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Unaccompanied Minors

Unaccompanied minor icon

Who?

Children ages 5-11 traveling without an accompanying Passenger age 12 or older

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How much?

$50 each way
($100 round trip)

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Eligible flights

Only domestic
nonstop, or direct flights,
not international

Important information

  • Southwest Airlines® does not provide Unaccompanied Minor (UM) service to and from international destinations.
  • Southwest reserves the right to not transport Unaccompanied Minors on flights that may be diverted or cancelled due to inclement weather or other operational abnormalities.
  • The purchaser of the ticket must represent that he or she is either the parent or guardian of the Unaccompanied Minor or has authority to act on behalf of the parent or guardian regarding travel for the Unaccompanied Minor.
  • Arrive to the airport early. Review our suggested airport arrival times. Be sure to allow enough time to park the car, obtain your escort pass and the child's UM lanyard at the ticket counter, go through security, and check in at the gate.
  • Pets are not permitted to travel with Unaccompanied Minors.
  • A Flight Attendant will check on the child periodically, as duties allow, but will not continuously monitor the child throughout the flight.
  • You will need the following information when making your UM reservation:
    • The child's full name
    • Your relationship to the child
    • The child’s address
    • Telephone number(s), including area code
    • The 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
  • Review Unaccompanied Minor terms and conditions.

Icon denoting this is important informationPlease note: Should the Unaccompanied Minor's travel be disrupted or should the person(s) designated fail to meet the Unaccompanied Minor upon arrival at the destination airport, Southwest Airlines is authorized to take whatever action is reasonable and necessary under the circumstances. The parent or guardian agrees to reimburse Southwest Airlines for its expenses incurred in taking such action.

How to prepare

  • Make copies of the child’s itinerary for both the child and the parent/guardian picking up the child in the destination city.
  • If the flight is during meal times, don’t forget to send food or snacks with the child in case they get hungry, as Southwest does not provide a meal service. We do serve pretzels and peanuts inflight.
  • Download the Southwest app so you can monitor the child’s flight status.
  • Charge the child’s device before leaving for the airport, as we don’t have outlets onboard.
  • Provide the child with the contact information for the parent/guardian picking them up.
  • For additional information about what to expect when a child travels alone, please review "When Kids Fly Alone" published by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

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Dropping off

  • Arrive at the airport early. Review our suggested airport arrival times. Be sure to allow enough time to park the car, obtain your escort pass and the child's UM lanyard at the ticket counter, go through security, and check in at the gate.
  • 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 check-in process:
    • A copy of the child’s itinerary
    • Proof of the child’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 them that you are dropping off a UM.
  • Your child will preboard the aircraft and be introduced to a Flight Attendant before general boarding begins.
  • You must stay in the gate area until the child’s flight is in the air.
  • Call the parent/guardian picking up the child to let them know that the flight has departed.

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In the air

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

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Picking up

  • Arrive to the airport early. Review our suggested airport arrival times.
  • Required action: 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 child at the gate.
  • 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 them that you are picking up an Unaccompanied Minor.
  • The child will be escorted off the plane and taken to meet their designated parent/guardian.
  • Call the parent/guardian at the originating city to let them know you have picked up the child.

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