My brother (17) and I (25) plan to fly from Germany to Portugal with Ryanair. I'm worried, if they will let him on the plane without our parents. I did a little bit of research and found this on the Ryanair page:

Portuguese routes: Portuguese nationals and alien residents under 18 years leaving or re-entering Portugal, to or from a non-Schengen member state unaccompanied by their father, mother or legal guardian need a travel authorisation. This must be signed by both parents or legal guardian with the signature notarised if the parents or legal guardian reside in Portugal; or authenticated by a Portuguese embassy or consulate in the country where the parents or legal guardian reside. This travel authorisation is also required when minors are accompanied by a person other than their father, mother or legal guardian. In such cases the travel authorisation must also clearly show the name of the accompanying person. Foreign minors under 18 years and traveling alone may be refused entry if they do not have anyone in Portugal taking responsibility for their stay.

If I read it right, there should be no problem, as we are staying inside the Schengen area. Nevertheless there are also sources that leave out the outside Schengen condition, which means that we would need a letter authenticated by the Portuguese Embassy.

Has anyone experience with this?

Will they let us on the plane?

  • 3
    If it was anyone but Ryanair I would say this sounds like an immigration requirement and is therefore irrelevant to Schengen-internal flights where passengers don't pass through immigration. But given Ryanair's track record, that reasoning doesn't feel convincing ... Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 10:20
  • Are you planning to take him without your parents ok? Or just worried about the rules?
    – user13044
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 10:57
  • 1
    As far as German law is concerned, your parents have the right and the duty to supervise your brother, which includes determining where he lives. This supervision must be exercised in a way appropriate to the age and maturity of the minor child. Sending him on a holiday with an adult brother sounds fine. So the questions are "What is the law in Portugal?" and "Has Ryanair procedures which go beyond the law?"
    – o.m.
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 13:37
  • 1
    Of course our parents agree with our trip. I can also ask them for some kind of written statement if needed, but I don't want to go to a notary or even worse the portuguesian embassy just for this short trip (which is only a two day birthday visit). Just like Henning, I'm also worried about difficulties with the ryanair staff even if there was technically no legal problem. Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 16:21
  • Given you can book flights, check in, and board the plane in Germany without even talking to a human, and then land in Portugal without showing id, I can't imagine anyone would even attempt to stop him. Also, my brother done several flights inside schengen on his own at age 16-17 (he turned 18 last year) without any permission slips. Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 22:29

2 Answers 2


Edit (21/01/17): See my edit below for the original answer.

TL;DR: there's a document you need which can be found online. Original answer below.

 to or from a non-Schengen member state

Your answer is already in the question. While an unaccompanied minor could be a special case, you're accompanied by your brother, and you're traveling within Schengen. If they notice you're underage and want to say something about it, they'll look up and see you're travelling with your brother. He's the adult who's responsible at that point.

To officially put on paper that your brother is responsible, your parents could fill in and sign an official form if Portugal has one. This typically is a form that can be downloaded from your government's website, stating who is allowed to travel with you to another country (and is responsible for you). This paper should be relative easy to access, I can't imagine needing to go to the embassy for this. If I remember correctly, Belgium gives them out in the city hall. This might be a starting point for you to find where those are distributed.

EDIT: link to the document: http://www.sef.pt/portal/v10/en/aspx/apoiocliente/detalheApoio.aspx?fromIndex=0&id_Linha=4350 (bottom of page)

Source: personal experience on flying and trips with underage people. School trips to other countries (from Belgium) required this form while underage

  • The link ( though I didn't see the form ) does mention a letter of authorization from the legal guardians is required.
    – bytepusher
    Commented Jun 13, 2020 at 2:12

When my kids were underage and traveling internationally, we used to give them a notarized letter stating they had permission to travel, this policy being recommended by the US Department of State.

In perhaps a dozen entries and exits (to Europe, Asia, and North America), no official ever asked to see this letter.

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