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Southwest Airlines Flying With Kids Information

All the Southwest Airlines flying with kids information in one place. Including:

  • Flying when pregnant
  • Flying with a newborn baby, and baby or toddler under two
  • Flying with older children
  • Kids’ baggage allowance
  • Car seat policy
  • Other child restraint device policies
  • Pushchair/stroller policy
  • In-flight entertainment for children.
  • Other family services provided
  • Current mask rules for children

Southwest Flying With Kids Guide

Southwest Flying With Kids Information for Southwest Airlines

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SOUTHWEST AIRLINES FLYING WHEN PREGNANT

Advice to Pregnant Passengers

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.

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES NEWBORN POLICY

If you are flying with a newborn, they must be over 14 days days old.

Customers who are Nursing

Southwest welcomes Customers who are nursing who wish to breastfeed on the aircraft and/or within their facilities.

SOUTHWEST FLYING WITH BABY POLICY (INFANTS UNDER 2 YEARS OLD)

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-I-FLY-SWA (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 (car seat or CARES harness) for use at your destination.

Lap infants and infants with their own seat.

Parents/guardians traveling domestically with a Lap Child may add the child to their reservation at a Southwest kiosk on the day of travel, by calling a Customer Representative at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792) prior to travel or by visiting the full-service ticket counter at the airport.

Traveling with the infant on your lap on a domestic flight:

  • One child over 14 days old and under two (2) years of age, not occupying a seat, may be carried free of charge when traveling with an adult (12 years of age or older).
  • Although a boarding pass is not required for the infant, you will need a Boarding Verification Document.
  • Southwest Employees may ask for age verification at any point within the Customer journey, so Customers should travel with a copy or original of any government-issued ID, such as a birth certificate or passport, for their Lap Child.

Traveling with an infant on an international flight:

  • One child over 14 days old and under two (2) years of age, not occupying a seat, may be carried free of charge when traveling with an adult (12 years of age or older).
  • If you plan to travel with an infant as a lap child, you will be required to pay the taxes and fees that apply to the international portion of the infant’s itinerary.

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 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.

New options available at the self-service kiosk for Customers travelling with a Lap Child:

  • Customer and Lap Child check-in
  • Add a Lap Child to a reservation
  • Edit a Lap Child’s name, gender, and birthdate
  • Print a Boarding Verification Document (BVD)

SOUTHWEST FLYING WITH CHILDREN AGED TWO AND OVER

FAA regulations require any child who has reached his/her second birthday to occupy his/her own seat. Please keep in mind that Southwest Employees may ask for age verification at any point within the Customer journey, so Customers should travel with a copy or original of any government-issued ID, such as a birth certificate or passport, for their Lap Child.

Accompanied children ages two through 11 may purchase the applicable Child Fare for the flight (does not apply to unaccompanied children ages five through 11). Please contact us via phone at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792) to confirm if a child fare is available for a specific flight.

To book Child Fares for international flights, please contact us to confirm if a child fare is available and to book via phone at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792). After booking, you can view or cancel existing international itineraries for any of these fare types online at Southwest.com.

Proof of age will be required at the time of travel.

Online check-in is available if the child is traveling on a Child Fare and is age verified.

FLYING WITH OLDER CHILDREN ON SOUTHWEST AIRLINES

If your child is traveling on an Infant or Child fare and is age verified, you may request his/her boarding pass on southwest.com.

If your child is traveling on an Infant or Child fare and is not age verified, you must provide valid proof of age at the airport when exchanging the confirmation number for a boarding pass.

KIDS’ BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE ON SOUTHWEST AIRLINES

Baggage containing a breast pump and/or breast milk may be brought onboard in addition to the standard carryon limit of one bag plus one small, personal item, provided baggage contains no other personal items. The Customer may be asked the nature of the additional carryon bag(s) at any point throughout travel. Southwest Airlines does not have electrical outlets onboard the aircraft for personal use.

The following items are not considered carryon bags or personal-type items and are not counted against the “one-bag plus one personal-type item” limit: A child restraint device for a ticketed child with a reserved seat or when complimentary, available space exists.

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CAR SEAT POLICY

  • Southwest strongly recommend parent/guardians bring a Child Restraint System (car seat) for ticketed children.
  • Infant Fares are available that enable a Customer to reserve a seat for an infant and use his/her FAA-approved car seat.
  • A boarding pass is required.
  • Online checkin is available if the infant traveling on an Infant Fare is age verifie

Other Child Restraint Device Policies

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.

Child Restraint Systems

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:

  1. This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.
  2. This child restraint device conforms to all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.
  3. FAA APPROVED IN ACCORDANCE WITH 14 CFR PART 21.305 (D) APPROVED FOR AIRCRAFT USE ONLY.
FAA approved car seats, stickers showing airline approved car seats
Airline approved car-seat label examples

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.

Car seats airplane, child restraint devices CARES harness back
CARES harness (front) Photo courtesy of Tim Kelley AmSafe CARES harness


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.

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES PUSHCHAIR/ STROLLER POLICY

Customers traveling with children will be allowed to check one stroller and one Child Restraint System (CRS) or car seat per child without charge. This is in addition to the regular free baggage allowance.

The stroller and CRS or car seat allowance applies to any type of stroller (umbrella, full size, jogging stroller, etc.) and CRS or car seat.

The Customer may check the stroller and CRS or car seat at the curb, ticket counter, or gate. Southwest Airlines will not assume liability for damage to strollers, CRS’s or car seats.

An optional Southwest-branded reusable car seat/stroller bag is available for purchase at any Southwest Airlines ticket counter for a $17 onetime fee. Bag dimensions are 42”X20.5X12.5”.

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES IN-FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT FOR CHILDREN

With a wide variety of new releases and long-time Customer favorites, all movies are viewable right in your browser – no downloads or sign-ups required! The inflight entertainment options are totally free to you, so you don’t need to purchase WiFi to access them. Bring your favorite viewing device and headphones to take advantage of all the free entertainment options–the hardest part will be deciding what to watch!

OTHER FAMILY SERVICES PROVIDED

EarlyBird Check-In® is a low-cost option giving you the convenience of automatic check-in before Southwests traditional 24-hour check-in. You’ll have the benefit of an earlier boarding position. As an EarlyBird Check-In® Customer, you will have a better opportunity to select your preferred available seat and have earlier access to overhead bin storage for your carryon luggage.

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES FACEMASK POLICIES FOR CHILDREN

Exemptions to face coverings: young children under the age of 2 only.

INDIVIDUAL AIRLINE INFORMATION FOR FLYING WITH KIDS

Find out all the information about flying with kids on your airline. From car seats to strollers to lap infants to bassinets, luggage allowance, facilities on board and much much more.

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