Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Activities > Travel/day trips/free time  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 25.09.2011, 15:00
Xlator's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Zurich
Posts: 72
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 24 Times in 11 Posts
Xlator has earned the respect of manyXlator has earned the respect of manyXlator has earned the respect of many
Airline help for an unaccompanied NON-minor?

OK, so I'm hoping to get my son in the States here for a visit. He'd be flying from an airport where there would be no direct flights to Zurich, so his best option is to fly to London and change there. He's 17, so old enough and smart enough to figure this out, but the fact is, it would take him longer to get through security and/or customs than most people for a particular reason, and he's usually got me to help.

So I'm wondering: do airlines have a service to help people like that? And does it cost? Would the best option be for me to take a cheap flight to London and meet him there? I'd do that, but only if absolutely necessary.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 25.09.2011, 15:01
M. Ploymi's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: GE
Posts: 925
Groaned at 34 Times in 22 Posts
Thanked 810 Times in 356 Posts
M. Ploymi has a reputation beyond reputeM. Ploymi has a reputation beyond reputeM. Ploymi has a reputation beyond reputeM. Ploymi has a reputation beyond reputeM. Ploymi has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Airline help for an unaccompanied NON-minor?

Quote:
View Post
OK, so I'm hoping to get my son in the States here for a visit. He'd be flying from an airport where there would be no direct flights to Zurich, so his best option is to fly to London and change there. He's 17, so old enough and smart enough to figure this out, but the fact is, it takes him longer to get through security than most people for a particular reason, and he's usually got me to help.

So I'm wondering: do airlines have a service to help people like that? And does it cost? Would the best option be for me to take a cheap flight to London and meet him there? I'd do that, but only if absolutely necessary.
it may just be me, but "a particular reason" could be many things in my mind. Care to elaborate?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 25.09.2011, 15:04
Xlator's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Zurich
Posts: 72
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 24 Times in 11 Posts
Xlator has earned the respect of manyXlator has earned the respect of manyXlator has earned the respect of many
Re: Airline help for an unaccompanied NON-minor?

I will be happy answer that via PM if anyone is curious.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 25.09.2011, 15:05
jrspet's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Quaint Wädenswil, Zürich, CH
Posts: 8,131
Groaned at 27 Times in 20 Posts
Thanked 7,036 Times in 3,912 Posts
jrspet has a reputation beyond reputejrspet has a reputation beyond reputejrspet has a reputation beyond reputejrspet has a reputation beyond reputejrspet has a reputation beyond reputejrspet has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Airline help for an unaccompanied NON-minor?

Check with the airline.

Delta allows it optionally:

http://www.delta.com/planning_reserv...lone/index.jsp
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank jrspet for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 25.09.2011, 15:23
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Vaud
Posts: 2,894
Groaned at 97 Times in 46 Posts
Thanked 1,932 Times in 921 Posts
Anthony1406 has a reputation beyond reputeAnthony1406 has a reputation beyond reputeAnthony1406 has a reputation beyond reputeAnthony1406 has a reputation beyond reputeAnthony1406 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Airline help for an unaccompanied NON-minor?

why not let him do it by himself? if the reason is non medical etc.
he is 17, time to do it himself and if that means waiting at security a little more then so be it.

I started my travels when I was 17 (year off after highschool) and last thing I would want is to be accompanied .

So if it is not an absolute must, let him experience it by himself. He is not always gonna have you guys to stand by him.

just my 2 cents
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 25.09.2011, 15:42
Xlator's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Zurich
Posts: 72
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 24 Times in 11 Posts
Xlator has earned the respect of manyXlator has earned the respect of manyXlator has earned the respect of many
Re: Airline help for an unaccompanied NON-minor?

OK, so it is a medical reason. He has to carry a lot of medications with him. He gets stopped often.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 25.09.2011, 15:50
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Bern
Posts: 853
Groaned at 5 Times in 4 Posts
Thanked 1,389 Times in 527 Posts
heckenhocker has a reputation beyond reputeheckenhocker has a reputation beyond reputeheckenhocker has a reputation beyond reputeheckenhocker has a reputation beyond reputeheckenhocker has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Airline help for an unaccompanied NON-minor?

If he gets stopped to check the medications, being accompanied by airline staff won't help much. The customs staff would still need your son to explain his baggage contents.

Maybe ensure he has a letter from the doctor confirming the meds are necessary / copies of the prescriptions. Make sure the meds are in their original packs, to alleviate suspicions (and if they have prescription stickers on, so much the better).

If son is not confident explaining his baggage, maybe prepare a short note for him to present, describing briefly the condition, the meds carried and your phone number for questions.

