Flying With Kids on Southwest Airlines Just Got Easier


All the gear can be a burden when you are traveling with young children, can’t it? One of the things that I LUV about flying Southwest Airlines is that bags fly free. But sometimes questions arise when it comes to baby gear—strollers, car seats, pack ‘n plays, etc.

As a mom who travels with a toddler a lot, I am thrilled that starting today, Southwest’s policy regarding acceptance of car seats and strollers as checked baggage is changing—making things even easier for families to transport their needed items without additional charges.  The new policy allows for one stroller plus one CRS (car seat) per child free of charge.  This is in addition to the two free bag allowance.  Also, if you have additional baby items to check, you can substitute them for a free bag on a one-for-one basis (so if you were flying with a pack ‘n play, you could substitute that for one of your bags and both would be free.)

In the words of my two-year-old, Elias—HOORAY!

If you have any questions about this new policy, feel free to leave a comment below and I know someone from Southwest will be happy to help you!

Jessica Turner is Southwest’s resident Mommy Blogger. Her guest blog posts and video blogs focus on traveling with her young son, tips she discovers and family-friendly activities to experience around the country. When she isn’t traveling, she enjoys spending time with her family, working, blogging and scrapbooking. She and her husband Matthew live in Nashville, Tennessee, with their toddler Elias, who loves to sing and ride on airplanes!


  1. Flying with kids on Southwest is NOT easy. My wife and I have flown several times with our 10 month old son, but never on Southwest before this past Thursday. Even though he is so clearly not even 1 yet, let alone too, the ticket agent and his manager refused to issue me my ticket until I could prove he was under 2. My wife emailed me a form showing his age and they said it wasn’t any good, because my wife could have just made it up. After nearly a half hour of pleading my case, I finally found an online medical record that showed that he was well under 2. Then the agent did nothing to expedite my move through security or boarding. I darn near missed my flight, arriving on the plain sweaty, with a crying child, and half of my gear strewn about as I rushed through security. To top it off, I paid $12 to board early. Total money down the drain, and I ended up on a middle seat. Just absolutely terrible policy and despite what the ticketing agent said, there was NO clearly marked policy on SWA’s web site saying that you have to bring a birth certificate. I cannot and will not recommend Southwest to my friends who are parents of young children. Why hassle when United, US Airways, and others will let you board with your infant child, with no questions asked?!

  2. Can I substitute a free stroller for a free pack n play? Its me and my two year old and my 9 month old flying to our new home across the country. My two year old and I each have a purchased ticket and my nine month old is a lap child. We have 4 bags, 2 car seats and 1 stroller. I was wondering since I don’t have two strollers can I take the pack n play in it’s place for free?

  3. Unfortunately, Southwest also has a horrible policy regarding strollers and carseats. They accept absolutely NO responsibility whatsoever for any damage that may happen to car seats and strollers, no matter how clear it is that they damaged it. I just flew Southwest with my 16 month old and gate checked my brand new stroller. When I got it back 2 parts were completely broken off. Southwest employees could have cared less- all they would say to me was “we don’t cover any damage to car seats and strollers. Next in line.” I will NEVER fly Southwest again while I need to travel with a baby.

  4. Hi, does anyone know if they let you gate check a pack n play? i’m thinking of bringing the car seat on board and gate checking stroller and pack n play b/c i don’t want them to get damaged if i check both with the rest of the luggage. thanks!

  5. Regarding the questions about the infant fares. Southwest offers a discount of our “Anytime” fare for infants. So if you are booking a “Wanna Get a Way” fare online, the infant fare is probably going to end up being more. An infant can travel on a “Wanna Get a Way”. My suggestion is when you are booking the adult tkts call a wonderful Customer Support and Service Agent and ask them what the infant fare would be. That way you can compare. If your fare online is lower, book the infant on that fare. On the other end, if you are traveling last minute and the only fare is the “Anytime” fare then call and get the infant fare for your baby.

  6. I just wish your airline would still allow early boarding for people traveling with babies. Last year I traveled with my 1 year old, and was not allowed to board early. I also had announced to the ticket agent at the gate that I could use some assistance because I have degenerative disc disease, and was having to climb the stairs to board (in Burbank), to no avail. I nearly dropped my 1 yr old. Other than that, you guys are an awesome airline!

  7. Does this apply to lap children as well?

  8. This is great news and perfect timing! I will be flying with my two year old soon and I can use all the help I can get. Thank you SWA…its more like SWAkiss

    • Ani — 07-14-2010 at 10:30 pm
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