SWA-Infant BC Exemption?

Old Jul 30, 15, 5:37 pm
  #16  
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Originally Posted by GalleyWench View Post
Because an adult isn't trying to fly for free in someone's lap. It's only required for a child under 2 years of age that you're trying to fly with as a lap child. FAR's require any child that has reached their second birthday to occupy their own seat. The verification of age is accomplished by BC. SWA isn't the only airline that notes this on their website.
Maybe I do not travel in the USA so much. But I have NEVER seen this rule before. Nor did I see it when researching flights.

And still, WHY would a birth certificate prove a child's age? I mean, there is no photo. It could be a relatives. It is just paper. You can print one at home.

Forgive me for being far removed from my nation or origin, but could you explain to me how a birth certificate is the ultimate proof of identity now in the USA? Did they change them recently?
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Old Jul 30, 15, 5:52 pm
  #17  
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Originally Posted by lost*in*cyberspace View Post
I find it odd that someone wouldn't have a copy of their child's birth certificate. You will need it for school registration and other things, so might as well get one now. OP, if you don't want this "hassle," buy your child a seat.

A passport is also fine for age verification on airlines.
Why do you find it odd? I had to give up his birth certificate to get his passport. Will take way too long to get a new one. Been waiting 1.5 years for mine and we are from the same state. My other infant was born abroad. And there is absolutely no way to get that in time.

You do not need a birth certificate for school registration. Nor for anything I know of. Apart from applying for a passport. After that, your birth certificate is useless. I have not had one since I was a teenager many moons ago.

Buying a seat costs money.

I just find the whole birth certificate thing odd. I personally think it is illegal and am thinking about getting an attorney or government agency involved. Never came across anyone saying "we need a birth certificate!" Weird.

When I e-mailed, and called them, they said a passport is not acceptable.
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Old Jul 30, 15, 6:02 pm
  #18  
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Contrary to what OP asserts, BC's are not easy to forge. I am not referring to cutesy stuff which people print for fun, but the Certificate of Live Birth issued to the parents/guardians. It also follows that most people who might commit a petty fraud against an air carrier, won't commit a federal felony with a BC.

If people weren't crooks, FAA would have the requirement and WN (and other carriers) wouldn't have to be so tough about it. There's a real temptation by people to save the $ and put their kid at risk at >2 and the only way to be certain is is to always require it.

WN ought to accept a passport (most carriers do), but WN can be WN and when its agents get their backs up, they get their backs up. I would call WN and ask whether a Passport will suffice and to have the PNR notes reflect this if it does.

Not directly relevant, but there is a decent amount of research suggesting that a kid in a car seat is a lot safer in turbulence (common) or a crash (uncommon). So, maybe safety trumps here anyway.
Um, yes, birth certificates are incredibly easy to fake. Nearly everyone in the USA either owns or has access to a computer and a printer. I can make a face birth certificate from scratch in maybe 10-15 minutes.

Safety is not an issue. What would happen on a plane? Planes are incredibly safe. If the plane crashes, I doubt a car seat is going to matter. Besides that, the youngest will be attached to his mother, and not in a car seat. The older one cannot fit in a car seat, and we do not own 2 anyhow. We are probably not going to bring the other one's car seat. Likely going to throw it out.

As I said, I already called.
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Old Jul 30, 15, 6:19 pm
  #19  
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The FAA requires that every passenger 2+ be in their own seat for takeoff and landing and that there be a seat available for that person when the Captain has the seatbelt sign is illuminated.

How the carrier assures that is up to the carrier. WN chooses to require a birth certificate. As a private company, it's up to WN. Other carriers eyeball the kid. They are willing to take the risk.

I can assure you that I am no fan of WN. I dislike its business model intensely. But, the one thing it does have going for it is uniformity. If they say "X", it's "X".
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Old Jul 30, 15, 6:24 pm
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Erasmus View Post
You're taking a very Americo-centric view on this. While what you say may be true in the US, I can assure you the same is not necessarily true in all parts of the world. I have no idea where the OP's kids were born, but things are not so simple everywhere.
Ha, ha! Actually, my elder son's BC from outside the USA is the secure document that is hard to fake.