Most airlines will not provide support of this kind for non minors (and even a minor would need to be able to explain / present a note if unusual items are carried). Airlines will provide physical assistance (wheelchair, buggy), but the person assisting will not help with questions at customs/security.

Good luck to Xlator junior with his travels.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 25.09.2011, 15:53
Textoch's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Texas, USA (formerly Vaud, CH)
Posts: 1,201
Groaned at 25 Times in 23 Posts
Thanked 3,058 Times in 937 Posts
Textoch has a reputation beyond reputeTextoch has a reputation beyond reputeTextoch has a reputation beyond reputeTextoch has a reputation beyond reputeTextoch has a reputation beyond reputeTextoch has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Airline help for an unaccompanied NON-minor?

If he is 17, he is still technically a minor, so he may still be eligible for these types of programs, depending on the airline.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 25.09.2011, 16:10
Xlator's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Zurich
Posts: 72
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 24 Times in 11 Posts
Xlator has earned the respect of manyXlator has earned the respect of manyXlator has earned the respect of many
Re: Airline help for an unaccompanied NON-minor?

OK, thanks for your suggestions. I guess I'm making more of this than I need to. I think I'm more concerned about Xlator Jr. getting detained/harassed because of his big bag o' drugs and longish hair and age than about anything he could do, and then missing his connecting flight. There are people just waiting for kids like him to come along so they can throw their weight around. I do see that he can still get some assistance at age 17, so that might help with getting his connecting flight. Thanks, all.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 25.09.2011, 16:24
ecb's Avatar
ecb ecb is offline
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: out n about - it's summer!
Posts: 2,198
Groaned at 8 Times in 8 Posts
Thanked 3,566 Times in 1,322 Posts
ecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Airline help for an unaccompanied NON-minor?

My father is an insulin dependent diabetic and gets stopped all the time.

He carries copies of his prescription, letter from his doctor and makes sure he has no more than needed (in terms of needles) in his carry on luggage for the duration of the flight (and a little more to allow for delays). But actually he is rarely asked for his paperwork .. they just want to hear his explanations and look at the stuff.

Since he retired, he has developed a wander lust and has travelled the world many, many times. But he still says there is no airport he has ever visited that is as fussy with his meds and equipment as Basel Airport

Your anxiety is really understandable but if this is going to be part of your son's life, then I suppose at some time or other, he will have to face this problem .. but being parents we all prefer it was another time, right?

Oh and as for not being stopped with airline staff .. this does not seem to affect my father who frequently visits my brother in Dubai. My brother has a very senior position within Emirates. He always accompanies my father airside or sends someone with him, but my father still gets checked. I suppose its a good thing really ...
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 25.09.2011, 18:32
miniMia's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: romandie
Posts: 9,975
Groaned at 101 Times in 92 Posts
Thanked 9,106 Times in 4,522 Posts
miniMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Airline help for an unaccompanied NON-minor?

I would just give him more time between flights. Instead of say the 11am flight from London to Zurich, put him on the 1pm flight. I think it would be much better for him to do it alone.

At 17 he's really not going to want to have someone babysit him.

Good luck!
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank miniMia for this useful post:
  #12  
Old 25.09.2011, 19:03
Village Idiot's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Basel
Posts: 3,701
Groaned at 35 Times in 32 Posts
Thanked 6,966 Times in 2,251 Posts
Village Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond reputeVillage Idiot has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Airline help for an unaccompanied NON-minor?

While I agree with others that your son can probably manage on his own, there are optional, escorted services that you can use with Lufthansa to transit through their hubs:

http://www.lufthansa.com/ch/en/Lufth...Family-Service

Hope this helps.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Village Idiot for this useful post:
  #13  
Old 25.09.2011, 19:10
little_isabella's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Zurich
Posts: 1,094
Groaned at 18 Times in 15 Posts
Thanked 1,387 Times in 550 Posts
little_isabella has a reputation beyond reputelittle_isabella has a reputation beyond reputelittle_isabella has a reputation beyond reputelittle_isabella has a reputation beyond reputelittle_isabella has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Airline help for an unaccompanied NON-minor?

Bless you for being concerned about him. I think parents never stop worrying about their kids and wanting to protect them. Yes, he may get stopped because of his appearance but no doubt you've raised him to handle the situation as required.

I do agree with others that he needs to fare on his own. Copies of prescriptions and contact information for his doctor should suffice.

I'm not sure which airport in London he's going through. If it's Heathrow, I generally find them very strict but they are efficient and reasonable where you need to explain items going through security.

For instance, I flew through Heathrow three times recently, bringing with me a lead hospital vest. Of course it was flagged since they can't see through it. But once I explained why I had it, they were very understanding and quite sweet, in fact.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 25.09.2011, 19:12
vwild1
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Airline help for an unaccompanied NON-minor?

