Southwest Airlines Baby
Flying With an Infant or Toddler
Information You Should Know When Flying With an Infant or Toddler
What Special Rules Apply to Infants and Children?
If you're traveling with an infant or small child, you should know that proper use of a child restraint device (CRD) enhances child safety on airplane. For this reason, Southwest Airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) strongly recommend that infants and small children who weigh under 40 pounds be secured in an appropriate CRD when traveling by air.
Does my Infant need a Boarding Pass?
If you choose to purchase a seat so that your infant may travel in his or her CRD you will need to obtain a boarding pass for the infant prior to proceeding to the security checkpoint. 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.
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 prior to proceeding to the security checkpoint. The BVD will allow the infant to proceed through security screening and to board the airplane. 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 or her second birthday, so be sure to bring along a copy of your baby’s birth certificate.
Does Southwest Offer Infant Fares?
Southwest Airlines Infant Fares have no restrictions, are fully refundable, and are offered on every Southwest Airlines flight (although seats are limited). Not only will you have the security of knowing that your baby is flying safely at a very reasonable price, you'll also have a convenient way to bring along his or her CRD so it will be available for ground travel when you reach your destination.
Although not recommended, if your child is under age 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 CRD for use at your destination. FAA regulation requires any child who has reached his or her second birthday to occupy his or her own seat during takeoff and landing. Please keep in mind that Southwest personnel must ensure compliance with this regulation, so be sure to bring along a copy of your baby's birth certificate for age verification.
Child Restraint Devices
Proper use of a child restraint device (CRD) enhances child safety on airplane. For this reason, Southwest Airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) strongly recommend that infants and small children who weigh under 40 pounds be secured in an appropriate CRD when traveling by air.
Be sure to check the width of your CRD. Although the width of airplane seats varies, a safety seat wider than 16 inches is unlikely to fit, even if the armrests of the airplane seats are moved out of the way. An ill-fitting safety seat will not provide adequate protection for your child.
The FAA has banned the use on airplane of certain types of child restraints that may be harmful to a child in the event of an aviation emergency. These include most booster seats, safety belt extensions (commonly referred to as "belly belts"), and most vest or harness devices that attach to an adult or to the seatbelt of the child's own seat. Although some that were manufactured before the FAA's ban may carry an insignia and/or language indicating they are approved for airplane use, please understand that they are no longer permitted.
Approved Child Restraint Devices
How should a CRD be used?
Once onboard the airplane, your CRD must be placed in a seat that is not an emergency exit seat. It is best to place the CRD in a window seat so it will not block access to the airplane aisle. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for securing the CRD to the seat, fastening the airplane seatbelt around the CRD as tightly as possible.
Does an infant or child safety seat count as baggage?
Two (2) items of travel equipment for infants and small children, such as walkers, child safety seats or collapsible playpens, may be checked and transported in substitution of one piece of the free baggage allowance for each fare-paying passenger at no charge.
Does an infant stroller count as baggage?
Customers traveling with infants will be allowed to check one stroller per infant without charge (this is in addition to the regular free baggage allowance).
Are strollers or infant carriers permitted beyond Security?
You may choose to bring your infant to the departure gate in a stroller or infant carrier.
Most infant carriers are designed simply to provide convenience in carrying babies. With the exception of a few recently manufactured automobile safety seats that convert to carriers, they do not provide sufficient protection to qualify as CRDs. While you may carry your baby on and off the airplane in an infant carrier (provided it does not exceed the size limitations for carryon items), it must be properly stowed either underneath a seat or in an overhead bin for taxi, takeoff, and landing.
If the stroller or infant carrier exceeds the size limitations for carryon items, the Customer Service Agent will “gate-check” the item (at no additional charge) to your final destination, and the item will be placed in the cargo hold for transportation. When you reach your destination the item will be returned to you at the arrival gate.
SOURCE: Southwest Airlines Copyright © 2008 Southwest Airlines. All rights reserved. Babies Travel Lite does not guarantee the accuracy of the information contained herein. Please visit southwest.com to verify that the information is still current.