4

My minor daughter is traveling by herself internationally, leaving from Boston's Logan airport.

It's the first time she's traveled via air on her own, and I'd like to go with her to her gate (past security) to make sure she doesn't have any hassles.

I've seen some indications that it's possible to do this, but I've not had any luck figuring out how to do it.

Is this possible?

If so, how? Do I need the airline to OK it? TSA? Someone at Massport?

--

Closed, and the dupe helped me. The airline is United, and they explicitly say on their website (I was missing the key phrase "gate pass" in my searches):

enter image description here

  • How old is your daughter? In some cases she might need the unaccompanied minor (UM) service from the airline who would then provide staff at the departing and arrivals airports as well as specific treatment on board. – jcaron Aug 7 at 16:34
  • Also, can you specify the airline? Procedures may vary. – jcaron Aug 7 at 16:37
7

I've had success just asking at the check-in counter. They gave me a "boarding pass to nowhere" (looks like a boarding pass but I can't actually use it to get on a plane) which I then showed to the TSA agents. I imagine they have discretion, and this might vary by airport (mine was in Seattle), so you might want to call the airline ahead of time to make sure.

I've also heard of people buying a refundable ticket just to get past security (and then not boarding and getting a refund), but I've never tried it myself.

  • I have found this works well for accompanying the minor to the proper gate. Some airlines require the minor to be accompanied to the gate, making it less of a discretion call and more automatic. – Jon Custer Aug 7 at 16:09
  • 1
    I imagine that depends both on the airline and on the age of the minor in question (and whether or not they're using the airline's official "unaccompanied minor" service), so I wouldn't assume anything. That said, I managed to get my pass to accompany an adult (she walks with a cane and I wanted to help with her suitcase, but she could manage just fine without me), so it's quite possible to get one even when it's not strictly necessary. – Joey Marianer Aug 7 at 16:14
  • I once had to book my son on an airline that charged extra and had specific requirements for unaccompanied minors. One of the requirements was for me to accompany them to the gate, so there was no issue with getting a pass (it was quite painful on the other end where they too had to get to the gate - sigh). Other times I've just asked the gate agent for one to have a good-bye meal with somebody airside. I've never been turned down. – Jon Custer Aug 7 at 16:30
  • 3
    This is called a “gate pass” or “escort pass”. You may need to contact the airline in advance to get one in some situations. – jcaron Aug 7 at 16:35

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.