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We’ll keep your little ones in safe hands when they fly

Child with paper airline

We understand that travelling alone can be a daunting experience for both children and their parents, that’s why we take extra care of your little ones to make sure they have a safe and happy journey with us.

How old does your child have to be to fly alone?

Age classification
Age travelling alone Travel requirement
Below (but not yet) 5 Children aged between 5 and 17 years old can use our Unaccompanied Minor service, though there are different travel requirements depending on their age.

5 and up to (but not yet) 12 If your child is between 5 to 11 years old, they can travel with our Unaccompanied Minor service free of charge, as long as they are booked on a normal adult fare and you request this service in advance.

12 and up to (but not yet) 18 Children aged 12 to 17 years, or ‘Young Passengers’, are able to travel on their own on an adult ticket, but as a parent, you may prefer to pay to use our Unaccompanied Minor service. This service costs US $60 per leg of the journey from the UAE to countries within the GCC, or US $100 per leg from the UAE to the rest of the world. Connecting journeys will only incur one fee which will be charged at the highest rate.

Flying with partner airlines

Our Unaccompanied Minors service is applicable on Etihad-operated flights only. If your child’s travel itinerary includes flights with any of our partner airlines, they will not be able to use this service.

Please carefully check that all flights are operated by Etihad Airways before making your reservation.

How to book our Unaccompanied Minor service

  1. Book your child’s flight, and make a note of the booking reference number
  2. Complete our Unaccompanied Minor service request form in English for each leg of your child’s journey
  3. We’ll get in touch within 24 hours to process your request. If your child is between 12 and 18 years old, we’ll ask you to pay the Unaccompanied Minor fee at this point by debit or credit card
  4. Print a copy of the completed Unaccompanied Minor service request form, sign it and remember to take it to the airport with you

You may also contact our Global Contact Centre or visit your local ticketing office to make a booking and request our Unaccompanied Minor service. Please make sure you do this at least 24 hours before your child’s flight.

Note: You may be charged if you request our Unaccompanied Minors service at the airport.

Everything you need to know about your child flying alone

Now that you’ve arranged your child’s flight, here’s everything you need to about our Unaccompanied Minor service.

Make sure that you have completed the Unaccompanied Minor service form correctly and that your child has all of the documentation they need to fly. Incomplete forms cannot be processed and will result in delays.

Family at the airport

On the day of their flight, please escort your child to the airport and make sure that they are checked in at least two hours beforehand. Please stay at the airport until their flight has departed.

Departure sign in the airport

Once they have checked in, one of our friendly ground hosts will stay with your child until they board the plane. If your child is flying in Business or First, they are only permitted to access our lounges at Abu Dhabi International airport.

Once your child is on board, our cabin crew will make sure that they have a safe, comfortable and fun flight.

Abu Dhabi Airport Terminal 3

There’s plenty to keep children entertained on board. Our inflight entertainment system has a dedicated 'Just For Kids' section with animated movies, TV and cartoons, and children will receive their own activity pack containing games and puzzles.

On board children's activities

Unaccompanied Minor service may only travel on connecting flights operated by Etihad Airways. Itineraries involving other airlines are not eligible for this service.

Whilst they are transferring to another Etihad flight, your child will be met by a member of our premium services team and accompanied to our specially designed lounge in Abu Dhabi.

Premium Lounge's Family Room

As soon as your child lands, they will be met by one of our ground staff who will help them through immigration, baggage claim and customs before being reunited with you in arrivals.

Please meet your child at the scheduled arrival time of their flight and present your ID to a member of our team.

Abu Dhabi Airport Terminal 3

Travel policies for children flying alone

Passport's Visa pageYour child must have the applicable travel documents in order to fly alone. This includes passport, visa, health certificate and any other documents as required by law for all of the countries they visit on their travel itinerary.

Air Passenger Duty (APD) tax for guests 12-15 travelling from the UK

The UK government has abolished the Air Passenger Duty (APD) tax for young guests aged 12 to 15 travelling from the UK in Economy.

If you made a booking on etihad.com and were charged APD tax, please send an email to APDtaxrefund@etihad.ae with the booking reference and child’s passport copy so that we can arrange a refund. We will refund the full APD amount to your original form of payment.

Please contact your travel agent for bookings made through a third party.

Your child must be 12 and 15 years old at the time of travel and booked on an Economy ticket, departing from a UK airport.

