Unaccompanied minors

More than 10,000 young travelers fly unaccompanied with Air Canada each year. And regardless of whether they're travelling on a short flight, or are embarking on a longer journey, our Unaccompanied Minor (UM) service ensures that children travelling alone receive the best of care, and are escorted by our highly-trained staff from the moment they arrive at airport check-in until they reach their destination.

Eligible flights

The Unaccompanied Minor (UM) service can be purchased only on non-stop flights operated by:

  • Air Canada and Air Canada rouge
  • Air Canada Express (flights operated by Jazz, Sky Regional, Air Georgian GX - Flight series 7350-7499, and Exploits Valley Air 8K - Flight series 7615-7649).
Important: The service cannot be purchased for connecting flights or codeshare flights.

Age restrictions

Under age 8 Not available
  • Children under age 8 must be accompanied by an adult age 16 or older when travelling.
  • The accompanying adult must occupy a seat in the same cabin as the young child.
8 to 11 years
(inclusively)
Mandatory
  • The UM service is mandatory for children age 8 to 11 who are travelling alone.
12 to 17 years Optional
  • The UM service can be purchased but is considered optional for youth ages 12 to 17 who are travelling alone.
  • If a parent or guardian requests the UM service for a youth age 12 to 17, the same restrictions apply with regard to connecting and code share flights, as described above.
  • Unaccompanied minors may not travel with a pet in the cabin.
  • Youths age 16 and over may act as accompanying adults for minors (age 11 years or less).

Medical restrictions

Your child cannot travel unaccompanied if he/she is:
  • blind or deaf
  • severely allergic to peanuts/peanut products
  • severely allergic to cats.

Medical approval

If your child has a medical condition, he/she cannot travel as an unaccompanied minor without prior medical approval. Air Canada reserves the right to refuse carriage of an unaccompanied minor if medical clearance cannot be obtained. For more information on obtaining medical approval for your child, please contact the:

Air Canada Medical Assistance Desk

Phone:
1-800-667-4732 (Toll-free between Canada and the U.S.)
1-514-369-7039 (long distance charges apply)
Hours of operation (Eastern Time):
Monday to Friday: 6am to 8pm
Saturday and Sunday: 6am to 6pm

Service fees and meals

A service fee of $100 CAD/USD each way per child per flight applies, regardless of fare you select.

If your child age 8 to 17 is travelling as an unaccompanied minor on a flight offering only Air Canada Café service, the price of a meal or hot snack is included in the service fee charged for the special care of your child.

Complimentary non alcoholic beverages are always available on all our flights. And complimentary meal service is available for all passengers travelling in:

Credit card only cabins
All Air Canada and Air Canada rouge flights, as well as Air Canada Express flights operated by Jazz have credit card only cabins.

The price of a meal or hot snack is included in the fee charged for the Unaccompanied Minor service. If you’d like for your child to be able to buy an extra meal or snack on the flight but onboard credit card payment is not an option, you can pre-purchase convenient Air Canada Café vouchers online at any time up to one (1) hour before your child's flight.

How to request the UM service

Contact Air Canada Reservations or your travel agent to let them know your child will be travelling alone. You will be given details about our special services and what procedures are involved when a child is travelling unaccompanied. Please remember to advise us if your child has a medical condition.

Seating:

If your child is travelling on an Air Canada flight, the call centre agent handling your child’s reservation will recommend that your child be seated in the last three rows of the aircraft, close to the cabin crew. This seating arrangement will allow members of the cabin crew to keep an eye on your child during the flight, and attend to his/her needs. This recommendation does not apply to Air Canada Express flights operated by Jazz.

At the airport

When you arrive at the airport, head for the Air Canada counter to begin check-in formalities.
  • You will first be asked to provide identification for your child. Only original documents are accepted (no photocopies)
    • For travel within Canada, children under 18 years of age must present a birth certificate, health card, passport or other government-issued identification.
    • For flights to and from the United-States as well as international flights, a passport is required.
    See our travel documents and travelling with an infant or child pages for more information.
  • You will then be asked to complete a "Request for Carriage" form, which is attached to an envelope bearing the letters "UM." The form contains:
    • 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, and
    • The authorizing signature of your child's parent or guardian.
    The envelope will remain in the care of an Air Canada agent, and serves as a document holder for your child's passport, airline ticket, emergency numbers, and Customs documentation.

    Even after an Air Canada agent has taken your child into their care, you must remain at the airport until the flight has departed.

More FAQs

How can I best prepare my child for his/her flight?
  • Carefully explain the details of the trip to your child in advance--this will make the experience less stressful for everyone.
  • Make sure your child is well-rested.
  • Ensure your child has a carry-on bag containing a snack and favorite item(s) in case of a delay.
  • Make sure the parent/guardian meeting your child at their destination:
    • Knows the number and arrival time of the flight your child is travelling on.
    • Is aware that he/she will need to present a piece of government-issued photo identification.
    • Is aware that he/she will be required to sign for the unaccompanied minor envelope (T672-ENV) that contains your child’s ID and travel documents, and retrieve it from the Air Canada agent accompanying your child.
  • If you have questions on how to plan for your child's trip, please contact Air Canada Reservations or your travel agent.
What happens once I've handed my child over to the Air Canada agent?
All children travelling alone are always made to board ahead of the other passengers. This gives your child time to settle in comfortably and ask the flight attendant any questions s/he may have about the flight.
  1. The agent will provide your child with a UM lanyard (hang-tag) so that he/she may be easily identified by airport staff as an Unaccompanied Minor.
  2. The agent will accompany your child through the security check and proceed to the boarding gate area. In some airports, parents/guardians are permitted to escort their children to the departure gate. Please see the next FAQ for more information, or refer to the local Airport Authority website.
  3. Once boarding is announced, your child will be escorted to the aircraft ahead of other passengers and will be greeted by the In-flight Service Director who will guide your child to an assigned seat.
  4. Upon arrival at your child's destination, the In-flight Service Director will help your child disembark, and will hand them over to an airport agent. This agent will escort your child to the Arrivals section to meet the person designated on the UM envelope.
  5. The person meeting your child will be asked for photo identification, and will sign the UM envelope, accepting responsibility for the child.
Can I escort my child to the boarding gate?
Escorting an unaccompanied minor is permitted at select airports only. Please refer to the local Airport Authority website or see an Air Canada representative at check-in.
  • Where permitted, only one (1) parent or one (1) guardian may accompany the child to the gate. The parent or guardian may be required to fill out a "Passenger Escort Form," and show photo identification.
  • If a parent or guardian is unable to escort the child, Air Canada will provide the escort.

Special rules for international flights and flights to the U.S.

Due to security regulations, the passenger escort service is not available for international flights and flights to the U.S. In this case, an Air Canada agent will escort the child to the gate.
When can I leave the airport?
Parents or guardians must remain in the airport until the flight has departed.