Southwest is frequently a preferred airline of flying families as well, and with good reason. As it has different practices and rules than other airlines, however, it can at times trip up inexperienced flyers, particularly travelers with kids. But do not let that fret you — Southwest also has numerous distinctive perks that are of great value for family travelers. You just need to know how to take benefit of all that the airline offers.
This is what this article is all about as I have tried my best towards streamlining essential information. Do not be unequipped for your subsequent Southwest Airlines trip when you tour with your kids. Mentioned below are all the points you should know to make the most of Southwest’s policies and perks and make your subsequent trip on Southwest with kids smooth.
- Birth certificates are necessary for all lap children.
Southwest is the only airline that necessitates you to show a birth certificate for your lap kid. It does not matter what his or her age is. Most of the other airlines with a lap baby, chances are there you would not have been asked for proof of age unless the child looked to be nearing the age of two. But this is not the thing with Southwest. And in case you do not have a birth certificate for your child, often vaccination records from your child’s pediatrician or hospital discharge papers can suffice.
- Free checked bags will help you in saving a lot
Southwest is the final U.S. domestic airlines to offer free checked bags, which is two bags per individual equal to 50 lbs each. This is a great advantage for families who travel, as it is often hard to pack light with all the gear that infants need. I discover that even when Southwest has a little higher base fares than other airlines on the same routes when you factor in bag fees; Southwest comes out as the cheaper option numerous times. If you do take benefit of the free bags, be conscious of that lap kids do not get a baggage grant. Besides, car seats and strollers do not matter towards your free bag allowance. Those things always take off free in any case.
- Family boarding will enable you to get seats together as a family
Southwest does not allocate seats, unlike most other domestic carriers. Rather, it assigns boarding group numbers (A, B, & C, each numbered 1-60) to passengers, who are then open to take any seat as they board. As you can presume, most in-demand seats include exit rows, then windows and aisles. Passengers who board later in the procedure find that frequently only speckled middle seats are available. This may seem like a clammy situation for families who typically want to secure three or more seats jointly. The best thing about Southwest is that it enables all families with children ages six and under to board between the A & B groups no matter what their allocated boarding numbers.
- Boarding “verification documents” for lap kids can be attained at the airport counter only.
To get on your Southwest flight with a lap kid, you need to get hold of what is known as a boarding verification certificate. This document is the same as that of a boarding pass and verifies that the child has been age verified by showing a birth certificate. You can only obtain it at the ticket counter but you cannot print it beforehand like you can with other Southwest boarding passes. Thus, be sure to leave yourself additional time to check-in at the ticket counter at the airport if you are traveling with a lap kid, even if you are not checking bags.
- Tips to sit together with older kids as well
In case your child is older than 6 and you want to ensure you get seats together, there are options for sitting together too. There is the “fastest finger” option, which is completely free. The boarding group numbers of Southwest are assigned starting at precisely 24 hours earlier than a flight. As long as you check in the Southwest website at that very moment, you have an outstanding chance of getting a minimum before time B group boarding pass. In my knowledge, this is early enough for a family to find seats together. But you do have to be very quick as each second matters.
- Southwest Airlines reservations flights’ child fares may save you some money over full fare
Not many domestic airlines provide kid discounts of late, but Southwest is the one that still provides discounts on fares of kids. These charges are typically only a discount, so you will almost always beat them if you are booking Southwest’s discounted fares with a plethora of advance notice. But if you have to travel Southwest with your child very last minute, ensure to check for child fares.
- Southwest can even help you save money for your family when fares drop
My favorite feature of traveling with Southwest is that not only can you change flights with no penalties, but Southwest will also give you a credit back when air travel you have booked already drops in price. For families purchasing three, four or additional tickets, still small per ticket reductions can add up.
These are some of the vital points that you must keep in mind when traveling with kids.