For all travel after 5th November 2018, Aurigny will no longer carry unaccompanied children (aged 0-13 years) on any services, apart from direct flights between Alderney-Guernsey.
This is to ensure the safety and welfare of the travelling child in the event of a diversion and/or overnight stop. In these circumstances we are unable to provide appropriate care and previously have been forced to seek assistance from Social Services. For travel after 5th November, a new Child Companion fare is available for any adult travelling with the child who would normally be travelling alone (see Child Companion fares).
As an exception we continue to operate the Unaccompanied Minors scheme between Guernsey-Alderney, where there are family networks/responsible adults in place at either end and risk of diversion is significantly reduced. If there is the risk of weather disruption, the Unaccompanied Minor will have to be rebooked onto an alternative service.
Youths aged 14 & 15
Youths aged 14 & 15 can travel unaccompanied and may be booked online. Each Youth must have his/her own passport ID. A parent/guardian must agree a disclaimer on our website acknowledging the young person can take care of themselves during any delays and disruption, including unexpected overnight diversions. Additionally the young passenger must have the unaccompanied young passenger consent form, fully completed, signed and attached to a copy of the parent/guardians passport, with them at all times. If they do not they are not able to take care of themselves or do not have the consent form when travelling they will be refused carriage and no refund of their flight ticket will be made.
Child Companion Fares
Where a child is required to travel with an adult Companion, but would otherwise be travelling alone, a new fare scheme applies. (Companion fares are not available between Alderney and Guernsey or our seasonal services to Grenoble and Norwich)
Aurigny will provide a complimentary ticket (subject to availability) to the Companion for any ‘positioning’ legs of the journey, i.e. where the Companion is travelling alone. The ticket for the journey where they act as the Companion (travel with the child) will be charged at the normal rate.
Complimentary flights must be within 36 hours of the flight they are acting as the Companion, or the next available return scheduled service. This may involve travelling to and from a different airport. Aurigny reserves the right to restrict the sale of companion fares subject to commercial loads, in which case the nearest alternative flight will be offered. A Companion must be aged 16 or over and capable of looking after all aspects of the welfare of the child – in particular assisting the child in an emergency situation.
If a child is already planning to travel with another person, such as a family member or friend (aged 16 and over) who can provide the necessary assistance, this can be booked in the normal way.
Procedure for booking Child Companions - Book all flights on which you are accompanying the Child online but DO NOT book the complimentary sectors.
If the same Companion is travelling with the passenger outbound and/or inbound, please book the passenger and assistant together in the same booking on the Aurigny website and then call us to arrange the complimentary flights, where the assistant will be travelling alone.
If different Companions are travelling with the passenger on their outbound and inbound flights, follow the same procedure, using the name of the first Companion on both flights. Then call us and we will arrange the complimentary flight for each Companion and make the necessary name change.
Please call Reservations on 01481 267267.
FAQs for Unaccompanied Minors
Exactly what is changing?
We have taken the difficult decision to close our Unaccompanied Minors Service to children under the age of 14, for journeys to and from the UK, taking place after Monday 5th November. Children aged 14 and 15 will continue to be able to travel unaccompanied.
What routes are affected?
Routes between Guernsey and Alderney to/from the UK will no longer be able to carry Unaccompanied Minors.
Unaccompanied Minors can continue to travel on the short journey between Guernsey and Alderney and will not be affected by this change.
Why is this service no longer available?
This difficult decision has primarily been driven by child protection and welfare considerations. Since the introduction of our Unaccompanied Minors Service, several decades ago, there have – rightly – been major advances in child protection requirements and legislation and we have a duty to keep up-to-date with these.
We have also experienced significant issues when flights with Unaccompanied Minors are disrupted, particularly if this involves an unscheduled overnight stop. In these cases, we are required to seek assistance from Social Services to step in to provide childcare support. This is placing pressure on these public services.
Put simply, Aurigny staff are not legally allowed to care for children during disruption or overnight delays.
Why has this suddenly become an issue now?
More recently, we have experienced difficulties when flights, with Unaccompanied Minors onboard, have been disrupted and diverted. As we have said, in these cases we are required to seek assistance from Social Services to look after the child. As you can imagine, this can cause concern for the families involved.
As you’d expect, regulations and requirements have moved on considerably since the service was launched many years ago and this has impacted the entire airline industry, not just Aurigny. Now, a majority of airlines have ceased their Unaccompanied Minors Service, due to these factors out of their control. After considerable review, we have had to follow others and make this change.
Why have you made an exemption for the Alderney service?
The Alderney-Guernsey route is a very short trip and the risk of diversion is significantly reduced. On this route, a majority of Unaccompanied Minors travel for schooling and there are family networks at both ends of the journey. If there is any possibility of diversion, due to weather, any Unaccompanied Minors will be rebooked onto another, later service.
This will affect families. What can you do to support them?
We are aware of the impact this is likely to have, and although the number of children using the service is relatively small, we fully appreciate and understand the implications for those families using it. With this at the forefront of our minds, we have decided to introduce a new Child Companion fare scheme, to give concessions to adults who will now have to accompany children after 5th November. More details about this is available on the FAQ section of our website.
We also appreciate that families are often the ones that travel at the most expensive peak period of the year, and we have been actively looking at ways we can support them.
We’re pleased to say we will soon be launching an exciting package of new “family friendly” initiatives and we will provide further details very soon.
What is the Child Companion fare?
The Child Companion fare is being introduced for adults who will now have to accompany a child on a flight following the closure of our Unaccompanied Minors scheme (on all routes except Guernsey-Alderney). Under this scheme, we’ll provide a free ticket to the (adult) Companion for any positioning leg of the journey, i.e. where the Companion is travelling alone. For example, if a parent has to accompany their son/daughter for travel to a UK school, they will get their return (unaccompanied) trip for free. The ticket for the journey where they are the Companion (travel with the child) will be charged at the normal rate. These Child Companion fares are available with immediate effect. Companion fares are not available on the Alderney to Guernsey route or our seasonal services to Grenoble and Norwich.
Who can act as a Companion?
A Companion must be aged 16 or over and capable of looking after all aspects of the welfare of the child – in particular assisting the child in an emergency situation. They must also be able to look after them in the event of a diversion and overnight stop.
Can I travel back, on my free journey, at my own convenience?
Complimentary flights should be within 36 hours of the flight they are acting as the Companion, or the next available return scheduled service. In some cases, this may involve travelling to and from a different airport, and it will always be subject to availability.
Complimentary seats are subject to availability at the time of booking. There will be occasions (at busy times) where we are unable to provide complimentary tickets on specific flights. Seats being available on a flight are not a guarantee that you will be able to receive a complimentary ticket for that flight.
What happens to existing bookings?
Existing bookings will be honoured. However, you will not be able to make any future Unaccompanied Minor bookings, for children under 14, for travel between Guernsey and the UK, after 5th November.
How can I find out more about this policy change?
You can send any questions to our Customer Services team by emailing [email protected]