The One Change All Airlines Should Make When It Comes To Minors

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How To Book A Minor's Ticket

How To Book A Minor’s Ticket On A Separate Itinerary, It Can Be A Pain

I realize that this is a pretty niche complaint but I feel like it is something that is a pretty easy fix.  I ran into this issue when booking my flights to Alaska. If you ever wondered how to book a minor’s ticket on a separate itinerary, it can be a little bit of a pain.  A pain that is completely unnecessary in my opinion.

My Experience

I shared my Alaska booking a few weeks back, and why I ended up going with the most expensive option.  Since I am currently in my chase for Delta status I booked myself on a cash ticket.  I used Virgin Atlantic miles to book my son’s ticket there and Delta Skymiles for our return flight.

Because I was not on the same itinerary I ran into issues when trying to make his booking.  With our turbulent return to travel, issues like this equal hours on the phone and a huge waste of time overall.  Luckily I was able to get Virgin Atlantic live on text when running into the issue and was able to book my Delta cash flight with the agent “on hold” so to speak.  They were then able to marry up our bookings and put my son’s award redemption through.

I went ahead and proactively secured my return flight before contacting Delta to book my son’s Skymiles flight.  I once again had to fire up an airline’s chat function, inside the Delta app, which they responded to about an hour later.  The agent was able to get my son’s flight booked and marry it to my reservation as well. The call back times when calling in where over 3 hours, so chat is the way to go right now for sure.

How To Book A Minor's Ticket

Why Would You Ever Have To Deal With This?

You may be thinking this is probably unlikely to happen to me and file it away in useless complaints. But, I have a couple of scenarios that you may run into where you would need to book a minor’s ticket on a separate itinerary.

When Using An Airline Voucher

There is a good chance you have a cancelled flight airline voucher, or twenty, right now.  Many of these airline vouchers are tied to a specific person or they are not large enough to cover both tickets.  This would require you to book a minor’s ticket on a separate itinerary.

Using Airline Incidental Credits

Ah, the good old Amex airline incidental credits, the things we love to hate!  Maybe you are booking a cash Delta ticket or Southwest ticket to burn up your incidental credits.  Then you want to use miles on your child’s ticket etc. to save on money.

Gift cards

If you have a gift card lying around that you want to burn you may use it on a cash flight for yourself and then book an award ticket for your minor.  This could be from a promo, a credit card perk / incidental etc.

Going for Status

If you are chasing status, like me, then you may want to book a cash ticket for yourself but save your cash and book an award ticket for your little one.

How To Book A Minor's Ticket

It Seems Like The Fix Would Be Easy

The thing about this that drives me nuts though is that I think the fix should be fairly easy. Why not simply add a box to add a confirmation number of a traveling adult to confirm there is someone going with them. How is this any different then giving it to an agent.  This saves your customers time and frees up the airlines’ phone and chat lines.  You usually have to prove someone if flying with the minor at the airport anyway before printing off their ticket.  It just seems like this is a quick and easy fix.

How To Book A Minor’s Ticket On A Separate Itinerary – Final Thoughts

This is just another one of those things that should be easy enough to fix but cause a headache for customers, cough cough Hilton. If you need to book a minor’s ticket on a separate itinerary in the future be prepared to take some time getting it done.  And remember to book your ticket first to save some time in the process.

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. Southwest also has the option to put in the confirmation number for the adult. Unfortunately then if you want to make any changes you have to contact them to change both together, you can no longer change easily online (at least I couldn’t figure out how). I just encountered it this week when Southwest changed our flight to several hours later and I had to contact them to change both itineraries.

  2. Alaska Airlines does exactly what you describe on their website. In the process of booking a ticket for a minor a box pops up asking “is the child traveling alone”. You then enter the adult’s confirmation code and off you go. Easy.

    And kids who are Alaska MVPs get Unaccompanied Minor fees waived, so why fly with them at all? 🙂

    • Awesome – have never had the pleasure of flying Alaska since they don’t have much service in my area. But glad they have it figured out at least 🙂

      No fee?!? Shipping them out now haha


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