aviacsa55
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A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:35 pm

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.
 
b6a322
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:10 am

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 are my own thoughts, nothing more. :)
 
jetmatt777
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:19 am

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.
Lighten up while you still can, don't even try to understand, just find a place to make your stand and take it easy
 
warden145
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:28 am

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?
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emirates202
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:29 am

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.
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as739x
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:24 am

I started flying alone at 7 cross country with transfers (CLE-SFO via ORD/DTW/DEN). This is not odd.
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aeroblogger
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:15 am



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]
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oldeuropean
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:15 am

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)
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juced
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:39 am

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]
 
petergamb
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:11 am

this kid its awesome I would like to see him to fly
 
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RWA380
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:29 am

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.
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vaus77w
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:44 am

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?
 
JohnJ
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:41 pm

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.
 
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readytotaxi
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:00 pm

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.
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ABQopsHP
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:04 pm

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
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aeroblogger
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:18 pm

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.
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altod
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:50 pm

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.
 
heathrow
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:56 pm

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  
 
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:02 pm

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.
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:03 pm

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.)
 
AmericanAirFan
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:42 pm

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.  
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cschleic
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:14 pm

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?
 
warden145
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:32 am

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...
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SmithAir747
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:17 am

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
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rogercamel
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:51 am

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.
 
ghifty
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:04 am

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 airport faster than when I travel with my parents.

Quoting jetmatt777 (Reply 2):
Look like you belong and no one will ever say a thing.

+1! I find that "just smile and wave" works even better.  
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.

Wow. I would love to do that.. technically speaking, it's still possible. Just fiscally unfeasible.
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nipoel123
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:43 am

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 experienced a small regional airport or two on a schooltrip. Me, plenty of experience at Int'l airports, so it's up to me to guide them through. First challenge: connection from train (ZYR-AMS) to plane of 1.45 hours, in rush hour...
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jporterfi
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:31 am

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 10):

That's awesome! I would have loved to do that! 
 
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RWA380
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:56 am

Quoting vaus77w (Reply 11):
Just out of curiosity, how did your parents react when they found the tickets?

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 went along sometimes, We even took a mutual friend for her first flight of her life, she loved it, flew up on a UA 72S and back on an EA A300. I also had a job part time pumping gas, spent my money on tickets instead of my mustang.

Quoting rampart (Reply 19):
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.)

I was a total airline nerd growing up, drawing route maps from listings in OAG's, I collected timetables and any airline stuff I could get my hands on, sold most of it on E-bay at one point to pay my bills. I had 3-5 BN deregulation timetables.

Quoting ghifty (Reply 25):
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.
Wow. I would love to do that.. technically speaking, it's still possible. Just fiscally unfeasible
Quoting jporterfi (Reply 27):
That's awesome! I would have loved to do that!

It was a different time, SEA-PDX was the ultimate tag route in the country, at one point or another there were 25-30 airlines that flew the route, I've done: UA, WA, AS, WC, HA, EA, DL, OC, WC, QX, OO, BN, AA, TW, CO, FL, RC, RW, US, QQ, CZ, NW and more, Planes: 720, 727, 737, 747, 757, 767, L10, A300, A320, M80, DC-8, DC-9, DC-10 B11, SWM, DH8, F27, F28, CRJ. Best surprise was flying the BN Calder 72S, One of the last times was TWA r/t for $33.00, both L-1011's, connected to TG SEA-YYZ-SEA on an M11 in J.
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softrally
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:49 am

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 443 YOW-YYZ was especially great as the person right next to me was also and aviation enthusiast  The transfer was a little rough... AC443 was delayed because the A319 right next to us had a landing gear door problem and they had to move all of the passengers and bags. That left me with only one hour to transfer (and to eat breakfast   ) KE074 was a bit harder. We had to use a different route due to the solar flare...which added 2 hours to the already long flight! The way back was completely smooth and there was nothing special. I was originally planning to fly UA via 2 transfers but the school won't allow me to do so, just because of the fact that I am young and assuming that I am not capable of transferring more than once   
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ghost77
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:43 am

I flew alone MEX-ATL-FCO-ATL-MEX when I was 13.

g77
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mariner
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:58 am

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 holiday he'd take me out to the airport and out on the first plane available. He'd send a telex to the other end asking the airline staff there to book me accommodation and I'd be on my own.

