Can a Lap Child Fly Free With You and Your Southwest Companion?
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Million Mile Secrets reader, Matt, tweeted:
“My wife and I just got the Southwest Companion Pass. Can we use the Companion Pass AND have a lap child on a single paid ticket?”
Congrats on earning the Companion Pass, Matt! And thanks for the question!
The great news is you, your wife, and a lap child (under 2 years of age) can travel on Southwest for the price of 1 paid or award ticket. That’s 3 travelers for the price of one!
It’s just another reason the Companion Pass is my favorite deal in travel!
I’ll explain what you need to know before booking a reservation with a lap child. And I’ll remind you how to earn the Southwest Companion Pass.
Add a Lap Child to Your Southwest Companion Pass Reservation
Link: Southwest Baby on Board
Southwest allows parents to travel with a lap child for free. The child must be over 14 days old and under 2 years of age.
Many domestic airlines have the same policy of allowing children under 2 years old who don’t occupy a seat to fly for free in the US. So you don’t need the Southwest Companion Pass for this perk.
But the added benefit of using the Companion Pass with a lap child is 3 travelers can fly for the price of one.
For example, Matt has the Companion Pass and picks his wife as his companion. If he books a paid OR award flight, his wife can travel with him for almost free (just pay taxes and fees). Then, their son or daughter under age 2 can fly as a lap child for free!
And each parent could technically have a lap child. This means if you have 2 children under age 2, you can bring them along for free. That’s 4 travelers for the price of one!
One exception is international routes. You’ll have to pay taxes and fees for a lap child, which could be ~$100 depending on your destination.
Other domestic airlines like American Airlines and United Airlines charge 10% of the adult fare for a lap child to fly on an international flight.
Also, remember to bring a copy of your child’s birth certificate to the airport the day of your flight. This way Southwest can verify the age of your child.
Be Safe in Your Seats
Keep in mind safety protocol when flying with 2 lap children. If 2 parents each have a lap child, they can NOT sit in the same 3-seat row. Because there are not enough oxygen masks for 3 adults and 2 lap children in the same row. So, the airline will usually let parents with lap children sit in aisle seats across from each other.
Instead of flying with a lap child, you could also purchase a separate ticket for your infant. Southwest offers discounts on infant fares. But these can only be booked by calling Southwest. And the discount only applies to the more expensive refundable fares. So it’ll probably be cheaper to purchase a Wanna Get Away fare!
A Great Time to Earn the Companion Pass
The easiest way to earn the Southwest Companion Pass is through sign-up bonuses on the Chase Southwest cards.
And right now the sign-up bonus on all 3 Southwest cards is 50,000 Southwest points!
If you apply for 2 Southwest credit cards (personal and small business), you’ll earn 104,000 Southwest points (including points from meeting minimum spending requirements). And there are many ways to earn the last 6,000 points you need for the Companion Pass!
Keep in mind it’s unlikely Chase will approve you for 2 personal cards at the same time.
If you’re unsure if you’ll qualify for a small business card, check out my post about ways you might qualify!
Just remember, Chase now has stricter approval rules. So if you’ve opened ~5 or more credit cards from any bank (excluding certain business cards) in the past 24 months, it’s unlikely you’ll be approved for most Chase cards.
Folks can use the Southwest Companion Pass AND bring up to 2 children (under age 2) on any domestic Southwest flight for free and any international route for the cost of taxes and fees. That’s 4 travelers for the price of one! This is just 1 reason why the Companion Pass is the top deal in travel!
And it’s a great time to earn the Companion Pass because all 3 Southwest cards are offering 50,000 Southwest point sign-up bonuses!
Have you taken a family trip using the Companion Pass and lap child policy? I’d love to hear about your experience!
Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)