Per South African Airways Unaccompanied Minors policy, children between 5 to 11 years of age must book the Unaccompanied Minor service unless they are accompanied by a parent or responsible adult who is at least 16 years old. 

South African Airways Unaccompanied Minor Fee 

The Unaccompanied Minors service is free of charge on South African Airways. However, you will need to purchase a ticket and complete all the necessary paperwork before travel. 

Age Restrictions 

  • For 5 to 11-year old children travelling alone, the Unaccompanied Minor service is mandatory.
  • Children below 5 years must be accompanied by a ticketed adult on all flights. 
  • For children between 12 to 16 years (known as Young Passengers), the service is optional. Young Passengers are entitled to the Meet And Assist (MAAS) service.

How to Book the Unaccompanied Minor Service on South African Airways

Book at least 24 hours before departure

To book the Unaccompanied Minors service on SAA, you must: 

  1. Call + or the local South African Airways office in your area, and 
  2. Obtain prior authorization

When booking the service, you should provide the following information: 

  • Date of birth
  • Languages spoken by your child
    (especially if your child cannot speak in English)
  • Whether your child is a first-time flyer
  • Medication requirements or special needs, if any 

The unaccompanied minor service cannot be booked online. Plus, you must book the service at least 24 hours before the flight’s departure. 

Conditions of travel

  • Must receive authorization from the airline before traveling. 
  • The Unaccompanied Minor’s flight must reach the destination airport before 8:00pm on direct flights, but this is not mandatory for connecting flights. 
  • The Unaccompanied Minor service will not be provided for:
    • Next-day connecting flights. 
    • Last flight of the day. 
  • The Unaccompanied Minor must be:
    • Escorted and checked-in by a parent or responsible adult guardian who is at least 16 years old.
    • Received at the destination airport by an authorized adult.
  • The reverse side of the Unaccompanied Minor booklet must be filled out by the parent or guardian, and the Unaccompanied Minor must have this coupon at check-in. 
  • If the Unaccompanied Minor has a disability or any special requirements, the parent or guardian must inform the airline at the time of booking so that necessary arrangements can be made in advance.

Before the flight

Unaccompanied Minors who are paying at least 50% of the adult fare are entitled to the full baggage allowance for their class of travel.

Travel documents. The Unaccompanied Minor must have the following documents:

  • A valid passport
  • Visas 
  • Health documents 
  • Any other documentation required by the destination country, such as:
    • A letter of consent 
    • Health certificate 

At the departure airport


  • Your child must be escorted and checked in by a parent or responsible guardian who is at least 16 years old. 
  • Your child will be escorted by an SAA representative through security and immigration.
  • The parent or guardian must remain at the airport until the flight departs.


  • Your child will be escorted to his/her seat by an SAA staff member. 

Connecting flights

  • If your child’s flight involves a connecting flight, he/she will be escorted to the connecting flight. 
  • Your child will be escorted to the connecting flight.
  • A staff member will remain with the child during the period of connection.

During the flight

  • South African Airways flight crew will check on your child from time to time.
  • Ask your child to:
    • Inform a flight attendant if she/he requires any assistance. 
    • Follow the safety instructions at all times.
    • Wear the identification lanyard at all times.
    • Wait to be escorted to the gate after landing.

Arrival and pick-up

At the arrival airport, the designated adult guardian must:

  • Arrive at the airport before the flight’s scheduled arrival.
  • Present a valid ID.
  • Receive the Unaccompanied Minor at the gate.

Frequently Asked Questions on South African Airways

How do I book the Unaccompanied Minors service on South African Airways?

You can book South African Airways’ unaccompanied minor service by calling or a local South African Airways office in your area. 

3 things to remember: 

1- You must obtain prior authorization by completing the necessary paperwork. 
2- You must book at least 24 hours before departure. 
3- You cannot book the unaccompanied minor service online.

What is the Unaccompanied Minor fee at South African Airways?

South African Airways does not charge any service fee to escort Unaccompanied Minors. However, you will be required to purchase a ticket.

Are lap infants entitled to any baggage allowance on South African Airways?

Yes, lap infants are allowed 1 bag weighing up to 50lb/23kg plus 1 car seat and 1 collapsible pushchair

At what age does my child qualify to travel as an Unaccompanied Minor on SAA?

Children between 5 – 11 years old can travel alone as Unaccompanied Minors on SAA. For children between 12 – 15 years (Young Passengers), the service is optional. Children below 5 must be accompanied by a passenger who is at least 16 years old. 

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