Traveling with a child
It is only in our country that children are not allowed to go further than the sandbox. To school – with parents, to the theater – with a teacher, and if you walk, it is only a group of at least five people. The fact that one Russian child went to visit her grandmother, who lives, say, in Petushki, is out of the question. Meanwhile, abroad, children literally from early nails begin to travel independently: on bicycles, cars, trains, on foot, finally.
In Russia, the only mode of transport on which parents can land a child without worrying about is a plane. However, each airline has its own rules for the transport of children flying unaccompanied. And before you book a ticket, we strongly recommend that you read them.
Both Russian and foreign air carriers have strict age limits for children traveling independently. For example, our Aeroflot does not take on board its aircraft of single children under the age of two years, and the Dutch KLM does not take up to five years. But for children older than five, the Dutch have developed a special Junior Jet program: the child receives the status of a special passenger, and from the time of check-in until arriving at the final destination, he receives special attention from KLM staff. For singles, a special badge with the inscription Junior Jet is hooked onto clothes, colorful stickers are molded onto the baggage, besides, they are flooded with gifts and in every way they please during the flight.
But the rules of British Airways, Air France and Finnair clearly do not specify the age at which a child can fly unaccompanied. It is only said that “children under 12 can travel independently.” Therefore, parents, booking a flight for an English, French or Finnish airline, must themselves understand whether their minor child is ready for a “lonely” flight.
Traveling with a child When booking an air ticket, parents are obliged to notify the airline employees that the child is flying unaccompanied. You will also have to fill out a special form with complete information about the child: full name, country of birth, what language it says, day of departure, flight number, route. In addition, you must specify the home address and telephone number of the person who will meet the child. Parents should fill out such questionnaire only if the child is under the age of 13. If the child is already in a teen age, then you can do without a questionnaire. But to warn when booking a ticket that a child flies unaccompanied by adults, it is nevertheless necessary: that the airline personnel be more attentive.
Also note that according to the Russian law “On the procedure for entry and exit from the Russian Federation”, children under 18 years old, flying unaccompanied, must have notarized parental consent, which should indicate not only that the child is allowed to travel independently, but and designated country and dates of travel. Otherwise, the ticket will not be booked, they will not be put on the plane, and in general they will not be released abroad.
Almost every airline has special fares for children. For example, on Aeroflot flights, a child under the age of two years is entitled to a ticket with a 90 percent discount from the price of an “adult” economy class ticket. However, in this case, the child is not entitled to free transportation of a separate piece of baggage. A child from 2 to 12 years old can receive a 50 percent discount on airfare from the price of an “adult” economy class ticket. However, only children traveling with their parents can take advantage of these reduced rates.
If the child is not yet nine years old, and he flies unaccompanied, he will have to buy a ticket at the full “adult” fare, without any discounts. Because the “lonely” child is considered a problem passenger, requiring additional care and vigilant control by the cabin crew. But children after eight years, according to Aeroflot, are already completely independent, do not require babysitters and therefore can fly with discounts – 50 percent.
But the airline KLM, regardless of whether the child is traveling alone or with his parents, always gives a 33% discount on the air ticket to children flying in economy class, and a 50% discount to flying in business class. When checking in for a flight, the attendant must hand over the child from hand to hand to an employee of the airline, as well as hand in a form with information about the young passenger and information about those who meet. The representative of the airline along with the child is checked in for the flight, passport control and personally puts him on the plane. On board, the stewardess responsible for the child must keep an eye on him. In the toilet – for the hand, to eat – with the hands, plus the “gag” package, blanket and bedtime stories.
Travel with a child Upon arrival at the place the flight attendant sends the child to the representative of the airline, and he already rents it to those who meet him. In this case, the person must present an identity card, otherwise the child will not be given to him.