Southwest Airlines Customers Will Be Able To Book Unaccompanied Minors <


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Southwest Airlines Customers Will Be Able To Book Unaccompanied Minors

By Jim Douglas

April 17, 2010 - On Friday, April 23, Southwest Airlines Customers will have the ability to book Unaccompanied Minors (UMs) on their website. Currently, Customers booking UM travel must complete their transaction and fill out the necessary paperwork once they arrive at the airport. 

Southwest will soon offer this service via their website allowing passengers the added convenience of entering their information online and giving them more quality time to spend with their young travelers at the airport before they depart. 

"We continuously evaluate our UM process to ensure that we deliver the best possible service to our young Customers who are traveling alone," said Teresa Laraba, Southwest's Senior Vice President of Customer Services. 

"During a recent audit, we identified several opportunities, including the creation of an online booking tool for UMs and an enhancement in the Employee training that comes along with handling our young passengers who are flying solo." 

Children ages five through 11 traveling without an accompanying Passenger age 12 or older must travel as Unaccompanied Minors (UMs) on Southwest Airlines. Unaccompanied Minors may only travel on nonstop or direct flights. The UM program does not permit direct or connecting flights. 

In addition to the new online booking feature, parents and guardians should know that the UM service charge will go from $25 to $50 each way, which is still among the lowest in the industry. Even with the increase in service charge, Southwest will continue to absorb some of the cost associated with the extra care necessary to safely transport Unaccompanied Minors. 

Last year, Southwest implemented a $25 each way service charge, in addition to the fare or Rapid Rewards Award ticket, for Customers who are traveling as an Unaccompanied Minor. The new Unaccompanied Minor service charge will apply to tickets purchased on April 23, 2010, and later. Children traveling on tickets booked before April 23 (even if traveling after that date) will still pay $25 each way at a Southwest ticket counter. 


"The increase in our UM service charge will help us cover the added costs that come along with safely transporting our youngest travelers, while still allowing us to maintain our competitive Low Fare advantage," said Laraba. 

After 38 years of service, Southwest Airlines continues to differentiate itself from other low fare carriers--offering a reliable product with exemplary Customer Service. Southwest Airlines is the most productive airline in the sky and offers Customers a comfortable traveling experience, with all leather seats, all Boeing 737 jets. 

Southwest Airlines is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded, currently serving 68 cities in 35 states (Southwest will launch service to Panama City Beach, FL on May 23, 2010). Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,200 flights a day and has nearly 35,000 Employees systemwide.
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