My SS#1 is flying as an unaccompanied minor this weekend. He's headed to visit family in the Lone Star State. My very generous brother and sis-in-law offered to pay for his ticket so he could spend a week with his cousins.
American Airlines had the least expensive flight, so she booked it. Most airlines require unaccompanied minors to be booked on an adult ticket (as opposed to taking advantage of a child discount). No biggie.
The biggie is American Airlines' unaccompanied minor policy. Or rather, their fee. In addition to paying regular price for a ticket, unaccompanied minor tickets are subject to a $100 surcharge for each leg of their trip. In our case, that is $200 extra.
Now, don't get me wrong. I understand that u.m.'s require a bit of extra attention. Make sure they get to a seat. Make sure they're delivered to the proper person upon arrival. Yeah, that's worth an extra $200.
What baffles me is that SS#1 just flew unaccompanied on my favorite airline, Southwest. Now, Southwest could not have been more pleasant and accommodating. No such u.m. surcharge exists. Not only that, but Southwest doesn't charge to check a bag either. American charges $15 EACH WAY for your FIRST bag.
But I digress.
Upon checking, I discovered that not only does American charge this exorbitant fee, but so do United and Delta. Apparently, only Southwest and Continental are happy to have those little monkeys aboard. Perhaps it is just my child who knows how to behave on a plane. Maybe everyone else's child is wreaking enough havoc to warrant a $100 per leg charge.
Probably not, though. Seriously people. Isn't it enough that we can't take advantage of a child's fare with unaccompanied minors? Do you really need to charge us $200 extra just to put our child on a flight to visit family?
I've already professed my "luv" for Southwest. They're already my go-to airline for business and leisure travel alike.
Seems I have one more reason to fly them.