Question Kids flying as unaccompanied minors

Discussion in 'Passport' started by climberman, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    Hi all
    The Fox and I are heading to Europe (Sydney to Geneva via Dubai).

    Our kids are going to join us two weeks after, same route. No overnight on the stop.

    We will have them officially as unaccompanied minors, but are there any suggestions from members for things we should look out for / organise / kids might like / other suggestions.

    2 x 15 year old girls
    1 x 12 year old boy

    It's over 20 years since I've flown to Europe so I have zero practical memory of it.

    TIA
     
  2. skichic

    skichic Addicted Member

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    Will they take them as unaccompanied if there is a stop? Mine did lots within Australia when they were younger but they always had to be direct flights, no stops.
     
  3. teckel

    teckel Old And Crusty
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    According to Qantas website: http://www.qantas.com/travel/airlines/children-travelling-alone/global/en
    Who is an Unaccompanied Minor?
    Qantas considers a child under 12 years to be an Unaccompanied Minor if the child is travelling without the supervision of:

    • The child's parent or guardian; or
    • The child's sibling 15 years or older; or
    • An adult nominated by the child's parent or guardian.
    A kid between 12 and 15 - parent may request that they be unaccompanied minors. Guess it's standard for all airlines. So it looks like none of the kids need to be classified as unaccompanied minors.
     
  4. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    If the kids had not done much travelling it would be very comforting to have them travel as unaccompanied minors. Customs and immigration could be quite confronting, especially if they are tired from the flight. Plus security in Dubai and a possible change of terminal.

    Who will be dropping them off at the airport? And collecting them? I have only done it domestically, and as a parent, a few years ago. IIRC I had to provide ID. Whoever drops them will have to sign them over to the airline. And whoever collects them will have to sign for them. Check what the airline needs as parental authorisation and ID if the dropper is not a parent. There are international conventions about child abduction and the Dept of Immigration and the equivalent Swiss authorities (even Dubai) might have some interest in the process. You may need a letter of authority and it may need to be notarised.

    I would make a few phone calls to our immigration department and the Swiss and Dubai consulates and to the airline to make sure that they are cool with whomever drops them off.
     
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  5. Bluebird

    Bluebird Old And Crusty
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    Perhaps arrange for them to have a number on which they can contact you? That way they can text you and let you know how everything is going in Dubai and again on arrival in Geneva. They can also get in touch with you if there are any delays or problems at Dubai. Have they travelled overseas before? If not, a thorough discussion of the entry and exit procedures would be a good idea. The more they know about what to expect the better, I guess.
     
  6. Nidecker

    Nidecker Dedicated Member
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    Hmmm 15 might be interesting? The young ones will get handed to groundstaff at the stopover, not sure about the oldies :)
     
  7. benchives

    benchives Part of the Furniture
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    Stuff the kids, you've got a fox!!!!!!!!
     
  8. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    The ages are inclusive, so 15 is OK.
     
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  9. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    Yeah, we are requesting.

    Ta Legs,they haven't done much international travel, never without parents and never with a stopover.

    Dropoff is their other parents, there's quite a process and forms. We figure their other legal guardians being the dropoff people will minise too many risks.

    Good idea on the immigration thing.

    Yes, ta, we've a list of numbers on paper and in their phones.
    Good idea on the talk through of the exit/entry stuff.
    We will be doing the exact same flights two weeks before so will give us a better idea. I've not been through Dubai before.
     
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  10. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    :whistle:

    :woohoo:
    :metun:
     
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  11. JoeKing

    JoeKing Part of the Furniture
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    Priorities, man.

    :thumbs:
     
  12. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    Our two weeks are first :)
     
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  13. JoeKing

    JoeKing Part of the Furniture
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    That's the way.

     
  14. JoeKing

    JoeKing Part of the Furniture
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    " in 1994, Plant announced to the audience that Page's daughter, Scarlet Page, was conceived "about half an hour" after "That's the Way" was written."

    Just be warned. :)
     
  15. benchives

    benchives Part of the Furniture
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    Happy for you dude - high five
     
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  16. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    :cheers:
     
  17. JoeKing

    JoeKing Part of the Furniture
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    For Fox's sake!

    :)
     
  18. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    You can't do too many checks. I ran into the child abduction thing in Canada - I was travelling with the daughter and no ex-wife. The first time I had no consent, and had to talk my way through. The second time I had been told by the Consulate that a letter was enough, only to have the immigration flunky in Canada tell me it should have been notarised. Again, I had to talk myself through. Of course, IMHO, Travelplan should have been onto this and told me, but that's another story.

