Does Lufthansa offer any special service for children traveling alone?
Lufthansa offers the supervision service for children traveling alone on Lufthansa flights. The Lufthansa supervision service for Unaccompanied Minors ensures that more than 70,000 children are given the best possible care before take-off, during the flight and after landing, every year. Looking after their welfare, Lufthansa personnel will supervise Unaccompanied Minors throughout the entire flight and ensure that, at the destination airport, they are safely handed over to the person picking them up.
You should review the requirements and policies regarding Unaccompanied Minors for flights operated by another carrier under a codeshare agreement. Codeshare partners may have rules with respect to the operation of its own flights, which may differ from Lufthansa’s rules for flights operated by Lufthansa.
What are the age restrictions on Lufthansa flights for children traveling alone?
Children under 5 years of age will not be accepted unless they are escorted by an adult. The adult must be at least 18 years old, except brothers or sisters, who must be at least 16 years old to accompany a child under 5 years of age.
Children between 5 and 11 years may only fly unaccompanied if they are using the Lufthansa supervision service. Children between 5 and 11 years do not have to be handled as Unaccompanied Minors if accompanied by a passenger at least 12 years of age.
Children at least 12 and up to a maximum of 17 years old may travel alone without restrictions, but can also be looked after at the request of their parents.
Supervision service for Unaccompanied Minors
Tickets for Unaccompanied Minors cannot be booked online; it must be booked through the Lufthansa Service Centre, your travel agent or at a Lufthansa ticket counter. At the travel agency or airport, you will receive a small yellow Lufthansa shoulder bag which your child should keep clearly visible during the journey. The yellow bag should hold all the necessary travel documents:
- Required – valid passport/child’s ID card and the completed supervision form (always); visa for the destination country, travel insurance certificate, and declaration of consent from parents/legal guardians that the child may travel unaccompanied (depending on the destination country).
- Recommended – airline ticket or print-out of the etix reservation, receipt for any supervision charges you may have already paid, and food allergy alert card.
Unaccompanied Minors will be accepted only if they are accompanied to the airport by a parent, guardian or responsible adult who must present evidence that the child will be met upon deplaning at the airport of stopover or destination by another parent, guardian or responsible adult (supervision form). The child must hold a confirmed reservation as an Unaccompanied Minor. The child will not be accepted if the flight on which space is held is expected to terminate short of or by-pas the destination due to weather conditions.
Drop-off and Pick-up
You can use Online/Mobile Check-in to check in and obtain the boarding pass for your child, but you still should arrive with your child at the Lufthansa check-in desk at the airport at least 2 hours before departure so that there is sufficient time to complete the flight preparations. Lufthansa recommends that you pay the special service charge at the time of booking, or no later than 24 hours before departure through the Service Center, so that, on arrival at the airport, you can go straight to the check-in counter with your child. If you have not paid the charge before checking in, you should allow extra time to pay it at the Lufthansa ticket desk.
At Frankfurt and Munich airports, Lufthansa provides dedicated check-in counters for children who will be travelling alone and their parents. You can save time at the check-in counter printing out the completed supervision form at home. It is recommended to print out three copies: one for you, one to go in your child’s small yellow bag and one for Lufthansa. A Lufthansa member of staff will accompany your child from the check-in counter until they board the aircraft. However, as the parent or guardian, you must remain at the airport until the flight is airborne so that you are able to take your child home again should the flight be cancelled. A number of airports offer the option of accompanying your child right up to the departure gate. For departures from US airports, Lufthansa can issue you with a gate pass upon presentation of a valid passport and after clearance by the TSA.
Unaccompanied Minors are welcomed on board the aircraft by a flight attendant and looked after throughout the flight. On the plane, children traveling alone have special seats, located close to the flight attendants so that they can be on hand immediately. Games, crayons and coloring books and special children’s entertainment programme ensures that your child feels comfortable throughout the flight. Also, special children’s menus can be ordered up to 24 hours before departure.
If an Unaccompanied Minor has to transfer, the child will be met at the transit airport by a Lufthansa employee and taken to the departure gate for the connecting flight.
Upon arrival at the destination, the flight crew will hand your child over to a Lufthansa employee who will take him/her to meet the designated person. The person picking up your child must produce valid identification (identity document with photo). The Lufthansa employee will check the identity by asking to see a valid ID card and comparing it with the details given at the departure airport, before entrusting your child to the person picking up your child.
For your child’s hand baggage, the usual measures apply. However, your child should be able to carry the bag comfortably and unaided. Also, you should ensure that your child’s checked baggage does not exceed the free baggage allowance.
In addition to the airfare, there is a supervision charge per route for the Lufthansa supervision service for Unaccompanied Minors:
- Flight route within Germany or Europe – 60 EUR / 90 USD/CAD.
- Intercontinental flight route – 100 EUR / 150 USD/CAD.
For example, if your child is flying alone from Vienna via Munich to New York, the supervision charge of 160 EUR / 240 USD/CAD will be assessed as follows: 60 EUR / 90 USD/CAD, for the flight within Europe, plus 100 EUR / 150 USD/CAD, for the intercontinental flight. Or, if you book a flight from Delhi via Frankfurt to New York, you will pay a supervision charge of 200 EUR / 300 USD/CAD, for two intercontinental flights.