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Children travelling alone

If a young adult (aged between 12 and 15 years) is travelling on their own, please be aware that they will be booked to travel as an adult, and therefore will be making their way through departure and arrival airports and boarding their flight/s without a chaperone. British Airways cannot accept parental responsibility for the young person. The parent or guardian accompanying children to the airport should wait until their flight departs before leaving the terminal. Additionally, they should ensure that the young person carries with them at all times:

  • Any necessary travel documentation such as valid passport(s), visas and proof of return travel (as required).
  • Any required medication (ensure that the young person can administer it to his/her self).
  • The ability to communicate with their parent/guardian and/or the person collecting them at the destination (please ensure all phones/mobile devices are fully charged, with sufficient credit and roaming is activated).
  • The means of payment should it be necessary for any expenses. (Please note that on short-haul flights British Airways offers a drink service and refreshments from Marks & Spencer which are payable only by debit or credit card or Avios).
Please note that weather or other unforeseen events may, in rare instances, necessitate an aircraft diversion and/or overnight stay away from or at the point of departure/destination. This may mean that the young person is required to travel in a taxi and stay in a hotel room unaccompanied. Some taxi providers and/or hotels require that the passenger(s) is accompanied and in such circumstances British Airways may appoint an employee or representative to accompany the passenger(s). British Airways may contact local law enforcement and/or child protection authorities to assist.

If your young adult (aged between 12 and 15 years) will be travelling on their own please contact your local British Airways office as our online systems will not permit the booking to be made. Our partner airlines may have different regulations, age limits and charges so please check these with them directly.

Children under 12 years of age cannot travel alone on British Airways flights. They must be accompanied by a companion aged 16 or over.

Different legal requirements by country

Some countries' immigration departments require additional documentation for all children travelling into, out of or transitting their country. The extra documentation that you may require varies depending on the country, so please make sure you have everything you need before you travel.

The IATA Travel Centre can advise you what documentation is required for each country. Just make sure you use the date of birth of your child to ensure the extra requirements are displayed.

Check the IATA Travel centre for documentation required when travelling with children

Children with an Italian passport

Children under 14 years of age travelling on an Italian passport cannot travel unaccompanied to or from Italy on British Airways flights. This is an Italian legal requirement.

Children who are Italian nationals under 14 years of age travelling to and from Italy accompanied by someone other than a parent or legal guardian, as indicated on page 5 of the minor’s passport, must hold their own passport and a completed 'Dichiarazione di Affido/Accompagniamento'. This document is signed by both parents in front of a police officer and can be obtained from your local police department (Questura) or, if the parents reside abroad, from an Italian embassy or consulate. It cannot be obtained from an airport police office.

Only adults who are 18 years and over can be nominated to accompany a minor under 14 years of age.

Children with a Romanian passport

Romanian state law requires that all Romanian national children up to 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult of 18 years or over.

Children travelling alone to, from or transitting South Africa

The South African Immigration department has recently amended the requirements for children under 18 years of age travelling alone, whether travelling into, out of or transitting through South Africa. The requirements have undergone regular amendments, so please ensure you check with your local South African High Commission to ensure you have the correct paperwork for when your child is due to travel.

South African requirements for children travelling alone

Always check with the relevant country authorities for the latest information.