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Devices that tie the child to another person are prohibited for taxi, takeoff, and landing, and backless booster seats are not approved for use during any phase of flight regardless of any approval labels they bear.
If you're traveling with an infant or small child, you should know that proper use of a Child Restraint System (CRS) enhances child safety on aircraft. For this reason, Southwest Airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) strongly recommend that infants and small children who weigh 40 pounds or less be secured in an appropriate CRS when traveling by air. See below for additional information.
Southwest welcomes nursing mothers who wish to breastfeed on the aircraft and/or within our facilities.
If you choose to purchase a seat so that your infant may travel in his/her CRS you will need to obtain a boarding pass for the infant. If you purchase an Infant Fare, you may use online checkin if your infant has been age verified. If your infant has not been age verified, you will not be able to use online checkin, unless you purchase a fare that that does not have age restrictions. See below for more information on the age verification process.
If you choose to travel with your infant on your lap (at no additional charge) the infant will not need a boarding pass; however, you will need to obtain a Boarding Verification Document (BVD) for the infant. The BVD will allow the infant to board the aircraft. BVDs are available at the Southwest Airlines ticket counter on the day of travel. In order to complete your BVD, the Customer Service Agent will need to verify that your infant has not reached his/her second birthday, so be sure to bring along a copy of your infant's birth certificate.
Southwest Airlines offers Infant fares for children under two years of age that allow you to reserve a seat for your little traveler to fly safely in his/her approved CRS. Infant fares are not available for purchase on Southwest.com. Please contact a Customer Representative at 1 (800) 435-9792 for more information.
Southwest Airlines Infant Fares have no restrictions, are refundable, and are offered on every Southwest Airlines flight (although seats are limited).
Although not recommended, if your child is under the age of two and you would prefer to hold him or her on your lap when traveling, you may do so on Southwest Airlines without charge and we'll be glad to check your CRS for use at your destination. FAA regulations require any child who has reached his/her second birthday to occupy his/her own seat. Please keep in mind that Southwest personnel must ensure compliance with this regulation, so be sure to bring along a copy of your infant's birth certificate for age verification.
Proper use of a Child Restraint System (CRS) enhances child safety onboard the aircraft. For this reason, Southwest Airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) strongly recommend securing infants and small children in a CRS that is government approved for use onboard.
Once onboard the aircraft, the CRS should be secured in a middle or window seat. If placed in a middle seat, the CRS may not impede the exit path of a Passenger in the window seat. CRSs may not be placed in an exit seat or in a row directly forward or aft of an exit row of seats.
If the CRS was manufactured prior to February 25, 1985, it must have one of the following labels. A CRS manufactured on or after February 26, 1985, must bear both of the labels in “A” and “B” below:
Southwest Airlines will also accept seats approved by the United Nations or foreign governments. The CRS must have a stamp or decal or some other mark that indicates foreign government approval. Seats manufactured under the standards of the UN must have a label with a circle surrounding the letter E, followed by a number assigned to the country that has granted approval.
It is important to note that the CARES CRS is the only harness-type device approved for use onboard. The device is designed for Customers weighing between 22 and 44 pounds and must have a label that indicates, “FAA Approved in Accordance with 14 CFR 21.305(d), Approved for Aircraft Use Only.”
Additionally, please know the FAA has banned certain types of child restraints that may be harmful to a child in the event of an aviation emergency. These include backless booster seats and any device that ties the child to another person.
In order to determine whether a specific CRS will fit properly on the aircraft, the width of the narrowest and widest passenger seats (in inches) is available on our Flying Southwest page. When purchasing your flight, click on the hyperlinked flight number on the 'Select Flights' page to find the aircraft series size for a specific flight. You can also reach out to Customer Support and Services at (800) I-FLY-SWA (800-435-9792). While we will try our best to utilize the originally scheduled aircraft type for your journey, operational circumstances may result in an aircraft swap to an aircraft with different seat dimensions.
Please note the seat configuration on each aircraft varies, and accordingly, we are unable to provide any assurance that a Customer will be seated in a seat wider than the narrowest seat. Be sure to check the width of your CRS prior to traveling. If you have further questions, please contact Customer Support and Services at (800) I-FLY-SWA (800-435-9792).
We want your flight to be as safe and enjoyable as possible. When choosing a seat onboard the aircraft, please select a window seat for the CRS if possible, keeping in mind an accompanying adult must be seated next to the child. If a window seat is unavailable, please utilize a middle seat. A CRS may not be placed in the following areas:
The FAA prohibits the use of certain types of restraint devices, such as backless booster seats, safety belt extensions (commonly referred to as "belly belts"), and vests or harness devices that attach to an adult. Although certain devices may carry an insignia and/or language indicating they are approved for aircraft use, please understand that they may not be permitted. If traveling with a restraint system or other assistive device, please visit our Wheelchairs and Other Devices page or contact Customer Support and Services at (800) I-FLY-SWA (800-435-9792) for more information.
While air travel does not usually cause problems during pregnancy unless delivery is expected within 14 days or less, in some cases, traveling by air has been known to cause complications or premature labor. Female Customers at any stage of pregnancy should consult with their physicians prior to air travel. Southwest Airlines recommends against air travel beginning at the 38th week of pregnancy. Depending on their physical condition, strength, and agility, pregnant women may, in some cases, be asked not to sit in the emergency exit row.