Southwest Airlines Unaccompanied Minor Policy

Southwest Airlines Unaccompanied Minor Policy

Introduction to Southwest Airlines Unaccompanied Minor Policy

Southwest Airlines Unaccompanied Minor Policy: Southwest Airlines understands the needs and the concerns of the family traveling with unaccompanied minors. To ensure the safety and comfort of the young minor travellers, the airlines has updated the “Southwest Airlines Minor Policy”.

In the article below, we shall be reading the highlights of the policy including the age restrictions, booking methods, safety concerns, fees and more.

Southwest Airlines Minor Policy – Overview

Here are some key highlights of the Southwest Airlines Young Traveler terms and conditions:

  • When traveling alone (that is, without a companion who is at least 12 years old), children ages 5 through 11 must fly on Southwest Airlines as Unaccompanied Minors (UMs).
  • When traveling, Unaccompanied minors are not kept under constant observation. Southwest Airlines only allows unaccompanied minors to travel if they are old enough to travel with little adult supervision.
  • Southwest Airlines Unaccompanied Minor Fees and Charges are refundable:
    • if you cancel a reservation and the Unaccompanied Minor does not travel
    • if the flight is canceled and you decide not to rebook, or
    • if the child is joined by an accompanying passenger who is traveling as an Unaccompanied Minor and is no longer traveling.
  • As per the policy, you must declare that you are the child’s parent or guardian or that you have the legal right to act in that capacity when booking a reservation.
  • Southwest Airlines can refuse to transport unaccompanied minors if they cancel or divert a flight due to weather or other operational issues.
  • At the check-in counter, you will need to present proof of age, such as a birth certificate or other official identification.
  • The parent or guardian must physically show a valid government-issued photo ID to check in or retrieve an unaccompanied minor.
  • To make it easier for the designated parties to transfer the Unaccompanied Minor, all information requested during the booking process must be true and complete.
  • Only nonstop or same-plane services that don’t need changing flights or flight numbers are available to unaccompanied minors.
  • Permission to fly to or from international destinations is not given to minor traveling alone, as per the Southwest Airlines Unaccompanied Minor International Flights
  • The young traveler needs to follow some extra processes for the flights from the US mainland to Hawaii.
  • The parent or legal guardian is required to accompany the minor child to the departure gate at least 45 minutes before take-off and stay there until the aircraft takes off.
  • In order to take custody of the unaccompanied minor, the parent or legal guardian picking up the minor kid must arrive at the gate at least 45 minutes before the planned arrival time and present the Southwest Airlines Representative with a valid government-issued photo ID.
  • Southwest Airlines is permitted to take any reasonable and necessary measures under the circumstances in the event that the Unaccompanied Minor’s trip is disrupted or if the person or persons designated fail to meet the Unaccompanied Minor upon arrival at the destination airport. The guardian or parent consents to pay back Southwest Airlines for any costs involved in bringing about this action.

Southwest Airlines Traveling Alone for Children –  Eligibility Criteria

Children can have a lot of fun on trips, but when it comes to unaccompanied minors, Southwest Airlines has certain age limits and standards in place to protect their safety and well-being.

Southwest Airlines Unaccompanied Minor Age Limit

Southwest Airlines Unaccompanied Minor vs Young Traveler :

An unaccompanied minor must be between the ages of 5 and 11 in order to travel alone with Southwest Airlines. Within this age range, kids can become more independent while still getting the assistance and guidance they need from the airline’s compassionate crew.

Young Travelers (YTs) are children traveling alone between the ages of 12 and 17. Passengers who are unaccompanied and between the ages of 12 and 17 are exempt from Southwest Airlines Unaccompanied Minor (UMs) regulations.

A Young Traveler needs to be mature enough and capable enough to handle all aspects of traveling on their own, such as checking in, getting through security, boarding, getting off the plane, and retrieving luggage.

Note: Kids less than 5 are not allowed to go alone.

