Flying to Bold Earth
Travel Planning and What to Expect on Opening Day
Every trip’s arrival and departure windows are a little different, but on U.S. trips, your student will typically arrive in the morning on opening day. On international trips, our windows are more flexible due to time zone differences. Please check your trip’s travel specifics for booking flights to and from Bold Earth.
Here are a few tips to create the very best opening day for your child:
- Arrive at the airport early to ensure your child doesn’t miss his/her flight.
- Students should dress comfortably on opening day.
- Even if your child doesn’t fly as an unaccompanied minor, you may still be able to get a gate pass from the check-in desk to go through security and walk your child to the gate.
- Please pack important items, like ID/passport, medication, wallet, and phone charger together in a Ziploc bag to reduce the chances of those items getting lost.
Meeting Bold Earth trip leaders at the airport
Trip leaders will be at the airport before the first student arrives. For students not flying as unaccompanied minors, they should follow the signs to baggage claim. Trip leaders will be waiting right outside of security and wearing their brightly colored Bold Earth T-shirts. Students will have the trip leaders’ cell phone numbers before airport day in case of confusion.
For students traveling as unaccompanied minors (please see below for more information about UM status), a trip leader will greet your student at the gate when he/she steps off the plane. Sometimes we may be a few minutes late due to several students’ flights arriving at the same time.
Safe arrival notification
Each student will call home upon arrival so parents will know they’ve arrived safely. This usually takes place after your child has met with our group and collected his/her bags. Please expect up to an hour between the time your child’s flight lands and his/her phone call home to you. Trip leaders will then collect all electronics, medications, valuables, and IDs/passports.
When a child travels as an UM, it means you will pay an extra fee (often $150+ each way, but varies with each airline) for your child to have an escort the entire length of his/her travel. You will receive a gate pass at check-in to accompany your child behind security to the gate, where an airline official will then walk your child down to his/her seat on the plane (they’re usually required to sit in the back of the plane). Once the plane lands at your child’s arrival destination, a flight attendant will escort your child off the plane and stay with him/her until a designated Bold Earth trip leader arrives at the gate to sign the appropriate paperwork for the airlines to release your child to us. Most of our students prefer NOT to travel as an UM. Here is unaccompanied minor information for American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, and Southwest Airlines.