Risky Business – Travel


I am the perennial “old biddy” while traveling.  Seriously.  I watch folks.  I think about their stories.  I make up truths or failings.

In this case, my rant is about unaccompanied minors on flights.  Or, not on flights, but the process of getting onto the flight.


I found myself waiting for my flight to depart from San Jose airport, watching the crowd.  Into this waiting group came a father and a daughter (not the folks shown above – that’s a sample image).

Daddy was hugging the daughter and crying.  Adjusting her ticket in the holder.  Giving what appeared to be an 8 year old a kiss, and turning her over to the gate staff to fly by herself.

All good.  No stones to throw on that part, although I thought Daddy was a bit out of line with not allowing the daughter to manage her own ticket in the around the neck case given what he did next.

The minute he turned her over to the gate staff for “unaccompanied minor” boarding, the idiot left the airport.  Seriously.  Walked away from the gate without waiting to see that the plane actually departed.

I could not believe my eyes.

The kid was more than a package.  Planes get delayed every day.  We were already late and waiting for the plane to depart after an hour-long delay.  Am I the only person who would have stayed at the gate until the doors closed and the plane departed???

Kids are not cargo.

Kids are supposed to be precious and valued.  But, expecting an 8 year old to fend for herself with strangers while in the air is MUCH different than expecting an 8 year old to fend for herself with strangers while the plane is still at the gate.

For myself, I would have flown the kid back and forth (requiring whichever parent is in custody of the child) to keep flying one direction (for the drop off) until the kid was a teen. If 13 years old is good enough for a religious rite of passage, it should be reasonable for a parent to use that as a marker for when it’s ok to leave the kid by herself.

Maybe I’m out of date because I was raised with the buddy system (taught to never go anyplace by myself – never mind swimming alone – as we are always safer with a buddy).  But, the parent doesn’t know the gate agent from Adam, and is crazy to simply dump the kid and run.  In My Humble Opinion.  As someone without kids.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this topic?  Inquiring minds would love to know…

3 thoughts on “Risky Business – Travel

  1. Um, yeah. And I’ve aired them where you could see often. But not SPECIFICALLY about the travelling alone 8 and above. And you asked for this:

    What the hell is it about the number 8? Is it somehow magic (like the magic 8 ball I keep seeing today on various blogs, given the daily prompt is ‘superstition’?) In my church some dim-witty has decided “8” is a magic age. These children (and they are still children) are invited to EVERYTHING that the older children and adults do. It’s supposed to foster and encourage their faith I suppose. But there are two things that I, as a fellow observer of families, have noted. First – parents today don’t seem to raise their children like my generation did. There is a lot more being a ‘friend’ to the kid and not a ‘parent’. The kid needs their parents, not friends. Ego stroking will occur (and should) but ffs. Leave it at home. You’re making the public at large sick with your permissiveness. And not some few on-lookers are left with the desire to kill your offspring because, let us face it, they are BRATS because there are no parents around with rules, there are only friends. Being very careful not to offend nor scare nor hurt the child (which in moderation is a good thing).

    Eight year olds are on their way to having some common sense, but it ain’t fully developed and the adult who feels confident the kid knows ‘the right thing to do’ is an idiot and shouldn’t have bred. And (to me) the 8 year old is burdened with being forced to grow up and do adult things (and make adult decisions) long before they are ready to. Let the damn kid have its childhood and stop being a passive aggressive twerp. Or don’t breed. For the love of God.

    In church at these adult functions (there’ve been two so far and that’s it for me attending those sorts of meetings. I won’t any longer.) the kids are noisy, bored, loud, distracting and leave me with the firm conviction that I’m so glad I never had any. And wondering why the church leaders decided that the whole famn damily should be involved in meetings that are solemn and reverent and far above the scope of what anyone under 15 has had time to absorb, theologically speaking.

    An unsupervised 8 year old will probably do any number of nonsensical and child-like things, including trusting some sketchy individual who promises them something they want; get distracted and miss the damn plane altogether and then not know what to do; hurt themselves and then who is liable? Would the airline take responsibility? I bet not. I’m amazed that that ‘father’ would do that. Maybe the kid is a jet-setter of long standing though, and we, as on-lookers don’t know that or the kid has a minder hiding discreetly at a distance.

    I hope you don’t mind my dollar’s worth of comment (instead of the two cents)…but that is a hot button topic for me as well. Have a great day! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly right !

      All I could think about was his crocodile tears, and then rushing off because he couldn’t handle the fact that she was leaving. Seriously. Get your sh*t together and be the adult for your child. Don’t burden them with your emotions, and don’t leave them to fend for themselves.

      As for the adult functions at your Church – maybe you can tell them (presuming that you have confirmation about age 13) that the age limit should be raised?

      While it’s all well and good for you to not attend sessions that will frustrate you, it’s also important to raise the issue of why you’re more absent. Just my 2 cents. Meanwhile, you feel free to hijack away, any time you like.


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