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Does Air New Zealand offer services for children traveling alone?

For when your child travels alone, Air New Zealand offers a special service that allows you to follow their journey every step of the way, the Airband service for Unaccompanied Minors. The company only permits Unaccompanied Minors on Air New Zealand operated flights. Children must meet the Unaccompanied Minor requirements if they are traveling without an adult of 15 years or older. The Airband service is mandatory for children under 12 years of age traveling alone, and optional for children 12 to 16 years of age.

What are the age requirements for acceptance of children as Unaccompanied Minors on Air New Zealand flights?

Children under 5 years must travel with an adult 15 years or older on any of Air New Zealand flights. They are never permitted to travel as Unaccompanied Minors.

For children 5 years of age and older, different age restrictions apply, depending on the child’s itinerary. In the table below, permitted routes are presented based on the child’s age on the date of commencement of travel.

Itinerary 5 to 7 years 8 to 11 years 12 to 16 years
Same day Domestic New Zealand journey

(e.g. Invercargill – Christchurch – Auckland)

Permitted as an

Unaccompanied

Minor.

Permitted as an

Unaccompanied

Minor.

May travel alone or

as an Unaccompanied

Minor at parent’s request.

One single sector international flight

(e.g. London – Los Angeles)

Permitted as an

Unaccompanied

Minor.

Permitted as an

Unaccompanied

Minor.

May travel alone or

as an Unaccompanied

Minor at parent’s request.

One single sector international flight

within the South West Pacific plus one

same day Domestic New Zealand journey

(e.g. Rarotonga – Auckland – Gisborne)

Must travel with

an adult 15 years

or older.*

Permitted as an

Unaccompanied

Minor.

May travel alone or

as an Unaccompanied

Minor at parent’s

request.

One single sector international flight

to/from the South West Pacific plus one

same day Domestic New Zealand journey

(e.g. Nelson – Auckland – Hong Kong)

Must travel with

an adult 15 years

or older.*

Permitted as an

Unaccompanied

Minor.

May travel alone or

as an Unaccompanied

Minor at parent’s

request.

One single sector international flight

to/from the South West Pacific plus one

same day single sector international

flight within the South West Pacific

(e.g. Los Angeles – Auckland – Sydney)

Must travel with

an adult 15 years

or older.*

Permitted as an

Unaccompanied

Minor.

May travel alone or

as an Unaccompanied

Minor at parent’s

request.

Two single sector international

flights within the South West Pacific

(e.g. Sydney – Auckland – Rarotonga)

Must travel with

an adult 15 years

or older.*

Permitted as an

Unaccompanied

Minor.

May travel alone or

as an Unaccompanied

Minor at parent’s request.

Two or more single sector international

flights other than above (e.g. NZ001

London – Los Angeles connecting to

NZ005 Los Angeles – Auckland)

Must travel with

an adult 15 years

or older.*

Must travel with

an adult 15 years

or older.*

May travel alone.

Cannot travel as an

Unaccompanied

Minor.*

Auckland-London and/or

London-Auckland flights traveled

continuously on the same flight (e.g.

NZ002 Auckland – London or

NZ001 London – Auckland)

Must travel with

an adult 15 years

or older.

Must travel with

an adult 15 years

or older.

May travel alone.

Cannot travel as an

Unaccompanied

Minor.

* Travel is permitted as an Unaccompanied Minor if a parent/guardian meets the child on arrival at any intermediate point to check in the child for the next flight. The parent/guardian must remain in the intermediary airport until after the aircraft departs. The parent/guardian is responsible for the Unaccompanied Minor’s care in case of delays or flight cancellations.
South West Pacific – American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna Islands.

When transit is permitted, the maximum connection time for Unaccompanied Minors is 2 hours between domestic flights and 3 hours between flights involving an international travel.

A sector means an aircraft’s single scheduled flight between two different points. A flight means any one-way travel (without a stopover) on an airline’s scheduled air service that keeps the same flight number even if there is a change of aircraft (travel on the same aircraft but with a flight number change qualifies as two flights). A journey is a flight or a series of flights from a point of origin to a point of destination (including transits and stopovers).

Connecting flights to/from another carrier and children traveling in a different cabin

If the itinerary involves a connecting flight to/from another carrier, Unaccompanied Minors will only be accepted if a parent/guardian is available to deliver and receive the child at both ends of the Air New Zealand flight. In the instance of connecting flights from other airlines, the other airline’s allocated staff member may be accepted as the child’s guardian.

