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August 22, 2014

American to charge extra fee for older kids traveling alone

American Airlines told employees on Thursday that it will require twelve- to fourteen-year-olds who are traveling alone to use the carrier's unaccompanied minor service starting on September 3.

The service costs an extra $150 each way and was previously only required for kids ages 5 to 11 who were traveling alone.

"This age range not only ensures the safest possible travel for our youngest customers, it's consistent with US Airways policy before the close of our merger," the company said in an employee newsletter.

For parents who purchased tickets for their older kids before Sept. 3, American will provide the service free of charge. But parents buying tickets after that date will be required to pay the $150 service fee each way.

Currently, US Airways does not allow kids age 8 to 14 to travel on connecting flights while American does allow it. The company said it expects to change US Airways' policy to match American's in the coming months.

Other airlines similarly charge parents a service fee to ensure kids traveling alone make it to their destination. Delta Air Lines charges a $100 fee each way for kids age 14 and under traveling alone while United Airlines charges $150 each way for kids age 11 and under traveling by themselves.

Southwest Airlines charges $50 each way for kids under 11 traveling without a companion over the age of 12.

-Andrea Ahles

 

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