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Flying with a child basics

New Arrival

This will be my first time flying with a child. It will be my fiancé, his 5y/o daughter, and I traveling, within the country, together. I just have a few questions. 

Wanna get away ticket vs. child fare? 

Do I bring her booster seat on board with us or check it? 

Do we need any documentation from her mother? 

Does she need any sort of ID for security? 

Does family boarding usually work well, or should I get an early bird check in for one of us to make sure we get seats together? 

 

Any other pointers for flying with a child welcome! 

2 REPLIES 2
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Re: Flying with a child basics

Rising Star
You should call to see if a child fare makes sense: As per Southwest "Accompanied children ages two through 11 may purchase the applicable Child Fare for the flight (does not apply to unaccompanied children ages five through 11). Please contact us via phone at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792) to confirm if a child fare is available for a specific flight." (https://www.southwest.com/html/customer-service/family/children-pol.html) Also note the requirements to verify the child's age.

You'll be able to board between the A and B groups (https://www.southwest.com/html/customer-service/airport-experience/index-pol.html)

I'd bring the booster seat if it's certified for use on aircraft.

When our kids were little we always let them pick out a few small treats and toys from the store then let them pack them in their carry on backpack. Throughout the course of the flight they'd get to pick out additional items from their bag. It usually worked like a champ!

Customer | Home airport DCA

Re: Flying with a child basics

Top Contributor

@Bajaracergirl51 wrote:

This will be my first time flying with a child. It will be my fiancé, his 5y/o daughter, and I traveling, within the country, together. I just have a few questions. 

Wanna get away ticket vs. child fare? 

Do I bring her booster seat on board with us or check it? 

Do we need any documentation from her mother? 

Does she need any sort of ID for security? 

Does family boarding usually work well, or should I get an early bird check in for one of us to make sure we get seats together? 

 

Any other pointers for flying with a child welcome! 


  1. Wanna get away ticket vs. child fare?  - WGA will be cheaper, the Child Fare is a discounted "Anytime" fare so allows flexibility to refund if you think there is much chance of a change in plans. Even if you did expect a change, but plan to fly again soon the WGA works fine as long as the child would be flying again to use the travel funds.

  2. Do I bring her booster seat on board with us or check it?  - Booster seats are not approved, full car seats may be approved safety devices for some models but if I recall correctly there aren't any booster seats that are but the recommendation is that kids > 40 lbs can use thte regular lap belt safely. If you think she won't fit the regular seat restraints, consider a CARES Harness, you can search for it on this community in several threads. I'd highly recommend it although you may be at an age where she won't use it too many more times.

  3.  

    Do we need any documentation from her mother?  - No

  4.  

    Does she need any sort of ID for security?  - No

  5.  

    Does family boarding usually work well, or should I get an early bird check in for one of us to make sure we get seats together?  - Family boarding works great for us, we don't buy EBCI. Still check in right at 24 hours if you can just to have as good of a position in your pocket as possible, even if you plan on family boarding.

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.