Kids Take a Southwest Flight Just for Fun – No One Stops Them – Parents Angry

Bored Kids Fly Solo

It’s the dog days of summer and you’re 15 years old and bored. What do you do?

Why not get on a plane!

That’s what a Jacksonville area teen and her two friends aged 13 and 11 did Tuesday. They figured they’d fly to Nashville and see Dollywood. Of course!


Find Your Own Cheap Flight to Nashville (or Anywhere Else)

Destination: Dollywood

Great plan except for one thing: Dollywood is 214 miles away from Nashville, in Pigeon Forge, and the kids couldn’t figure out how to get there. After all, none of them was old enough to drive.

And that’s another thing; none of them had ID – and their understandably irate parents wondered how Southwest could sell them tickets and let them fly, and how the TSA could let them through security.

Kids Can Fly Without Much Scrutiny

Easy. They had the money to buy the tickets (the 15 year old was saving for a car, but inexplicably blew it on three airfares). And, if you’re over 12, Southwest says you can fly without a parent, and if you’re younger than 12 (as one of our heroes was), they are not considered an “unaccompanied minor” if they travel with someone older than 12.

As for the TSA, well kids 17 and under don’t need IDs.

Take the Poll

Anyway, once they got to Nashville and figured out that Dollywood was out of the question, they called home and spoke to their surprised parents. Then flew home.

See the ABC Good Morning America story on the solo fliers below. Then, take our poll – and tell us what those parents should have said to their kids.


What Would You Have Done in This Situation?

Time for our poll. If none of these responses is quite what you want to say, well drop us a line – we’d love to hear from you.


Published: August 13, 2010