American Airlines minors flying alone

What services does American Airlines offer regarding minors?

American Airlines offers the Unaccompanied Minor Service to ensure that the child is pre-boarded onto the aircraft, introduced to the flight attendant, chaperoned during connections (if necessary), and released to the designated adult upon arrival at destination when your child is traveling alone.

What are the age restrictions on American Airlines flights for children traveling alone?

Children younger than 5 years traveling alone are not accepted on American Airlines flights. They must travel with an accompanying adult at least 16 years old.

Children aged 5 to 14 (inclusive) may travel alone and are considered Unaccompanied Minors. For them, the Unaccompanied Minor Service is mandatory.

Children aged 15 to 17 (inclusive) may travel alone, and the Unaccompanied Minor Service is optional (subject to the same provisions).

What restrictions apply for an itinerary involving connecting flights?

Children aged 5 to 7 (inclusive) may travel alone only on nonstop or direct (makes a stop without a plane change) flights. They may not travel on connecting flights or on certain AmericanConnection flights that are operated with aircraft not requiring a flight attendant. Also, they are restricted on flights designated by a single flight number, but scheduled with a change to another type of aircraft before termination.

Children aged 8 to 14 (inclusive) may travel alone on nonstop, direct and connecting flights through Charlotte (CLT), Chicago (ORD), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), New York (JFK and LGA), Philadelphia (PHL), Phoenix (PHX), and Washington Reagan (DCA). The reservations must be confirmed to the destination. Additional restrictions apply for connecting flights:

  • The Unaccompanied Minor will not be accepted if the itinerary includes a connection to/from another airline, including oneworld and codeshare partners.
  • The Unaccompanied Minor will not be accepted if the itinerary includes the last connecting flight of the day unless it is the only flight offered.
  • The Unaccompanied Minor will not be accepted if the itinerary includes overnight connecting flights unless it is the only flight offered.
  • The Unaccompanied Minor will not be accepted for ground/co-terminal connecting itineraries (such as changing from London Gatwick to London Heathrow) because an unaccompanied child under 15 years may not use ground transportation unescorted.
  • American Airlines may not accept an Unaccompanied Minor holding reservations when there is a reasonable likelihood that the child will not make a flight connection, and overnight accommodations will be required.

Unaccompanied Minor Service

Unaccompanied Minors cannot be booked online. Advance arrangements must be made by calling American Airlines Reservations department. American Airlines reserves the right to request proof of age, so you must be prepared to provide proper documentation (birth certificate, passport, etc.) upon request, for your child traveling alone. Children traveling under the Unaccompanied Minor program may use electronic ticketing.

Drop-off and Pick-up

Unaccompanied Minors must be taken to the airport by a parent or responsible adult. You will need to complete all necessary forms and check-in procedures when your child is traveling alone. For this reason, American Airlines recommends that you arrive at the airport:

  • 2 hours before departure, for domestic flights.
  • 3 hours before departure, for international flights.

You should take this time into consideration because Unaccompanied Minors may not travel until all necessary forms are complete, so, for security reasons they must see an agent at the ticket counter where:

  • The Unaccompanied Minor form (that includes the name, address and phone number of the parent or responsible adult who will meet your child at the destination) must be completed in person at the ticket counter.
  • For international flights, the agent will ensure that you complete all necessary Customs and Immigration forms before American Airlines or American Eagle takes custody of your child.
  • The agent will ensure that the flight is operating as scheduled. When the flight is delayed and expected to misconnect or divert to another airport, you should make alternate arrangements for your child’s travel.
  • You can obtain a security pass to escort the minor through security to the gate.

Upon completion of check-in, you and your child should be at the gate 30 minutes prior to departure for pre-boarding. At some airports, you may be required to release your child upon check-in at the ticket counter. In this instance, an American Airlines representative will escort your child to the departure gate. You must remain at the airport until the flight has departed the gate.

American Airlines remains responsible for the Unaccompanied Minor from the origin city to the final destination. Requests for someone other than an American Airlines representative to escort your child at the connection city will not be accepted.

The adult meeting the Unaccompanied Minor at the destination airport should arrive at the gate 20 minutes before the flight’s scheduled arrival time. At US airports only, the designated adult must obtain a security pass from the airport ticket counter to meet the child at the gate. The American Airlines representative will release your child to the designated adult after verifying identification and forms at the gate.


American Airlines charges $150 each way, plus tax, for the Unaccompanied Minor Service. The charge applies in addition to the applicable adult fare and does not cover on board snack purchases or meals during a layover.

The charge will be assessed for each Unaccompanied Minor, with one exception. When two or more unaccompanied children from the same family (immediate or extended) are traveling on the same flights, only one charge will be assessed.

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