For minors traveling alone, what services does British Airways offer?
Effective from January 31, 2017, British Airways will no longer offer the Skyflyer Solo service, nor any other Unaccompanied Minor service. Unless your child is already booked on the Skyflyer Solo service (all bookings that have already been made for the Skyflyer Solo service will be honored), children under 12 years of age cannot travel alone and must be accompanied by an adult aged 16 or over.
To take care of your child traveling alone, British Airways offers Skyflyer Solo service. At London Heathrow and Gatwick airports, British Airways has dedicated lounges for children traveling alone. A member of the British Airways staff will look after your child throughout the journey until he/she is picked up by the nominated adult at the arriving airport or, if applicable, the staff of the airline to which your child is transferring.
Skyflyer Solo service offered for Unaccompanied Minors is not available on flight numbers BA001, BA002, BA003 and BA004 (Club World London City).
British Airways provides an in-flight escort when a large number of Unaccompanied Minors are travelling on the same flight. On routes to Algeria, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Russia, British Airways can only offer a limited number of bookings for Unaccompanied Minors due to the lengthy process for gaining visa clearance for the escort.
Which age restrictions for children traveling alone apply on British Airways flights?
Children younger than 5 years are not accepted to travel alone on British Airways flights. They must travel with a person at least 16 years of age or above (18 years of age or above on codeshare flights operated by Meridiana).
Children 5 years of age may travel alone only on single sector, direct, non-stop flights.
Children between the ages of 6 and 12 years old may travel alone on any British Airways flights.
The Skyflyer Solo service is mandatory for all children between the ages of 5 and 12 years old.
Between the ages of 12 and 18 years old, children may travel alone without any restriction, and the Skyflyer Solo service is also available upon request.
As an exception, the Skyflyer Solo service is mandatory for all children under 14 years holding an Italian passport, traveling alone and flying out of Italy.
Skyflyer Solo Service
The Skyflyer Solo service is not available for booking online. Your child’s flight and the Skyflyer Solo service must be booked and paid together, by contacting your local British Airways office or your travel agent. If the flight and service are not booked and paid together, cancellation and re-issue fees will be charged. When booking through a travel agent, you will need to take your child’s passport with you to show it. All unaccompanied minors must be registered with the Skyflyer Solo service at least 48 hours before scheduled departure, and all flights must be confirmed at the time of booking. Otherwise, British Airways will not accept them for travel.
British Airways will not accept children traveling alone on any journeys which involves:
- The transfer between London Heathrow and London Gatwick airports
- A transfer, night-stop or stopover exceeding six hours (unless you have made arrangements for your child to be met and cared for at the transfer point).
Drop-off and Pick-up
All unaccompanied minors must check-in at the designated desk for children traveling alone, available at most airports. All other check-in options are not available for unaccompanied minors.
You must accompany your child to the airport, arrive early (at least 1 hour before scheduled departure) and complete check-in formalities in order for British Airways to accept your child for travel. You will be asked for your contact details (in case of any disruption to flights) and the completed and signed Declaration Form. The Declaration Form contains information about the age and date of birth of your child, languages your child speaks (if he/she does not speak English), any allergies or additional needs, and also the name, address and telephone number for both the person dropping off and the person picking up your child at the destination. The Declaration Form also require information about the airline to which your child is transferring, if applicable, and a contact telephone number on which nominated parents/guardians can always be contacted both at the departing and arrival airport.
Upon arriving at the destination, British Airways ground staff will accompany your child from the aircraft through all the arrival procedures until he/she is released into the care of the staff of the airline to which your child is transferring or is picked up by the person nominated in the Declaration Form (photographic identification is required). Because British Airways has limited hours of operation at some airports, it is essential to announce if the person picking up your child is delayed.
In most cases, British Airways will charge the adult fare for children travelling alone. Additionally, British Airways will charge a fee per child for the Skyflyer Solo service, which is approximately:
- $50 per sector ($100 return trip) for flights within the U.K. and short-haul flights.
- $75 per sector ($150 return trip) for long-haul flights.
Exchange rates fluctuate, so the fee may vary.