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The airport is a stressful place. There are a lot of queues, too many people rushing around and you're constantly trying to think of that thing you've left at home by mistake.
By the looks of things it's only going to get worse, thanks to strict procedures that mean parents who have different surnames to their children will have to allow for extra delays.
The controls are getting tighter and checks more frequent to protect children and safe-guard against abduction and smuggling, so it's ultimately a good thing - although it might not seem that way if you're affected.
The child might be travelling with a relative who doesn't share their surname, they might be on a school trip or with a friend's family. If so, there is every chance proof of identity will be requested.
Of course, if you're at the airport, chances are that you're going to have your passport with you - otherwise you've forgotten the most important thing. But Mumsnet has put together some more suggestions to ensure your trip through the airport goes as smoothly as possible.
First of all you can check the procedures of your chosen airline to see what they require you to have with you, in order to ensure your journey is as seamless as it can be.
Then you can check with your embassy - and the embassy of the country you're travelling to - because the requirements are different all over the world.
You should also ensure you have all your relevant documents. The passports will be a given (hopefully) but it would also be wise to pack birth certificates and marriage certificates to 'prove' who you are.
You could then also pack a consent letter to show that the child has permission to travel from their parent(s) or guardian(s) who aren't accompanying them.
According to the Sun, this is especially helpful if the child's parents are separated and one parent wants to take their son/daughter on holiday.
These letters aren't a legal requirement but could offer further assistance and may even be requested by immigration when entering or leaving the foreign country.
If you are getting one of these letters written or are writing one yourself, it would be wise to provide as much detail as possible - and sign it, including the date. It has also been suggested that having it witnessed and notarised would be helpful.
If you're in a situation where the child's parent can't be reached, you should apply to court for permission.
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