Quote:
View Post
He'd be flying from an airport where there would be no direct flights to Zurich, so his best option is to fly to London and change there. He's 17, so old enough and smart enough to figure this out, but the fact is, it would take him longer to get through security and/or customs than most people for a particular reason, and he's usually got me to help.
For peace of mind send him as UM (unaccompanied minor). I've sent my daughter dozens of times on trips all over Europe by herself on Swiss without a worry.

UM info for Swiss: http://www.swiss.com/web/EN/services...ed_minors.aspx
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank for this useful post:
  #15  
Old 25.09.2011, 19:34
ARandomUsername
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Airline help for an unaccompanied NON-minor?

Quote:
View Post
it would take him longer to get through security and/or customs than most people for a particular reason, and he's usually got me to help.
Are you sure he has to even go through security a second time (i.e. in London)? If he's transferring then I don't think he does, as long as he stays the "right" side of security.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 25.09.2011, 19:46
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
If he changes terminals in London, he will go through security a second time.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 25.09.2011, 20:14
Nev
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Airline help for an unaccompanied NON-minor?

Quote:
View Post
Are you sure he has to even go through security a second time (i.e. in London)? If he's transferring then I don't think he does, as long as he stays the "right" side of security.
Yes, there is a checkpoint in the "Flight Connections" channel. If you arrive in the morning when the overnight flights from the US and Asia arrive, it can be a nightmare.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 25.09.2011, 20:37
KeinFranzösisch's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 2,198
Groaned at 63 Times in 38 Posts
Thanked 2,549 Times in 1,115 Posts
KeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Airline help for an unaccompanied NON-minor?

medications aren't a reason for a person to be stopped by Customs unless a person has a history of smuggling illegal steroids are large quantities (greater than a 90 day supply).

Even still, requesting airline facilitation won't take away any scrutiny. It will just make sure he gets from A to B with an escort.

Regardless, you can always request passenger assistance from the airline. They have people whose job it is specifically to make sure any passenger who wants the help gets it. Usually it's the very young, the very old, or the disabled who use these services. Feel free to talk to the airline about what they can offer your son.
__________________
I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than adore me for telling you lies. - Pietro Aretino
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 25.09.2011, 20:38
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Airline help for an unaccompanied NON-minor?

Quote:
View Post
If he is 17, he is still technically a minor, so he may still be eligible for these types of programs, depending on the airline.
Not according to Airlines, children aged 15 or above (or so at least the last time I chekcked) can travel alone and do not need a companion provided by the airline.
Back OT I guess if he has never done ift before it wpuld put more stress on him so just ckech with the airline would be my advice and I am sure they will provide a solution...
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 25.09.2011, 20:40
swisspea's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: From one side of lake Zurich t
Posts: 6,353
Groaned at 42 Times in 31 Posts
Thanked 6,448 Times in 2,964 Posts
swisspea has a reputation beyond reputeswisspea has a reputation beyond reputeswisspea has a reputation beyond reputeswisspea has a reputation beyond reputeswisspea has a reputation beyond reputeswisspea has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Airline help for an unaccompanied NON-minor?

We travel with our son, who has type 1 diabetes, and I can't say it takes any longer to get through security - we have a letter from our doctor explaining the medication and equipment, and that we are carrying additional supplies plus it must be carried as hand luggage.

I guess the USA is tough (I haven't been there but have heard plenty of stories) but we didn't find it raised any eyebrows in Heathrow, Singapore, Paris, Barcelona or Birmingham airports.

The only one where we had to unpack everything was singapore, and it was a senior staff instruction a new staff member, and by their manner (the singaporean was formal but polite) it really was for the new staff training purposes (he was talking her through the procedure) rather than because they were querying the gear.

Hope that helps. The main thing in my opinion is to stay calm, precise, and have a 'can you help me' attitude. I always go to the first staff member on the security counter and say "oh, we have diabetes gear in here - do you need to see it?" - usually they just wave me through and everything goes through the scanner.

I have heard of kids with pumps being asked to unplug them and put them through the scanner - I'm not sure if that's a problem for the pump, but I'm sure by now there are enough insulin pumps around that the security team should be able to recognise one if they saw it...
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Advice on Companies for Unaccompanied Baggage Between Switzerland and US chemgoddess Housing in general 10 07.07.2011 14:06
Help needed for non-EU visa problem mirror Permits/visas/government 2 17.10.2010 09:42
Amusing complaint letter to an airline nickatbasel International affairs/politics 14 01.04.2009 11:41
Paying a non-return fee to apply for an apartment robban Housing in general 3 11.12.2008 13:50


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 21:09.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0