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I am 15 and want to travel to Germany alone but am afraid I would not be able to because of my age. Is there something I could bring to the airport that would allow me to be able to fly to Germany alone from the USA? Or do I have nothing to worry about? I would be staying at a friends house and would only be in Germany for two weeks.

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    Have to ask: how well do you know your friend? Have you met in person or is it an internet ‘friendship’? If the latter, how do you know that they are who they claim to be?
    – Traveller
    Mar 25 at 22:19
  • I would also ask how much experience you have with travel. It's not just the trip but what happens if there is a problem? Three times now I have ended up landing in a country different than where I expected to go when I arrived at the airport. Mar 28 at 3:22
  • @LorenPechtel I have difficulties to believe that. Did you buy a ticket to the wrong destination (three times!) or did you manage to board the wrong plane (three times!) which is virtually impossible?
    – NicolasB
    Mar 29 at 14:07
  • @NicolasB No errors. #1 was a weather problem--the "divert" airport was the next scheduled stop for the plane so we simply skipped over the country that was our destination. #2 was telling us the wrong flight time (this was before the internet), we missed the flight, the next bird was a week away, they rerouted us via a third country. #3 some troubles with immigration authorities caused us to skip a planned stay and head on to another country. Mar 30 at 1:45

2 Answers 2

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A letter of permission from your parents and/or legal guardians and them buying the tickets for you.

At 15 most airlines will transport you as long as you can show your parents allow you to travel, you will not need to travel as an unaccompanied minor, although if your parent want you to I think you still can.

Other methods of travel often have different ages for permission but USA to Germany will be flights. It will be best to have a direct flight (so not stop overs or even change of planes) between where your parents can drop you off and where adults who will be responsible for you during your stay in Germany can pick you up at the airport. But as the USA is a big country you may have to have a stop in the USA, if so, talk it over with the airline.

Self connections should be out, as you will be a tad young to be on your own in an airport. (More so in the USA than in Europe, due to different laws in the different areas.)

Without your parents/legal guardians permission and help you will not be able to make this trip, airlines and immigration officers will likely stop you without those letters and help.
There are many stories of people who (used to) travel USA to Europe alone without permission, but you can not be sure you will slip through the net and 15 is too young to even try.

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  • I presume you meant "travel as an UNaccompanied minor." (I did that when I was 13, btw, between Italy and the US.) But I do agree with your answer: consent letter from parents and get the German friend (and possibly their parents/guardian) to meet the OP at the arrival airport. What are the different laws re: minors in airport between US and Europe? Mar 25 at 17:53
  • @NYCvisitor2228968 Thanks, edited now. Different states in the USA have laws preventing 'children' under 16 to be out of the house without their parents, while in Europe mostly children older than 12 (or even younger) can travel freely within their own country.
    – Willeke
    Mar 25 at 17:55
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    "Different states in the USA have laws preventing 'children' under 16 to be out of the house without their parents": can you point to any such law? Children go to and from school all the time without their parents, to the corner store, to the park, etc., etc. This sounds like an urban legend.
    – phoog
    Mar 26 at 0:58
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    Do to you have any source for these claims, @Willeke? Much of this directly contradicts the US government websites (transportation.gov/sites/dot.dev/files/docs/Kids_Fly_Alone.pdf)
    – Aganju
    Mar 26 at 1:13
  • @Aganju, I have gotten that information from several videos,one is: youtube.com/watch?v=ul_xzyCDT98 and it has links mentioned to others. And one blog is very much about it: 5kids1condo.com/car-free-and-carefree-in-vancity
    – Willeke
    Mar 27 at 8:45
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Legally, starting at age 15, you can travel alone on most airlines, also multiple legs and internationally, without any additional documentation (https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.dev/files/docs/Kids_Fly_Alone.pdf):

... at age 15 most airlines will allow a child to fly alone on domestic flights without any unaccompanied-minor procedures. Some airlines permit this for kids as young as 12. When a child has reached this minimum age for traveling alone without unaccompanied-minor procedures, the airline does not require evidence of parental permission to travel alone. If the child has a passport, he or she can even travel internationally.

Some airlines might have different rules, so check on your airline's website.
Some countries you travel to (or through) might have different rules too, so it would be a good idea to bring a written permission from your parents - but it's not required.

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    "Technically, you would need a written permission from your parents": based on what? Where is this requirement stated?
    – phoog
    Mar 26 at 0:54
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    Your are right, @phoog , I shouldn't guess or assume. Did some more work.
    – Aganju
    Mar 26 at 1:03

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