I am 17 years old and would like to fly to Tucson, Ariz. Can I travel unaccompanied or should an adult go with me
Yes, you can totally fly alone!
There are a lot of children and young adults that do fly alone, especially during the holiday seasons or summertime when school is out. It’s important to check your airline’s unaccompanied minor policy before you book your flights. On most airlines like United Airlines for example, anyone between the ages of 15 and 17 is considered an adult and not required to follow guidelines for children traveling alone. That said, your parents may feel more comfortable taking advantage of the unaccompanied minor service, which is usually around $100 each way.
If your parents decide to use the airline’s service, there are a few important things to remember:
Look for flights that fly directly from your airport to the final destination, as some airlines do not accept unaccompanied minors on itineraries with a connection. Once you book the flight, your parents need to call the carrier and let them know that you will be flying alone. The airlines will provide important documents that will need to be filled out before you fly. Usually, the documents will ask for your age, phone number and the name of the adult who will be waiting for you at your arrival gate.
On the day of your flight, make sure to give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport. I recommend about two hours before your flight departs. Bring an ID and the required travel documents. Once you arrive to the airport, you will check in to your flight at the ticket counter and be sure to let the ticket agent know you will be traveling by yourself. Airlines require adult supervision when minors walk to their gates, so your parents will need to stay with you until you board the flight.
At your final destination, there will be an airline representative waiting to escort you to the adult who your parents listed in the document.
Have a great time in Tucson!
My name: Song Yang
How I earn my keep: I work and play at Travelocity.
Travel ambitions: At the moment, I'm dreaming of whale-watching in New Zealand; hiking the mountains of the Douro Valley in Portugal and motorcycling through rice paddies in Laos.
Best meal I've ever had while traveling: An incredible discovery of pulled-pork tacos in La Paz. The surprisingly delectable treat came from a makeshift taco stand at 1 a.m. Splashing lime juice onto our greasy tacos with fresh pico de gallo, we ate amongst the locals to the sound of blaring mariachi music under Christmas lights. It was fabulous!
Great travel lesson learned: Giving money back to the community by supporting local businesses whenever possible.
Favorite place on Earth: My home: New York City. Can it be possible for another city to be as vibrant as New York? If so, email me.