Is your kid travelling alone?

Simple measures to make the trip hassle-free

If your child is old enough to travel alone on public transport, it is a fair indication that it is okay for her to travel unaccompanied on a flight. Here are a few precautions that will help make the entire experience a pleasant one for her and you. Make sure that all travel arrangements are made in advance. Details of the flight, the people picking her up at the other end, addresses, telephone numbers, etc. should be finalised and intimated to the airline authorities. A copy of the same should be given to the child to carry on her person. Those who receive her must have identification that exactly matches the information that you supplied the airlines. Ensure that whoever picks her up gets to the airport a little early. If possible, also make alternative arrangements in case the person responsible for picking her up can't make it on time. Keep all parties informed. Brief her. Tell her exactly what to expect on the flight. She should know basic things such as where she will sit, how long the flight will be and who will pick her up. It may help to have her carry a picture of the person or persons who will be receiving her.Give her details of telephone numbers and names of people she should contact in case she needs to. Give her enough change for using pay booths if she is not carrying a cell phone. Make sure she knows about appropriate/inappropriate behaviour.She should also be able to recognise inappropriate conversation, inappropriate touching or otherwise rude and threatening behaviour.It is important to tell her that on no account should she disclose her details such as name, telephone number or address to strangers. Request the airlines not to seat your child with passengers who are consuming alcohol. Identify the flight attendant who will be in-charge of your child on flight and ensure your child gets to know her. Do contact the airline in advance to know of their arrangements for unaccompanied children and let them know if you have any special instructions for your child. If the child has to change flights, instruct her on the importance of always being with the flight attendant she has been introduced to and who is responsible for her. Allow the child to carry familiar story books/colouring books/music on board to keep her occupied during the flight.

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