Unaccompanied minors

Helpful advice to get your children safely to their destination, when they're travelling alone.

On this page

Things to know

Travelling alone can be daunting and exciting for your child. That's why we offer a service with features such as separate rooms during transit for unaccompanied minors at Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Cairns and Adelaide Airports, and for your child to be escorted through Immigration and Customs by Qantas Customer Service Agents for international flights.

We offer this service on selected connecting Qantas flights and you can conveniently book online for domestic flights. A supervision fee of A$50 for domestic flights and A$90 for international flights will apply per unaccompanied minor per booking made online, through a Qantas office or travel agent ticketed in Australia or New Zealand.

This is to cover some of the costs of the additional services and facilities required for a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience for children travelling alone. These additional services and facilities are not required for children travelling with a parent, guardian or sibling aged 15 years or older.

Note that, in addition to the above supervision fee, there will be an additional service fee of A$50 for domestic flights and A$90 for international flights per unaccompanied minor per booking made at the airport.

Who is an unaccompanied minor?

Qantas considers a child under 12 years to be an unaccompanied minor if the child is travelling without the supervision of:

  • the child's parent or guardian
  • the child's sibling 15 years or older
  • an adult nominated by the child's parent or guardian (including if the child is travelling in a different class or cabin to that person).

If your child is not booked as an unaccompanied minor where required, your child may not be accepted for travel alone and may be denied travel at the airport.

Booking an unaccompanied minor

Domestic flights

Bookings can be made online for children under 12 years who are eligible to travel unaccompanied on Qantas Domestic and QantasLink operated flights with a QF flight number.

Booing unaccompanied minors on domestic flights
Age (years) How to book domestic flights Your child's journey Supervision fee (in A$ or NZ$)
0-4 (inclusive) Your child cannot travel as an unaccompanied minor on Qantas flights.
n/a n/a
5-11 (inclusive) You must book your child as an unaccompanied minor with the Qantas Unaccompanied Minor Travel Document (PDF) completed by the parent or guardian.
Your child will travel escorted through the airport by one of our customer service staff. The supervision fee applies.
$50 for domestic flights per unaccompanied minor per booking,  for bookings made online or through a Qantas office or a travel agent. Unaccompanied minor bookings made at the airport will incur an additional service fee.
5-12 (inclusive) with a transit time less than 4 hours between any two connecting flights. You may request that your child travels as an unaccompanied minor with the Qantas Unaccompanied Minor Travel Document (PDF) completed by the parent or guardian. This service can be requested by contacting your local Qantas office.
At your request, your child can travel as an unaccompanied minor with Qantas Unaccompanied Minor Travel Document (PDF) completed by the parent or guardian, subject to a supervision fee. If no request is made for your child to travel as an unaccompanied minor, your child will travel without special arrangements. You should list your child as a Young Passenger so they are identifiable to crew in the event of a delay or disruption.
$50 for domestic flight per unaccompanied minor per booking, for bookings made online or through a travel agent. Unaccompanied minor bookings made at the airport will incur an additional service fee.

International flights

Booking an unaccompanied minor on international flights
Age (years) How to book international flights Your child's journey Supervision fee (in A$ or NZ$)
0-5 (inclusive) Your child cannot travel as an unaccompanied minor on Qantas flights.
n/a n/a
5-11 (inclusive) where the flight time is less than 6 hours 
or 6-11 (inclusive)
You must book your child as an unaccompanied minor with the Qantas Unaccompanied Minor Travel Document (PDF) completed by the parent or guardian.
Your child will travel escorted through the airport by Qantas airport customer service staff. The supervision fee applies.
$90 for international flights per unaccompanied minor per booking, for bookings made online, through a Qantas office or a travel agent. Unaccompanied minor bookings made at the airport will incur an additional service fee.
12-15 (inclusive) You may request that your child travels as an unaccompanied minor with the Qantas Unaccompanied Minor Travel Document (PDF) completed by the parent or guardian. This service can be requested by contacting your local Qantas office.
At your request, your child can travel as an unaccompanied minor with Qantas Unaccompanied Minor Travel Document (PDF) completed by the parent or guardian, subject to a supervision fee. If no request is made for your child to travel as an unaccompanied minor, your child will travel without special arrangements. You should list your child as a Young Passenger so they are identifiable to crew in the event of a delay or disruption.
$90 for international flights per unaccompanied minor per booking, for bookings made online or through a travel agent. Unaccompanied minor bookings made at the airport will incur an additional service fee.
16-17 (inclusive) Unaccompanied minor service is not available. However, you should list your child as a Young Passenger so they are identifiable to crew in the event of a delay or disruption.
There is no additional service offered to Young Passengers.
n/a

Booking restrictions

For international and domestic flights departing from an international terminal, travel for unaccompanied minors cannot be booked online and must be booked through a Qantas office.

