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A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11  
User currently offlineaviacsa55 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (2 years 8 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 11675 times:

When I was on my way to San Francisco from Orange County, CA on UA on October 21, 2011, I noticed there was a kid who was trying to fly to Portland on WN unaccompanied. And then I saw the police trying to talk to him and they're asking him why he was flying alone. That's pretty muchit. That was really odd that a 13-year-old would fly on his own. Can you believe how strange it is. Tell me how you think.

41 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineB6A322 From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 291 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 8 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 11541 times:

I flew alone when I was 13...albeit only once, though as a UM. From 14 on when I flew alone it was never an issue.

In my experience don't unaccompanied minor programs not apply to children over the age of 13? At least that seems to be how I remember it.

But it comes back to the old thing, walk and act like you own the place and no one will stop you.



The content I post is solely my own opinion. It is not an official statement by/of/for nor representative of any company
User currently offlinejetmatt777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2832 posts, RR: 33
Reply 2, posted (2 years 8 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 11501 times:

Quoting B6A322 (Reply 1):
But it comes back to the old thing, walk and act like you own the place and no one will stop you.

This. Why do the Yankees always win? Because the other team can't keep their eyes off the pinstripes.

Look like you belong and no one will ever say a thing.



No info
User currently offlinewarden145 From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 541 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 8 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 11452 times:

Quoting aviacsa55 (Thread starter):
That was really odd that a 13-year-old would fly on his own. Can you believe how strange it is. Tell me how you think.

Doesn't strike me as odd at all...I started flying alone between SJC and LAX at age 8 and did it regularly (first on AA, then QQ after they started flying out of SJC) at least once a month until I was 17. I was an AAdvantage member by age 10 

The only thing that catches me as strange is that the police were questioning him...did he not have ID/parental approval?



ETOPS = Engine Turns Off, Passengers Swim
User currently offlineemirates202 From United States of America, joined Nov 2011, 237 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 8 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 11291 times:

I've been flying alone for the past 4 years, and I'm only 14! I usually fly JFK-LAX and back, but I've also done JFK-HYD, and back, and many other routes. The first time, I was a UM, but then I realized I knew more than the airport employees, so I assured my parents I can handle it, and when I could fly alone without being a UM, at13, I did, and its easy! It's not that big of a deal to see kids flying alone, but if his parents were not there until he went through security, it might look like hes trying to run away, to that's probably why they questioned him.


Fly Emirates, Hello Tomorrow
User currently onlineas739x From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 6185 posts, RR: 24
Reply 5, posted (2 years 8 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10998 times:

I started flying alone at 7 cross country with transfers (CLE-SFO via ORD/DTW/DEN). This is not odd.


"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
User currently offlineaeroblogger From India, joined Dec 2011, 1363 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 8 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 10888 times:



Quoting aviacsa55 (Thread starter):
When I was on my way to San Francisco from Orange County, CA on UA on October 21, 2011, I noticed there was a kid who was trying to fly to Portland on WN unaccompanied. And then I saw the police trying to talk to him and they're asking him why he was flying alone. That's pretty muchit. That was really odd that a 13-year-old would fly on his own. Can you believe how strange it is. Tell me how you think.

I flew alone all the time when I was younger (and I still do). When I was younger and I lived in the USA, I was given trouble often. Police got involved multiple times, and I was taken for extra questioning by the TSA 3 times... Apparently brown-skinned 12-year old flying alone = terrorist  

Here in India, security is segregated into men/women. If I am ever given trouble, I just point in the general direction of the women's screening area, and walk away...

Anyway, I'm not quite sure what is special about your story?

Quoting B6A322 (Reply 1):

But it comes back to the old thing, walk and act like you own the place and no one will stop you.

Precisely. I also had the advantage of GDS access when I was little, and I was intimately familiar with IATA and FAA regulations (I read those instead of doing my homework :P)... If anybody questioned me, I always knew what I was talking about.

Quoting B6A322 (Reply 1):

In my experience don't unaccompanied minor programs not apply to children over the age of 13? At least that seems to be how I remember it.

Depends on the airline - UA, CO, DL, AA are 11 and under, US is 14 and under.

Quoting warden145 (Reply 3):

The only thing that catches me as strange is that the police were questioning him...did he not have ID/parental approval?

