[ the information I'm looking for may be outdated in today ]
Searched: 'children travelling alone', 'children travelling alone from Canada to America in 2000', 'toddlers on air planes', 'toddlers air travel 2000', and a variety of the above. I have looked at Aircanada.com's current policies, where I was informed that: booking for a child travelling alone (age 5 to 11) is the youngest I can go.
I have also looked at the travel information at Greyhound.ca, where I found: Children under the age of eight must be accompanied by someone age 15 years or older. An unaccompanied child is a passenger between the ages of eight and 14 years old [...].
I want: simply put, I need to get a three-year-old boy from Ottawa to Chicago, either by bus or by plane or, if that fails, in a friend of the family's car.
- The boy is an American citizen
- Person A, who is not related to the boy and has no custody of him, would be putting him on the bus/plane in Ottawa
- Person B, who is not related to the boy and has no custody of him, either, would be picking him up in Chicago
Is this at all possible? Is there something like an escort service for children, that can be booked in Ottawa, to accompany such a young child from one country into the other? If so, what kind of papers would they need, who would have to sign them, and specifically, when? This is for a fictional setting, so I guess I could stretch the boundaries a little, but I don't want to snap them.
If no 'official way' exists, how feasible is it that Person A packs up the kid and a couple of sandwiches and then drives all the way from Ottawa to Chicago in their own car; specifically, would they run into any trouble at the border? What kind of identification papers would a child of this age have? The boy in question is not being abducted or otherwise mistreated; Person A is a friend of Person B, and they're both friends of the boy's family. The idea is that the kid stayed with Person A in Canada for a couple of days while his parents had something to do in Chicago they didn't want him around for, so now Person A wants to get the kid to Person B, so Person B can then deliver said kid to his parents a day or two later. In other words, how thoroughly do the border guards really check if the grinning kid in the back-seat is really your kid?
I'll take personal experience ( "Had 15 kids piled up to the ceiling, guards didn't even blink" / "Guards all but demanded DNA proof that this was my kid!" ) and official ( "this is a website with the information you need" ) stuff. :)
Thanks in advance!