When traveling on the same flight but in a different cabin than your children, children must meet the age restriction of at least 5 years old and are also required to pay the applicable adult fare. Children traveling in a different cabin must be collected and cared for by you during any transit or stopover between flights. In this situation, no Unaccompanied Minor form is required. Please note that this applies for Air New Zealand operated flights only, but is not available on the Auckland – London route (NZ001 and NZ002).

Medical conditions & disabilities

If your child has a medical condition that may require assistance during the travel, or be affected by the flight, you should seek for medical advice. If your child has a disability, parents have to contact the airline Paxcare Team to discuss the child’s requirements and the assistance that Air New Zealand staff are able to provide.

Airband Service for Unaccompanied Minors (UMs)

Booking and Fees

Travel as an Unaccompanied Minor is charged at the best available adult fare. Based on the fare purchased, Unaccompanied Minors have the same entitlements on board as adults. Unaccompanied Minor travel can be booked online but cannot be booked via Air New Zealand’s mobile booking site at this time. Seat select and Skycouch products are not available for Unaccompanied Minors.

In addition to the adult fare, Air New Zealand will charge an Airband service fee per child:

  • Domestic New Zealand – 15 NZD one way.
  • International – 40 NZD one way.

 

If the Airband service is booked at the airport (the child has not been booked as a child traveling alone prior to check-in at the airport), the service fee is double.

Before checking-in, parents should complete the Unaccompanied Minor Form with the names and contact information for the people delivering and receiving the child at the airport with the same information provided during the booking process. Each person delivering or receiving your child will be required to present photo ID. A separate Unaccompanied Minor Form is required for each one way journey. If there are changes to the people delivering or receiving a child, Air New Zealand must be informed. Failure to do this may result that the child will not be accepted for travel. The changes can only be made by the person who made the original booking.

Check-in

You have to allow extra time, an additional 20 minutes, to complete the check-in formalities as Air New Zealand staff will need to check the Unaccompanied Minor Form and issue your child with a special wristband, the Airband. The Airband is scanned by staff at certain stages of the journey (check-in, boarding, landing, and pick-up by the designated person), and text message updates will be sent to up to five designated contact persons.

Where Kiosk Check-in is available, passengers can use them. However, until the Unaccompanied Minor Form has been checked at the Special Handling Desk, no boarding pass will be issued. The kiosk will print bag tags, but you have to wait after you have completed the formalities at the Special Handling Desk to place your child’s bag on the bag belt. Air New Zealand will not be responsible, for any valuables your child may be carrying on their person or in their baggage. Where Kiosk Check-in is not available, you have to use any of the available check-in counters.

The Unaccompanied Minor will be escorted by Air New Zealand ground team through security and to the departure gate, where the child will be handed over to the cabin crew for his/her flight. At this point, adults will be asked to sign and give the ground team member the Unaccompanied Minor Form. Once the cabin crew had completed their pre-flight safety checks, they will be ready for the Unaccompanied Minor to board the aircraft, to show the child to his/her seat and give information on safety while on board.

Depending on the airport, you may have the opportunity to escort your child through security and all the way to the departure gate. This is only possible at some domestic airports, and not at any international airport. The person seeing the child off must remain in the airport until after the aircraft has departed.

During the Flight

Unaccompanied Minors will be seated near crew work areas so they can be supervised during the flight. Cabin crew will activate parental locks on in-flight entertainment screens.

Air New Zealand offers movies, meals and drinks, previously purchased. If opting for a Seat or Seat+Bag fare for your child’s travel, you should consider purchasing vouchers at the airport so they can purchase snacks and drinks from the flight menu. On international flights where meals are served, a child meal can be requested or choose a meal from the special meal list, which is based religious or on dietary requirements. This should be done up to the day before travel. If no request is made, a standard meal will be offered where the fare purchased includes a meal.

Adults can supply the child with a snack box for the flight. However, you have to be mindful about the restrictions that apply to international flights, which include drinks and other liquids. In addition, when flying internationally any uneaten food other than pre-packaged items such as confectionery food must be disposed of upon landing.

Pick-up

On arrival, ground team members will meet the aircraft and escort the child through to the arrivals area and where applicable through customs, immigration and baggage collection. The Passport and the Unaccompanied Minor Form, where applicable, is retained by the ground team; once the Unaccompanied Minor Form has been signed and ID presented by the receiving adult, the child will be released into the adult’s care and travel documents returned. The Unaccompanied Minor Form stays in Air New Zealand’s possession, but the Airband must be returned.

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