Unnecessary. Regulations require no ID for travelers under the age of 18 (which can be easily exploited by people who look young).

Parent approval is only required for international flights. Nobody ever asked me about it, but that's probably because I was quoting relevant regulations to them before they read it off the computer screen  
Quoting emirates202 (Reply 4):
I've been flying alone for the past 4 years, and I'm only 14! I usually fly JFK-LAX and back, but I've also done JFK-HYD, and back, and many other routes. The first time, I was a UM, but then I realized I knew more than the airport employees, so I assured my parents I can handle it, and when I could fly alone without being a UM, at13, I did, and its easy! It's not that big of a deal to see kids flying alone, but if his parents were not there until he went through security, it might look like hes trying to run away, to that's probably why they questioned him.

Haha - interestingly, that's very similar to my story. Flying PVD/BOS-BUR/OAK and PVD/BOS-HYD/IXE mainly...

[Edited 2012-03-26 21:23:01]


Airports 2012: IXE HYD DEL BLR BOM CCU KNU KTM BKK SIN ICN LAX BUR SFO PHX IAH ORD EWR PHL PVD BOS FRA MUC IST
User currently offlineoldeuropean From Germany, joined May 2005, 2091 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (2 years 8 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 10659 times:

When I was 12 I flew 3 times (CGN-FRA-CGN) with LH. There also was no problem for me to buy the ticket at the LH counter at the airport. I remember, it was DM 120 for the round trip.  

However the flight was only about 20 minutes (with B727s)



Wer nichts weiss muss alles glauben
User currently offlinejuced From Australia, joined Feb 2012, 10 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 8 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 10524 times:

Quoting warden145 (Reply 3):

Just wondering off your post there, what were you doing flying every month? that would of been a dream come true for me, every spare minute i spend at an airport, i just love it there. Just interested in why such a young man will travel by air unaccompanied. Where i live, this would be a shock  

Juced.

[Edited 2012-03-27 01:41:21]

User currently offlinepetergamb From Mexico, joined Mar 2012, 1 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 8 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 10482 times:

this kid its awesome I would like to see him to fly

User currently offlineRWA380 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3423 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (2 years 8 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 10449 times:

Boy, gone are the days that I grew up in, the early 80's. I used to be "over at a friends house" for a sleepover, and instead I'd take off to PDX, and buy tickets for myself with cash, to fly back and forth to SEA throughout the night, leave PDX on EA or ??? at 10-11pm, then tool around SEA for a few hours,chat with airline employees getting carrier gossip etc.... I had a good back story, then at one point DL had an L10 that left SEA at 3am or so to PDX, and then take the first flight on RC at 6am or ??? to SEA, then back to PDX at 9-10am, on CO, UA, WA, AS, WC then go home on public transit home, my parents didn't catch on until they found the pile of used tickets buried in my closet. Fares ranged from $10-35 each way, this was when they even had night coach fares. I was 14-17 y/o.


AA AC AQ AS BD BN CO CS DL EA EZ HA HP KL KN MP MW NK NW OO OZ PA PS QX RC RH RW SA TG TW UA US VS WA WC WN
User currently offlinevaus77w From Australia, joined Aug 2011, 143 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 8 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 10042 times:

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 10):
Boy, gone are the days that I grew up in, the early 80's. I used to be "over at a friends house" for a sleepover, and instead I'd take off to PDX, and buy tickets for myself with cash, to fly back and forth to SEA throughout the night, leave PDX on EA or ??? at 10-11pm, then tool around SEA for a few hours,chat with airline employees getting carrier gossip etc.... I had a good back story, then at one point DL had an L10 that left SEA at 3am or so to PDX, and then take the first flight on RC at 6am or ??? to SEA, then back to PDX at 9-10am, on CO, UA, WA, AS, WC then go home on public transit home, my parents didn't catch on until they found the pile of used tickets buried in my closet. Fares ranged from $10-35 each way, this was when they even had night coach fares. I was 14-17 y/o.

Sounds like fun times!

Just out of curiosity, how did your parents react when they found the tickets?


