Safeguarding Unaccompanied Minors
July 2, 2019
The multi-month, cross divisional effort to safeguard the high volume of unaccompanied minors entrusted to the care of our corporation places Flight Attendants in the most critical of positions. In order to execute on all of this work, there is simply nothing that can take the place of our oversight and commitment.
A critical component of our oversight and commitment to arguably our most valued customers is the importance of good communication and ensuring that each UMNR receives a good briefing, specific safety instructions and consistent guidance on arrival at their destination.
As career safety professionals, we understand our role in the safe passage of UMNRs comes from the consistent delivery of service resulting from solidly delivering on the procedures that have been put in place by the corporation.
After all customers have disembarked the aircraft, Flight Attendants escort UMNRs off the aircraft to the jet bridge door and the CSR who should be waiting for the transfer of custody. If you are faced with a decision of ensuring the transfer of custody of a UMNR to the CSR or potentially delaying the operation, there is no question – care of the UMNR takes priority.
The maximum number of UMNRs is limited to six (6) per flight and it’s always a good idea to alert the CSR on arrival of the number of UMNRs you have traveling with you. We have a designated seating zone at the rear of the aircraft which provides three Flight Attendants to direct access to assist UMNRs at any point during the flight where they might require our assistance. For some of our UMNRs, her/his flight may be their first flight with United while for others, they are frequent flyers. Because of this, those who fly frequently may have more confidence about how the system works and where they are going they might not understand why it is so important that we take them off the airplane. However, maintaining custody and getting the UMNR to the CSR and ultimately the child’s parents or guardian is our prime objective. Whether a frequent traveler or a first time flyer, as Flight Attendants we have the single greatest opportunity to make their flight the experience of a life time – and we do.