Does Alaska Airlines offer a service for children traveling alone?
For children traveling alone, whether it is mandatory or upon request, Alaska Airlines offers Unaccompanied Minor Service. The service means that Alaska Airlines will provide supervision for the Unaccompanied Minor from the time of boarding until he/she is met at the stopover point or destination.
The Unaccompanied Minor Service is available for all domestic and international flights, non-stop or direct and, under certain restrictions, for itineraries involving transfers or connecting flights. As an exception, the Unaccompanied Minor Service is not available for Alaska Airlines flights to/from Sun Valley, Idaho, annually between December 1 and April 1.
Which age restrictions apply for Unaccompanied Minors traveling on Alaska Airlines flights?
Children 4 years of age and younger are not accepted for travel under any conditions without a parent, guardian, or other responsible adult age 18 or older accompanying them.
Children aged 5 through 7 years (inclusive) may travel alone on non-stop and direct flights only.
Children aged 8 through 12 years (inclusive) may travel alone on non-stop, direct and certain connecting flights.
Children aged 13 through 17 years (inclusive) may travel alone on any itinerary involving any Alaska Airlines flight when the Unaccompanied Minor Service is not requested.
When is the Unaccompanied Minor Service mandatory?
Alaska Airlines considers Unaccompanied Minors all children younger than 13 years who are traveling without a parent, guardian, or other responsible adult at least 18 years old. The age limits imposed by Alaska Airlines are based on the child’s age on the date of commencement of travel.
The Unaccompanied Minor Service is mandatory for:
- Children aged 5 through 12 years (inclusive) traveling alone.
- Children aged 13 through 17 years (inclusive) traveling alone and whose itinerary involves a connection to another airline where they are considered Unaccompanied Minors.
Unaccompanied Minor Service
Flight restrictions apply when booking a flight for an Unaccompanied Minor. When you book a flight for your children traveling alone, flight restrictions for your youngest child will apply to all children flying together, including children over 12 years for whom the Unaccompanied Minor Service was not requested. Alaska Airlines will not accept children traveling alone to be booked:
- On flights departing between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.
- On flights involving transfers or connections if the child is younger than 8 years of age.
- On the last connecting flight of the day, except when there is no other option available.
- On connecting flights departing between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., unless it is the only flight of the day.
- On flights with connections of over 2 hours waiting time, unless the market does not provide connections less than 2 hours.
Also, Alaska Airlines will not accept children traveling alone as Unaccompanied Minors if any flight on which the child holds a reservation is expected to terminate short of or by-pass his/her destination or connection point.
Unaccompanied Minors aged 8 years and older may be booked on flights involving transfers or connections only to flights operated by Alaska Airlines or flights operated by regional partners, Horizon Air, SkyWest Airlines, and Ravn Alaska, provided the child holds a confirmed ticket to a point where he/she is to be met by a parent or responsible adult upon deplaning. Alaska Airlines will not transfer Unaccompanied Minors to/from flights on other airlines (interline transfer). The parent or guardian must pre-arrange to have the child transferred by a responsible adult for all other airline connections.
Alaska Airline personnel will assist Unaccompanied Minors in connecting to/from other Alaska Airlines flights and flights operated by Horizon Air, SkyWest Airlines, and Ravn Alaska (online transfer), provided the scheduled period between ticketed flights is no more than two hours. If the scheduled period between ticketed flights is more than two hours, the parent or guardian must pre-arrange to have the child transferred by a responsible adult. You must call Alaska Airlines Reservations prior to travel if a friend or family member will be meeting the Unaccompanied Minor in a connecting city.
You can book a child traveling alone online, by selecting “0 Adults” and the total number of children traveling in the “Children” field. When you book a flight for your children traveling alone, flight restrictions for your youngest child will apply to all children flying together, including children over 12 years for whom the Unaccompanied Minor Service was not requested. When choosing seats, Alaska Airlines recommends selecting Children Traveling Alone seats (“C” seats) from the seat map.
After making the reservation, you will be prompted to complete the Guardian Contact Form online: names and phone numbers of the persons (guardians) who will be picking up and dropping off the Unaccompanied Minors and alternate guardians in case of emergency (should be included for each direction). You can add or change this information using the Unaccompanied Minor’s confirmation code or e-ticket number.
Drop-off and Pick-up
Unaccompanied Minors must be brought to the departure airport by a parent or responsible adult, at least 90 minutes prior to departure for domestic flights and 2 hours for international flights. All Unaccompanied Minor procedures (e.g. fees paid, paperwork completed, gate passes issued) must be completed in advance of the standard baggage and check-in cut-off times. You can check in an Unaccompanied Minor and pay the Unaccompanied Minor fee online, at the kiosk, or at the ticket counter.
At the ticket counter, you must notify a Customer Service Agent that your child is traveling as an Unaccompanied Minor and complete and sign the Guardian Contact Form or submit the form you have completed online and printed at home. A unique identification piece for Children Traveling Alone, that must be worn by the child at all times while in the Alaska Airlines care, will be provided upon check-in.
Also at the ticket counter, you can obtain escort passes to escort the Unaccompanied Minor to the gate. Up to 2 adults and all children (under the age of 13 years old) accompanying the child are allowed through the security checkpoint. Escort passes may not be available in Canada or Mexico (due to customs and immigration requirements).
You must arrive at the gate, with the Unaccompanied Minor, at least 40 minutes prior to departure and introduce your child to the gate agent. The person dropping off the Unaccompanied Minor must remain at the airport until a Customer Service Agent has confirmed that the flight has departed.
The guardian listed in the form as the person picking up the child must present a valid photo I.D. to obtain an escort pass for meeting the child at the gate. Escort passes may not be available in stations where the security checkpoint has closed (e.g. evening arrivals). In this case, an Alaska Airlines representative will escort the Unaccompanied Minor from the gate and meet the person picking up the child outside the security checkpoint.
For the escort service offered for children traveling alone, whether it is mandatory or upon request, Alaska Airlines will charge a fee, in addition to the applicable fare. The Unaccompanied Minor Service fee may be paid during Web Check-in, at a Check-in Kiosk or ticket counter. The following fees will apply one-way, per child:
- $50 – for non-stop and direct flights.
- $75 – for connecting flights.
Alaska Airlines waives the Unaccompanied Minor Service fee for children who have obtained Mileage Plan Elite status (MVP, MVP Gold, or Gold 75K).