Children Travelling Alone

An exciting experience for them, with some reassurance for you. It's our goal to provide your child with a fun experience by giving them the special care and attention they need when flying solo. Our unaccompanied minor service is designed with your child’s comfort and safety in mind, as well as your peace of mind.

How to book

A reservation for an unaccompanied child must be made through the Porter Call Centre at 1-888-619-8622. Unaccompanied minor service cannot be booked online.

Unaccompanied minor service

Porter offers an unaccompanied minor service (UM service) for children aged 8 to 17 travelling without a guardian. The service is available on non-stop flights only.

A service fee of 100 Canadian dollars or U S dollars (plus applicable tax) applies per child, per direction, regardless of fare type.

Under age 8

Unaccompanied Minor Service Details
Not available

Children under the age of 8 must be accompanied by an adult aged 16 or older when travelling.

The accompanying adult must occupy a seat next to the young child.

8 to 11 years old (inclusively)

Unaccompanied Minor Service Details
Mandatory

The unaccompanied minor service is mandatory for children aged 8 to 11 who are travelling alone.

12 to 17 years old

Unaccompanied Minor Service Details
Optional

The unaccompanied minor service can be purchased, but is considered optional for young travellers aged 12 to 17 who are travelling alone.

Additional information:

  • Porter can accommodate up to 4 unaccompanied minors per flight. We strongly recommend that you reserve the service at the time of booking.
  • Unaccompanied minor service is not available on connecting flights, through flights (flights with a stop-over) or interline flights.
  • Unaccompanied minor service will not be provided under extreme weather conditions or during a labour disruption.
  • Unaccompanied minors cannot travel with pets.

Medical restrictions

Medical restrictions info collapsed Medical restrictions info expanded

Your child cannot use the unaccompanied minor service if he/she is:

  • Severely visually or hearing impaired.
  • Requires assistance to take essential medication.
  • Has an allergy that requires them to travel with an epinephrine auto-injector (Epi-pen) and is unable to administer it correctly on their own.

Please note that if your child requires medication that needs to be taken during the flight, you must ensure that your child can take the necessary medicines by him or herself, and knows how to take it correctly. Porter employees have neither the necessary medical qualifications nor the authority to administer drugs or to monitor whether they are taken correctly. Our staff will not supervise your child during the journey to ensure that he or she has taken any required medicine and Porter accepts no liability for any possible harm that may result from your child failing to take their medicine or taking it incorrectly.

ID requirements

ID requirements info collapsed ID requirements info expanded

When booking:

  • We require your child’s date of birth, gender and full name as shown on their identification.

When travelling:

  • We will require full names (as shown on government identification), addresses, and cell phone numbers (or other contact numbers) for you as the parent or guardian transporting the child to and from the airport.
  • For travel within Canada, children under 18 years of age must present a birth certificate, health card, passport or other government-issued identification that shows their name, gender, and date of birth.
  • At check-in, we require original documents, photocopies are not accepted.
  • For flights to and from the United States, a passport is required.
  • The person picking up the child upon arrival must be older than 18 years of age and will be required to present one piece of valid government-issued photo identification.

Check-in

Check-in info collapsed Check-in info expanded
  • Online check-in is not available for unaccompanied minors.
  • To avoid any last-minute stress, we recommend that you arrive at the airport at least 90 minutes before the scheduled departure time.
  • This will allow enough time to complete the unaccompanied minor form, complete any additional documentation and to make sure your child has been checked in and is ready for departure.

