The most frustrating part of the Unaccompanied minor process – Booking by phone!

Am I alone in thinking that if there was one place that airlines could make things easier for themselves it would be in the booking process?.  

When I first started booking tickets for my kids I was generally (after some trial and error scrawling across multiple airline websites) confronted with a number to call for both a) Confirming the price of the ticket that my kids would be on as well as the availability and b) Providing manually and verbally all of the details of myself, my ex spouse, addresses, passports, contact numbers and a myriad of other information depending on the airline and jurisdiction of flight. Beyond the fact that this not only took the patience of a saint as well as the organisational skills of an accountant it also has to be done EVERY single time I made a booking. The advantages of an adult booking for themselves or another adult by storing and retrieving information online are simply not available to the parent booking for a child to fly alone.

Needless to say the process was and remains hugely time intensive and subject to multiple misunderstandings and communication challenges. Now I am the first to recognise that the safety of children is paramount here and that the airlines have a duty to ensure full understanding and compliance as well as to maintain an audit trail of conversation. However with that said SURELY it would not be too much to be able to check the full price of a ticket online for an Unaccompanied Minor with all fees and taxes (heavily caveated that it would require verbal confirmation from the airline and may be subject to some change) and to provide a submission and storage mechanism for the transfer of personal details?

Given that there is a charge for the Unaccompanied Minor service and by extension the kids themselves are not just passengers but actually customers then upon sending of this information (requested and prescribed by the airline themselves) then the airline would own the responsibility of the call back to the person making the booking to confirm information submitted?

I am certain this would still provide the necessary checks as well as level of information needed by the airline and also greatly enhance the booking experience. Has anyone else experienced this frustration and are there examples of airlines that do this better than others?  

*Photo for attention only.

Published by unaccompaniedworld

The mission statement for this blog is to share our experiences and help to improve travel for those we care about. Whether divorced and living in a different country or just in a situation where you need to have your children travelling alone to see family, friends or attend schools abroad the process of having them fly alone is a daunting experience. The rules and fees vary from one airline to the next and across jurisdictions, timezones and age groups. The community approach here is designed to share answers to common questions and to help others.

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