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Chris Luongo
01-05-2011, 12:05 PM
Soon I'll be accompanying my girlfriend's nephew to his gymnastics competition. We'll be flying from Boston to Las Vegas.

Do I need any kind of document or letter from his parents, giving permission for him to travel with me?

If it matters, he's 10 years old, the flights won't take us out of the U.S., and the airlines involved will be Delta and US Airways.

Chefguy
01-05-2011, 12:10 PM
Personally, I would err on the side of discretion and have such a document with me. I would also have them include something that says you can take him for medical treatment, if necessary.

Duckster
01-05-2011, 12:13 PM
Contact the airlines and ask.

Regardless of what answers you might get, it wouldn't hurt to have a signed letter from the parents, along with contact information. You never know who might raise a stink (airline clerk, TSA, busybody).

alphaboi867
01-05-2011, 12:20 PM
It can't hurt to have a signed letter even though technically it isn't (AFAIK) required for non-international travel.

Omar Little
01-05-2011, 12:32 PM
Of cource you need the parent's permission to take a 10 year old child anywhere. If they find out you have taken their child without their permission, you could be charged with kidnapping which is a Federal offense. At a minimum you should discuss the gymnastics competition with them and make sure they are okay with it.

It probably would be a good idea to have them sign a permission form to present to airlines, hotels, etc. and have available if you are stopped by law enforcement.

Baracus
01-05-2011, 01:23 PM
Contact the airlines and ask.

Regardless of what answers you might get, it wouldn't hurt to have a signed letter from the parents, along with contact information. You never know who might raise a stink (airline clerk, TSA, busybody).
I think a notarized letter would be even better. I wouldn't find a signed letter very compelling if I had nothing to compare the signatures to.

Since the kid is participating in a gymnastics competition where there would seem to be a non-trivial chance of him being injured, I would make sure that the appropriate forms or whatever are in place for you, his coach, or whoever to approve medical care in case his parent's cannot be reached.

Omar Little
01-05-2011, 01:44 PM
I think a notarized letter would be even better. I wouldn't find a signed letter very compelling if I had nothing to compare the signatures to.

Nitpick hi-jack: How does getting a notarized letter provide anything for the reader to compare signatures to? All the notarization does is give comfort that the Notary ascertained that the person signing the letter is who they say they were.

Any Other Name
01-05-2011, 01:49 PM
Nitpick hi-jack: How does getting a notarized letter provide anything for the reader to compare signatures to? All the notarization does is give comfort that the Notary ascertained that the person signing the letter is who they say they were.

Because the Notary is required to verify the identity of the individual, which would require a signed photo ID - usually drivers license or passport.

Voyager
01-05-2011, 02:28 PM
We always had one. It is also absolutely essential in crossing borders, even from New York into and out of Canada.

Lasciel
01-05-2011, 02:33 PM
Because the Notary is required to verify the identity of the individual, which would require a signed photo ID - usually drivers license or passport.


That's assuming that the random busybody or TSA person has the braincells and civic virtue to know what a notary does. I wouldn't hold your breath on that one.

I'd say get the parents to write you a letter - notarized if you can - to keep for travel and medical authorization.

Then call the gymnastics people and let them record you as the "guardian" for the purposes of the competition.

Keep the parent's and gymnastic coordinator or receptionist numbers and names on your person.

In addition, I'd have the kid keep a second letter on his person, and have the kid memorize the parental contact info so if some overprotective person comes over, you can let the kid talk to the overprotective person and give them contact info (which they'll trust more coming from the kid than from you) to call the parents and get a "real live" confirmation on the spot. (I'd warn the parents that this might happen so they're not confused.)

Is this a lot of hassle?

Not as much as having TSA or a random busybody call social services and confiscating your not-even-your-own-nephew while you're being held in a strange city getting investigated for possible kidnapping and child endangerment.

Arnold Winkelried
01-05-2011, 02:59 PM
I don't know if this makes any difference whatsoever, but I got a valid state ID for each of my two sons before their first plane flight. Each of them took a plane trip before they were two years old. No one demanded to see it, but everyone I showed it to (e.g. ticket counter agent) examined it, and I figured that it wouldn't hurt to have.

Baracus
01-05-2011, 03:14 PM
Nitpick hi-jack: How does getting a notarized letter provide anything for the reader to compare signatures to? All the notarization does is give comfort that the Notary ascertained that the person signing the letter is who they say they were.
I didn't mean to imply that it would give them anything to compare the signature to, but that absent such a notary seal would provide some measure of proof that the signatures were legit.

Chief Pedant
01-06-2011, 06:17 AM
Soon I'll be accompanying my girlfriend's nephew to his gymnastics competition. We'll be flying from Boston to Las Vegas.

Do I need any kind of document or letter from his parents, giving permission for him to travel with me?

If it matters, he's 10 years old, the flights won't take us out of the U.S., and the airlines involved will be Delta and US Airways.
You need the parent(s)' permission to take the kid, but it's unlikely TSA will ask you for any documentation if the kid is 10 and able to speak for himself, so you don't need their written permission...
Different last names for parents and children are common, so an adult vouching for the fact that he is accompanying a minor of this age would get you through security and the Gate Agent will not question the details of a relationship.

I would not personally go anywhere with someone else's child unless I had written, hand-signed permission on my person for both the trip and to act as a parental proxy for permission to handle emergencies. While it's true this is easily forged (and I would not personally bother to notarize it), most of the time those of us looking for permission to treat emergently are covering our butts and not yours. If you forge it and present it to us as legit, well that's your crime--not our negligence in making an attempt to get permission to treat.

BlinkingDuck
01-06-2011, 11:42 AM
Having Just gone through this...it appears yes. My 17 year old daughter's 20 year old boyfriend needed this note from us when they flew down to Florida to see his family*.



