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Top 5 Holiday Travel “Don’t Forgets”

Explorer C
1. Allow extra time to get to the airport.

Just like your favorite shopping center, the airport is “the place to be” during the holidays, especially on peak travel days. Though our Employees and airport personnel will be working diligently to ensure a pleasant airport experience, we recommend that you allow yourself a bit more time than usual, as many folks will be traveling during holiday time. Be sure to review the Suggested Airport Arrival Times at the Southwest Cities included in your holiday travel plans prior to your trip.

2. Bring proper ID for all travelers.

The Transportation Security Administration requires that all ticketed and traveling Customers carry a government-issued photo ID and will be asked to show identification at the security checkpoint. In addition to your photo ID, all Customers will be required to present a Security Document or Boarding Pass at the security checkpoint in order to proceed to the gate. Parents must also provide proof of age for children under the age of two traveling as a lap child. Visit our Baby On Board page for more information on traveling with little ones.

In addition, the TSA has implemented a new program called Secure Flight, which is intended to enhance the security of commercial air travel. Under Secure Flight, airlines are now required to ask traveling passengers for their full legal name as it appears on the government-issued photo ID they intend to travel with, along with their gender and date of birth. We encourage you to update your MySouthwest account with this information prior to your trip.

3. Become familiar with our policies if you’re traveling with little ones (or if your little ones are traveling alone).

We want to ensure a pleasant travel experience for all parents traveling with their young children, as well as Unaccompanied Minors.  As such, we ask you to take a few minutes to become familiar with our policies and procedures on the same by reviewing our Children/Unaccompanied Minors Policy, and our Family Travel Tips.

4. Pack your liquids and other prohibited items in your (2 free!) checked bags.

It’s always more difficult to pack only one bag during the holidays. Thankfully on Southwest Airlines, your first two checked bags fly free, through baggage weight and size limits still apply. And remember that if you plan to bring gifts onboard, all wrapped packages must be opened for inspection by airport security. Please consult our Baggage Policies for additional information.

If you’re not sure whether an item will be accepted past the security checkpoint, it’s probably best to travel without it or pack it in your checked baggage. Review the TSA’s list of prohibited items prior to your trip. In the new era of security procedures, many hotel chains are assisting Customers by maintaining a supply of essential toiletries. And if you’re traveling to see loved ones, why not ask if you can borrow some of their household items? After all, ‘tis the season for sharing!

5. Plan ahead when picking up family, friends, or unaccompanied minors from the airport.

If you’re meeting an Unaccompanied Minor (a child traveling alone) or someone needing extra assistance, you must obtain a Non-Passenger Escort pass from the ticket counter to get through the security checkpoint. In order to get a pass, you must present a photo ID and a copy of the passenger's reservation. Please allow yourself plenty of time to arrive at the gate early. When making arrangements to meet friends and family, be sure to decide on a meeting place before your trip. We suggest designating a location in the terminal building - such as the baggage claim area.