I'd usually end up in Cairo or Beirut, but once I made it to Aden. It was fairly boring there and the pilots asked me if I wanted to go to Nairobi for a couple of days, so I did.

mariner

[Edited 2012-03-29 00:06:19]
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:18 am

Quoting mariner (Reply 31):
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 holiday he'd take me out to the airport and out on the first plane available. He'd send a telex to the other end asking the airline staff there to book me accommodation and I'd be on my own.

I'd usually end up in Cairo or Beirut, but once I made it to Aden. It was fairly boring there and the pilots asked me if I wanted to go to Nairobi for a couple of days, so I did.

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 during the Congo wars for the U.N, Aerovias Panama, I have exactly 1 picture of one of their planes, my Pops was an inflight air mechanic on DC-4-6's. and also the third seat. It sounded like what Air America looked like in the movie. My Dad swears by this story, I've never shared with anyone, but thought maybe a few may find it interesting.

During a routine flight over vast areas of thick jungle, which is very common in the Congo, the fuel gauge went blinking, as the co-pilot and weight and balance guy, had mis-gauged the amount of fuel needed for the flights they were doing, anyway, they ran out of fuel, in trying to find any place to set down, while fighting keeping the plane up in the air, they spot a clearing and set down hard in it, but the plane suffered no major injury, in minutes they were surrounded by armed troops loyal to the King, as soon as he found out they were on his side, helping his cause out. They were invited to join the King, eat, drink and be merry, the next morning (way hungover) they had brought enough fuel in to get the plane out and they returned back to their base. They were thought to be shot down, and were in the process of notifying my Mom, when they were located. Anyway, hope you enjoyed the story I hear every year over the holidays.
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:33 am

Quoting aviacsa55 (Thread starter):
That was really odd that a 13-year-old would fly on his own

Thats not odd.....But if the cops have to check on doubts they should just to make sure.
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:40 am

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 33):

Thats not odd.....But if the cops have to check on doubts they should just to make sure.

Why? Cops have no business interfering, unless the kid is doing something illegal/suspicious. Flying alone is neither.
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:48 am

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 34):
Why? Cops have no business interfering, unless the kid is doing something illegal/suspicious. Flying alone is neither.

If a kid runs away from home....The parents don't know....shouldn't the cops be proactive & be sure everything is in order.
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:42 am

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 35):

If a kid runs away from home....The parents don't know....shouldn't the cops be proactive & be sure everything is in order.

No?

It becomes the business of the cops once the parents report the kid missing. Otherwise, they are just intruding...
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:30 pm

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 36):

It becomes the business of the cops once the parents report the kid missing. Otherwise, they are just intruding...

and if the parents have not noticed yet.....Its not wrong to be proactive,in such cases.
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joeljack
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:54 pm

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 escorted etc at the ages of 4 and 9. Our flight was delayed and United wouldn't let us leave some room to get some food at ORD. We were bored and starving for like 4 hours. After that, my parents determined we were better off on our own then in the hands of United. The next year, I was 10 and my sister 5, we flew to Florida connecting in ORD without being registered and all went fine and we did it several times a year from then on out. Sometimes just me and sometimes with my sister.

Back then, we didn't have mobile phones either, I would think today with mobile phones and all, it would be a lot less stressful for parents. Once my kids are 10 or so, I'll have no problem sending them without an escort. By that point in time, they'll have a good 100+ flights under their belts and know how things work.

Officially how old do you have to be to fly alone...14?
 
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:03 pm

Quoting joeljack (Reply 38):
14?

12 on most carriers

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 37):

and if the parents have not noticed yet.....Its not wrong to be proactive,in such cases.

Meh.
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:02 am

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 a window without anyone next to me, arrived without problems.

Don't see why he was having problems unless he started asking the staff for help, or soemthing of that sort.
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RE: A Kid Tries To Fly Alone At SNA 10/21/11

Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:51 pm

Quoting jetmatt777 (Reply 2):
Look like you belong and no one will ever say a thing

  
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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