If you're between the ages of 15 and 17, then congratulations, you're officially an adult – at least by American Airlines' standards. The airline considers passengers ages 15, 16 and 17 to be young adults, rather than children, and therefore doesn't consider them "unaccompanied minors" when they're traveling alone. This means the ticket-booking process for young adults is the same as for other adult passengers, though young adult fliers have a few additional options.
Booking a Ticket
Purchasing a flight directly with American Airlines is a pretty straightforward process. Simply visit the airline's website and choose the "search flights" tab on its home page. Specify whether it's a return or one-way flight and input your trip's origin and destination, as well as its departure date (and return date, if you're booking a round-trip ticket).
Check the "adults" box and, if applicable, the "redeem miles" box, if you're using travel points to help pay for your flight. Then hit "search."
The search results will show you the different flight classes (MileSAAver Economy, Economic AAnytime, Executive/First Mile SAAver, Executive/First AAnytime, First Class MileSAAver and First Class AAnytime) and the flight prices available for the date range you selected. Choose the dates that work best for you and click "continue" to narrow down the results to your desired flight time.
Select your flights, input your billing information and complete your ticket purchase.
What To Bring
Many individuals travelling by themselves for the first time will be nervous and may not know what to bring. The absolute necessities include your photo ID, some kind of money like cash or a credit card for emergencies and any medical documents you need.
Most travel information is available online using your smart phone, but printing and carrying paper copies may be smart in case your phone dies or someone at check-in needs to see your details.
Ensure you have all of your bags accounted for, including any luggage you will check and your carry-on bags as well. It is always a good idea to have an identification tag on your pieces of luggage as well. These should include your name and phone number, that way someone can contact you in the case it becomes lost.
Traveling as an Unaccompanied Minor
American Airlines considers passengers ages 15, 16 and 17 to be young adults by default, but you can still use the unaccompanied minor service offered by the airline upon request if you fall within that age range and would like special assistance.
The unaccompanied minor service assigns a chaperone to accompany you in boarding the aircraft and to introduce you to the flight attendant. The chaperone also accompanies minors during connections and makes sure they get to the right person once the flight reaches its destination. After they have insured you are situated, the chaperone will leave so your plane may depart.
The service costs $150 plus tax each way. Two or more unaccompanied minors from the same family flying on the same flights will be covered under just one service fee. Passengers ages 16 and 17 can book the unaccompanied minor service online, but those 15 years of age must call reservations to make the booking.
Note that, in order to travel with the unaccompanied minor service, you'll need to fill out the unaccompanied minor form and bring proof of age. You'll also have to pick up a security pass from the airport ticket counter, and your parent or another designated adult must accompany you to the departure gate, remaining there until the plane is in flight.
Whever you are travelking next, whether it si domestically to New York, Los Angeles or Miami, or internationally to a new country like Italy, France or Greece, these tips will help you travel successfully on your own!