WestJet is pleased to offer an unaccompanied-minor program for children travelling without a guardian. The information below is intended to help you determine if this program is right for your child. There are a few critical points to cover, but it will only take a few minutes to prepare your child to boldly go where they've never gone before.
Qualifying for the program
If your child does not meet the qualifications below, you may want to use our Guardian fare program.
- Children must be at least eight years of age at the time of travel.
- This is a mandatory service for children travelling alone who have had their 8th birthday but have not yet reached their 12th birthday.
- This is an optional service for children travelling alone who have had their 12th birthday but haven't had their 18th birthday yet.
- We are unable to offer this program for children who:
- are deaf or blind;
- require the use of a service or emotional support animal;
- have an allergy that requires them to travel with an epinephrine auto-injector (for example an Epi‑pen®);
- require assistance to take essential medication;
- have a disability which requires them to travel with a familiar guardian (these children may qualify to travel using our guardian fare program);
- are not able to communicate (verbally or in writing) in English or French.
Flight availability and restrictions
In order for an unaccompanied minor to travel, the flight must:
- be for travel between two Canadian cities. For transborder and international destinations, please see our guardian fare program.
- be a WestJet flight. This program cannot be used on flights operated by our airline partners.
- not require a connection to a different flight (as indicated by multiple flight numbers).
- not depart before 5:30 a.m. or arrive after 10:00 p.m. (where we have more than one flight per day to the destination).
- one that does not take place overnight - also known as a “red-eye.”
Reserving unaccompanied minor travel
- To request unaccompanied minor travel, please complete our online form. We'll review your request and reply by email to you within 24 hours. Once we've responded, you have 24 hours to confirm your reservation and to pay for the flight and $100 fee per direction.
- WestJet can accommodate up to four unaccompanied minors per flight.
- As part of your child's flight, we may provide a headset, a snack and a drink. On routings where our buy-on-board service is available, your child may also receive a sandwich or other buy-on board items.
Identification and information required
- In order to reserve travel for an unaccompanied minor, we require the child's date of birth, gender, and full name as it is shown on their identification.
- We also require the full names (as shown on government identification), addresses, and cell phone numbers (or other contact number) for the guardians transporting your child to and from the airport.
- At check-in, we require a photocopy (not the original) of either the child's birth certificate or one other piece of government issued identification showing the child's date of birth and gender. The photocopy will be sent with the child and will be required for the return flight as well.
- The person picking up your child upon arrival must be older than 18 years of age and will be required to present one piece of government-issued photo identification.
- After your unaccompanied minor booking has been completed, we will email an unaccompanied minor form and gate pass to the person who has reserved the flight(s). This form is required for both directions of the child's journey.
- Please complete the form and gate pass prior to arrival at the airport. Incomplete forms may cause delays and missed flights.
Packing and travel tips
- Your child is permitted the regular carry-on and checked baggage allowance. A pet may not travel with an unaccompanied minor. Our checklist contains some useful packing tips.
- To see what your child can and cannot take on a flight, visit our restricted items website.
- You may wish to pack additional snacks or ensure your child has enough spending money for a meal. While the fee to travel with an unaccompanied minor includes some snacks, unexpected delays may cause travel to take longer than anticipated. If you are planning on sending additional snacks, just be aware that not all items are permitted through security; please see www.catsa.gc.ca for more information.
- Create an emergency contact list for your child. A calling card is a quick and handy resource if your child needs to contact someone. Your child should know how to make a collect long-distance call to you or to the parent/guardian meeting the flight.
- You may want to pack your child's favourite toy or blanket, iPod, book or video game.
- Please keep in mind that there will be times when our flight crew will not permit these items to be used.
At the airport
- We require you to be at the airport a minimum of 90 minutes before the scheduled departure time. This will allow us time to review your completed unaccompanied minor form, complete additional documentation and to make sure your child has been checked in and is ready for departure. If you have the proper identification to go through security, most airports will allow you to use a gate pass to escort your child to the gate area.
- You are required to remain in the gate area (or airport if a gate pass has not been issued) until you are advised by a WestJet agent that the aircraft has departed. You are also required to be available (via phone) until the aircraft has arrived and your child has been transferred to the care of the pick-up guardian in their destination city. It's a good idea to arrange your schedule so that you can remain at the airport if departure is delayed. Please make sure the parent/guardian putting your child on the return flight also understands this requirement.
- Ensure that guardians transporting your child to and from the airport have a copy of the child's itinerary and their own identification.
- We recommend you also include a baggage tag on the inside of your child's carry-on and checked baggage with your name and your child's name, in case they accidentally leave it on the aircraft or in the airport.
- Before your child boards you may want to give them a small snack and have them use the restroom near the gate area.
- Be aware that your child will be pre-boarded, and will be the last guest to leave the aircraft upon arrival.
Picking up your child from the airport
- We require that the guardian picking up your child arrives at the airport at least 30 minutes prior to the flight's scheduled time of arrival.
- Children will be brought to the arrivals area and the guardian will be required to present their government-issued identification prior to the child being released to them.
How to help your child travel safely
- Prepare your child for their trip by telling them when they are travelling, what time their flights are, their destination, and who will be dropping them off and picking them up.
- Let your child know that they are required to follow the instructions of our flight crew at all times. For their safety, the identification they are given must be easily visible from the time they are accepted for travel, over the duration of the flight, and until they are released into the care of the parent or guardian.
- It is important that you tell your child that they must remain seated after the aircraft has been parked at the gate as a flight attendant will assist them in exiting the aircraft after all other guests.
- We recommend dressing your child in loose, comfortable clothing. Dressing them in layers will allow them to adjust to the temperature onboard in case they are too warm or cold. It's a good idea to put your child's name on the inside of their clothing, and to pack a change of clothing in their carry-on bag.
WestJet Vacations package bookings
We do not offer the unaccompanied minor program for children travelling as part of a WestJet Vacations package booking.