In December 2013, United Airlines joined the ranks of major U.S. carriers that make destination-based travel more challenging—perhaps even impossible—for some student and youth travelers. United's policy change requires unaccompanied children ages five to eleven, and youth ages twelve to seventeen whose guardians choose to use the Unaccompanied Minor service, to take direct flights only, with a $150 fee.
Tour operator members of the Student & Youth Travel Association (SYTA) provide many types of educational travel experiences for children. Most experiences involve teachers or youth group leaders organizing a trip with a tour operator, with the group traveling together accompanied by adult chaperones. Another type of student and youth travel involves the tour operator creating an experience in a location, with young people from all over the country flying in individually to join the group. This type of travel could be at risk with current policies. To read the rest of the story, go to syta.org.
Photo courtesy of: freedigitalphotos.net