User currently offlineJohnJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1672 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (2 years 8 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 8529 times:

In Connecticut it's illegal to leave a child under the age of 12 alone in a car while, for example, you go into a grocery store. The kid in question by the original poster was 13, but some of the other stories here are pretty crazy in light of laws like this. I think leaving a kid in a car for a few minutes pales in comparison to having him/her jetting off across the country, and I imagine the parents would be facing charges if the kid got busted.

User currently offlinereadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3338 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (2 years 8 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 8294 times:

BA will take children flying alone aged 5-12yrs on their routes.
First, however, you must register the child with BA, they call this Skyflyer Solo service.
Not bookable on the web but by phone.



you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
User currently offlineABQopsHP From United States of America, joined May 2006, 858 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (2 years 8 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 8251 times:

The first time I flew as a UM was when I was 10 from ABQ-DAL-IAH-CRP on TI. The first time I did it with out being a UM was 2 years later when I flew BNA-DFW-CRP on BN. I remember being a little nervous when my aunt dropped me off at BNA, but when I got to DFW I was in heaven watching all the planes, and knew where to go for my connecting flight. The only thing that happened is I got cornered by a Hare Krishna trying to sell me a book, and I ran from him. By the time I got home to CRP I was excited that I could do it with such ease. I guess growing up in aviation, and being a military brat, taught me to be independent at an early age.

JD CRP Expressjet



A line is evidence that other people exist.
User currently offlineaeroblogger From India, joined Dec 2011, 1363 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 8 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 8093 times:

Quoting JohnJ (Reply 12):
In Connecticut it's illegal to leave a child under the age of 12 alone in a car while, for example, you go into a grocery store.

Really? What an idiotic law. It should be repealed.

Quoting JohnJ (Reply 12):
I think leaving a kid in a car for a few minutes pales in comparison to having him/her jetting off across the country, and I imagine the parents would be facing charges if the kid got busted.

Doubtful. Federal and/or international laws would apply, and I don't think that the federal government has a similar law to Connecticut.



Airports 2012: IXE HYD DEL BLR BOM CCU KNU KTM BKK SIN ICN LAX BUR SFO PHX IAH ORD EWR PHL PVD BOS FRA MUC IST
User currently offlinealtod From Mexico, joined Mar 2012, 4 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 8 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 7749 times:

This is nothing new. I live in Mexico and the first time i travelled alone was when i was 12 on Continental from sjd to bos. At the time they were the only airline that allowed 12 year olds to travel without the UM service. I now travel a ton from school back home to Mexico just recently reached AA Platinum Status and i am only Sixteen. Nothing new.

User currently offlineheathrow From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2005, 980 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 8 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 7671 times:

Nothing new at all. My father was shocked when he brought me to the airport as a 12 year old and I was able to check in alone and proceed unscathed for my entire trip. As a 12 year old, I managed to fly YYZ-LHR/LGW-SKG return without so much as a question. Good 'ol BA  

User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2644 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (2 years 8 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 7599 times:

Quoting B6A322 (Reply 1):

I flew alone when I was 13...albeit only once, though as a UM.



My youngest son flew for the first time without UM support at age of 13. YYZ-VIE-YYZ with OS. At age of 14 he did his first solo trip with transfers - YXU-YYZ-FRA-VIE-FRA-YYZ-YXU (LH).

Quoting B6A322 (Reply 1):
In my experience don't unaccompanied minor programs not apply to children over the age of 13?



On most airlines UM support is mandatory for children under 12 traveling alone. However, with many airlines it's available up to the age of 16.


User currently offlinerampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 3152 posts, RR: 6
Reply 19, posted (2 years 8 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 7597 times:

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 10):
Boy, gone are the days that I grew up in, the early 80's. I used to be "over at a friends house" for a sleepover, and instead I'd take off to PDX, and buy tickets for myself with cash, to fly back and forth to SEA throughout the night,

That's hilarious! As if Ferris Bueller decided to play airline nerd for a day. I DREAMED of doing that, same era, but would never have attempted it! A.net Bueller I'm not. (If I did I would have commuted between COS and DEN on Rocky Mountain, Frontier, Continental, Aspen, and Braniff.)