Remember you can't book unaccompanied minors when:

  • an itinerary includes an overnight stopover or the last flight of the day
  • the itinerary includes connecting flights departing from different airports in the same city
  • the itinerary includes a flight not operated by Qantas (even if it has a QF flight number). These flights must be booked directly with the operating carrier
  • the transit time between any two connecting flights is more than four (4) hours
  • your child carries medication, unless your child:
    • understands and, if asked by our staff, can explain why they need the medication;
    • can self-administer the medication; and
    • carries a supporting letter from their doctor.

See children travelling with medication for more information.

Important information for nominated contacts

The "Main Contact" nominated by the Parent, Guardian or Responsible Adult on the unaccompanied minor travel document, must be available by telephone at any time without delay while the unaccompanied minor is in Qantas' care. In the event that the nominated pickup person doesn’t meet the unaccompanied minor upon arrival at the gate for domestic flights or at the designated area for international flights and we cannot contact the main contact, Qantas may take any action it deems appropriate including handing the child over to the police.

Unaccompanied minors are required to be checked-in at the airport:

  • at least 2 hours prior to departure for international services (including a domestic sector from an international port); and
  • at least 1 hour prior to departure for domestic services within Australia.

At check-in or at the Service Desk, Qantas staff will check that the Qantas Unaccompanied Minor Travel Document has been correctly completed. If the Qantas Unaccompanied Minor Travel Document is not properly completed, the unaccompanied minor may be transferred to the next available flight if the completion of the documentation will result in the child missing the flight originally booked.

Note that you must also present a printed copy of the supervision fee receipt at check-in. The supervision fee is refundable if your child does not travel on all flights (no partial refunds are available).

Booking changes

If you need to make changes to an unaccompanied minor's booking, please contact your local Qantas office and ensure the request for the child to travel as an unaccompanied minor is transferred to the new flight.
Qantas only permits changes to be made to unaccompanied minor bookings by:

  • the main contact;
  • a parent or guardian;
  • a travel agent or person acting on behalf of any of the above; or
  • Qantas airport customer service staff (in the event of a disruption).

Essential travel documents

For travel departing from a domestic terminal, the travelling child's parent or guardian will need to complete the Qantas Unaccompanied Minor travel document (PDF) and ensure the child carries it with them to the airport.

For international travel, you’ll need to complete our international unaccompanied minor wallet before check-in, which you'll need to request your Qantas office or travel agent to send out to you. Contact a Qantas office to book travel for an unaccompanied minor travelling on a Qantas international flight, or on a Qantas domestic flight that departs from an international terminal (numbered QF1-399).

If your child is travelling on a domestic flight departing from an international terminal (flight numbered between QF1 - 399), the child must bring to the airport either the completed unaccompanied minor wallet or a letter from the parent or guardian with the following information:

  • full name and date of birth of the child
  • purpose of travel
  • full name and contact details of the authorising adult and their relationship to the child travelling
  • full name and contact details of the adult who will collect the child at the final destination.

Find out more about domestic passengers departing from international terminals at Australian Customs and Border Protection ServicesOpens external site in a new window.

In addition, on international flights, the unaccompanied minor will need his or her own passport and all country specific travel documents, including any visas or authorisation letters. The person making the booking for the unaccompanied minor should make enquiries well before travel with the consulates of each country to check that all requirements are met.

Document requirements for travel to/from South Africa for children (under the age of 18 years)

Amendments to the South African Immigration Act 2002 (Act No 13 of 2002), regarding travel document requirements for children, came into effect 1 June 2015. All travel documents must be available for presentation on arrival into and on departure from South Africa.

The following is applicable to unaccompanied minors (child under 18 years of age) when travelling to or from South Africa:

  1. Valid passport and valid visa (if required).
  2. Unabridged birth certificate (UBC) of the child, or certified copy, reflecting the particulars of the parents of the child. For countries that do not issue birth certificates, a letter from the competent authority of the country must be produced.
  3. Parental Consent Affidavit - PCA (PDF) or Letter of Special Circumstances.
  4. A letter from the person who is to receive the child in South Africa, containing his or her residential address and contact details where the child will be residing.
  5. A copy of the identity document or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the child in the South Africa.
  6. The contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child.

Additional information

  • All documents must be both English and an original or copy certified as true copy of the original.
  • The Parental Consent Affidavit - PCA (PDF)Opens external site in a new window must be dated within four (4) months of the first arrival or departure travel date.
  • Supporting documents are not required where travel includes direct transit at an international airport.

Non compliance

Qantas is required to check that passengers travelling to and from South Africa with a child, hold appropriate documents outlined above. Failure to ensure these new requirements will result in passengers departing from South Africa being denied travel; or passengers travelling to South Africa being denied entry and repatriated.

Please download the Department of Home Affairs New Immigration Regulations Brochure (PDF) for further information.

