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Unaccompanied Minors

Your Checklist

  • Nonstop or direct flight
  • Ages 5 -11
  • Pay $50 each way
  • Fill out Unaccompanied Minor form
  • Bring ID
  • Not an international or shared itinerary

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Note:

  • Children ages five through 11 traveling without an accompanying Passenger age 12 or older must travel as an Unaccompanied Minor (UM) on Southwest Airlines.
  • For travel booked on or after April 23, 2010, Southwest Airlines will charge $50 each way ($100 roundtrip) in addition to the air fare per child for UMs to travel.
  • UMs may only travel on nonstop or direct (makes one or more stops but does not require a change of planes or flight number) flights.
  • Shared itineraries, or AirTran-only itineraries booked through Southwest channels, cannot be purchased for Unaccompanied Minors. Learn More
  • Southwest will not transport UMs on flights that may be diverted or cancelled due to inclement weather or other operational abnormalities.
  • Southwest Airlines does not provide Unaccompanied Minor service to/from international destinations.
  • If the flight is during meal times, don’t forget to send food or snacks with your child(ren) in case they get hungry, as Southwest does not provide a meal service.

Unaccompanied Minors

Before You Go

  1. Read the UM Terms and Conditions
  2. Book a UM reservation online or by calling 1-800-I-FLY-SWA.
  3. Be sure to have the following: 
    • The Child's full name
    • Your relationship to the child
    • Address
    • Telephone number(s), including area code
    • Child's date of birth
    • Information about both the parent/guardian dropping off and the one picking him/her up.
    • Contact information for an alternate designee at the child's destination.
  4. Make copies of the UM's itinerary for both the UM and the parent/guardian picking up the child in the destination city.
  5. Prepare your child to travel as a UM.
  6. If the flight is during meal times, don’t forget to send food or snacks with your child(ren) in case they get hungry, as Southwest does not provide a meal service.
  7. Check the flights that may be diverted or cancelled due to inclement weather or other operational abnormalities.
  8. For additional information about what to expect when your child travels alone, please review "When Kids Fly Alone" published by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

At The Airport

  • Stop at the Southwest Airlines ticket counter. Here the child will receive a UM lanyard and you can obtain an escort pass, which is required to accompany the child through the security checkpoint. Be sure to have the following documents to complete the checkin process:
    • A copy of the UM's itinerary
    • Proof of the UM's age (birth certificate, etc.)
    • Your valid, government-issued ID (required to get an escort pass)
  • Arrive at the gate no less than 45 minutes prior to the flight's scheduled departure time. Check in with a Southwest Airlines Employee at the gate and advise him/her that you are dropping off a UM.
  • The UM will preboard the aircraft and be introduced to a Flight Attendant before general boarding begins.
  • You must stay in the gate area until the UM's flight is in the air.
  • Call the parent/guardian picking up the UM to let him/her know that the flight has departed.

*Refer to our Suggested Airport Arrival Times to ensure you have enough time at the airport. You must be at the gate no less than 45 minutes prior to the flight's scheduled departure time. Be sure to allow enough time to park the car, obtain your escort pass and the child's UM lanyard, go through security, and check in at the gate.

In The Air

  • A Flight Attendant will check on the UM periodically, as duties allow, but will not continuously monitor the child throughout the flight.
  • The UM is required to wear the UM lanyard around his/her neck at all times.
  • The UM must follow instructions given by Southwest Airlines Employees, including wearing a seatbelt.
  • Make sure that you and the parent/guardian picking up the UM are available to answer phone calls during the flight time in the event of a flight irregularity.
  • The UM will be escorted off the plane and taken to meet the parent/guardian at the destination.

At The Destination

  1. Stop at the Southwest Airlines ticket counter to obtain an escort pass that will allow you to go through the security checkpoint. The greeting parent/guardian must show a valid, government-issued ID to obtain the pass and meet the UM at the gate.
  2. Arrive at the gate no less than 45 minutes prior to the flight's scheduled arrival time. Check in with a Southwest Airlines Employee at the gate and advise him/her that you are picking up a UM.
  3. The UM will be escorted off the plane and taken to meet the designated parent/guardian.
  4. Call the parent/guardian at the originating city to let him/her know you have picked up the UM.

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