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Family flying

Children travelling alone

If your child is travelling without you, don’t worry, we’ll make sure their flight goes smoothly.

We’re happy to accept unaccompanied children on flights from the age of 5 up to and including 15 – and it goes without saying we’ll make sure they're OK throughout their journey. Just let us know they’ll be unaccompanied and follow the process below.

Please note:

  • The parent/guardian of the travelling child must stay at the airport until the child's flight has departed

  • Children under five must always travel with someone aged sixteen or over – we can't fly them on their own

  • We also regard children aged 5 to 15 as unaccompanied minors if their parents or guardians are travelling on the same flight, but in a different cabin. This is because our crew will be responsible for them in the event of an emergency or the seatbelt signs are switched on, as you won't be able to attend to them

  • If you're travelling in Upper Class seperately from your children they aren't permitted to visit you, but you are of course free to come and check on them

Organising a flight for an unaccompanied child

  1. Children travelling as unaccompanied minors will be charged an adult fare
  2. Make sure you let us know the child will be travelling alone when you book, by calling our reservations team or through a travel agent. You won't be able to book online
  3. If the child has any special needs or medical conditions, again please be sure to let us know at the time you book
  4. We'll send you a Declaration of Indemnity form for you to complete and sign. One part of the form needs to be returned to the UK Support centre.
  5. Keep hold of the remainder of the form to present at check in on the day of departure. If the form is not completed and signed we won’t be able to accept the child for lone travel
  6. Please check whether your child needs any visas or documentation for their destination, and organise these if necessary
  7. After check in, a member of our ground staff will take your child to the aircraft, where our cabin crew will then look after them
  8. Once landed, another member of Virgin Atlantic staff will take them through immigration and customs and hand them over to the adult noted on the Declaration of Indemnity form. This adult will have to show formal identification before we end our care of your child.

We won't be able to accept your child if:

  • They are not brought to check in by a parent or guardian. 
  • They arrived from a connecting flight, other than one operated by Virgin Atlantic.
  • They are travelling on another connecting flight, other than one operated by Virgin Atlantic.
  • They are traveling on a flight not operated by Virgin Atlantic.
  • They are not going to be collected from Virgin Atlantic directly by a parent or guardian upon arrival.
  • The transit time between flights is over four hours, if the flight includes a stop-over or if there are inter-airport connections by road or rail such as between Gatwick or Heathrow.

Extra things to be aware of:

  • Children travelling alone in Upper Class cannot use the Upper Class lounge or the limo service.
  • The Unaccompanied Minor service is charged as an adult fare.

Unaccompanied minors travelling into, out of or via South Africa

Since 1 June the South African immigration department have changed the requirements for children under 18 years of age travelling into, out of or transitting through South Africa, with or without a parent or guardian. Please make sure you have all the correct paperwork :

South African requirements for children travelling alone