Southwest Airlines Unaccompanied Minor Reservation Information

The following are the Southwest Airlines ID Requirements for Minors that must be provided when booking a reservation for your minor child:

  • The entire name of the unaccompanied minor
  • Your connection to the Unaccompanied Minor
  • Address of the Unaccompanied Minority
  • Phone number and area code of the Unaccompanied Minority
  • The date of birth of the unaccompanied minor
  • Information about how the parent or guardian will deliver and pick up the unaccompanied minor; 
  • Information on the parent or guardian’s drop-off and pick-up of the unaccompanied minor,
  • contact information of a substitute designated at the unaccompanied minor’s destination

The parent or guardian of the unaccompanied minor must fill out and sign the Unaccompanied Minor Form in addition to giving the required information. This form provides essential information regarding the child’s travels and acts as a communication tool between the airline and the child’s caregiver.

It includes all the important details, like emergency contacts, specific instructions, medical issues, and any extra help the child could need while flying.

Southwest Airlines Booking and Boarding Process for Unaccompanied Minors

For minors, aged five to eleven who are flying alone, you can reserve a ticket in one of the following ways:

Online Booking

With Southwest Airlines, scheduling a flight for an unaccompanied youngster is a simple procedure. Parents and guardians only need to choose the “Unaccompanied Minors” option and follow the instructions when making an online reservation.

Once you submit the young passenger’s information and complete the checkout process, you will be prompted to confirm if the youngster will be traveling with an adult.  If not, then the passenger shall be termed as an Unaccompanied minor.

Schedule the unaccompanied minors flight as soon as feasible. This guarantees their seat and gives them enough time to make any necessary pre-travel arrangements.

By Phone

To book the flight by phone, kindly call +1-866-414-1886

At Southwest Airlines’ airport ticket counter 

 To book a Southwest Airlines Unaccompanied Minor flight, you can simply visit the airport ticket counter. You need to provide them with the necessary details and documents to reserve a flight on your behalf.

Note: If you book the flight over the phone or at the airport, you need to inform the employee that the child on the reservation is an unaccompanied minor and indicate the child’s age.

When making a reservation for an unaccompanied minor, you’ll need to pay a Southwest Airlines unaccompanied minor service charge and provide the details mentioned above.

As soon as your Southwest Airlines Flight Reservation is confirmed, you will get a confirmation email regarding the booking. The person assigned to pick up or drop off the child must have the confirmation number. It is so required to carry out the easy drop-off and pick up of the minor.

Southwest Airlines Unaccompanied Minor Fees and Rules

Southwest Airlines charges a price for the unaccompanied minor service, just like many other airlines do. The unaccompanied minor cost is $50 per one-way flight. The passenger must pay this cost at the time of booking, and it is in addition to the regular airfare.

Unaccompanied Minors Age at the Time of TravelTravel PermittedUnaccompanied Minors Service Fees
0-4 YearsNot PermittedNot Applicable
5-11 YearsPermitted50 USD for One-way,
100 USD for round trip
12-17 YearsPermitted50 USD for One-way,
100 USD for round trip

Note: Remember that this charge can change at any time, so for the most recent details, visit Southwest Airlines’ official website. You can also get in touch with our customer support.

Southwest Airlines Unaccompanied Minor Refund

In all cases listed below, the unaccompanied minor fee is refundable:

  • The reservation is canceled, and the unaccompanied minor is not allowed to travel.
  • The flight operated by UM is canceled, and you decide not to rebook.
  • The child is no longer traveling alone as they are joined by a companion passenger who is at least 12 years old.

Southwest Airlines Unaccompanied Minor Tips

There are some tips and guidelines for the unaccompanied minor and the parent/guardian to follow.

Prior to Airport

  • Provide copies of the child’s itinerary to the person picking them up in the destination city as well as the youngster themselves.
  • If the child’s flight falls during a mealtime, pack food or snacks in case they become hungry.
  • To keep track of the status of your child’s flight, download the Southwest app.
  • Make sure to charge the child’s electronic device, before departing for the airport. The majority of our planes do not currently have in-seat electricity.
  • Give the child the phone number of the person picking them up.

