Indian Kid rules the Sky!
My friend and his wife were quite worried while waiting at the Mumbai airport. Their 6 year old son was to fly on his own to India from the States!
Several years ago, my friend, Amol, had taken his young kid to visit his sister in US. His wife, who was to accompany could not go due to some emergency in her family. The plan was to spend 1 month and then return. They had a great time in New York, climbing the Liberty Lady and many of the tall towers, then next few exciting days were spent in Washington. The plan was to go to Disneyland the following week.
Then came the day when Amol got called back to India urgently. The kid was absolutely crushed. He was so looking forward to Disneyland. Amol’s sister suggested that he might consider leaving his son back, seeing how her own children had struck a great friendship with their cousin so quickly. But it wasn’t possible for Amol to return again in a few days. His brother-in-law said that he had heard from his friend who had experienced Lufthansa’s initiative for unaccompanied children and how well they take care of the kid right from the word go. In fact several thousand children traveled alone every year on Lufthansa. Amol’s first reaction was “No Way!”. His kid was now almost in tears.
After much cajoling he had an extensive discussion with LH and eventually agreed. “You should have seen my son’s face brightening, when I broke this news.” He told me later. Of course, his wife was not particularly happy with this decision. However he went to the local LH office and filled up the required form and paid the nominal fees for Unaccompanied Minor Service and returned to India.
A few weeks later on the appointed day, after enjoying the holidays, the boy was brought to the Airport and informed the airlines crew of the unaccompanied status. One of the ground staff was immediately assigned to take care of the young flyer. Right from check-in, immigration to boarding one LH woman staffer was with him and handed over to the flight attendant nearest to his seat.
The boy was a bit apprehensive in the beginning and then slowly began to take it in his stride. He was pampered with toys, drawing books, chocolates, goodies and special kids menu. He probably enjoyed the flight a lot more than when traveling with parents!
Always just a call away the flight attendant ensured the kid was comfortable at all times. Once they landed at Frankfurt for a change flight he was again handed over to the local ground staff who took him to a special kids play zone. Many hours had passed, the boy had started missing the parents and the usual bustle at the airport was too awe-inspiring for the boy. He would not let go of the attendant’s hands at all. Then the next flight was announced and the whole process was repeated.
After many hours of playing, eating, sleeping and enjoying, the flight landed at the Mumbai airport. The boy was handed over to the dedicated ground staff to take him through all the processes, and hand him over to the anxious parents waiting outside.
On seeing his parents he bounded happily and was talking twenty to the dozen that it was some time before they could understand what was being said. He was saying “I am going again next year to the US alone for my holidays by the same flight”.
Well, he probably went a couple of more times and after this I have learnt of many more Indian kids on board, who have made use of this fantastic service by Lufthansa.
Recently I heard of this yet another brave Indian boy, Yashas, who will not only travel on Lufthansa but also has been selected to make an in-flight announcement ! He achieved this by winning a keenly contested competition, which had participants from 9 different countries. Have a look at this video.
I wonder what he will say! Probably “Mera Bharat Mahan”. 🙂
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Kudos to these brave kids! I could have not travelled alone at that age at all!
Same here. These kids are very smart. 🙂
Wow, what a brave kid. I flew by myself when I was 14 and that was quite scary (though I didn’t go with the accompanied minor program). I’m sure the little kiddo was beaming with confidence when he got off the plane 🙂
The kids these days are very smart, thanks to technology and internet and of course several other factors.
I was of your age when I traveled alone but not by plane. 🙂
It’s funny how the world grows smaller and we get older. At his age I would have been a mess flying that distance by myself. Yet when my son was his age, quite happy to put him on a plane to see his grandparents. When I say happy, until you know they are there, as a parent you are worrying the whole time.
I absolutely agree with you on this. Time had changed and kids have become more smarter.
Well in this day and age, kids are growing up to be smart!
Great to read 🙂
I don’t usually come across articles like these, but I wish I did! What a wonderful initiative by Lufthansa, it opens up so many opportunities for children to travel if their parents can’t be around all the time. Lufthansa has definitely gone up my list of favourite airlines with this. 🙂
It has done it before also.
I like Lufthansa for many reasons. 🙂
What a sweet story – I always was envious of kids who got to fly alone when I was growing up – I think there was a movie or two about kids gone wild in airports, which looked like a blast! But in all truth, I think it’s fantastic when an airline shows this kind of caring and compassion!
I think we should give some credit to TV etc also. Today’s child is much smarter than us. 🙂
Thanks, Nisha, for making me aware of this great initiative by Lufthansa. Still, it’ll be difficult for most Indian parents to let their young ones at such tender age to travel on their own. 🙂
You are wrong Ravish. No parent will let go the chance of flying high. 🙂
India is changing!
kids today are much smarter than previous generations.. and Yashas is one smart boy..
I agree! 😀
Ah this is pretty amazing. real dose of inspiration for the day, brought a smile on my face 🙂
I think its great that airlines have these initiatives that help children travel on their own bravo.
Yeah, its a great booster.
What a courageous boy! (and parents too!) Got me thinking on how over protective we tend to be.
Great to hear that airlines offer this kind of service. Huge responsibility on their side.
Yes, the time has changed considerably. 🙂
Thanks for dropping by.
That’s so awesome! I would have loved to do this too (when I was younger) but I bet my parents would have never let me go. Yikes. :))
Even mine would have refused. 😀
Such a bright kid, Yashas, I am sure he is going to have an experience of a lifetime!
I am sure too!
Let’s wish him luck. 🙂
Interesting initiative from Lufthansa! They have stepped up their hospitality. I don’t have a kid yet and I can’t imagine how apprehensive I would be as a mother imagining my child traveling from one continent to another alone but I hope this post and other reviews online will be reassuring! This will open more doors for cultural exchanges at a young age! Thanks for sharing this, Nisha!
You are welcome.
I know how protective parents could be. This is really a great initiative.
Its interesting!! I travelled alone at the age of 20 but felt very scary.I think nowadays children grew much more as we expected and they are very fit mentally!!
First time is always scary!
And today’s kids are super smart. Don’t worry.