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Flying For the first time

Explorer C

Hi, all. I live in the states, and one of my relatives decided to purchase round trip tickets for me to visit them during the summer. However, me being 16, without a valid State ID and Drivers License, is left unbeknownst to the circumstances on how to safely get to my gate without any trouble. To make matters worse, it is my first flight, so I am pretty new to this. I am supposed to leave in a couple weeks, and I am not sure which forms of valid ID are mandatory, or in general allowed as correct identification. Would a School ID work as a valid method of identification, since I am technically classified as a young traveler? Thanks for reading.


Re: Flying For the first time

Aviator A

@KryptonicAbyss welcome to the world of aviation!  The community of other customers like me should be able to help answer any questions about the in-flight experience and what to expect.


A few quick thoughts with linked references, all assuming domestic travel:


  • Per the Transportation Security Administration, "TSA does not require children under 18 to provide identification when traveling with a companion within the United States. Contact the airline for questions regarding specific ID requirements for travelers under 18."  Note that Southwest does not have any additional requirements for identification for minors.

  • Using the Southwest term for your situation as a "Young Traveler", your relatives should be able to bring you to the gate and meet you at the gate as "Non-Passenger Escorts".  They aren't required to escort you to the gate but it's definitely an option for them.  I've done this several times throughout the years with my children.

    "Parents/guardians wishing to escort a Young Traveler to/from the gate must obtain a Non-Passenger Escort (NPE) from the ticket counter in order to pass through the security checkpoint. Each airport may impose restrictions on NPEs being issued based on guidance from the local Transportation Security Administration directives."

Feel free to ask away with addition questions Smiley Happy

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