Last updated on November 8th, 2022 at 09:54 am

The safety of our children is always our biggest concern. We want to ensure their safety especially when they are traveling alone. United Airlines understands this. Which is why the airline has an Unaccompanied Minor program. With this program, your child will arrive at their destination safely. The flight crew will ensure that the child has a comfortable flight journey. Don’t know what the United Unaccompanied Minor Policy is? Read further for details on the program’s general guidelines, fees, features, and more.

United Airlines Minor Policy – An Overview

An unaccompanied Minor program is offered by most major airlines. The Minor Policy and Guidelines tend to vary from airline to airline. Are you are opting for United Airlines for your child traveling alone on their next flight? Here are the essential United Unaccompanied Minor Policy guidelines you need to know:

  • The Unaccompanied Minor Service is mandatory for kids between the ages of 5 to 14.
  • The Service is optional for minors between the ages of 15 to 17.
  • Unaccompanied Minor tickets must be booked directly through the United Airlines website. You can also use other official channels.
  • This service is only offered on a Non-Stop United or United Express flight.
  • If the minor is less than 5 years old, they won’t be allowed to fly alone. Such minors must be accompanied by an adult passenger.
  • The airline must be notified of the details of the person who will drop off and pick up the minor passenger.
  • The flight seat for the minor passenger will be selected by United Airlines. The seat is reserved within 72 hours of booking. 
  • United Airlines charges a fee for a child traveling alone.
  • Pet travel is not allowed with an Unaccompanied Minor passenger. 
  • You won’t need the Unaccompanied Minor Service if the child is on a separate reservation. As long as the adult passenger is on the plane the service is not needed. You can call the airline to get the flight booking updated as per your need.
  • Unaccompanied Minors can also travel in a group of 2 to 6 on a single United Airlines reservation.

Airport Guidelines For Unaccompanied Minor Travellers

United Unaccompanied Minor Service has a strict set of airport procedures to follow. The Guardian and Minor must follow certain regulations. These regulations are listed below:

  • Check-In must be done directly through the airport ticket counter.
  • The airport staff will check the minor traveller’s documents. 
  • A special wristband and an envelope to carry the travel documents are issued to the minor at Check-In.
  • If the child is traveling out of a U.S, airport, they’ll be issued a gate pass at check-in.
  • At international airports, a United agent will meet the minor at the ticket counter.
  • The Parent or Guardian is required to stay at the airport till the flight takes off. 
  • Unaccompanied Minor travellers will be boarding their flight before other passengers. They will be shown their seats by the United flight crew.

Arrival Airport Protocols For Parent/Guardian

  • The child traveller must wait at the airport upon arrival and a United agent will arrive and get them.
  • The agent will escort the child to the Parent or Guardian who is present at the airport to pick up the child.
  • If the Parent or Guardian is not required to go through customs, they will have to get a gate pass. The gate pass can be acquired at the ticket counter itself.
  • The person picking up the child must be present at the gate at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled arrival time of the flight.
  • In case the Parent or Guardian has to go through customs, they won’t be required to have a gate pass. They can meet the minor traveler at the arrivals area of the airport. 
  • You will have to show your ID during pick up. Furthermore, United will ask you to fill out the Release Form before exiting the airport.

Unaccompanied Minor Program – Onboard Experience 

United Airlines prioritizes offering a pleasant experience to its young flyers. When flying alone on a United flight, your child will get these onboard services:

  • The flight crew shall ensure the kid’s comfort and safety throughout the journey.
  • The minor traveller can call upon the flight attendants for assistance by pressing the call button.
  • United Airlines allows minor passengers to bring snacks onboard the flight as long as they meet the TSA guidelines.
  • The airline will also offer a free snack to the unaccompanied minor.
  • The inflight entertainment services include a multitude of kids’ TV shows and Movies to choose from.

Documentation Required for United Unaccompanied Minor Travel

Certain documents and ID proof are required at the time of drop-off and pick-up. If you are the Parent/Guardian, you will have to show the below-mentioned documents at the time of check-in:

  • Photo ID (Passport, License, etc.)
  • Contact Details and Address Information of the adult dropping off the child at the departure airport
  • Name, Contact Number, Address, and a copy of the Photo ID of the adult who will be picking up the minor traveller at the arrival airport

In certain situations, you may also be asked by United Airlines to submit the Birth Certificate of the unaccompanied minor. 

If the designated person picking up the child at the arrival airport fails to show their Photo ID, United Airlines won’t allow the pick-up.

United Unaccompanied Minor Fee – Cost For A Child Flying Alone

The United Unaccompanied Minor Fee varies depending on the number of minor travellers and the trip type. Minor travel charges for a round-trip are naturally double that of a one-way trip. For further details, refer to the Unaccompanied Minor Fee chart provided below:

Number of Minor TravellersRound-Trip One-Way
1 to 2300 USD150 USD
3 to 4600 USD300 USD
5 to 6900 USD450 USD
United Unaccompanied Minor Fee Chart

If you are making the booking through a phone call, you will be charged an additional $25 as a service fee. The combined United Unaccompanied Minor Fee comprises the seat, pre-boarding (priority boarding), and food service fee. 

How To Book A United Unaccompanied Minor Ticket?

Flyers can use both online and offline channels to book a United Unaccompanied Minor ticket. Making the reservation over the phone will cost you an additional $25. Hence, it is recommended that you book the minor ticket through the United website or United’s Mobile App. Both these methods are discussed in detail below: 

Unaccompanied Minor Reservation Online

If you wish to make the booking online, simply visit united.com or open the mobile application. Once you are at the booking portal, select the ‘Advanced Search’ option. You will have to select the ‘0 adults’ option and choose the age range and number of child travellers. The rest of the booking procedure is similar to any standard online booking. 

(Screenshot from United.com)

Once the booking procedure is successfully completed, you will receive an email confirming the Unaccompanied Minor ticket. The seat for the child traveller shall also be confirmed within the next 72 hours. To make further changes to your reservation, you can visit the United Airlines Manage Booking portal.  

Unaccompanied Minor Reservation via Call

If you wish to make an Unaccompanied Minor Reservation via a phone call, dial 1-800-864-8331. You should soon be connected to a United agent who shall assist you with the entire booking procedure. You are recommended to keep the passenger details and the Parent/Guardian details handy at the time of making a minor reservation request.

Frequently Asked Questions – United Unaccompanied Minor Program

Can a 15-year-old fly alone on United?

The United Unaccompanied Minor service is completely optional for minors between the ages of 15 to 17. A 15-year-old won’t be required to opt for this service in order to travel alone.

Does United Airlines charge for unaccompanied minors?

The United Unaccompanied Minor program is paid. The airline charges a minimum fee of 150 USD for a child traveling alone on a Non-Stop United or United Express flight.

Does a 15-year-old need ID to fly United Airlines?

If a 15-year-old passenger is flying with an adult, they won’t be required to show an ID. However, if they are flying under the United Unaccompanied Minor Program, carrying an ID is mandatory. 

How do I book a 15-year-old on United Airlines?

A 15-year-old can be booked both on a standard reservation and on a minor ticket. The Unaccompanied Minor program is optional for passengers between the ages of 15 to 17. Tickets can be booked through United’s website or over the phone (1-800-864-8331).

What does United consider a minor?

A child traveller between the age of 5 to 14 is a minor in the eyes of United Airlines. However, children aged15 to 17 can also travel under the United Unaccompanied Minor program.