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Two young teenagers and one 11 year old flying alone, connecting flight

Kh71
New Arrival

Hi everyone, 

 

Apparently my ex has booked a flight for our three children over Christmas to visit and notified me of my duty to "just drop them off at the airport or have someone take them if it's inconvenient" for me... 

They will be 15, 14, and 11 by then and have no experience flying at all. For the trip there they have to make a connecting flight in Houston (I don't know times yet, or how long they'll have between flights). 

Of course I won't just drop them off and leave them, but make sure I'll accompany them to the gate, but everything else is out of my reach and power. 

Is it even okay to demand that my teenagers are responsible for their younger sibling and everything going well during the whole trip? Apparently they get no assistance for any of this either... what can I do to plan or find out more? 

6 REPLIES 6

Re: Two young teenagers and one 11 year old flying alone, connecting flight

dfwskier
Top Contributor

Youngsters take solo first  flights all the time. Generally they do fine. If they run into problems they can ask any Southwest gate agent for help, and will receive it.

 

There's another thread on the forum just today about an unaccompanied 13 year old taking a flight with a connection in Denver.

 

So unless the older kids are really irresponsible, they and you should be OK

 

edit add: also, you could check to see if a better flight is available, and if it is, change to it

Re: Two young teenagers and one 11 year old flying alone, connecting flight

Kh71
New Arrival

Thank you. I'm more concerned that my two teens are supposed to watch and be responsible for their little sibling who is NOT responsible enough... 

And as I mentioned, my ex booked the tickets and notified me of his decision. Unfortunately he doesn't communicate, he orders people to follow his demands, so I don't even know the flight details yet or have any influence about them. 

Re: Two young teenagers and one 11 year old flying alone, connecting flight

dfwskier
Top Contributor

Sorry to hear that your husband is giving you a hard time.

 

Do your kids have Rapid Rewards accounts? If they do, and your husband made the reservations with the kids Rapid Rewards numbers, then the flight information would show up in their Rapid Rewards accounts.

Re: Two young teenagers and one 11 year old flying alone, connecting flight

Kh71
New Arrival

Hi, 

 

Thank you, but my children have not flown before (well, they have with me when they were little but can't remember), and are very anxious about the whole situation. 

My ex husband hasn't even talked to them about it, or me for that matter. He just decides things and informs others of his decision. So unfortunately I have no say in this... at this point I was almost hoping that his idea isn't doable or legal, because I know he doesn't care about the children's concerns, just his wants. 

But if they have to fly by themselves, I at least want them safe and comforted if something comes up.

Re: Two young teenagers and one 11 year old flying alone, connecting flight

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor
Solution

@Kh71 wrote:

Hi, 

 

Thank you, but my children have not flown before (well, they have with me when they were little but can't remember), and are very anxious about the whole situation. 

My ex husband hasn't even talked to them about it, or me for that matter. He just decides things and informs others of his decision. So unfortunately I have no say in this... at this point I was almost hoping that his idea isn't doable or legal, because I know he doesn't care about the children's concerns, just his wants. 

But if they have to fly by themselves, I at least want them safe and comforted if something comes up.


Have them familiarize themselves with the Houston layout and identify where the same flights on previous days tend to dock at which gates. 

 

HOU is a dense airport and very easy to navigate with only a few irregularities:

 

  • A new international concourse was recently opened and getting to it would require a walk through a connector section of airport. Otherwise the Southwest gates are all on the main concourse.
  • The gate numbering seems to imply that there were some expansion plans or a previous facility that was demolished, going from 20 to 51 out of order, and then 1-4 are in the new concourse. https://www.ifly.com/william-p-hobby-airport/HOU-Central-Concourse
  • There's a huge connecting flight volume so the concourse can be very busy at peak hours. I haven't been through it this year though.

I'd send the kids with food if you can, but there are good quick options there. 

 

 

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Two young teenagers and one 11 year old flying alone, connecting flight

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@DancingDavidE wrote:

@Kh71 wrote:

Hi, 

 

Thank you, but my children have not flown before (well, they have with me when they were little but can't remember), and are very anxious about the whole situation. 

My ex husband hasn't even talked to them about it, or me for that matter. He just decides things and informs others of his decision. So unfortunately I have no say in this... at this point I was almost hoping that his idea isn't doable or legal, because I know he doesn't care about the children's concerns, just his wants. 

But if they have to fly by themselves, I at least want them safe and comforted if something comes up.


Have them familiarize themselves with the Houston layout and identify where the same flights on previous days tend to dock at which gates. 

 

HOU is a dense airport and very easy to navigate with only a few irregularities:

 

  • A new international concourse was recently opened and getting to it would require a walk through a connector section of airport. Otherwise the Southwest gates are all on the main concourse.
  • The gate numbering seems to imply that there were some expansion plans or a previous facility that was demolished, going from 20 to 51 out of order, and then 1-4 are in the new concourse. https://www.ifly.com/william-p-hobby-airport/HOU-Central-Concourse
  • There's a huge connecting flight volume so the concourse can be very busy at peak hours. I haven't been through it this year though.

I'd send the kids with food if you can, but there are good quick options there. 


This last suggestion may not be for everyone, but let’s say the RT flight from your location to HOU is cheap right now - book yourself to go to HOU, get them on their correct flight, and then go back to your origin as a day trip. 

Lunch at Pappadeaux for yourself. 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.