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  #1  
Old 06-20-2007, 12:18 AM
cornflakes cornflakes is offline
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Tips for a 13 year old travelling alone?

My thirteen year old son will be going on a trip next month. He's a little nervous, but he said that he's ok with travelling alone. Does anyone have any experience with this? I plan to get gate passes both for us here and there, but we may not be able to get a nonstop flight. Besides that, what else do I need to know about?
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  #2  
Old 06-20-2007, 12:23 AM
Alice The Goon Alice The Goon is offline
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I did this last summer with then-13 and 15-year-olds, flying long distance, separately. I even started a thread asking for advice, but I'm too damn lazy to link to it.

It was difficult- I'm a worrier. I loaded them both up with lots of snacks, a calling card in case their phones didn't work, a little cash (not too much), and the advice to stick to families traveling together and try to make it look like they're part of a group, and to ask the appropriate people if help is needed. They both did it with confidence and had no problems- I was the only one going nuts about it.
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  #3  
Old 06-20-2007, 12:31 AM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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Yes, Get a blood sample, fingerprints, and dental xrays in advance.

Just in case.
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  #4  
Old 06-20-2007, 12:37 AM
Alice The Goon Alice The Goon is offline
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Make sure you give the most important piece of advice- Don't let anybody touch your pee-pee!! He will appreciate it, I know my boys did.
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  #5  
Old 06-20-2007, 01:51 AM
cornflakes cornflakes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alice The Goon
Make sure you give the most important piece of advice- Don't let anybody touch your pee-pee!! He will appreciate it, I know my boys did.
No thanks, he already knows that his dad it weird. Why give him more to complain about? (Answer: because it's fun!)

The calling card is a good idea. I don't think that I can get him a cell phone, but the card would allow him to call home during the layover. Also, I might be able to pick a flight that would go by a friend's city so someone would be with him during a layover.
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  #6  
Old 06-20-2007, 03:07 AM
chappachula chappachula is offline
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The airlines all have standard procedures for "UM" passengers--Unaccompanied Minors. There are 2 categories, I think--under 12 and over 12 years old. (or maybe 13, I don't remember"). They provide a flight attendant to escort the kid thru procedures.

Call the airline and check with them. When I did it, they required the adult who meets the child to be listed in advance with the airline, and show photo ID.
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  #7  
Old 06-20-2007, 04:05 AM
Rick Rick is offline
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At 13 it is your call, you can send your child as a UM or not. My daughter went to Sweden when she was 13 to live with some friends that lived there. I did not send her UM. I gave her maps of each airport so she would know where to go. (Funny back story: When booking the trip she asked me if I was going to pay for her to be a UM. I said no, she was too old for that. Her response was a classic: "You are never too old for that")
Anyway it was 3 legs outbound, and 4 legs back. The outbound trip went fine. On the return her plane was late out of Newark and missed it's connection in Denver. I got a little when she did not get off the plane in LA, but after after a few minutes on the computer an agent found her in Denver.
She got home about 3 hours late.
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  #8  
Old 06-20-2007, 03:38 PM
gigi gigi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyo Jim
Yes, Get a blood sample, fingerprints, and dental xrays in advance.

Just in case.
Subdermal chip, like the family pet.
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  #9  
Old 06-20-2007, 04:02 PM
CrankyAsAnOldMan CrankyAsAnOldMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornflakes
Also, I might be able to pick a flight that would go by a friend's city so someone would be with him during a layover.
I think you would have to make special arrangements for that person to go through security without a boarding pass--or else you'll have to have your son go out of security to meet up with them (and then have to go back through). I would carefully consider the hassle factor involved.
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  #10  
Old 06-20-2007, 06:51 PM
Plan B Plan B is offline
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Virgin Mobile has a very cheap pay-as-you-go cell phone. We got one for back-up for the whole family. It's definitely worth it.
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  #11  
Old 06-20-2007, 09:51 PM
John Carter of Mars John Carter of Mars is offline
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We just had an 11 year old make the trip from Alaska to Atlanta by herself. She arrived with no problems. Traveled as a UM but she now claims she could have made it "without a bunch of nannies." Smartass, that one!
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  #12  
Old 06-20-2007, 09:55 PM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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Does he know how to switch planes during a layover? I've seen that confuse adults who don't fly much, so you might want to go over how to read a plane ticket and what a concourse is and all that just in case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Carter of Mars
We just had an 11 year old make the trip from Alaska to Atlanta by herself. She arrived with no problems. Traveled as a UM but she now claims she could have made it "without a bunch of nannies." Smartass, that one!
The amazing part: she was hitchhiking.

Last edited by Sampiro; 06-20-2007 at 09:56 PM..
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  #13  
Old 06-20-2007, 11:17 PM
John Carter of Mars John Carter of Mars is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sampiro
The amazing part: she was hitchhiking.
Airplane, unfortunately. Had she been hitchhiking I wouldn't have had to drive in Fucking Atlanta!
I swear, Sherman had the right idea about what to do with Atlanta, but some damn fools had to go and build it back...
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  #14  
Old 06-21-2007, 02:11 AM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Carter of Mars
I swear, Sherman had the right idea about what to do with Atlanta, but some damn fools had to go and build it back...
Well, not yet they haven't, but they're working on it. I've been going to Atlanta for almost 40 years and I'm convinced that one day they'll actually have that Interstate finished. [HIJACK]I love the way Atlanta will tear down old buildings to put up new nondescripts named Cobb or Tara or Marthaville after the city's history; there are 4 antebellum buildings in the entire city and it's not because of Sherman or the Confederates [about half the city survived the war] but because as late as the 1950s they were still tearing them down to build new structures.[/HIJACK]
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