What services does Air China offer regarding minors?
Air China offers the Unaccompanied Minor Service. Air China requires previous arrangements to be made for Unaccompanied Minors between the ages of 5 and 12, who must have the airline’s prior consent in order to be accepted on board, besides the payment of the ticket fare and the according service fee. Due to some very specific regulations, the airline reserves the right to refuse the carriage of minors who do not provide all the relevant information or proof at the time of the ticket purchase.
In order to apply successfully for the Unaccompanied Minor Service, you should contact the local Air China office in the city of departure.
This type of service is available when the whole journey is operated by Air China (for Air China-operated (CA-coded) flights), including domestic, regional and international nonstop flights or flights with connections via Beijing. Air China does not accept requests for Unaccompanied Minor service on interline connecting flights between Air China and another carrier.
What are the age restrictions on domestic and international flights?
In order for your child to be eligible for the Unaccompanied Minor Service, they must be at least 5 years old, but under 12 years old, and travel unaccompanied by an adult at least 18 years old.
This service can also be requested if your child has reached the age of 12, but is under 18 years old.
You can also apply for the Unaccompanied Minor Service if your child is at least 16, but under 18 years old, and has a hearing, speech or vision impairment. However, children aged between 5 and 16 are not eligible for this service, if they suffer from the aforementioned disabilities.
Unaccompanied Minor Service
The Unaccompanied Minor Service should be requested in advance, so that your child would have a pleasant and safe journey. This can be done at the initial location of departure, by directly contacting Air China’s sales office and filling in all the relevant procedures, followed by selecting your child’s seat.
The same office located at the first point of departure must also be contacted in order to make all the necessary arrangements regarding your child’s return trip. This can be done by a parent / legal guardian or by any family member, if your child’s ticket is a round-trip one.
The Unaccompanied Minor Service can be requested up to the day prior to scheduled departure, before 3:00 p.m. – for domestic flights, and at least 2 days before flight departure – for international and regional flights.
In order to apply for the Unaccompanied Minor Service, certain documents must be provided by both you and your child. First of all, your child should have a valid travel document, the Unaccompanied Minor Travel Request form completed, a ticket or the Unaccompanied Minor Service receipt, and, of course, any other documents that might be relevant. Together with their most important personal belongings, these documents must be kept in the special ID pouch provided by Air China.
You should also present certain documentation, such as your ID, a copy of a valid passport, the travel documents mentioned above for your child, and also the name, address and phone number of the person(s) responsible for picking up your child at the destination airport.
If this type of service is requested for a connecting flight in Beijing, the same procedure applies: in order to make sure that the person responsible for your child in Beijing will be able to reach him or her, do not forget to provide all the aforementioned details, but also the ID document number of the person in charge with the pick-up. If none is provided, Air China will assume responsibility for your child’s safety in the transit city, but this is possible only with prior arrangements.
Since unaccompanied minors have special needs, and therefore require special care and attention, the number of accompanied minors on board is limited for each flight depending on certain age limits. While there is no restriction regarding the number of unaccompanied minors over the age of 8, those who did not reach their 8th birthday are allowed on board in a number of no more than five.
Drop-off and Pick-up
The Unaccompanied Minor Travel Request must be filled in at the time you ask for the Unaccompanied Minor Service. After the formalities have been met, the minor must be brought by their parent or custodian to the boarding location at the airport of departure.
Air China gives special attention to Unaccompanied Minors, offering a broad range of services and assistance:
- The minor must be present at the airport, at the special passenger counter, 2 hours before flight departure, in order for all the custody formalities to be completed smoothly. Do not forget that your child must carry a valid identification – identical to the one used when purchasing the ticket. The filled in Unaccompanied Minor Travel Request form must also be in his possession.
- A small travel ID pouch is offered to every unaccompanied minor. This pouch will help your child keep all his travel documents, boarding passes and important personal items organized, as well as easy to reach and safe.
- Your child will be seen through all the check-in and security procedures (the check-in formalities, security clearance, customs clearance and baggage check-in), but this does not mean that the person who brought him or her to the airport can leave before flight take off. It is recommended that you wait at the airport until the flight has departed, to make sure nothing comes up that might require your presence.
- Upon embarkment, the ground service staff, responsible for retaining the minor’s documents, will hand them over to one of the cabin attendants, who will take care of the child throughout the flight.
- Upon arrival, your child will be expected by the local ground service staff, who will escort him or her to the arrivals area, help with baggage retrieval, and make sure, after a thorough verification of the ID documents, that the right person is there to pick up the child.
The child’s boarding record will indicate the complete information of the person responsible for picking him or her up at the airport of destination. The airport’s staff will contact, prior to landing, the person you named for taking your child into custody, and make sure they will be present for pick-up at the time of arrival.
After disembarkment, the ground service staff will take care of all the formalities, including verifying – in a thorough manner – the identity of the person entrusted with the child’s pick-up. This is part of Air China’s security policy, so that you can rest assured that nothing will happen to your child.
Flights operated solely by Air China that include a connecting flight through Beijing present the possibility that your child may need to stay overnight in the city (in expectancy of the flight connection). Should this be the case, in the Unaccompanied Minor Service request you must provide all the relevant information of a contact person in Beijing, that can take care of the child during the stopover. If none is provided, Air China will assume responsibility for your child’s safety in the transit city, but additional charges will be set. This is possible only with prior arrangements.
The Unaccompanied Minor Service has different rates, depending on whether the flight is domestic, international, or is just transiting through Beijing. All fees are valid for direct flights only, and if they are operated exclusively by Air China.
|5 to 12 years
|free of charge
|12 to 18 years
|Non-stop International & Regional
|5 to 18 years
|RMB 260 (approx. USD 50)
|Connecting Flights Via Beijing
|5 to 18 years
|RMB 520 (approx. USD 100)
As well as for the Unaccompanied Minor Service fees, the fares also vary depending on whether the flight is domestic or international.
Domestic flight tickets may be purchased at a charge of 50% of the applicable normal adult fare for Unaccompanied Minors aged at least five but less than twelve. A 100% charge rate of the applicable normal adult fare will be in effect for minors who are at least twelve years old, but less than eighteen.
For the international and regional tickets, the normal adult fare will be applicable. However, you are advised to contact Air China’s direct sales office or call 95583 for additional information about the current fares.