*I know...you are going WTF...but I trust her completely and am far more worried about her becoming a hermit/recluse without the ability to face the outside world than about shenanigans going on. She has been seeing a shrink for many years now and over the last year see a glimmer of hope so when she asked me if she could go to Florida I didn't really even think twice. I was just ecstatic she asked/wanted to go.

Omar Little
01-06-2011, 11:46 AM
Having Just gone through this...it appears yes. My 17 year old daughter's 20 year old boyfriend needed this note from us when they flew down to Florida to see his family*.

Who "needed" the note? The boyfriend's family? It wasn't the airlines as most major carrriers will let kids 12 and older fly by themselves without any type of accompaniment.

Myglaren
01-06-2011, 11:47 AM
My daughter was refused entry to the US as she didn't have a letter from the father of her son authorising her to travel out of the UK with him.

She has been all over the world with him and it was her second time in the US. She has never been challenged before, always passed straight through immigration/customs.

The immigration authorities were very abusive and separated her from her son (who was four years old) leaving him alone, frightened and crying while they shouted at her in an office behind closed doors.

She has yet to receive an apology and the US is on her blacklist now, not that they would care.

Omar Little
01-06-2011, 11:49 AM
the US is on her blacklist now,

woooooooooooo!!!!

Myglaren
01-06-2011, 11:55 AM
woooooooooooo!!!!

Yeah, pretty much what she thought but she won't be back.

WhyNot
01-06-2011, 11:59 AM
I've always written one when I send my kids off with someone - be it Grandma or a family friend. So far, only once has it been needed (for an urgent but not emergent medical situation, and they did call me to verify the authenticity of the letter.) Better safe than sorry, I think.

It's a boilerplate I simply drop new dates and names into. At the bottom, I cut and paste a scanned image of both sides of the kiddo's insurance card, so it's all on one sheet of paper.

To Whom it May Concern,
I hereby authorize [Person Taking Kid] to assume temporary guardianship of my [son/daughter], [Full Legal Name], beginning on [date]. [Person] may travel from [home State] to [destination State/in the US] with my child. I hereby grant [Person] Temporary Power of Medical Attorney to authorize any medical tests or treatments for [Child's Name] which are medically necessary in my absence.

This temporary guardianship will expire when I am in the physical presence of my child.

Name
Contact Information

I am not a lawyer, of course, but it seems to cover the basics. Like I said, it's only been asked for once, so I don't know if it would pass court muster, but it should appease most people in most circumstances.

If you want something written by a lawyer, you can use the forms at this link (http://www.free-legal-document.com/free-temporary-guardianship-form.html) for free.

Omar Little
01-06-2011, 12:03 PM
Yeah, pretty much what she thought but she won't be back.

See: http://sondur.com/Solo_Parent_Minor.htm

Sounds like your daughter may be blacklisting a lot of countries. A permission letter for parents traveling solo across international borders is common practice these days.

BlinkingDuck
01-06-2011, 12:13 PM
Who "needed" the note? The boyfriend's family? It wasn't the airlines as most major carrriers will let kids 12 and older fly by themselves without any type of accompaniment.

I was called my boyfriends father who works at the airline. He said he need a note that said she had permission to travel with him, my contact info/phone number and a couple other things I forget.

Now, he could have been mistaken or, more likely, he might have been told it was a 'good idea' but not required. I will ask my daughter tonight if he had to show it to anyone.

Edit...whynot had it right....location from to location to as well as dates was what I forgot.

BlinkingDuck
01-06-2011, 12:14 PM
Yeah, pretty much what she thought but she won't be back.

I'm not sure we want visitors from Loonyland. We have enough of our own. Or is she not live in the same country as you?

Oakminster
01-06-2011, 12:26 PM
Personally, I would err on the side of discretion and have such a document with me. I would also have them include something that says you can take him for medical treatment, if necessary.

A limited power of attorney is good for this purpose. Fairly simple to have one drawn up, and it can include a variety of things, including an expiration date.

WhyNot
01-06-2011, 12:59 PM
A limited power of attorney is good for this purpose. Fairly simple to have one drawn up, and it can include a variety of things, including an expiration date.

Want to be careful with the expiration date though, in case something happens to the plane, or the kid, and she's gone longer than expected. Again, probably more of a pitfall in theory than in reality. Give yourself an extra day or two and you should be fine.

TriPolar
01-06-2011, 01:20 PM
You don't need the paper to fly with the kid. You need the paper to stay out of jail.

Minnie Luna
01-06-2011, 02:47 PM
My daughter was refused entry to the US as she didn't have a letter from the father of her son authorising her to travel out of the UK with him.

She has been all over the world with him and it was her second time in the US. She has never been challenged before, always passed straight through immigration/customs.

The immigration authorities were very abusive and separated her from her son (who was four years old) leaving him alone, frightened and crying while they shouted at her in an office behind closed doors.

She has yet to receive an apology and the US is on her blacklist now, not that they would care.


My parents are both Canadian, with the majority of our family in Canada. We lived in the states and my dad took my sister and I on a trip to Canada to see my grandparents one summer. At the border, they pulled my father over and made us get out of the car at the border station. My father was separated from my sister and I and we were questioned regarding the trip. This was the early to mid 80's.

At the time I had no clue what was going on. They asked for my address, phone number and name of my mom. They called her and asked if she knew that her children were being taken into Canada by a man claiming to be their father and if she had allowed the trip. She had to verify the info and they eventually let us go, but we stayed in the border hut for about 4 hours. He had our green cards, so it wasn't like he was trying to be sneaky about it. This was way before you really even needed ID to cross that border. I think there was a high profile case recent to the events that occurred that made the border guards more suspicious to men taking their children into a foreign country.