Jetstar does not permit minors unless proof of secondary school attendance is provided. I would like my independent 6yo to travel from Narita to either Brisbane or Melbourne.

I've seen kids being picked up by parents at arrivals gates before (HK, I believe) and the kid appeared to be chaperoned by an airline staff.

Is there any such provider who can accommodate on that route?


Your best options would be either Qantas or Japan Airlines, both of which fly directly from Tokyo-Narita to Sydney, from where you can connect onward to Melbourne or Brisbane. (There are no direct Tokyo-MEL/BNE flights on any carrier, even Jetstar requires a transfer at Gold Coast or Cairns.)

  1. Qantas: Children Travelling Alone
  2. JAL: Kids Travel Support Service

Per the policies above, both permit 6-year-olds to travel as unaccompanied minors and, If I'm reading those right, also allow flight connections (outside the US). However, given that int'l-to-dom connections at SYD are enough to make a grown man cry, that does sound kinda tough even for a well-traveled six-year-old.

All things considered, I'd plump for JAL, which in my experience -- although not with unaccompanied minors specifically -- bends over backwards to take care of kids.

Update: Qantas started flying NRT-BNE direct a few times a week in 2015, and this is now clearly your best bet.

  • 1
    Thanks guys. I think JAL it will be and I'll meet them in Sydney. – ljs.dev Oct 20 '13 at 13:40
  • Although travelling with kids is not something I have to think about, I was also very impressed by how JAL takes care of children and infants. – Andrew Grimm Oct 21 '13 at 9:30

It is possible to book flights on China Eastern, China Southern, Singapore Airlines, and Cathay Pacific, among others, to Melbourne, which all have unaccompanied minor services for children older than five years old (except Cathay, which starts at age six). As you might expect, there will be a fee for the service, which depends on the specific airline.

However, in none of these cases (as with Jetstar) are these flights nonstop services. Given the length of these flights (i.e. 13+ hours), you should carefully consider whether or not your six-year old will be fine flying without a familiar adult for that period of time, and the layover will do little to help things.

  • Note that many airlines do not allow unaccompanied minors - especially younger ones - on connecting flights. eg, the China Eastern page linked states that YOU must arrange someone to meet the UM at any stopover points. – Doc Oct 20 '13 at 2:50

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