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To think 14 isn't too young to fly alone?

(116 Posts)
Deadwood58 Sat 17-Mar-18 14:18:28

Dd14 will be flying to Munich by herself over the summer to attend a language camp in Austria.

We will drop her at a London airport, and she will be picked up in Munich by the camp staff, who will drive her to the camp in Austria for 3 weeks.

I was talking about holiday plans with a few of the mothers of her school friends, and when I mentioned this they all seemed utterly horrified.

Is it unreasonable?

OlennasWimple Sat 17-Mar-18 14:20:11

Depends how much experience she has of flying and using big airports, TBH

Some airlines are happy to let 14 year olds fly on their won, some insist that you use the unaccompanied minor service

Shinycat Sat 17-Mar-18 14:20:24

Not too young IMO. Especially as she is being picked up at the other end (and dropped off by you, at this end.)

Hope she has a lovely trip! smile

BarbarianMum Sat 17-Mar-18 14:21:01

No you're really not. How on earth would sge cope on a language camp without you if she can't manage a short plane flight?

BrandNewHouse Sat 17-Mar-18 14:21:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Deadwood58 Sat 17-Mar-18 14:23:43

She's managed to get the train from where we live to a northern city to visit her sister at uni, and that involved changing trains.

I would have thought an airport would be easier to navigate than cross-country train journeys to be honest!

cariadlet Sat 17-Mar-18 14:23:49

If your dd is happy to do this, is generally confident, is happy to ask for help if she needs it and has flown before then it should be fine.

I'd be wary of a 14 year old taking a longer flight with a change/stopover, but if you are able to take her as far as departures and she's being met at the other end then there shouldn't be a problem. My dd's 15 and I would have let her do this a year ago if it was for something that she wanted to do.

cariadlet Sat 17-Mar-18 14:24:47

Just read your update. Sounds like your dd is more than capable of doing this.

Rainboho Sat 17-Mar-18 14:26:50

YANBU. I took my first flight, alone, at the age of 14. Neither of my parents had flown before and so they had no idea how it worked once they had sent me through the gate!

It was fine. And gave me a huge sense of confidence in myself and travelling, something which I have worked to give my DDs.

Teacakequeen Sat 17-Mar-18 14:28:02

Depends on the airline, not all allow it.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 17-Mar-18 14:29:12

One plane, no changes? Totally fine.

I think DD could do it now at 7, she's such a well-traveled kid. <mutters> doesn't know how lucky she is <grumble>

SD1978 Sat 17-Mar-18 14:29:37

I know a 6 year old who flew to New Zealand from the UK- parents live one in each country. Depends on what you and her feel, bit someone else’s parenting or perception.

19lottie82 Sat 17-Mar-18 14:30:49

Most airlines have staff to look after children flying alone, don’t they?

I flew to Sweden myself when I was 9 to see family and it was great fun!

PurpleLostPrincess Sat 17-Mar-18 14:33:36

I was 11 when I first flew to Belfast to visit family alone. Then at 14 years old I flew to Canada for 5 weeks, again to stay with family. Had an amazing experience, hope she has fun!

itstimeforanamechange Sat 17-Mar-18 14:38:36

I would really like my son to do one of these camps but he was not up for it when I asked him last year (he's 15 now). If your dd wants to go she will be fine on the flight. And I guess it's good to use the opportunities to do these camps before March 2019 as if Which? and others are to be believed, we won't be able to go anywhere by air after that.

I flew on my own at 17, DS flew last year on his own.

Which airlines don't allow it? I don't know any that don't have some sort of arrangements for minors travelling.

Are you sure the horror of the other mothers wasn't because she's going to be away doing a language course for 3 weeks with strangers (the horror of it) and not the flying bit?

TammyWhyNot Sat 17-Mar-18 14:39:51

Of course a 14 year old should be able to do this!

The main risk would be getting engrossed in the shops or her phone and not getting to the departure gate. Some airports have a long walk, or shuttle, to the gate, so just remind her to set off for the gate as soon as the number comes up.

And that she knows her flight number, how to look for the gate number on the departure board, and how to look for her baggage reclaim carousel.

A great adventure, I hope she has a brilliant language camp.

Rodent01 Sat 17-Mar-18 14:42:53

A lot of airlines don't allow under 16s to travel alone, BA I know don't. They don't offer the Unaccompanied Minor service either.

schnubbins Sat 17-Mar-18 14:46:49

Of course she can. It is a direct flight to a very safe well organised airport. Both my sons flew transatlantic on their own at 14 yrs.How mollycoddled are kids these days?

Flomper Sat 17-Mar-18 14:47:06

I think thats perfectly fine! She must be in what year 8/8? They normally used to getting around to school on public transport by then so i dont see how that will be any more challenging. Presumably you will het her checked in and make sure she knows the gate number to head to it to wait by the board and keep an eye on it. Id let my 13y old do this. I think my biggest worry would be him losing his passport sometimw between leaving us and getting to the gate so i'd probably insist he kept it in a zip pocket or something but that's just him!

DullAndOld Sat 17-Mar-18 14:51:06

of course she will be fine, she uses public transport I suppose, at this age.
Other mother is probably jealous tbh.
Teenagers are so mollycoddled these days, it is amazing.

Rodent01 Sat 17-Mar-18 14:55:19

I take it back, BA allow over 12s.

SardineJam Sat 17-Mar-18 15:01:51

I started flying alone when I was 12 (20 years ago) and this was for a 10hr + flight. TBH, with all the security now I would be okay if I were in your situation. We also have the convenience of mobile phones these days for 'just in case' situations.

Kimlek Sat 17-Mar-18 15:09:20

I’ve a 14 year old who would be absolutely fine. Has flown loads with us. My only worry would be her needing reassurance if there was a problem in flight (oxygen etc). Albeit unlikely.

Margomyhero Sat 17-Mar-18 15:15:33

Not too young at all. It's a short direct flight with someone meeting her at arrivals.

I was flying with my younger brother from UK to California each simmer from the age of 7. There was one staff member in charge of (all)the unaccompanied minors so we didnt have to fend for ourselves too much. It certainly made me very confident about travelling alone once I became a young adult and didn't have supervision.

Hope she enjoys herself.

Grandadwasthatyou Sat 17-Mar-18 15:16:43

Only you know if your child would be capable.

My 14 year old dd flew by herself for the first time recently.
She knew that nobody else was available to go with her to stay with relatives and if she hadn't gone on her own she wouldn't have been able to go.

Although she was naturally nervous the fact that she actually did it has increased her confidence and self esteem greatly.

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