At the airport

  • Arrive early at the airport.
  • Consult Southwest’s recommended arrival times at the airport.
  • Get extra time for parking, obtaining an escort pass, picking up the Unaccompanied Minor’s lanyard at the ticket booth, going through security, checking in, and other activities.
  • Head to the ticket counter for Southwest Airlines.
  • The minor who is traveling alone will receive a lanyard.
  • To accompany the little child past the security checkpoint, pick up your escort pass.
  • Make sure you have these files in order to finish the check-in procedure:
    • The itinerary of the unaccompanied minor.
    • evidence of age, like a birth certificate.
    • your ID from the government.
  • Arrive at the gate at least forty-five minutes before the scheduled takeoff time.
  • Tell the Southwest Airlines employee that you are dropping off an unaccompanied minor after checking in with them.
  • Before boarding begins, the unaccompanied minor will preboard and be introduced to a flight attendant.
  • Up until the Unaccompanied Minor’s aircraft takes off, you are required to remain in the gate area.
  • Notify the Southwest Airlines unaccompanied minor guardian or parent that the flight has taken off.

While in Flight

  • When their duties permit, a flight attendant will regularly check on the child. But they won’t keep an eye on them the entire voyage.
  • The child should wear the UM lanyard all the time.
  • The youngster must follow the employee’s instructions, particularly the one about fastening a seatbelt.
  • In the case of flight irregularity, make sure you and the parent/guardian are ready to take calls during the trip.
  • After the plane lands, the youngster will be led to meet the parent or guardian at the location.

While Pick Up

  • Consult Southwest’s recommended airport arrival times and arrive early at the airport.
  • To pass the security checkpoint, you need to get an escort pass from Southwest’s ticket counter. To get the pass, make sure you have a valid ID from the government.
  • Arrive at the gate at least forty-five minutes before to the scheduled departure time.
  • Tell the person working at the gate for Southwest Airlines that you will be picking up an unaccompanied minor.
  • Once the plane has landed, an attendant will bring the unaccompanied minor to meet their assigned parent or guardian.
  • Inform the parent or guardian that you have picked up the unaccompanied minor by calling them at the drop-off city.


To sum up, Southwest Airlines Unaccompanied Minor Policy offers a framework to guarantee the security, comfort, and assistance of young passengers. With transparent booking policies and helpful staff, Southwest Airlines works to ensure that unaccompanied minors have a safe and easy travel experience.

Parents and guardians can contribute to their child’s unaccompanied travel being a happy and stress-free experience. They can do so by being aware of the policy’s rules and making use of the offered advice. To get more information, kindly visit the Southwest Airlines’ Official Website or Call us at +1 (866) 414-1886

Frequently Asked Questions – Southwest Airlines Unaccompanied Minor Policy

Question: Can my child be accompanied by a sibling or friend who is also a minor?

Answer: Several UMs might use the same reservation to travel together. For each UM to travel, you will be required to pay the Unaccompanied Minor service charge for each trip.

Question: What happens if a minor flying alone is not able to preboard?

Answer: Southwest Airlines Unaccompanied Minor arriving at the departure gate after boarding has started will be brought onto the aircraft.
It would be done either in between boarding groups or after all other passengers have boarded. This enables our staff to identify the UM to the Attendant so they can keep an eye on the child while on the flight.

Question: Can a child go on an itinerary that requires changing airlines by themselves?

Answer: No, Minors should not board connecting flights. Verify that the child’s ticket is for a nonstop flight or one that stops but doesn’t need changing planes.

Question: Can I track my child’s flight status while they are traveling alone?

Answer: Yes, you can track your child’s flight status while they are traveling alone, through the Southwest Airlines App.

Question: How much does it cost to book an unaccompanied minor ticket?

Answer: As per the Southwest Airlines Unaccompanied Minor Fees and Rules, the airline charges $50 per one-way flight. The airline also charges a charge plus the standard fares while making the reservation.


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