Southwest Airlines Unaccompanied Minors Policy And Fees

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Being a parent or guardian, traveling with children can sometimes be a tiring task. Especially when it comes to flying the child alone. Many safety concerns rush your mind. It is very important to read the guidelines before you fly your loved little one alone. Following all the guidelines and booking under the policy gives you a complete advantage of flying your child safely. Once you book a flight for a Southwest unaccompanied minor, leave all the worries to the airline. Let’s read all the information about it.

Southwest Airlines Unaccompanied Minors Policy: Everything to Know

Southwest airlines minor policy

Southwest Airlines recognizes the importance of offering a smooth and comfortable journey which is tailored to the needs of travelers and eases the families' concerns. Here are all the important points to travel with your unaccompanied minors on Southwest.

  • Kids aged from 5 to 11 traveling alone are considered to be Southwest unaccompanied minors. Such travelers should travel without any passenger who is at least 12 years old.
  • You must state that you are the parent or guardian of the child while making a reservation, you should have the parent’s or guardian’s authority to be there to pick and drop on behalf of them.
  • Southwest Airlines minor policy states that you must have proof of age—such as a birth certificate or some other valid identification. The ID proof should be submitted to the airport check-in counter.
  • The guardian or parent should physically show the original hard copy of government-issued ID proof to check in for the drop and pick up of unaccompanied minors on Southwest.
  • Southwest Unaccompanied Minors cannot travel on layovers or connecting flights.
  • SW unaccompanied minors can only travel on nonstop or same-plane services that do not require a flight number or change of flight.
  • SW Airlines Unaccompanied Minors can’t travel to or from international destinations.
  • Flights that fall between the Mainland U.S. and Hawaii are subject to additional procedures and conditions.
  • As per Southwest Airlines Minor policy, the parent or guardian must accompany the minor child to the departure gate at least 45 minutes before the flight departure, and stay at the gate until the take-off of the kid’s flight.
  • The guardian or parent who picks up the minor child should be available at the arrival gate at least 45 minutes before the time of arrival. The parent or guardian can take the child with them only when they show a valid government ID photo to the Southwest Airlines Representative.

How to book a flight for a minor on Southwest Airlines

Booking for unaccompanied minors is very streamlined with Southwest and you can do this in minutes. Here are all the ways to book a flight for a Southwest unaccompanied minor. You can make the booking for children aged between 5 to 11 years of age in three ways:

Website Flight Booking for Unaccompanied Minors

The easiest way to book your flight is through online.

  • Open online at any browser.
  • Select Book a Flight option.
  • Enter the travel details online such as arrival and departure city with dates of traveling.
  • Choose domestic flights only as there are no international flights for Southwest Airlines unaccompanied minors.
  • Choose a one-way or round trip based on your needs.
  • Choose the number of passengers.
  • Hit the search button and choose from the available flights on the basis of your preferences.
  • You will be asked if any passenger is traveling with an unaccompanied minor of age 12 or more.
  • Provide the necessary information regarding UM such as age and any other special assistance if needed.
  • Fill in the needed details of the passenger including name, date of birth, and contact information.
  • Review and confirm the travel details.
  • Make the payment and you are done.
  • Get the confirmation by mail.

Booking for Southwest Unaccompanied Minor By Phone

Book through call in case you are not able to lock the flight through the website.

  • Contact the given helpline number +1(844) 769-1366.
  • Once the call is connected and you get a live representative, tell them that you wish to make the booking for Unaccompanied Minors on Southwest.
  • Inform about the various details such as name, age, date of birth and contact details.
  • Once you get the available flight option with your preferred destination and dates lock the information and book your flight.
  • You can review and confirm the information.
  • Make the payment and lock your flight.
  • Get the confirmation by mail after payment.

At a Southwest Airlines’ ticket counter

If you are not comfortable booking through the above ways you can reach the airport counter and tell them about making a booking for your child.

  • Provide the representative with all the necessary travel details.
  • You will need to provide departure and arrival dates and destinations.
  • Once it is done, tell the name and date of birth of the unaccompanied minor.
  • Check the available flights offered by the representative and review the information.
  • After confirmation, make the payment and get the confirmation by mail. 
  • Being a parent or guardian you will have to provide the contact and ID proof of yours and your child and sign the document to facilitate the pick and drop of your child.

