Be Aware of the Minor Child Fly Rule

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Be Aware of the Minor Child Fly Rule

On my web site there is a menu item called “Airline Emergency Services”. That section is devoted to obtaining a notarized form for allowing a minor child to leave the country. Unless the child is flying with BOTH parents; there is a “possibility” that this form will be REQUIRED by the airline – for them to allow the child to leave the country. I say possibility because this requirement is enforced sporadically. I have had clients tell me that mommy made the same trip to Spain with Junior several times – but now has a dilemma – literally “at the gate” prior to boarding!

Airlines require this form to protect them and avoid being involved in child abduction cases. It’s a good rule, but unfortunately not widely publicized. In the most basic case, they want the notarized consent of the non-flying spouse – for the flying spouse to take the minor out of the country. There are other variations – sometimes a similar form will be required for a school function, etc.  The basic consideration is always the same – unless both parents are going – it “might” be a “showstopper”.  In the section of my site there is a model form that has been accepted hundreds of times, having it completed and properly notarized can avoid a major headache.

I, like to “err on the side of caution”; and suggest a form being completed for EACH “leg” of the flightplan. Thus, if you have one stopover, it’s suggested that you complete two forms; a separate form with appropriate data for each “boarding”. When this rule is enforced, and I remind you that is quite random, the child will NOT be allowed on the plane without it!

Note that it is the Non-Flying parent’s signature that is being notarized. The parent with the child, at the airport – cannot do a thing to assist in the preparation of this form. Often the problem is solved WAY prior to flight time – by having the form routinely completed and notarized well in advance. If only everyone did that! Many is the time I receive a frantic call at 4AM with a boarding denial situation. If there are a few hours to flight time, the procedure is for me to meet with the non-flying spouse, process the form and FAX it to the airlines. My Better Business Bureau credentials and web site help to influence the airline to accept the FAX – with my promise to send the original – by mail – the following 


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Kenneth Edelstein

The only A+ Accredited BBB NYC Notary
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