    Actually, now I think about it, the convention cuts out at 14 so only the boy will be a potential issue.

    The main problems with Dubai will be security and changing terminals. I have had horrendous waits for security and have also breezed straight through. The airport is as big as a small country and hopping between terminals can be a problem.
     
  19. Kieran

    Kieran Addicted Member

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    Might be worth checking if Dubai has an assisted transfer service (I believe Doha does on Qatar Airlines). Might cost you a few hundred, but for the piece of mind it could be worth it.
     
  20. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    :froth:
    I'll check tomorrow.
    Ta.
    Cheers, we *think* the formal unaccompanied minors thing should ensure they make the connection. It's really the only bit we're concerned at all about as far as the travel goes.
     
  21. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler Addicted Member
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    Tell them not to play games on their phone and run the battery down!
     
  22. cold wombat

    cold wombat Twitter Contributer
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    Good luck with that one. Maybe make sure they have USB cables to recharge on the plane (if it has in-seat charging).
     
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  23. piolet

    piolet Old And Crusty
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    Check out YPTA - young person travelling alone. Not sure on details though I'll ask someone tomorrow if i get the chance
     
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  24. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room
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    Dubai airport is amazing, though a little daunting. The signposting is excellent, although you do have to travel quite a distance which may include the use of escalators, lifts, train and bus, or all of them.
    There were elderly people being transported on electric vehicles, I assume the same may be available for unaccompanied minors.
     
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  25. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    I can't even begin to work out how to manage that from another continent!!
     
  26. LMB

    LMB Old And Crusty
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    Easy.
    You tell them they need everyones phone to be charged at every airport stop in case anyone gets separated.
    That unless they have a confirmed recharge option (ie: sighted it and confirmed its working to charge their phone - seat back charging or in the airport) that they can not use the phone and run the battery down. Do something else.
    Kids are resourceful. They'll use the phone. But they'll make sure they can charge it. By any means necessary.
     
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  27. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room
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    On the plane they can recharge their devices and play games on the monitor in front of their seats.
    In Dubai airport many of the seats have charging points next to them. I would imagine playing on their phones is most likely to happen in the airport.
     
  28. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    I have a gap between "I said" and "they did"
    LOL
     
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  29. LMB

    LMB Old And Crusty
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    LOL
    There's always one!

    But honestly, having taken many groups of boys away (sport teams as well as my own) I've often got higher complience than their parents. It's usually in the explanation. If they truly understand why, the possible pitfalls, and how they can get what they want without 'failing at life', they'll comply.
     
  30. gaz35

    gaz35 Active Member

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    Wear the fox hat!
     
  31. travelislife

    travelislife Dedicated Member
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    Loved the travel by myself as a young'un! Between the ages of 14-18 I probably did 30+ long haul flights by myself. 15 the kids should be plenty switched on enough to look after themselves and the younger one.
     
  32. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    In about 20 hours should know how it went...
     
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  33. piolet

    piolet Old And Crusty
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    Sorry I didn't get back u you as I said earlier in the thread. Things got hectic.
     
  34. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    All cool, life get in the way of life!
     
  35. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    Some follow up:

    All went great. The only downside (for the kids) was at Dubai they were placed in a room and locked in, for a few hours. It was a big room and with toilets and stuff but the older girls were hoping for a potter around the shops. I think their general exhaustion didn't help as they had little or no sleep Syd to Dubai and were a bit emotional.

    Feedback from the drop off parents at Sydney was that the process was organised and thorough.

    Treatment in plane was great according to kids.

    Pickup at Geneva was accompanied and organised. The kids are last off any plane, which is a tad slower but not too much as baggage is the slowest bit.

    Any questions feel free to fire away.
     
    #35 climberman, Mar 14, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
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  36. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    As an update Emirates called us today in Paris to confirm the kids' return travel arrangements because the drop off parents weren't listed as flying. Easy to solve, great service and follow up process.
     
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  37. Piste Again

    Piste Again Part of the Furniture
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    We've go no complaints with emirates. We've done Sydney to Geneva or Zurich return 4 times in the last 2 years and they have been great each time. We usually end up on the milk run via Bangkok but they let you stay on the plane there rather than getting off, being screened, being bag searched, being herded and getting back on. The entertainment systems are excellent. My kids look forward to the movie bingeing on these trips.
     
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