Southwest Unaccompanied Minor Fee

There is a specific Southwest unaccompanied minor fee for your unaccompanied minor on Southwest. For a one-way trip, the fee is USD 50 whereas for a roundtrip it is USD 100 plus the standard fare type.

How to Refund Unaccompanied Minors Fee 

southwest airlines Unaccompanied Minors

In case there is a change of plan and you want to cancel the flight booked for your Southwest Unaccompanied Minor then you can request a refund as per Southwest minor policy.

  • Make a call to Southwest at +1-800-I-FLY-SWA or 1-800-435-9792 to get a refund.


  • Reach the airport counter and request a refund by the airline’s representative.

Guidelines for Southwest Unaccompanied Minors

In order to ensure you reach a safe and smooth journey, the parent or guardian of an Unaccompanied Minor on Southwest should be very particular about meeting the guidelines by the airline:

At Drop off Location

  • Be at the airport early.
  • Check the airline’s suggested arrival time at the airport.
  • Maintain the buffer time for parking, requesting the escort pass, getting the Unaccompanied Minors lanyard at the airport’s ticket counter, check-in, security checks etc.
  • Reach at the Southwest ticket counter of the airline.
  • There is a lanyard issued to Southwest Unaccompanied Minor.
  • Get the escort pass to accompany the child from the security checkpoint.
  • Ensure these documents to complete the check-in process:
  • Itinerary of Southwest Unaccompanied Minor.
  • Age proof, such as a birth certificate.
  • Your government-issued ID.
  • Be at the gate 45 minutes before the departure time of the flight.
  • Check in with the staff member of the airline and inform them that you are dropping off an Unaccompanied Minor on Southwest.
  • Your kid will pre board the airplane and be introduced to one of the flight attendants before boarding.
  • Stay in the gate area until your minor takes off from the airport.
  • Tell the parent or guardian who is going to pick up the minor that the flight has taken off.

During the Flight

  • The flight attendant of the airline will check on the UM from time to time.
  • The Southwest Unaccompanied Minor needs to wear the provided lanyard at all times.
  • The parent or guardian should be available to pick up the Southwest Unaccompanied Minor and should be always available to answer the call during the flight.
  • The flight attendant escorts the Unaccompanied Minor out of the plane to hand them over to the guardian or parent at the pickup point of the destination airport. 

At Pick-up Location

  • Be at the airport 5 minutes before the suggested arrival time by the airline.
  • Pick up the escort pass from the ticket counter to go through the security checks. Ensure that you have a valid government-issued ID to get the pass and meet the Southwest Unaccompanied Minor at the gate.
  • Be at the gate of arrival at least 45 minutes before the flight landing.
  • Tell a Southwest Airlines staff member at the gate that you are going to pick up an Unaccompanied Minor on Southwest.
  • The flight attendant escorts the UM from the plane and hands over the child to the designated guardian or parent after checking the document of pick up.
  • At the drop-off destination, call the parent or guardian and inform them that you have picked up the Southwest Unaccompanied Minor.

FAQs About Southwest Airlines Minor Policy

Q1 Do minors need ID to fly Southwest Airlines?

Not all minors need to present their ID to the airport when flying domestically on Southwest Airlines. The unaccompanied minors from 5 to 11 years should have their parents providing ID during the booking process.

Q2 What is Southwest unaccompanied minor fee?

There is a certain Southwest unaccompanied minor fee which ranges from $50 to $100 each way depending on the fare type and the services requested by the parent or guardian for a minor. 

Q3 How to book a flight for a minor on Southwest?

You can book in multiple ways at your convenience. The best way is to book online. The other ways are through calling the airline’s customer representative and reaching the airport counter to book a flight for your Southwest unaccompanied minor. 

Q4 Can minors fly alone on Southwest Airlines?

As per Southwest Airlines minor policy, you can book for your child as an unaccompanied minor falling in the age group of 5 to 11 years. Your child must not travel with any passenger of the age group 12 or more. You can read the guidelines clearly before booking to know more in detail and facilitate the journey of a minor.

Q5 Do minors board first on Southwest?

Based on this, the minors don’t board the airline first. However, the minor is escorted by the flight attendant to have a safe boarding and comfortable flight. Being a parent or guardian you should escort the child till the drop and inform the flight attendant of any special assistance needed.