Children travelling from or to South Africa

The South African Department of Home Affairs requires additional documents for guests travelling to and from South Africa who are less than 18 years old. All required documents must be presented upon check in.

Find out more information by downloading the New Immigration Regulations leaflet. You can also contact the South African Department of Home Affairs by calling 0800 60 11 90 (toll-free from South Africa) or speak to your local South African Embassy.

Our Unaccompanied Minor Policy

Unaccompanied Minors (aged 5-11 years)

  1. Children aged between 5 and 11 years old are considered to be Unaccompanied Minors (UM).
  2. Our Unaccompanied Minor service is free for children aged 5 to 11 as long as they are booked on an adult fare, and the service has been pre-booked before arriving at the airport. If the service has not been arranged in advance, a fee will apply at the airport.
  3. Occasionally, it may not be appropriate for children with special needs to travel unescorted if the level of care which they require exceeds that which our crew are able to provide. Cabin crew are not permitted to assist in the toilet, administer a guest's medication or feed guests.
  4. The Unaccompanied Minor must be escorted to the airport and met on arrival by the parent or guardian mentioned on the UM form.
  5. The parent or guardian must be present with the child at check-in and ensure that the child has all of the relevant forms and documents to travel alone. Check-in must be completed at least two hours before your child’s flight.
  6. Unaccompanied Minors are permitted to travel on connecting flights operated by Etihad Airways, provided that the transit time does not exceed 8 hours.
  7. Travel on itineraries involving other airlines is not permitted for Unaccompanied Minors. All flights must be operated by Etihad Airways.
  8. Unaccompanied Minors with medical conditions shall be accepted after obtaining medical clearance from Etihad Airways Medical Centre (EAMC).
  9. Unaccompanied Minors are not permitted to sit in emergency exit row seats.
  10. Children (accompanied minors) travelling with adults in different cabins shall be treated as Unaccompanied Minors.
  11. Unaccompanied Minors travelling from Abu Dhabi are not eligible to be checked in from Abu Dhabi and Dubai city terminals.
  12. Etihad Chauffeur and coach services are not provided to Unaccompanied Minors.
  13. Unaccompanied Minors travelling in premium cabins (First or Business) or those eligible for lounge access via an Etihad Guest tier, may not be able to use the lounges in airports other than Abu Dhabi. If the lounge is not operated by Etihad Airways, we cannot guarantee supervision and the level of care, and therefore we may require the guest to report back to the check-in area at a nominated time and be escorted directly to the boarding gate, without lounge access.
  14. The Unaccompanied Minors transit lounge located within terminal 3 is available for all originating and transferring Unaccompanied Minors via Abu Dhabi.
  15. An Unaccompanied Minor form must be completed in full prior to travel on Etihad Airways operated flights.
  16. At least one copy of the completed and signed Unaccompanied Minor form must be taken to the airport on the day of departure.
  17. Our Unaccompanied Minor service is not applicable on Etihad Airways flights booked with Etihad Guest Miles.

Young Passengers (aged 12-17 years)

  1. Young Passengers (YP) between the ages of 12 and 17 are able to travel unaccompanied.
  2. Young Passengers may request our Unaccompanied Minor service for a fee. This service costs US $60 per leg of the journey from the UAE to countries within the GCC, or US $100 per leg from the UAE to the rest of the world.
  3. On connecting journeys, the highest rate shall apply for the whole trip. For example, our Unaccompanied Minor service on a flight from Abu Dhabi to London which connects via Bahrain will cost US $100.
  4. Young Passengers are permitted to travel on connecting flights operated by Etihad Airways, provided that the transit time does not exceed 8 hours. Travel on itineraries involving other airlines is not permitted for Unaccompanied Minors. All flights must be operated by Etihad Airways.
  5. The Young Passengers Fee applies to all single journeys (inbound and outbound) and is non-refundable.
  6. Occasionally it may not be appropriate for Young Passengers with special needs to travel unescorted if the level of care which they require exceeds that which our crew are able to provide. Cabin crew are not permitted to assist in the toilet, administer a guest's medication or feed guests.
  7. Young guests between the ages of 12 and 17 years are not permitted to escort an Unaccompanied Minor.
  8. Our Young Passengers service is not applicable on Etihad Airways flights booked with Etihad Guest Miles.