What services does Finnair offer for children traveling alone?
Finnair takes full responsibility for all children between 5 and 11 years old traveling alone, through their Unaccompanied Minor Service. In order for you minor to be escorted from the airport of departure to the airport of arrival, and also looked after during the flight, upon booking the minor’s flight ticket, you must request the Unaccompanied Minor Service.
The Unaccompanied Minor Service can be reserved either by contacting Finnair, or through your travel agency. Upon submitted your request for the service, you will be prompted with the current rates that apply depending on certain variables (such as route, destination, seating options, class of travel etc.).
What are the age restrictions on domestic and international flights?
The minimum age for a minor to be eligible for the Unaccompanied Minor Service is five. Children younger than 5 years old are not accepted unaccompanied under no circumstances.
Concerning Finnair domestic flights, children under 5 years of age must be accompanied either by a family member of at least 16 years old, or by a person clearly designated by their parents or guardians, who must be at least 18 years old. As far as international Finnair flights are involved, no person under 18 is accepted for accompanying a child younger than 5 years old.
On Finnair flights, the Unaccompanied Minor Service is mandatory for children aged 5 to 12 years traveling alone:
- On domestic flights (traveling not accompanied by a family member of at least 12 years old or a person of at least 16 years old designated by the minor’s parents/guardians).
- On international flights except to/from the US (traveling not accompanied by a family member of at least 16 years old or a person of at least 18 years old named specifically by the minor’s parents/legal guardians).
For travel to/from the US, the Unaccompanied Minor Service is mandatory for children aged 5 to 16 years traveling alone.
The Unaccompanied Minor Service can also be requested for children aged 12 to 18 years, on an optional basis.
Unaccompanied Minor Service
The Unaccompanied Minor Service reservation cannot be made online. In order to book a ticket for your child traveling alone, you must address Finnair’s office or your travel agency. At the time of booking, both the adult taking the minor to the airport of departure and the one designated to pick up the minor from the airport of arrival must have their full identification details given to the airline. These persons will be required to present a valid piece of ID upon transferring the minor’s custody to and from the airline.
The type of documents a minor is required to have upon himself / herself varies depending on the country of destination, as different customs apply:
- When entering certain territories, your child must have their own valid passport.
- Some countries require that the minor should posses a written consent from their parents / guardians when travelling alone.
- Minors travelling accompanied by only one of their parents must also provide a travel consent, when flying internationally.
- This type of parental consent may be required either when leaving the country, or when entering another one, as well as in both cases.
- The travel consent is required by some countries only from their departing underage nationals, while other countries supervise only the incoming minors, regardless of their nationality.
Try to be well informed on these aspects before booking a ticket for your child, because different countries’ policies regarding minors vary greatly. You can always contact your travel agency or the embassy for the territory of departure / arrival for up-to-date information.
The Unaccompanied Minor Service is available only for flights marketed by Finnair (AY code) and operated by Finnair or Norra.
Each Finnair flight has a limited number of unaccompanied children that can be carried, set to six Unaccompanied Minors per flight. Because of this limit, make sure to book your child’s ticket well in advance.
For connecting flights, Finnair accepts Unaccompanied Minors when the transfer is from one Finnair flight to another, and the flights are on the same day. Finnair does not accept Unaccompanied Minor Service requests for routes that are segmented and require an overnight stop, or for domestic flights scheduled late in the evening.
Drop-off and Pick-up
An Unaccompanied Minor Handling Advice form must be filled in with all the relevant information regarding your child’s personal details, as well as the specifics of their itinerary. Since this form must be submitted at the counters, try to reach the airport in a timely manner in order to allow yourself plenty of time to undergo all the necessary formalities.
A “Special Passengers” desk can be found in Helsinki Airport, which can provide you with assistance in checking-in your minor. This desk is marked with the corresponding international symbols, so finding it when in need of support should be an easy task.
All the minor’s travel documents (such as their Unaccompanied Minor Handling Advice form, passport or ID card, visas, flight tickets etc.) will be placed in a neck bag provided by the above mentioned desk.
A special permission must be obtained from the check-in desk if the parent / guardian would like to see their child off all the way to the boarding gate.
At boarding, the Unaccompanied Minors will be the first to board the plane. Therefore, they are required to reach the gate 25 minutes prior to scheduled departure. Meanwhile, the person who brought the child at the airport must not leave until the plane is airborne. During the flight, your child will be attended to by the cabin crew.
The person responsible with picking up the child must be present at the airport of arrival when the plane lands. Upon arriving to the destination, your minor will be handed over by the flight crew to the airport’s ground staff, and one of the ground employees will transfer the custody of the minor to the person designated with the pick-up, after thoroughly verifying their identity. For this procedure to go as smoothly as possible, make sure to provide all the contact information of the person entitled to pick up your child.
In addition to the ticket price, Finnair will charge an Unaccompanied Minor Service fee per one direction:
- €40 – flights within Finland
- €60 – flights within Europe
- €120 – intercontinental flights.