Southwest Airlines Unaccompanied Minor Policy

Southwest Airlines Minor Policy

Southwest Airlines has a policy for children who are traveling alone. They promise to give your child extra help and take good care of them while they are on the ground and in the airplane. 

In this article, we will explain the rules and guidelines you should know before arranging travel for minors. We will also cover topics such as the minor travel fee, how the travel process works, and more. 

About Southwest Unaccompanied Minor Policy

According to Southwest Airlines’ policy for minors, children between the ages of 5 and 11 can fly alone if they are not accompanied by someone who is at least 12 years old. However, there is an additional fee called the unaccompanied minor travel fee that needs to be paid along with the airfare. In addition to this, there are other guidelines that you should be aware of:

Before Travel

  • If you’re traveling with unaccompanied minors on Southwest, you will need to pay an extra fee of $50 for each one-way trip or $100 for a round trip, in addition to the cost of their airfare.
  • You can get a refund for the fees charged for unaccompanied minors. If your flight gets canceled and the child who is traveling alone doesn’t want to travel anymore or doesn’t want to reschedule, or if the child is now accompanied by an adult who is 12 years or older and is no longer considered an unaccompanied minor, you can get a refund by contacting the customer service number or going to the ticket counter at the airport.
  • If you want to book a flight ticket for a minor child, you need to declare that you are either their parent or guardian or that you have the authority to act on behalf of the parent or guardian. This is in accordance with the Southwest Airlines policy for unaccompanied minors.
  • Airlines can choose not to let children travel alone on flights that are changed or canceled because of bad weather or other technical problems.
  • To travel as an Unaccompanied Minor, you need to bring a birth certificate or another valid form of identification for the child to prove their age at the ticket counter.
  • To check-in or pick up an unaccompanied minor, a parent or guardian needs to give an airline executive a valid photo ID issued by the government. 
  • Children traveling alone can only fly on flights that do not have any layovers or require changing planes. Parents or guardians should avoid booking flights with connections or late-night flights for children between the ages of 5 and 11 who are traveling alone. 
  • The airline does not provide services for children traveling alone outside of the United States. 

Dropping Off the Unaccompanied Minor:

  • Children who are traveling alone need to be accompanied to the departure gate 45 minutes before their scheduled departure time. Parents or guardians who bring their child to the boarding gate must remain in that area until the flight departs.
  • The airline representative will call for unaccompanied minors to board the plane before everyone else. The parent or guardian who is dropping off the child must follow the instructions to hand them over and help them board the flight.

When a Flight is Boarded by a Child Traveling Alone:

  • After you get on the plane, the flight attendant will keep an eye on or talk to kids who are traveling alone from time to time while they also do other tasks. The young passengers are not watched all the time during the flight. 
  • The flight representative will not accompany children who are traveling alone when they leave or arrive at the airport.
  • The airline is not responsible for what the unaccompanied minor does or how they behave. 

Picking Up the Unaccompanied Minor 

  • To make it easier for the designated parties to transfer the unaccompanied minor, the parents and guardians who are meeting the child should arrive at the gate 45 minutes before the scheduled arrival time. They will need to show a valid photo ID issued by the government to the airline representative.
  • The airlines will only give an unaccompanied minor to the parent or guardian who has been chosen. They won’t give them to anyone else. Before the child arrives, the parent or guardian needs to talk to the airline staff at the ticket counter to change the approved person who will be there to greet the child.
  • If the person you authorized to meet the unaccompanied minor doesn’t greet them when they arrive at the destination airport, the airline can take appropriate action as needed. The parents or guardians will need to pay the airlines for the costs of travel and administrative expenses if they decide to take action.

Southwest Airlines ID Requirements

According to Southwest Airlines’ policy for unaccompanied minors, it is generally suggested that parents or guardians who are checking in a child traveling alone should arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before the scheduled departure time. Avoid scheduling time just to quickly leave your child at the airport entrance or ticket counter. 

Make sure to give yourself extra time in case there is heavy traffic or long lines at the check-in counter.  You might need more time to fill out the Southwest Airlines form for unaccompanied minors, wait in line at security, and bring the children to the gate before pre-boarding.

