05_Flatbed_1 - JUNE

Do you need to send a child alone on a trip by commercial airline? The Houston Chronicle recently published the following tips for sending your child solo on a flight:

1.) The airlines have procedures that must be followed, and most airlines have similar policies, but you should check with the specific airline you are using.

2.) An unaccompanied minor may range from 5 to 17 years old. There usually is an additional fee. If the child is flying alone, let the airline know when making the reservation.

3.) The TSA will provide an escort pass, which will allow you to take your child right to the gate of the airline. You must stay at the gate until the plane takes off .

4.) A person you designate will be allowed to pick up the child upon arrival. When making the reservation, provide the name, address and phone number of the person who is picking up your child. Be sure that person has a government-issued identification and a current photo ID.

5.) Check the weather before heading out to the airport. The airlines book unaccompanied minors on early flights, in case there are weather-related or other delays.

6.) Before booking a flight, check the airline’s and airport’s websites, or call with any questions

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • The TSA at Boston’s Logan Airport is using a “new enhanced patdown,’’ for random screenings and on travelers who decline to go through a metal detector or full-body scanner.  The Boston Globe describes the patdown as, “palms-forward, over-the-clothing contact.” Any patdown is done by a TSA official of the same sex, and travelers can request that it be done in a separate area, and with an attendant present.
  • The Associated Press reports that a baggage-handler at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport was arrested yesterday on suspicion that he stole hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of items from the luggage of passengers in a case that could include hundreds of victims from around the world.  This is just another example of why you should always keep valuables in your carry-on luggage rather than in checked baggage.
  • The Associated Press reports that an air passenger transporting a bag of 95 boa constrictor snakes burst open on a luggage conveyor belt at an airport in Malaysia.  The passenger, who also had some other types of snakes and a turtle in his luggage, was charged with wildlife smuggling.  And you thought the movie “Snakes on a Plane” was based on pure fiction.