Your child’s travel experience when flying solo

At the airport

At the airport info collapsed At the airport info expanded
  • We recommend that you arrive at the airport at least 90 minutes before the scheduled departure time. This will allow enough time to complete the unaccompanied minor form, complete any additional documentation and to make sure your child has been checked in and is ready for departure.
  • The unaccompanied minor form contains the following information:
    • Your child’s identification and flight number.
    • The name(s) and contact information of the person(s) who will meet your child at his/her destination.
    • Your authorized signature.
  • If you or the person dropping off your child has a valid piece of government-issued photo identification to go through security, most airports will allow you to use a Gate Pass to escort the child to the gate area.
  • Due to security regulations, the Gate Pass service may not be available for all flights. In this case, a Porter agent will escort your child to the gate.
  • You are required to remain in the gate area (or airport if a Gate Pass has not been issued) until you are advised by a Porter agent that the aircraft has departed. You are also required to be available (via phone) until the aircraft has arrived and your child has been transferred to the care of the pick-up guardian in their destination city.
  • Ensure that the guardians transporting your child to and from the airport have a copy of your child's itinerary and their own identification.
  • Before your child boards, you may want to have them use the restroom near the gate area.

Onboard

Onboard info collapsed Onboard info expanded

All children travelling alone are always boarded ahead of the other passengers. This gives your child time to settle in comfortably and ask the flight attendant any questions she/he may have about the flight.

  • Once boarding is announced, your child will be escorted to the aircraft ahead of other passengers and will be greeted by the member of our cabin crew who will guide your child to an assigned seat.
  • Your child will be seated close to the flight attendants so that they can keep an eye on your child and attend to his/her needs or answer any questions.
  • Upon arrival, your child will be the last to leave the aircraft.

Upon arrival

Upon arrival info collapsed Upon arrival info expanded
  • Only the adult designated on the unaccompanied minor form can pick up your child.
  • We recommend that the designated guardian picking up your child arrives at the airport at least 30 minutes prior to the flight's scheduled time of arrival.
  • If your designated guardian is delayed, please contact our Call Centre to let us know immediately as we have limited hours of operation at some airports.
  • Please be aware that for international flights, Customs does not issue passenger escort Gate Pass for arrivals.
  • Your child will be brought to the arrivals area and the guardian will be required to present their government-issued identification prior to the child being released to them.
  • The child should be met by the receiving adult at the "meet and greet" arrivals area of the airport terminal. At Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, the adult/guardian must receive the minor in the main terminal on the island.

Delays/Cancellations

Delays/Cancellations info collapsed Delays/Cancellations info expanded

Your child will receive priority care and attention from the Porter staff in the event of a flight delay or cancellation.

When dropping off your child at the airport, it's a good idea to arrange your schedule so that you can remain at the airport if departure is delayed. Please make sure the parent/guardian putting your child on the return flight also understands this requirement.

You are also required to be available (via phone) until the aircraft has arrived and your child has been transferred to the care of the pick-up guardian in their destination city.

Tips for preparing your child for the flight

Tips for preparing your child for the flight info collapsed Tips for preparing your child for the flight info expanded

Plan ahead

It is best to talk to your child about the planned trip ahead of time and encourage them so they look forward to this adventure. Explain exactly what will happen on the journey and who will be waiting for them at their destination.

Ensure they have a good night’s sleep

Make sure your child is well rested before travelling and has everything he or she will require in their hand baggage.

Make sure their favourite bag is the right size

Your child should be able to carry their own carry-on baggage comfortably unaided. The carry-on baggage must not exceed 9 kilograms (20 pounds) and dimensions of 55by40by23 centimeters (22by16by9 inches).

What you should pack:

  • Some warm clothing as it can be cold at the airport, on board the aircraft or at their destination.
  • Pack a little treat for the journey. Of course, we always have yummy snacks on board for our smallest passengers, but sometimes even our snacks can’t replace your child’s favourite treat.
  • Your child’s favourite toy – preferably something doesn’t play songs at random.
  • If applicable, medicines which have to be taken during the flight or at the destination.

If your child has any existing allergies, please notify us in advance and review the Allergies section. Please also ensure that your child is informed about their allergies, can tell the cabin crew about them and can exercise the necessary caution and observe the appropriate restrictions on their own. Where appropriate, your child should carry the required emergency medicine (allergy emergency kit, EpiPen®) and be able to administer it correctly on their own. Porter accepts no liability for any possible allergic reaction your child may have as a result of an existing allergy.

You may want to consider purchasing travel insurance.