Clear-cut Airline Rules for Lone Kids on Board

International airlines have a well-defined policy for allowing unaccompanied minors to fly, known by its acronym "UM."

Under these regulations, children under 5 are not allowed to fly alone. Children between the ages of 5 and 11 must be accompanied by a flight attendant to and from the plane. Such escorts are available, for a price, for minors.

The minor's flight ticket and passport are transferred to the flight attendant, or held in a special pouch hanging around the child's neck. The parent or guardian sending the minor must sign documents allowing him or her to fly alone.

During the flight, the attendant is expected to supervise the minor. Before landing, the adult collecting the child must show identification and sign the appropriate documents.

El Al representatives said in response, "El Al has clear procedures for flying unaccompanied minors, and operates according to them. If we receive precise information about the dates of the children's flights, we will be able to check whether they flew with El Al."

A month ago, a 10-year-old boy was left at Ben-Gurion International Airport when the plane he was scheduled to take to Copenhagen took off without him.