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Unaccompanied minors

Unaccompanied minor service is available for flights booked with Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon and should be requested at least 24 hours in advance.

From the airport to the destination, we take every step to make sure your child is safe and comfortable during their trip.

Age at time of travel

6 to under 12 years old
If your child is aged six to under 12 years old, enrollment as an Unaccompanied minor is mandatory, unless they are accompanied by an adult passenger who is at least 18 years old.

12 to under 18 years old
You are not required to make any special arrangements for your children aged 12 to under 18 years old when they travel. However, you can still register them as Unaccompanied minors if you wish for added care and attention.

Unaccompanied minors

Booking and fees


You can book a flight for a child travelling alone by calling our reservations office or your travel agent.

Please contact us 24 hours in advance of the flight to schedule the Unaccompanied minor service.

When you book by calling our reservations office, have all relevant documentation in hand, including:

  • Adult's full name at point of origin
  • Adult's full name at point of arrival
  • Contact information (mobile number) for departure and arrival

The Unaccompanied minor service cannot be requested online.

If your booking with us includes flights operated by other airlines, be advised that they may have a different policy for children under 18 travelling alone. To avoid any issues, contact the other airlines for details before purchasing tickets. Some flights also do not accept Unaccompanied minors.

Please note that if your booking involves a transfer exceeding five hours or the connecting flight does not leave from the same airport, you will be unable to use this service.

View reservations office contact information

Certain fare types are not eligible for Unaccompanied minor service, and additional ticket-related fees may apply.

An additional fee will also be charged per Unaccompanied minor, per below. The fee can be paid at the time of check in or in advance by calling.

Sectors For service request
before 5 December 2019
For service request
on/after 5 December 2019
Fee per sector Fee per sector

Hong Kong to/from airports in:

  • Europe
  • South Asia, Middle East & Africa
  • South West Pacific
  • The Americas
800 100 1000 130
All other sectors 400 50 500 65

Travelling as an unaccompanied minor

Below you will find the step-by-step instructions for the journey of an unaccompanied minor.

Please review country-specific regulations listed further below on this page.  Prepare all required documents ahead of time, as some countries have restrictions for children travelling with guardians or as unaccompanied minors.

Please present yourself at one of our counters for check-in and document check. At 90 minutes prior to departure, we will escort your child through security and immigration procedures and take them onto the departure gate. Please stay at the airport until your child’s flight has departed.

The Unaccompanied minor will be led to the appropriate seat number by our airport team member.

Connecting flights
For connections involving a change of aircraft, the Unaccompanied minor will be escorted between flights. An airport team member will remain with the minor during the entire connection period.

The adult nominated to meet your child at the destination airport, as specified in the Unaccompanied minor form to be filled out, will need to provide proof of identification before we release your child to them.

Should the person at the airport attempting to collect the Unaccompanied minor be different to the person nominated on the form, we will contact the parent or guardian to verify the identification of the pickup person at the destination.

Country-specific regulations

Certain countries have specific restrictions for children travelling as unaccompanied minors, as highlighted below. Please note that the regulations described below are subject to change . For the latest information, we recommend seeking official government guidance for your destination country.

Any minor less than 18 years old that is either a citizen or a resident of France shall obtain authorization to leave France for any journey without a parent or legal guardian. The customer must hold their own passport, a permit to travel form (L'autorisation de sortie du territoire) signed by a parent or legal guardian and a photocopy of a valid identity document of the parent or legal guardian who provided his or her signature for the permit to travel form before they can be accepted to travel.

This requirement applies to flights departing France only.

Although not a regulatory requirement, the Irish government advises that anyone less than 18 years old who is not travelling with an adult 18 years or older, should have the following documentation:

  • A signed letter from the parent or guardian giving consent for travel with their contact details
  • A photocopy of a valid identity document of the parent or guardian
  • Evidence of the parent or guardian relationship with the child
  • A death certificate in the case of a deceased parent
  • If the minor is not ordinarily resident in Ireland, they should also have:
    • Full address of where they will be staying
    • Full contact details of who they will be staying with

In the event where a minor is accompanied by an adult with a different surname or by a person that is not their parent or guardian, Immigration may request for further information on the relationship between the minor and accompanying adult. In the event that a child is travelling with only one parent, Immigration may request evidence of consent from the other parent.

Parents are advised to carry evidence (originals or photocopies) of the following where applicable:

  • A birth or adoption certificate, or guardianship papers showing the relationship with the child
  • A copy of a document identifying the parent or guardian
  • A marriage or divorce certificate in cases where the adult has a different surname to the child
  • A death certificate in the case of a deceased parent
  • A signed letter from the parent or guardian giving consent for travel with a specific person and their contact details

All children under 15 years of age who are not citizens residing in the Philippines and are not accompanied by a parent with the same surname are required to carry proof of their relationship. Any other adult (such as relatives or friends with the same surname) cannot take the role of the escort.

A “Waiver of Exclusion Ground” (WEG) is required for any child under 15 years of age not residing in the Philippines and travelling without a parent. Parents and Guardians are required to contact their nearest consular representation of the Philippines to arrange the necessary documentation before travel.

When travelling with only one parent:

  • An unabridged birth certificate (original or photocopy)
  • A copy of the passport or identification document of the absent parent
  • Contact details of parent
  • A letter of parental consent or a court order granting full parental responsibilities to the present parent, or in the event that the other parent is deceased, a death certificate.

When travelling with an adult other than a parent:

  • An unabridged birth certificate (original or copy)
  • A letter of parental consent, adoption order, custody papers, guardianship papers or death certificate, as appropriate
  • Copies of identification documents of the parents and/or legal guardians
  • Contact details of parents or legal guardians and the persons where the minor will stay in South Africa

In all scenarios, birth certificates must include the information about the child’s parents. All documentation must in English (except for the birth certificate). Any letters of parental consent must be issued within 6 months prior to the date of travel.

The following exemptions apply:

  • No supporting documents will be required for children that are in direct transit at a South African International Airport unless a transit visa is required. The unabridged birth certificate shall be submitted during the transit visa application process and both the certificate and visa shall be carried by the child whilst travelling.
  • Minors in possession of valid South African visas shall not be required to produce supporting documents when travelling through a port of entry of South Africa.
  • Some countries that endorse the particulars of parents in a child’s passport, or other official identification documents. These documents shall be acceptable for the purpose of establishing the identity of parents of the travelling minor.

For more information on travelling to South Africa as a passenger under 18 years of age, please check our Passports and visasOpen a new window page. 

All children less than 18 years old shall meet the following requirements to be permitted entry to the United Arab Emirates:

  • If not travelling with a parent or guardian with the same surname, they shall have an official document (such as a birth certificate in original or photocopy) available to prove their relationship
  • If travelling with an adult (18 years old or above), a letter of authorisation signed by the parent or guardian together with a copy of the birth certificate or an affidavit will be required. The United Arab Emirates does not provide a standard format for the letter of authorisation.
  • If travelling alone and aged from 6 to less than 18 years old, they are required to travel as an Unaccompanied Minor for their entire journey.

Any person unable to fulfil the above requirements will be refused entry and fines may be imposed on the airline.

Under UK Children Protection Laws, all children under 16 years of age travelling alone to the UK must have proper student documentation and a letter from school to indicate the name of the person meeting them on arrival and their contact details.

If the child is unable to provide this information, the “Meet and Assist” service shall be provided and they assisted by a member of the airport team to immigration upon arrival.