8

so I want to travel to London to see an event. I need to buy plane tickets, but the problem is I'm not 18 yet. At the tickets purchasing website there's a statement that says I need to be 18.

I could send my money to my parents bank and let them purchase it for me but in my opinion it doesn't really matter. Either way they cannot see my age when I purchase something and even if my parents buy it I still could get in trouble in airport since I'm 16.

So I think there's no point in sending money to parents since it will do nothing. So the whole 18 years requirement seems useless to me. Can you guys state your opinions, cause I really need this sorted out soon.

  • 4
    The purchasing transaction is distinct from using the ticket and likely has a quite different agreement. The company and their lawyers have different concerns in each case. For the purchase they want to make sure they get paid and that it cannot be reversed (say because a minor cannot be held to a legally binding contract under some conditions- maybe you claim you didn't understand the agreement or whatever). – Spehro Pefhany May 5 '17 at 15:56
  • 5
    They care about getting paid for the ticket. So they require that an adult pay them and enter into the purchase agreement. They may not care that an unaccompanied minor flies on that ticket- check the airline terms and conditions regarding unaccompanied minors. For example, Ryanair's website says 16 is the minimum age. So to do this properly, confirm that you can fly, get your parents to buy the ticket, go and have fun (optional). – Spehro Pefhany May 5 '17 at 16:03
  • 3
    I expect the answer is, no one will notice, the airline will happily take your money. – Calchas May 8 '17 at 20:28
  • 2
    @SpehroPefhany your comments, both +1 from me, are really an answer; why don't you go ahead and add them? – Giorgio May 11 '17 at 17:47
  • 2
    But what's your question? This just looks like a rant. – David Richerby May 23 '17 at 10:09
7

I basically agree with Sheik Paul of Osawatomie's answer, but I would tailor the response more closely to the question. Therefore:

I could send my money to my parents bank and let them purchase it for me but in my opinion it doesn't really matter. Either way they cannot see my age when I purchase something

As others have mentioned, the point of the age restriction has to do with the legalities of the financial transaction and, probably, the contract created between the purchaser and the seller. It does not mean that people under 18 are restricted from traveling, only that they are restricted from buying tickets.

and even if my parents buy it I still could get in trouble in airport since I'm 16.

If your parents buy the ticket, you can't get in trouble for buying the ticket. It is not forbidden to purchase a ticket for someone else, and if your parents have bought the ticket there's no trouble for anyone to get into.

The age restriction does not apply to travelers; it applies to purchasers.

So I think there's no point in sending money to parents since it will do nothing. So the whole 18 years requirement seems useless to me.

As outlined above, having your parents buy the tickets is precisely what you should do. The fact that those under 18 have a limited ability to enter into legal agreements may be useless, but the line must be drawn somewhere, and that's where it has been drawn at the moment.

1

If you are in the USA, you can have your parents buy you a ticket as an unaccompanied minor.

Although each airline is likely to have their own policy regarding how old you have to be, if there is a surcharge or not, special accommodations, etc.

This is likely the only technically legal way to fly to London (assuming from the USA) without a parent or other adult.

In reality I am not sure if the airlines would care about your age, but there is always the possibility of an ID check when you check bags or go through security which could raise questions.

  • Why assume the poster is in the USA? – Calchas May 23 '17 at 7:55
  • 3
    @Calchas I did not assume they were from the USA, I simply offered an answer that works if they are. "If you are in the USA", this answer is meant to be helpful if OP is from the USA. If they are not they can disregard it! – beacofell May 23 '17 at 8:03
  • 4
    In fact, travelling as an unaccompanied minor isn't just a USA thing, so "If you are in the USA" is probably unnecessary. – David Richerby May 23 '17 at 10:08
  • For some, this would be correct, but Petras is too old for the service. For example, United does not offer it to 16- and 17-year-olds. Anyway, given his ability to post this question and consider paying for his own ticket, he is probably more than capable of traveling by himself, in which case the service would probably be superfluous and a waste of money. – phoog May 23 '17 at 15:44
  • @phoog I think the age depends on the airline for sure! But I agree, I think he is more than capable. He just seemed to be concerned with the legal aspect so I thought I would chime in :) – beacofell May 24 '17 at 1:19
-3

What will happen if I will purchase a plane tickets being under 18?

If you mislead the airline and purchase the ticket yourself by claiming you're an adult, most likely nothing will happen. The airline may cancel the ticket though if they find out. See these somewhat similar examples for a 17 year old who opened accounts with Paypal, eBay, Amazon, Aliexpress.com that require you to be 18 and over.

So I think there's no point in sending money to parents since it will do nothing. So the whole 18 years requirement seems useless to me.

That's not correct. Letting your parents purchase it removes that small probability of the airline voiding a contract they entered into with a minor, had you done the purchasing directly.

The issue is one about a financial transaction with a minor. A contract with a minor is voidable, basically you the minor can cancel it any time before execution.

VOIDABLE CONTRACT

A voidable contract is a valid contract and can be enforced. Usually only one party is bound to the contract terms in a voidable contract. The unbound party is allowed to cancel the contract, which makes the contract void.

Basically up until any time the plane takes off, you (because you are the unbound party) can just tell the airline, I don't want to fly any more, give me my money back. And because you were a minor, you would be entitled to getting your money back. The airline doesn't want that kind of uncertainty.

So coming to it, the issue is not one about you flying as an unaccompanied minor. Many airlines allow children over 12 to fly as unaccompanied minors. In fact I just purchased a ticket last week for my 13 year old nephew to fly unaccompanied all the way to Africa.

Thus sending the money to your parents for them to purchase is materially and legally different from you doing the purchasing. If your parents purchase the ticket, the contract is binding and no longer voidable just because you're a minor.

  • 1
    That looks like a very US-centric view of things. Do we have any idea where the OP is based? – MadHatter May 5 '17 at 16:19
  • 1
    @MadHatter en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacity_in_English_law. It is not just US centric. It is the same in most parts of the world. I cannot say ALL parts of the world, however I can say most. – user 56513 May 5 '17 at 16:28
  • 2
    Hmmm. From that article: "Minors are legally bound where a contract supplies them with [...] services which are deemed [...] beneficial to them. This obligation is codified in the Sale of Goods Act 1979, in section 3". So looks like the purchase of a plane ticket, for example, would be binding in England and Wales. I repeat my earlier observation. – MadHatter May 5 '17 at 16:58
  • 3
    This doesn't really answer OPs question - does the airline really care who's making the purchase or do they simply use legalese to avoid any issues? Practically speaking - can OP just pay and fly? – JonathanReez May 8 '17 at 18:36
  • 5
    The question is "what will happen if I try to buy the ticket", not "can I have a first year lecture in contract law please?" Also, it doesn't explain why the airline can't sell the minor a full flex ticket, they love selling those to me. :) – Calchas May 8 '17 at 20:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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