Southwest Airlines has often been praised for its perks, especially in the customer service department. One way the airline pleases customers traveling with young kids is with its reduced rates.
Children 11 years old and younger can travel for a discount on most flights when accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Be prepared to show identification documents to receive the discounted fare.
Children traveling as unaccompanied minors may not qualify for these reduced fares but also need the proper verifying ID documents.
Age Verification Requirements
Passengers traveling on a infant or child's fare must complete the age-verification process to take advantage of Southwest's online check-in program.
A copy of the child's government issued ID, listing her age, such as a birth certificate or passport, must be mailed to Southwest's customer relations office along with her Rapid Rewards or My Southwest account number at least two weeks before the flight.
A confirmation letter is mailed to the child once her age has been verified and she is eligible for online check-in.
Enrollment into the Rapid Rewards and My Southwest programs, as well as the customer relations mailing address, are available through Southwest's website.
Child's Identification Requirements at the Airport
Travelers who prefer not to mail a copy of their child's identification documents or do not have two weeks remaining before a Southwest flight must present the child's identification documents at the airport, when the child is traveling on a discounted ticket.
Proof of age, such as a birth certificate or other form of government-issued identification, listing the child's birth date must be presented to a Southwest customer service agent before your child is able to check in for his flight.
Unaccompanied Minor Requirements
Unaccompanied minors, children between the ages of 5 and 11 traveling without a passenger who is at least 12 years old, must present a government-issued form of identification listing age, such as a birth certificate upon arrival at the airport. The adult escorting the child to the gate must also present a government-issued photo ID before the child is accepted for the flight.
The adult meeting the unaccompanied minor at her final destination must also present a valid government-issued photo ID before Southwest will release the child.
Children and teenagers younger than age 18 traveling on a full price ticket are not required to verify their age at check-in or when boarding a Southwest flight.
Infants who are younger than 14 days old are required to travel with a medical release from their doctor in addition to any required forms of identification, regardless of the child's ticket price or status as a free-lap child.
Unaccompanied minors connecting to a second airline must ensure they are traveling with identification to meet the requirements of both Southwest and the other airline, as requirements vary.