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What does a 4 yo child need to board plane? (Identification/documents, etc.)

New Arrival

I THOUGHT I did all my homework w reading, etc. But I called SWA twice today... and was told different answers. From most of what I read- my 4 year olds  (twins) should not need anything to board/get through security/travel, etc... 

 

I purchased each of the 4 yo's a seat at the "wanna get away" rate online. (same price as the ticket for myself and my husband). So I didn't think they needed to be age verified since they aren't flying at "child rates."

 

One agent said that I do need to have a birth certificate for each of the 4 year olds to verify their age even though I purchased their seats.

One agent said that I do not need to have the birth certificate for the 4 yo's. (He then went on to say if I was worried, to go ahead and bring a copy.... but I don't have a copy yet that I could bring, or else I would!)  

 

My flight is in 3 days and I may not have time to get their certificates- (they were born in a different part of the state... so I'm kinda panicking. 

 

I have a newborn that will be a lap infant- flying free- and I DID get her a certified birth certificate to prove she is over 14 days and less than 2 yo. ... 

 

 

Can anyone help me w this? 

3 REPLIES 3

Re: What does a 4 yo child need to board plane? (Identification/documents, etc.)

Top Contributor

@Khofer wrote:

I THOUGHT I did all my homework w reading, etc. But I called SWA twice today... and was told different answers. From most of what I read- my 4 year olds  (twins) should not need anything to board/get through security/travel, etc... 


This is correct, no identification or additional paperwork is required for a domestic flight. As you also said, age verification is only done when either:

1)child is under 2 years old and will be a lap child

Or

2)you purchased a child fare

 

TSA requires ID for 18+ years of age.

International is a whole different story with passports required for children. 

 

Have a great trip, sounds like you'll have your hands full. BTW, did you see this great post from @DancingDavidE about child harnesses? I've also used one and found it great.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

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Re: What does a 4 yo child need to board plane? (Identification/documents, etc.)

Rising Star

I flew last month with my 4 year old and a birth certificate/ identification was not needed. 

 

Have a great flight! 


SWA Passenger, Community Champion
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Re: What does a 4 yo child need to board plane? (Identification/documents, etc.)

Top Contributor

@Khofer wrote:

 

One agent said that I do not need to have the birth certificate for the 4 yo's. (He then went on to say if I was worried, to go ahead and bring a copy.... but I don't have a copy yet that I could bring, or else I would!)  

 

My flight is in 3 days and I may not have time to get their certificates- (they were born in a different part of the state... so I'm kinda panicking. 

 

I have a newborn that will be a lap infant- flying free- and I DID get her a certified birth certificate to prove she is over 14 days and less than 2 yo. ... 

 



This version is correct - you do need the birth certificate for the infant, but not the twins. If it would make you more comfortable a recent immunization record from the pediatrician's office would also show birth dates and names for the twins as a helpful document (that you shouldn't actually need). 

 

We actually got our daughter (2 years old) a passport now to have as a durable identification, besides if an opportunity for international travel comes up on short notice. We flew a lot with her as an infant as well, so we did have a copy of the birth certificate in a protective sheath that was in the diaper bag full-time. Don't laminate it permanently though, the rules actually say that the paper documents should be able to be inspected.

 

 

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