American Airlines to change its unaccompanied minors policy

American Airlines will require all passengers traveling alone between the ages of 5 and 14 to use their unaccompanied minors service beginning on Sept. 3, according to a newsletter sent to employees this week. 

Previously, according to the letter, American only required children between 5 and 11 to use the service. American says the change aligns its policies with those of merger partner US Airways.

Here's the good news. If you purchased a ticket before Sept. 3, most passengers ages 12 to 14 traveling on American will receive the unaccompanied minor service for free. Afterward, that service will cost $150 each way.

The communiqué notes that US Airways still does not allow unaccompanied minors to take connecting flights, but it suggests that policy will soon change. "We’re working on fully 
integrating our policies, and we expect that UMNRs aged 8 to 14 will be able to travel on connecting flights for US Airways in the coming months," the note says. 

Interestingly, at the end of last year, United changes its policies on accompanied minors. It now no longer allows young passengers flying alone to connect. According to this L.A. Times piece, United's age range is 5 to 11.