User currently offlineAmericanAirFan From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 408 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (2 years 8 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5720 times:

Smart kid. I've flown unaccompanied since I was 8. I stopped getting the UM airline service once I was 12 or 13... However F9 had a much higher age they required the UM service at... So sadly I flew AUS-ELP-LAX with a switch then LAX-SJC without a bother. Checked in to fly on F9 a week later SJC-DEN-AUS and because I wasn't 15 yet they raised hell... It was really upsetting being babysat...

Now I'm 21.... No one gives it a second thought if you go somewhere for a day for fun. Me and my friend flew AUS-DFW-AUS one day on AA just for fun. I left at 5AM, and we were back home around noon. My mom asked me if I was leaving for Dallas yet and asked if I wanted lunch. Then I told her we just got back. That was a fun one.  



"American 1881 Cleared For Takeoff One Seven Left"
User currently offlinecschleic From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 1279 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 8 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 4060 times:

I flew alone, too, when I was young. Bought the ticket with cash and all.

But makes me wonder.... if I remember right, someone under 18 years old can't legally sign a contract. And yet, the plane ticket is a contract of carriage. So are they not legally agreeing? Or maybe the laws are different?


User currently offlinewarden145 From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 541 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 8 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3637 times:

Quoting juced (Reply 8):
Just wondering off your post there, what were you doing flying every month? that would of been a dream come true for me, every spare minute i spend at an airport, i just love it there. Just interested in why such a young man will travel by air unaccompanied. Where i live, this would be a shock

To make a very long story short, my family's from the LAX area...my parents moved up to SJC when I was 3, and my dad went back to LAX after the divorce. Basically, every time I had a 3-day weekend at school (which was about once a month), I flew down to see him. This was in the days before the TSA and whatnot, so my mom could walk me to the gate at SJC and my dad could meet me at the gate at LAX. Worked out quite well, really...I was an aviation geek even before we started doing this; these regular flights were tantamount to pouring gasoline on a flame  and yes, I would beg to get to the airport early so I could go plane-watching...although this was more the case at LAX since there was a much greater variety of aircraft there.

As I got a bit older, I started going up to the flight deck before and after each flight...the pilots were always happy to talk with me (even got to sit in the pilot's seat a few times), and there was more than one occasion where the flight attendants had to shoo me out because they were starting to board the next flight 

Except for some early flights on ex-AirCal 737's, just about every flight was on an MD-80...I never thought I'd see the day when an MD-80 sighting would start to be scarce!!   

Oh the memories...sorry if I'm going too far off-topic... (yes, I have more stories, but I don't want to drag the thread too far off into the weeds    )

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 18):
On most airlines UM support is mandatory for children under 12 traveling alone. However, with many airlines it's available up to the age of 16.

Just wondering, how long has that been the case? I ask because, while I don't remember exactly when I stopped using the UM support, I thought it was around age 10 or 11...although it might have been at age 12. This was in the early 1990's...



ETOPS = Engine Turns Off, Passengers Swim
User currently offlineSmithAir747 From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 1636 posts, RR: 28
Reply 23, posted (2 years 8 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3572 times:

I would have LOVED to sneak off on a flight when I was a wee lad!  

When I was young, around 8 or 9, I had a strong desire to go to Australia on a Pan Am 747 (I admired Pan Am back in my day).

Long before I knew anything about airline routings, I thought it would be possible to simply get on a Pan Am 747 at my hometown airport, FWA (yes, Fort Wayne, IN!), and fly nonstop across the country and over the Pacific down under to Sydney. So badly did I want to pack up some suitcases and a trunk, go out to Fort Wayne's Baer Field airport and get on the 747!

Never mind that FWA's terminal was a wee little terminal (and still is), at the time it had one or two jetbridges upstairs and four ground-level gates in a glass box. And it had only one baggage belt.

Once, during that age in my life, our family took a little boy with Down's syndrome (who had been staying with us as a foster child until placement for adoption somewhere) out to Baer Field early one morning to catch a flight on Piedmont (they served Fort Wayne with 737s) to go to North Carolina to his new family. I still remember seeing the Piedmont 737 tail towering over the terminal. I remember being a bit jealous that he was going to fly off somewhere, and wishing that I could go on my next trip to St. Louis, MO, by airplane instead of driving (I was going 2-3 times a year to St. Louis for my surgeries on my face, but always by car)!

