Unaccompanied minors

Children traveling alone

We want your child to have a safe and positive trip. For safety, we require children age 5 – 14 traveling alone to use our unaccompanied minor service. This service is optional for children age 15 – 17, but if requested, then the fee applies.

The unaccompanied minor fee is $150 each way, plus applicable taxes*, in addition to the ticket price. This fee covers additional siblings on the same flight.

* Flights within the U.S. are subject to a 7% tax.

Flights departing Canada

Find out how much you'll pay for children traveling alone and other fees on roundtrip and one-way flights departing Canada, displayed in CAD.

Children traveling alone and other fees - Canada

Unaccompanied minor service

Our service includes:

  • Early boarding to allow extra time to get settled and meet the flight attendants
  • Kids-only lounges in our hub cities for flight connections
  • An airport escort to help your child to the gate for flight connections
  • Escorting the child to the authorized adult picking them up when they land

Keep in mind, our flight attendants will be busy with onboard duties and can’t continuously monitor your child during their flight. Let your child know to ring the call button if they need anything.

Age and flight restrictions for children traveling alone:

We don’t allow children to travel alone when their trips include:

  • Flights on another airline including codeshare and oneworld® partners
  • Ground or co-terminal connections where the child must transfer from one local airport to another
  • The last flight of the day from the final connection city (unless it’s the only flight)
  • Overnight connecting flights
Age range Restrictions
0-4 Cannot travel alone
5-7 • Unaccompanied minor service required
• Gate escort and guardian contact required
• Nonstop flights only
8-14 • Unaccompanied minor service required
• Gate escort and guardian contact required
• Nonstop flights, or any connecting flight through Charlotte, NC (CLT), Washington Reagan, D.C. (DCA), Dallas Fort Worth, TX (DFW), New York, NY (JFK and LGA), Los Angeles, CA (LAX), Miami, FL (MIA), Chicago, IL (ORD), Philadelphia, PA (PHL) and Phoenix, AZ (PHX)
15-17 • Unaccompanied minor service optional, service fee still applies
• Gate escort and guardian contact required
• Nonstop flights, or any connecting flight through Charlotte, NC (CLT), Washington Reagan, D.C. (DCA), Dallas-Fort Worth, TX (DFW), New York, NY (JFK and LGA), Los Angeles, CA (LAX), Miami, FL (MIA), Chicago, IL (ORD), Philadelphia, PA (PHL) and Phoenix, AZ (PHX)

Note: Children ages 2 – 14 can travel as an 'accompanied minor' with someone 16 or older.

Booking your child's trip

Unaccompanied minors need to be booked by phone.

Contact Reservations

Preparing for travel

Whether your child has traveled alone or this is their first time, we recommend talking with them about the trip and what to expect. Assure them our team is there to help keep them safe.

Some helpful tips to prepare:

  • Point out our team uniforms at the airport. Remind your child to ask for help only from a uniformed team member.
  • Write down phone numbers for your child.
  • Pack games, books and money in one small carry-on.
  • Food and drink service is limited, so we recommend packing snacks for your child to enjoy during their flight.
  • Attach an ID card and contact information to your child’s carry-on bag or jacket.
  • Fully charge any electronic devices, and don’t forget to pack chargers and headphones.
  • Be sure your child knows to wait for a team member to walk them off the plane when they land (this includes older children using our service).

Note: We don’t hold or give personal medication to an unaccompanied child.

At the airport

Check-in and required documents

Arrive at least 2 hours before the scheduled departure time of your child’s flight and speak with a ticket counter agent. Children traveling alone can’t check in online or at the kiosk.

You’ll need to fill out an unaccompanied minor form and any necessary Customs and Immigration documents for the day of departure. This form must remain with your child during their journey. At check-in, parents / guardians will also need to provide:

  • A birth certificate or passport as proof of the child’s age
  • The adult’s government-issued photo ID with their current address
  • Your phone number so we can contact you
  • The name, address and phone number of the adult meeting your child at their destination

Once your child is checked in, the ticket agent will give you a security pass from the airport ticket counter so you can take your child to the gate.

Boarding and takeoff

For a smooth departure:

  • An adult must take the child to the departure gate and stay until the flight is airborne.
  • When you get to the gate, tell the gate agent you have an unaccompanied minor traveling on the flight.
  • We’ll board your child early so they can meet the flight crew and learn about the plane’s safety features.
  • The gate agent will let you know when the flight is airborne and you can leave the airport.
  • Please contact the adult picking up your child to let them know they’re on their way.

During the flight

Our flight attendants will check on your child as duties allow, but they can’t continuously monitor your child throughout the flight.

Please remind your child to:

  • Tell a flight attendant if he or she needs assistance or feels discomfort.
  • Follow plane safety instructions, like wearing their seatbelt.
  • Wait for a uniformed team member to escort them off the airplane once it arrives at the gate.

Unaccompanied minor lounges

If your child has a connection, we have lounges for unaccompanied minors in these airports:

  • Charlotte, NC (CLT)
  • Washington Reagan, D.C. (DCA)
  • Dallas Fort Worth, TX (DFW)
  • New York, NY (JFK and LGA)
  • Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
  • Miami, FL (MIA)
  • Chicago, IL (ORD)
  • Philadelphia, PA (PHL)
  • Phoenix, AZ (PHX)

While there, your child can wait for their connection and play games while supervised by American business partner personnel. These staff members will take your child outside the lounge to buy food and drinks, but they won’t be allowed to walk around outside alone.

Arrival and pick-up

For a seamless pick-up, don’t forget your government-issued photo ID. You’ll need to show it to get a security pass and meet the child at the gate (in the U.S.). You’ll also need to show it before we release the child to you.

We suggest arriving at least 2 hours before the child’s scheduled arrival so you have enough time.

Flight status and notifications

Stay connected with your child’s journey with flight notifications and remind the adult picking up your child from the airport to do the same. Be sure to get alerts for all flights in their trip.

Flight status

Flight delays and cancellations

We’ll call the contacts on the unaccompanied minor form and arrange an alternate flight if your child is unable to make a connecting flight due to delays or cancellations.

In the rare case that your child needs to stay overnight because of a missed connection, we’ll arrange for overnight accommodations, meals and supervision. We’ll call if this occurs.

Young adults (15 – 17 years of age)

If your young adult isn’t using the unaccompanied minor service and their flight is delayed or canceled, they will be accommodated as an adult customer. Keep in mind, many hotels won’t allow young people to check-in unless they are accompanied by an adult. Please remind them not to leave the airport for any reason unless they:

  • Are accompanied by a uniformed team member or police officer
  • Have spoken with a parent or designated adult

Please tell your young adult to speak to a team member if they have questions or need help.

Children traveling outside the U.S.

You may not be able to escort your child through security in some airports. If this is the case, a team member will take your child to the gate and stay with them until the flight departs.

Children under 18 may need a Letter of Consent to travel internationally without both parents.

Country-specific regulations

Some countries have additional restrictions for children traveling with guardians or as an unaccompanied minor.

Brazil This content can be expanded
Italy This content can be expanded
Mexico This content can be expanded
Spain This content can be expanded

Flying on a partner airline?

Find helpful information if your trip includes 1 or more flights with our partner airlines.