Check Unaccompanied Minor Policy
Southwest Airlines Unaccompanied Minor policy outlines the procedures and rules for children aged between 5 and 11 years who are traveling alone, i.e., without an accompanying passenger aged at least 12 years old.
If you plan to book a travel with or for an Unaccompanied Minor, you can get complete information on the Southwest Unaccompanied Minor rules below, on their official website.
When planning a journey for an Unaccompanied Minor, please note that Southwest Airlines allows such children to travel only on nonstop or same-plane services. These services are those that do not necessitate a change of flight or flight number. Also, the airline does not permit Unaccompanied Minors to travel to or from international destinations. As a special rule, flights between the mainland U.S. and Hawaii are subject to further procedures, which you can learn about by contacting the airline directly.
The process to book a ticket for an Unaccompanied Minor is straightforward. During the reservation, it is mandatory to indicate your relationship with the child. Whether you are the child's parent, guardian, or you have the authority to act on behalf of the child's parent or guardian, the airline needs this information.
It's necessary to provide proof of age for the child you are booking for. Recognized forms of proof include a birth certificate or any other valid identification document. This proof of age must be presented at the check-in counter. Additionally, a valid government-issued photo ID is required for the person dropping off and picking up the minors flying Southwest, at the airport.
The Unaccompanied Minors service with Southwest Airlines can be booked in one of the following two ways:
Alternatively, go to Southwest Airlines Reservations to book a Southwest flight for your unaccompanied minor.
The adult accompanying the minors flying Southwest must escort the child to the departure gate and remain there until the flight's take-off. The airline requires the guardian or parent to be at the departure gate at least 45 minutes prior to the departure time.
Similarly, for the pick-up process, the designated person must arrive at the gate at least 45 minutes before the scheduled arrival time of the flight. They must show a valid government identification like issued photo ID to the Southwest Airlines Representative to receive the Unaccompanied Minor.
Check the Southwest Airlines Check-in policy.
When you make a reservation for your minor child, you must provide the following essential details:
The Southwest Unaccompanied Minor services are allowed to be used by minors flying Southwest, aged 5-14. Southwest Unaccompanied Minor fee is $150 each way, in addition to the ticket price. This fee covers additional siblings on the same flight.
Here is a table of Southwest Airlines' unaccompanied minor age and restrictions in 2023:
|Age Group||Age Restrictions|
|5-14||Must use the unaccompanied minor service|
|15-17||Can use the unaccompanied minor service, but not required|
|All ages||Must be checked in at least 2 hours before departure|
|All ages||Must have a valid passport or birth certificate|
|All ages||Must be accompanied by an adult to the gate|
|All ages||Must be met by an adult at the gate at their destination|
|All ages||Cannot change flights|
|All ages||Cannot check bags|
|All ages||Cannot sit in an exit row|
|All ages||Cannot travel on flights between 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM|
|All ages||Cannot travel on flights with a layover of more than 2 hours|
|All ages||Cannot travel on flights connecting to another airline|
*Note: A minor within the age group 2-14 can travel as an accompanied minor with someone 16 and older.
|Unaccompanied Minor Service||$50 each way ($100 for a round trip)||Service fee is refundable if the flight is cancelled and not rebooked|
|Request for Refund||N/A||Refunds can be requested by calling Southwest Airlines at +1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792) or at the airport ticket counter|
Southwest Airlines has outlined several guidelines to ensure the safety and security of Unaccompanied Minors. The parent or guardian dropping off the minor must arrive at the airport well in advance to allow ample time for the check-in process, security checks, and other formalities.
The child will be given a lanyard at the ticket counter, which they must wear around their neck at all times during the journey. The person dropping off the child must stay in the gate area until the flight has departed.
Also, both you and the person picking up the child should be available for phone calls during the flight in case of any unexpected changes or issues with the flight.
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