At the airport, you will need to follow these steps and provide all the required information during the check-in process.

Please provide the address and contact number of the parents or guardians who will be greeting the unaccompanied child. 

Please make sure to provide the contact number for the parents or guardians at both the starting and ending locations. Airlines need to update passengers in case there are flight delays or changes to the schedule. This is why it is necessary. 

Please provide the complete schedule for the child’s trip, including dates, names of the airlines, flight numbers, departure and arrival times, and the PNR number. 

Proof of Age: Govt ID and Birth Certificate

Receipts of a Minor Fee: The Southwest unaccompanied minor fee is charged when you book or purchase your flights through the airline’s customer service. The parents or guardians need to have the receipts for the fee charged for services provided to the minor. 

How Do I Book a Southwest Airlines Flight for a Minor?

Passengers can choose to book flights for children traveling alone online, through the airline’s customer service center, or at the airport. Before you book a flight for an unaccompanied minor (UMNR) with Southwest Airlines, make sure you understand their policy for minors. Here are the methods you can use to book the flight. 

Online Method:

You can book a flight for minors on whenever it is convenient for you:

  • When you reach the checkout page, you will need to pay the Southwest minor fee along with the cost of the airfare.
  • Once you finish booking, the airline will send you a form for unaccompanied minors from Southwest. 
  • Please complete the form. You can find the contact number and address of the parents and guardians when you check in and pick up your booking. It will be shown in the manage booking section.

Through Phone Number:

To book a flight with Southwest Airlines and arrange for a child to travel alone, you can easily do so by calling their customer service. They will assist you in making the booking and ensuring that the child is properly taken care of during the trip.

Once you finish booking, the airline executive will complete the minor form for you. To meet the Southwest Airlines ID requirements for minors, you must provide the necessary information using your registered email address. 

At the Airport

You can pay for the Southwest Airlines minor travel at the airport up to 3 hours before the scheduled departure time. When you book with the airport executive, make sure you have these documents easily accessible: 

  • Print the reservation confirmation and boarding pass.
  • A copy of the minor’s birth certificate (Southwest identification for minors).
  • A copy of the Southwest minor flying alone form. 

Southwest Unaccompanied Minor Fee/Cost

To utilize the program for unaccompanied minors, you must pay the adult fare plus the Southwest Airlines unaccompanied minor fee. The one-way fee is $50 per passenger. For the return flight, you must pay double the cost. The overview of the levy, per the policy, comprises the following: 

Age LimitTravel PermittedMinor Service Fees
4 Years and YoungerNot PermittedNot Applicable
Between 5 and 11 YearPermitted50 One Way, 100 for Round Trip
Between 11 and 17 YearPermitted50 One Way, 100 for Round Trip

We recognize that you may be concerned about your children traveling alone. This worry is perfectly reasonable. Your young infant will have the opportunity to travel independently and safely through Southwest’s minor travel program, allowing you to relax. 


Can Children Travel Alone on Southwest Airlines?

Yes, kids aged 5 to 11 can fly alone on Southwest Airlines. If they are traveling alone, they will be considered unaccompanied minors. This means they will need extra help and supervision from the airline.

Is There a Fee for Unaccompanied Minors on Southwest Airlines?

Yes, you will need to pay an extra fee for unaccompanied minors when traveling, in addition to the cost of the plane ticket. The cost is $50 for a single trip or $100 for a round trip.

What Are the Requirements for Dropping Off and Picking Up Unaccompanied Minors?

Parents or guardians need to be with the child at the departure gate 45 minutes before the scheduled departure time. The person who is supposed to pick up the child needs to come to the gate 45 minutes before the scheduled arrival time. They should also bring a valid photo ID issued by the government.

How Do I Book a Southwest Airlines Flight for a Minor?

To book a flight for a child traveling alone, you have three options: you can do it online through the Southwest Airlines website, call their customer service center, or go to the airport. You need to pay the unaccompanied minor fee when you book your flight, along with the airfare.

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