New United Airlines policy: Young teenagers must fly as unaccompanied minors

Kids ages 12-15 must now fly as unaccompanied minors. Photo: United Airlines. 

Kids ages 12-15 must now fly as unaccompanied minors. Photo: United Airlines. 

Do you have a young teenager planning to fly United Airlines alone soon?

I have bad news. United quietly changed its policies for unaccompanied minors this week. Before, United would only force you to use its service - for $150 each way, on top of the ticket price - for kids traveling alone between the ages of 5 and 11.

Now, United is forcing parents with kids ages 5-15 to buy its escort service. And unaccompanied minors can only fly nonstop, so young teenagers flying alone will no longer be able to buy connecting itineraries. 

For more about this policy change, including a response from a United spokesman, check out my story at Conde Nast Traveler.