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Book Southwest Flights for an Unaccompanied Minor

Southwest Unaccompanied Minors

Here at Alternative Airlines, we make it straightforward and easy to book flights for an Unaccompanied Minor (UM) or Young Traveller (YT). Use this guide to find out more about Southwest’s policy for the travel of Young Travellers and how to book a flight for a YT with this airline.

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Book Flights for Unaccompanied Minors with Southwest

Southwest Airlines considers children traveling alone below the age of 12 to be Unaccompanied Minors, and children aged 12 through 17 traveling alone to be Young Travellers. We only take bookings for Young Travellers with Southwest at this time.

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Have a Question? Our Customer Service Team is Here to Help

Our expert Customer Service team is happy to help with any questions that you may have about your booking or the travel of a young person. Visit our Contact Us page to get in contact. Our Help Guide can also help answer your questions.

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How to Book Flights for an Unaccompanied Minor

Search for flights

Use the search form at the top of the page to search for flights for the YT. Enter the departure airport, arrival airport and the dates of travel. Click ‘Search flights’.

Select your Southwest flights

We’ll then display all the available flight options based on your search. If you’re looking for flights with a specific airline, such as Southwest, you can filter the results by selecting this airline; see below. If you cannot see Southwest as an option, this is because there are no flights available with this airline based on your search. Try changing your dates of travel, or try alternative airports.

Enter YT passenger information and parent/guardian contact details

Enter the passenger details of the Young Traveller. When you enter the YT’s Date of Birth, the passenger will be automatically recognised as a young traveller. You will then be asked to enter the contact information for the YT’s parent or guardian. If the airline charges a fee for the travel of a young person alone, this will also be automatically applied to the booking, which you’ll be able to see in the payment breakdown.

We’ll send the e-ticket(s) to the booking contact’s email address as soon as the booking is confirmed.

Drop-off and Pickup

Please familiarise yourself with the following procedure for dropping off and picking up your Young Traveller.

For drop-off:
 If you need a Non-Passenger Escort (NPE) pass at drop off, ask at the ticket counter. You can then accompany the YT through security and to the departure gate. It is recommended that you remain at the gate until the flight has departed.

For pick up
: The parent or guardian must arrive at the airport with enough time to collect an escort pass and be at the arrival gate no later than 45 minutes prior to landing.

The parent or guardian will need to present valid government-issued photo identification in order to obtain an escort pass for both drop off and pick up.

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Southwest Unaccompanied Minor FAQs

What is a Southwest Young Traveller?

Southwest considers children ages 12 through 17 travelling alone to be Young Travellers (YTs) and not Unaccompanied Minors (UMs). YT’s should have sufficient maturity and capability to travel alone, including, but not limited to, check-in, boarding, and baggage claim, without adult supervision or supervision from Southwest Employees.

Can a Young Traveler fly to or from international destinations?

Unfortunately, Southwest Airlines does not provide a Young Traveler service to/from international destinations.

What information will be needed to book flights for an Unaccompanied Minor?

You will need the following information when making your YT reservation:

The child's full name

Your relationship to the Young Traveller

Telephone number(s), including area code

The Young Traveller's date of birth

How can a Young Traveller prepare for travel?

Make a copy of the Young Travellers itinerary, one for the YT and one for whoever is picking them up from the destination airport.

Check-in online 24 hours before scheduled departure to receive the YT’s boarding pass.

You can also contact our Customer Service team with any questions that you may have.

How do I drop off a Young Traveller at the airport?

Arrive early at the airport to ensure that you have plenty of time to park, pass through security, and check in at the gate. Go to the ticket counter with a copy of the YT’s itinerary. An Non-Passenger Escort (NPE) pass will be required to accompany the YT through the security. If you require an escort pass, head to the airline’s ticket counter. You will need valid, government-issued ID in order to obtain an escort pass. It is recommended that you stay in the gate area during departure, until the YT’s flight is in the air.

How do I pick up a Young Traveller at the airport?

Arrive at the airport early, no later than 45 minutes prior to the flight's scheduled arrival time. Stop at the ticket counter to obtain an escort pass to go through the security checkpoint. You’ll need to present valid, government-issued ID to be able to obtain a pass. Check in with an Employee at the gate and inform them that you’re picking up a YT.

What can a Young Traveller expect during the flight?

While onboard the flight, the Young Traveller must follow all instructions given by Flight Attendants and other staff. This includes wearing their seatbelt when instructed to do so and following all other instructions. The YT must have sufficient maturity and capability to request assistance from a Southwest Employee if needed. Ensure that the YT’s Contact is available to answer phone calls during the flight, in the event of a flight irregularity.

Please note, Flight Attendants will not monitor the YT during the flight. Airline staff will not escot the YT off the plane, nor take the YT to meet the parent/guardian at the arrival airport.