What services does Air Canada offer for children traveling alone?
Air Canada offers Unaccompanied Minor Service to ensure that children traveling alone receive the best of care, and are escorted by highly-trained staff from the moment they arrive at airport check-in until they reach their destination.
What are the age restrictions on Air Canada flights for children traveling alone?
Children younger than 8 years traveling alone are not accepted. They must travel with an accompanying adult at least 16 years old occupying a seat in the same cabin as the young child.
Children from 8 through 11 years of age (inclusively) may travel alone only if the Unaccompanied Minor Service is purchased.
Children from 12 through 17 years of age may travel alone without restrictions. The Unaccompanied Minor Service is optional, but if requested, the restrictions imposed by the service will apply. Youths at least 16 years old may act as accompanying adults for minors.
Which flights are eligible for children traveling alone?
Children may travel alone as Unaccompanied Minors only on flights operated by Air Canada or Air Canada rouge, and Air Canada Express flights operated by Sky Regional, Jazz, Exploits Valley Air 8K (flight series 7615-7649), and Air Georgian GX (flight series 7350-7499).
Only non-stop flights are eligible for children as Unaccompanied Minors. When the Unaccompanied Minor Service, either mandatory or optional, is purchased, children or young travelers are not allowed to travel on connecting or codeshare flights.
Unaccompanied Minor Service
To book a flight for an Unaccompanied Minor, you must contact Air Canada Reservations or your travel agent. You will be given details about the Unaccompanied Minor service and what procedures are involved when your child is travelling alone. For example, the call centre agent will recommend that your child be seated in the last three rows of the aircraft if your child is travelling on an Air Canada flight. This seating arrangement, close to the cabin crew, will allow crew members to attend your child’s needs during the flight. This recommendation does not apply to Air Canada Express flights.
The Unaccompanied Minor Service cannot be arranged on the day of departure at the airport.
When making a reservation for an Unaccompanied Minor, you must inform the call center agent if your child has a medical condition. A child with a medical condition cannot travel as an Unaccompanied Minor without prior medical approval. Information on medical approval and how to obtain one for your child can be provided by the Air Canada Medical Assistance Desk. Air Canada reserves the right to refuse transportation of an unaccompanied minor if medical clearance cannot be obtained.
Children who are blind, deaf or severely allergic to cats or peanuts/peanut products cannot travel unaccompanied.
Unaccompanied Minors may not travel with their pets in the cabin.
Drop-off and Pick-up
The Unaccompanied Minor must be brought to the airport by a parent or responsible adult. Upon arriving at the airport, head for the Air Canada counter to begin check-in formalities. Unaccompanied Minors cannot use Web, Mobile or Kiosk Check-in.
First, you must provide identification for your child. Only original documents (no photocopies) are accepted. For travel within Canada, children under 18 years of age must present a birth certificate, passport, health card or other government-issued identification. For international flights (including the U.S.), a passport is required.
You must then complete a « Request for Carriage » form that contains:
- Your child’s identification and flight number.
- The name(s) and contact information of the person(s) who will meet your child at his/her destination.
- The authorizing signature of your child’s parent or guardian.
The form is attached to an envelope bearing the letters « UM. » that will remain in the care of an Air Canada agent. The envelope serves as a document holder for your child’s passport, emergency numbers, airline ticket, and Customs documentation. To be easily identified by airport staff as an Unaccompanied Minor, the agent will provide your child with a UM lanyard (hang-tag).
An Air Canada agent will accompany your child through the security check and proceed to the boarding gate area. Parents/guardians are permitted to accompany their children to the departure gate in some airports. Where permitted, only one parent/guardian may escort the child to the gate. A « Passenger Escort Form » and photo identification may be required. Air Canada will provide the escort if the parent/guardian is unable to escort the child. The passenger escort service is not available for international flights (including the U.S.) due to security regulations. In this case, an Air Canada agent will escort the child to the gate.
Unaccompanied Minors are always boarded ahead of the other passengers. Once boarding is announced, the Unaccompanied Minor will be escorted to the aircraft and greeted by the In-flight Service Director who will guide your child to an assigned seat. You must remain at the airport until the flight has departed even after an Air Canada agent has taken your child into their care.
Upon arrival at the destination, the In-flight Service Director will help the Unaccompanied Minor disembark and will hand him/her over to an airport agent. The airport agent will escort your child to the Arrivals section to meet the person designated on the UM envelope. The adult meeting the Unaccompanied Minor must provide photo identification and accept responsibility for the child by signing the UM envelope.
In addition to the applicable adult fare, Air Canada charges a service fee of $ 100 CAD each way per child per flight (not including taxes).
The service fee includes the price of a meal or hot snack . On all of its flights, Air Canada offers complimentary non alcoholic beverages. For all flights, Air Canada, Air Canada rouge and Air Canada Express¹ have transitioned to credit card only cabins. If onboard credit card payment is not an option, convenient Air Canada Bistro vouchers can be pre-purchased online up to 1 hour before your child’s flight.
¹Only flights operated by Jazz.