Traveling As An Unaccompanied Minor

Most airlines offer an "unaccompanied minor" (UM) service for children flying alone. The precise policies for this service vary. Usually, parents accompany the child to the boarding gate. From there, the flight attendants are required to keep track of the child, help her get to her connecting flights, and hand her off directly to the adults meeting her at her destination. UMs are generally not allowed on the last flight of the day or on red-eye flights. The UM service costs from $25 to $125 each way (in USD), depending on the airline (see below). More detailed information about the UM service can be found at each airline's webpage or here.

The service is primarily meant for younger kids: the overwhelming majority of Mathcamp students are quite capable of flying on their own. In many years of running Mathcamp, we have never had any trouble in this regard. If several students are flying from the same airport, we do try to put them in touch so that they can arrange to fly together. However, even if a student has to travel alone, we generally recommend against the UM option (though of course, the final choice rests with the student and his/her parents). Note that once a student arrives at the airport, he or she will be met immediately at the baggage claim, and will remain under Mathcamp staff supervision from that point onward.

However, many airlines require all children under 15 to fly as UMs. Sometimes we are able to arrange for an older student from the same city to "accompany" the younger student. Failing that, however, the student will have to fly as a UM. Since this can easily add $200 or more to the cost of the trip, it may be worth looking into other airlines first.

Below is a list of the major airlines with a summary of their UM policies. The cost shown is in USD, and is charged in each direction. Most airlines offer an optional UM service for travelers aged 15-17, for the same price. These policies are subject to change, so double-check before you book; this page was last updated March 2017.

Airline UM cost for non-stop flights Can UMs take trips with connections? UM for age 13-14? More Info
Air Canada$100 CAD/USD each wayNot permittedOPTIONALmore info
Alaska Airlines$25 USD/CAD each way$50 USD/CAD each wayOPTIONAL more info
American Airlines$150 USD each wayPermitted, through some airportsREQ 13-14more info
Delta$150 USD/CAD/EUR each wayPermitted, except for last connecting flight of the dayREQ 13-14more info
Frontier$100 USD each way depending on fare optionNot permittedREQ 13-14more info
Hawaiian$100 USD each wayPermitted, except for last connecting flight of the dayOPTIONALmore info
JetBlue$100 USD each wayNot permittedREQ 13-14more info
SeaPort$50 USD roundtripN/AOptionalmore info
SouthwestN/AN/ANot available for 12+more info
Spirit$100 USD each wayNot permittedREQ 13-14more info
Sun Country Airlines$75 USD per segmentNot permittedOPTIONALmore info
United$150 USD each wayNot permittedREQ 13-15more info
Virgin America$75-$125 based on destinationNot permittedOPTIONALmore info