Have you chosen a trip to a children's camp in England for a child? Have you thought about your wardrobe, packed your things, specified the time to contact your parents, but still worry? One cause for concern is how will the child fly alone? The camp teachers meet him in the UK, you put him on a plane in Russia, and what in between? Boarding, customs control, baggage claim, flight time, even going to the toilet - how can he handle it on his own?
Accompanying children during the flight
According to the rules of air travel, minors fly accompanied by their parents or other adults. But busy people find it difficult to set aside a day for a round-trip flight to take a child one way, and then another day on the other. It is tedious and costly. In this case, carriers offer children and adolescents an escort service by the company's employees: they will look after the child, provide the necessary care during the flight.
Who needs this service:
- A child 5-12 years old is flying without parents, guardians or other accompanying persons
- Adults fly in a different class on the same flight.
Kids under 5 years old fly only with "their" adults, and for adolescents from 12 to 18 years of age, escort is not necessary, but available.
What includes accompanying children on the plane
The child will travel alone, but not entirely: the flight attendant / special officer accompanies the minors from point A to point B.
Escort includes 3 stages:
- Flight (on the way)
You can order tickets and arrange an escort service online or through a travel agent no later than 72 hours before departure, and registration must be done at the airport in the presence of the accompanying person and a minor.
- Arrival - 1.5-2.5 hours before check-in. Then the accompanying person takes the child through all the stages of registration: baggage drop-off, escort on board the liner.
- Children with an accompanying person board first, and the person seeing off is at the airport until the plane takes off.
- Before departure, airport employees draw up an accompanying sheet, include information about the accompanying and meeting person: the document is attached to the child's clothes in the chest area and remains there until it is handed over to the meeting party.
- During the flight, the flight attendant pays attention to children traveling separately, takes care of safety: helps to buckle up, teaches how to use an oxygen mask, offers books, coloring books, films, escorts to the toilet.
- The accompanying stewart escorts the little passengers after everyone else has left the plane.
- The greeter, noted on the accompanying sheet, presents an identity card with a photo, and the guide hands over the child. If the greeter is late, the conductor stays with the small passenger for the required time.
- Parents can pre-order a special children's menu for a fee - 36 hours before departure. The children's menu includes fresh, healthy food.
- Specially trained people with experience of communicating with children become the escorts: they answer the questions of young passengers, help to calm down.
- If the meeting party does not appear, the airline will ensure the delivery of the child back to the point of departure. But before that, the guide contacts those who meet (the contacts are indicated in the accompanying sheet on the child's chest), finds out when the child will be taken.
Some airlines provide an escort service if the child is to fly on a connecting flight. If flight connections take place at transfer airports, then children are transferred to the playroom or recreation room, where they are waiting for boarding the next plane, fed, and offered to rest.
But if the child needs to be transported from one airport to another, the companies refuse to be accompanied.
- When transferring up to 3 hours at the transit airport - soft drinks (service cost - 5 € / 400 rubles)
- In case of a transplant that lasts more than three hours - hot meals (cost - 20 € / 1700 rubles).
What else you need to know about accompanying children during the flight
Airlines set the rules for accompanying minors themselves, but in general they are all similar:
- 1 board accepts from 2 to 6 children without parents / guardians.
- Only a parent or guardian can provide escort, other relatives cannot use these options.
- Any person with a notarized permission to fly abroad from parents / guardians can accompany the child.
What documents will be needed
When issuing a ticket and an escort service, prepare standard documents:
- Passport, birth certificate
- Air ticket
- Notarized permission of the parents, guardians / trustees for departure
- international passport
- Medical certificate if the child has an illness and carries medicines in his carry-on baggage.
Parents / guardians fill out special documents with the following information:
- Full name of the passenger, date of birth, point of departure, point of arrival
- Full name, phone numbers, address of residence of parents
- Full name, contact details of the greeters
An application form for an escort service can usually be downloaded from the carrier's website.
When ordering an escort service, parents buy a ticket at full cost (without benefits and discounts), some companies require a ticket for an accompanying employee, some carriers require an additional payment of + 40-50 € for each section of the route.
The opportunity to go to an English camp alone will be the beginning of an adventure for a child, an opportunity to feel independent. And for parents - it will save time, money and, perhaps, not so much worry about the safety of their traveler.