A few years later, Mom took me and an older brother and younger sister out to Baer Field to watch the planes from inside the terminal; we sat inside the glass box that had the four regional gates on ground level (it had the best views of the ramp all around it). At one point, a United Express BAe 146 was boarding, and as people were going out the glass door with umbrellas provided by the airport, I was sorely tempted to follow the crowd out to the BAe 146--no matter where it was flying--and actually got up to follow them out!  

I was always dreaming and scheming how I was going to get on a plane (mostly the aforementioned Pan Am 747) by myself and go somewhere fantastic.

It took almost a decade after that, but I finally started flying on my own; my first flight (in July 1993 at age 18) ended up being a Continental (red meatball) 727-200 from IND-IAH (connecting to HRL on a DC-9), with my church youth group on a Mexico mission trip.

My dream of flying on a 747 came true a year later, on spring break 1994 (my senior year, and a graduation gift it was) when I flew IND-JFK-MAD round trip on TWA (the TWA 747 segments were JFK-MAD and MAD-JFK); this was a school trip to Spain.

I have flown several 747s since then-- BA LHR-LAX roundtrip in 2007, QF LAX-AKL round trip in 2010, and UA SFO-ORD in 2010 on my way to Boston. I can't wait until my next 747 trip sometime in the future! Better yet, why not my own 747, as my username (SmithAir747) suggests?  

SmithAir747



I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)
User currently offlinerogercamel From Singapore, joined Feb 2012, 88 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (2 years 8 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3492 times:

Quoting aviacsa55 (Thread starter):
That was really odd that a 13-year-old would fly on his own. Can you believe how strange it is. Tell me how you think.

It all depends on the child and how mature they are - some will be fine, on the other hand I can think of plenty of adults who probably ought to still be supervised  

Airports are probably relatively safe places for children - there are lots of people to ask questions of, and unlike trains, it is pretty hard to get on the wrong one.

Mind you, I think my parents regret letting me run around LGW on my own as a 7 year old - I went exploring using the inter-terminal train, and think I delayed the flight by about half an hour as a search party was launched.


25 Post contains images ghifty : I flew solo when I was.. 15. Older than the kid, but as long as you know where you're going nobody gives you any issues. I was actually in/out of the
26 nipoel123 : I'll be flying AMS-YYZ this summer. Sort of on my own. I've got two friends coming along, but they hardly have any flying experience; they have only e
27 Post contains images jporterfi : That's awesome! I would have loved to do that!
28 RWA380 : As one would expect, rather poorly. The issue of where the money came from came up, but my girlfriend was well off and paid for some of them, she wen
29 Post contains images softrally : I'm 13 (almost 14) and I've flown YOW-YYZ/YYZ-ICN round trip before alone just a few weeks ago. Everything went smooth and the transfer was eazy. AC 4
30 ghost77 : I flew alone MEX-ATL-FCO-ATL-MEX when I was 13. g77
31 mariner : I started flying on my own when I was about 11. My British father was Chief Engineer for a small airline based in Amman, Jordan and every school holid
32 RWA380 : Fantastic story, what a great bunch of experiences, My Dad too worked for a small airline based in Panama City Fl, but was flying Congolese troops du
33 HAWK21M : Thats not odd.....But if the cops have to check on doubts they should just to make sure.
34 aeroblogger : Why? Cops have no business interfering, unless the kid is doing something illegal/suspicious. Flying alone is neither.
35 HAWK21M : If a kid runs away from home....The parents don't know....shouldn't the cops be proactive & be sure everything is in order.
36 aeroblogger : No? It becomes the business of the cops once the parents report the kid missing. Otherwise, they are just intruding...
37 HAWK21M : and if the parents have not noticed yet.....Its not wrong to be proactive,in such cases.
38 joeljack : I'm currently 32 and I flew many many many times on my own. Our parents did it the official way once and registered my sister and I and we got escorte
39 aeroblogger : 12 on most carriers Meh.
40 liftsifter : I've flown a bunch of times on my own under 13. Flew RJ (ORD-AMM) when I was 10 alone, and had the purser constantly checking on me. They seated me at
41 Post contains images bjorn14 : It's was easy for me when I was 10, I was already 6'. I looked 16. I can't count the DEN-ORD trips I took, if there were only FF programs back then.
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