Connecting flights

When booking your unaccompanied minor on connecting flights, we will ensure that ground staff escort your child from their arrival gate to departure gate. Note the following important information about connecting flights:

  • Unaccompanied minors cannot be booked on connecting flights with a transit time of more than 4 hours.
  • If your child's itinerary includes any travel on an airline other than Qantas, including a connecting flight, you must make your booking through a Qantas office. This information applies only to Qantas and QantasLink operated flights with a QF flight number. If you intend for your child to travel on another airline, make sure you check with the other airline regarding eligibility for children to travel unaccompanied. Visit jetstar.comOpens external site in a new window for Jetstar's policy.

Flights to or from the USA

If your unaccompanied minor is travelling to or from the United States of America, the child's parent or guardian is required to drop him or her off at the nominated location within the airport and must be contactable at all times.

On arrival, handover will be made to the main contact nominated by the parent, guardian or responsible adult to pick the unaccompanied minor up.

Bookings can't be accepted for unaccompanied minors when the itinerary includes a connection to or from another airline in the USA, including codeshare flights and flights on oneworld partners. Other airlines also have limitations. Please check with the carrier operating the flight.

Children with medication

Children travelling alone must be capable of self-administering their medication in order to travel alone. Qantas staff are not generally authorised to administer medication.

Medication is defined as any medicine from a doctor or dentist (on prescription) and from a pharmacist or over-the-counter. Examples of over-the-counter medication may include Panadol, antihistamines and hydrocortisone creams/ointments.

For children who travel with medication, you’ll need to ensure the following:

  • make sure you notify us at the time of booking
  • advise us of any allergies or any special requirements, and
  • organise a letter from the child's doctor if your child needs to carry medication, which may include carrying an Adrenalin Auto Injector and Ventolin inhalers. The letter from the child's doctor must:
    • be dated within two years of the date of travel
    • be written in English
    • confirm that the child is capable of identifying the need for the medication; and
    • confirm that the child can self-administer it.

Ensure you complete the special requirements section of the Qantas Unaccompanied Minor Travel Document (PDF) for a seamless travel experience.

If your child becomes ill during travel and alternative arrangements need to be made, the parent or guardian or responsible adult identified in the Qantas Unaccompanied Minor travel Documentation is solely responsible for making such arrangements.

Your child’s journey from check-in to arrival

Checking in for the flight

When checking in at the airport notify the check-in agent that your child is travelling unaccompanied and hand over the completed Qantas Unaccompanied Minor Documents. Please also impress on your child the importance of keeping all documentation, including his or her passport, safe at all times.

Qantas will advise you:

  • for a domestic flight, the time to meet a Qantas cabin crew member at the applicable departure gate; or
  • for an international flight or a domestic flight departing from an international terminal, the time to meet a Qantas ground staff representative who will escort the child through Customs and Immigration to the departure gate.

The person delivering the Unaccompanied Minor to the airport, must remain at the airport until the flight has taken off (until the flight is in the air).

For travel to the USA, the child's parent or guardian must be present when delivering the child to the airport.

Inflight

During the flight, cabin crew will regularly check on the unaccompanied minor.

Arrivals

After landing, the Qantas cabin crew member will hand the child over to the nominated pick up person. This person must be 18 years or older, or a sibling aged 15 years of age or older. Either one (1) form of acceptable photo identification or two (2) forms of non-photo identification are required for verification of the identity of the person picking up the unaccompanied minor.

For international flights, the unaccompanied minor will be assisted with arrival procedures by Qantas ground staff.

For all flights, the nominated pick up person will collect the child. For travel to the USA, the child's parent or guardian must be present when collecting the child from the terminal.

Important Identification Information

One (1) form of acceptable photo ID is required for verification of the identity of person dropping off and person picking up. Acceptable forms of Photo Identification are:

  • a valid national passport;
  • a valid motor vehicle Driver’s Licence issued under a law of the Commonwealth of Australia, or of a State or Territory of Australia;
  • a current document issued by the Commonwealth of Australia, or an Australian State or Territory, or by an authority of the Commonwealth of Australia, or a State or Territory of Australia, that identifies the person;
  • a current Aviation Security Identity Card issued by the operator of the aircraft, or the operator of an airport in Australia; and 
  • other documents issued by the Commonwealth or authority of Australia, or an Australian State or Territory, which can include:
    • current University Photo Identification Card;
    • current TAFE Identity Cards; and 
    • current APEC card – Australian issued only.

Two (2) forms of acceptable non-photo ID are required for verification of identity of person dropping off and person picking up. Acceptable forms of Non-Photo Identification are:

  • Medicare Card;
  • ATM/Credit Card;
  • Government Issued Card;
  • Library Card;
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer Card; and 
  • Qantas Q Cash Card.

Important information

Disclaimer: + Note that there will be an additional service fee of $50 for domestic flights and $90 for international flights per unaccompanied minor for bookings made at the airport. Also add a $40 booking fee per unaccompanied minor for bookings made through a Qantas office for domestic flights.

Disclaimer: ^ Excluding domestic flights departing from an international terminal.

Disclaimer: ~ Including domestic flights departing from an international terminal. Note: additional documents are required.