Flying with an Infant on Southwest
While all US airlines allow under 2’s to fly for free when flying within the US and its territories, not all airlines have the same process. Below are the details you need to know for flying with your little one with Southwest.
Domestic Ticketing: While it’s recommended you call in add your lap infant before check in, you can add your baby at the ticket counter in the airport. It takes longer to do so, however, as they have to cancel and re-issue your ticket.
Also, Southwest will not allow you to print your boarding pass at home or via the Southwest App if you have a lap infant attached so you will have to go to the counter every time. Plan accordingly as sometimes there is a line.
If you have TSA Precheck, you do not need to enroll your child as long as they are under 12.
International Ticketing: International ticketing is the same as Domestic except you will have to pay taxes and fees for your lap infant regardless if you book your tickets with cash or points. For Southwest it will be roughly the $ amount you pay extra on an adult ticket whenever you book with points.
Also you will need a passport for your child no matter how little they are. If you have Global Entry you will need to separately enroll your child in Global Entry as well.
Documentation: Southwest’s policy says that a birth certificate is required but we have used a passport many times without issue. Also a digital copy of the birth certificate is fine, so I recommend just taking a picture of the physical certificate and saving it on your phone for ease of use. Southwest will check EVERY TIME you check in for documentation so make sure you have something on hand.
As always if you are traveling with an under 2 that is not your child, make sure to carry documentation that shows you are allowed to do so.
Luggage: Southwest allows you to check 1 stroller and 1 car seat for no charge and it will not count towards the ticketed adult’s baggage allowance (meaning the adult can still check 2 bags for no charge). You may also gate check these items either to your destination or short check them if you want access to them at any stop overs.
Car seats and strollers are normally (but not always) sorted into oversized luggage if you check them at the counter. If they will come out on a different conveyor belt. If you gate check them, you will be able to collect them at the jet bridge.
Boarding: Southwest will allow you to board in between the A and B groups along with active duty military. If you have an A group boarding pass, you will board in your normal order. Remember that you cannot sit in an exit row with a lap infant.