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Young Travelers

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Children ages 12-17 traveling without an accompanying Passenger age 18 or older

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Eligible flights

Only on domestic flights, does not apply to international flights

Important information

  • A Young Traveler (YT) must be of sufficient maturity and capability to travel alone—this includes, but is not limited to, checking in, passing through the security checkpoint, boarding, deplaning, and claiming luggage.
  • Parents and guardians are responsible for ensuring a YT arrives for check-in and boarding in accordance with each airport’s suggested arrival time.
  • Purchaser represents that they are either the parent or guardian of the minor child or has authority to act on behalf of the parent or guardian regarding travel for the minor child.
  • Southwest Airlines® reserves the right not to allow travel on flights that may be delayed, diverted, or cancelled due to weather or other operational disruptions.
  • Southwest Airlines® does not provide Young Traveler service to/from international destinations.
  • You will need the following information when making your YT 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
  • Review Young Traveler terms and conditions.

How to prepare

  • Make copies of the YT's itinerary for both the YT and the parent/guardian picking up the Young Traveler in the destination city.
  • Check-in online 24 hours before scheduled departure to receive a boarding pass or sign up for Early Bird Check-In® automated service.
  • Download the Southwest app so you can monitor the child’s flight status.
  • 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, go through security, and check in at the gate.
  • Stop at the Southwest Airlines ticket counter if you wish to 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
    • Your valid, government-issued ID (required to get an escort pass)
  • It is recommended that you stay in the gate area until the YT’s flight is in the air.
  • Call the parent/guardian picking up the YT to let them know that the flight has departed.

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In the air

  • Please note, our Flight Attendants will not monitor the YT throughout the flight.
  • The YT must follow instructions given by Southwest Airlines Employees, including wearing a seatbelt.
  • Make sure that you and the parent/guardian picking up the YT are available to answer phone calls during the flight time in the event of a flight irregularity.
  • Please note, the YT will not be escorted off the plane nor 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.
  • 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 YT at the gate. Note: Each airport may impose restrictions on NPEs being issued based on guidance from the local Transportation Security Administration directives.
  • 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 a YT.
  • If the YT’s flight is scheduled to arrive after the ticket counter and/or security checkpoint is closed, proceed to the Baggage Service Office to let the Agent know you are picking up a YT.
  • Call the parent/guardian at the originating city to let them know you have picked up the YT.

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