some terms and conditions that every parent should know before booking a flight for their children.

  • Those children who are in the age bracket of 5-11 will board the flight as per the unaccompanied minors procedure.
  • Some of the airlines require the age limit of unaccompanied minors to be as old as 11 years old.
  • On many airlines, children between 5 to 7, will only be accepted on nonstop flights. Kids 8 years old can take the connecting flight as well as the direct flights.
  • On domestic flights, many airlines don’t require the unaccompanied minor service for kids 12 years old and over.
  • Airlines do not allow children under 5 to fly alone.
  • Children less than 5 years old must always be accompanied by someone at least 12 years of age who is flying in the same cabin.

Thus, before making the reservation for your younger one, we recommend you first go through the terms and conditions regarding the age limit for flying alone. As the age limit varies from airline to airline.

Here are the age restrictions on US airlines for Unaccompanied Minors

Age Restrictions Unaccompanied Minor Procedures
Under 5 Cannot travel alone N/A
5 Through 7 Can travel alone on nonstop flights Yes
8 through 11 (8 through 14 on some airlines) Can travel alone on any flight Yes
Domestic flights 12 through 17 (15 through 17 on some airlines) Can travel alone on any flight without restrictions Only on request
12 through 17 (15 through 17 on some airlines) Can travel alone Required by many carriers

Important: Restrictions may apply in some cases. Although the airlines set the minimum and maximum age restrictions for flying alone. You as a parent can decide whether your child is ready to travel alone or not.

What Documents Are Needed for a Minor to Fly Alone?

When traveling to any destination, every airline requires some kind of document to complete the booking procedure. It may vary from airline to airline, but the bare minimum is that you will have to provide the documents of the responsible person, be it parents/guardians, aunt, uncle, or any person who will be picking up the child from the airport. This includes:

  • Identification documents, such as driving license or passport.
  • Immigration documents
  • Medical certificates as proof
  • Documents of special assistance, if any

Other than these, you can opt for travel insurance, which will help the traveller get cover, in case anything goes wrong while your child is on the plane.

Do I have to Book a child as an Unaccompanied Minor?

The answer to the query is yes. As mentioned earlier in the policy, almost all the airlines use the Unaccompanied Minor procedure if the child is traveling alone. Thus, before booking the flight for your child, you must check the requirements of the age limit for unaccompanied minors, and the other related terms and conditions.

Some airlines allow booking only on certain routes and with additional restrictions that may involve stopovers. Thus, always check the airline before your child travels solo.

Note: Unaccompanied minor bookings come with added charges along with the main booking prices. Depending on the airline, the flight ticket may be charged similar to the rate of the adult flights.

Are there any Airlines that do not offer Unaccompanied Service?

While most of the US airlines offer the service for children to travel alone. But not all airlines offer this service. For example, Allegiant, Frontier, and Sun Country Airlines do not offer unaccompanied services. However, children aged 15 or above can fly as an adults.

However, please be sure to check the specific policy before making the reservation and the restrictions that may apply.

Here is the you may know also about the best airlines for unaccompanied minors

Can a 17 year old Fly Alone Internationally?

Yes, children above 15 can board international flights. Some of the airlines automatically apply the unaccompanied minors service for kids up to age 17 on international flights, and subsequently, charge the ‘standard unaccompanied minors fee’ if there is any.

However, children traveling alone on international flights should have a passport, visa, or other international documents required for entry. However, if the airline does not offer the unaccompanied service, you can simply choose the unaccompanied service, for that, you might have to pay the charges.

Additional Tips for Parents of Unaccompanied Minors

Before making a flight reservation, make sure to keep a few things in mind to make your child’s travel hassle-free.

  • The first and foremost thing is to make sure your child is ready to travel solo.
  • Pack all the required things that may be needed while traveling.
  • Choose the seat wisely.
  • Provide them with your contact details, and if they face any issues, the airline staff will contact you.
  • Make sure to add the personal details tag on the bag.
  • Try to reach early at the airport so that the check-in and boarding process can easily be completed.
  • Ensure that your child carries all the documents, and ask him/her to keep them handy throughout the travel.

These are some of the additional tips to pay attention to when your child is traveling alone.

Bottom Line

Overall, if you can’t travel with your child, it is still possible for them to travel alone. Thus, your child can travel solo but you need to conform to the airline’s policies concerning the ‘age limit for flying alone’. So, make sure to check the airline’s terms and conditions before making the booking for your child. However, if you still need any help regarding the age limit, or want to know more about the process, reach out to us and get your query resolved.


Traveltipspot is a third-party OTA website providing customer service assistance for flight bookings. However, it does not have any direct association with any airline. We are like an unofficial medium to fill the gap between you and the airline policies. Our logos, brand images, or name of the companies only signify the entity they represent, and we are totally using that for informative presence. Hence, Traveltipspot will not be liable for any temporary unavailability or error due to a technical issue. Check our website terms and conditions for usage and other service benefits.