It is the US BCs that are easy to fake. That's why there are so many millions of people living here that do not even have permission to be here, but they are claiming they are US Citizens. SSA cards too. Where I live, your SS number is not your national ID that rules your life. The SS number is just for SS. But even still, to get a card, you need biometric photo, all finger prints, hand prints, and side prints, several forms of ID, etc. Our SS cards are photo IDs as well. Printed on PVC. lol But that's another thread...
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Old Jul 30, 15, 10:40 pm
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I find it very hard to believe that in practice WN wouldn't accept a passport as proof of age. Yes they say they require a birth certificate and the phone reps might say that's the only form of proof-of-age they'll accept, but if you get to the airport and you have a passport for the child and not a birth certificate, I would be shocked if they denied you boarding.

That said, I've never tried it. I HAVE flown WN with a lap child before, however, and a smudgy photocopy of a birth certificate has been perfectly acceptable.
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Old Jul 31, 15, 12:48 am
  #22  
 
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SWA-Infant BC Exemption?

Not sure why you think it's illegal and an attorney can help you but good luck with that. Other airlines have it on their websites that a birth certificate may be required for proof of age as well. How old is your child? If they're close to 2 it's pretty certain you will be challenged on SWA and if you don't have what they require you might be buying a last minute ticket which can be expensive.
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Old Jul 31, 15, 1:38 am
  #23  
 
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SWA-Infant BC Exemption?

A real birth certificate also has a raised seal from the issuing states registrar so it would probably take a little longer than a few minutes to fake one. And they are indeed required to register for school and in some states to get a learners permit to drive. Car seats are the preferred method of flying with an infant, as opposed to just sitting in a parents lap but air travel is very safe hence the ability to use that provision. Proof of age is required because older toddlers on laps can be hurt themselves or hurt others in the event of turbulence, a hard landing etc. Are you close enough to the airport that you can drive there and ask at the ticket counter? Just don't want you to have any expensive surprises the day of travel.
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Old Jul 31, 15, 8:40 am
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by GalleyWench View Post
A real birth certificate also has a raised seal from the issuing states registrar so it would probably take a little longer than a few minutes to fake one.
WN requires a copy of a birth certificate, not an original. I've flown WN several times with a lapchild and a photocopy of a birth certificate (no raised seal or anything of the sort) has always sufficed. That said, I've never flown WN with a lap child remotely approaching the age of 2 (we usually start buying seats around the time they learn to walk, as they start to get too squirmy to safely/comfortably hold on a lap).
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Old Jul 31, 15, 9:14 am
  #25  
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The bottom line here is that whether it's a good idea or not and whether WN ought to accept alternative docs such as a passport, doesn't help OP. Have to plan for providing a birth certificate or buying a seat.

It appears that OP is traveling in the US and lives outside the country. If that is the case, the possibility of cancelling and retaining the value for other tickets later and then looking for a bargain which might exist now on other carriers isn't an option (as it's also intimated that these are restricted).
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Old Jul 31, 15, 12:28 pm
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by UNGGOY View Post
......

But they do not accept anything. Not even a US Passport Book. Only a birth certificate. What I wonder is, if there is something we can file to get exempted? To get my son's foreign passport, we had to submit his original birth certificate. Now there is no way we can get it in any feasible time. I have been waiting over 1.5 years for mine. We were born in the same state. My other son, just under 2, was born abroad, and there is NO WAY we can ever get his birth certificate in any feasible time frame.



.....
So much ado about nothing! A passport is fine for lap infant id. Did you even try calling Southwest to ask?

https://www.southwest.com/html/custo...c=age_verified
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Old Aug 1, 15, 2:57 pm
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by UNGGOY View Post
I had to give up his birth certificate to get his passport.

When I e-mailed, and called them, they said a passport is not acceptable.
When I sent in my certificate to get a passport, it was returned to me. All of your official documents should be.

And, regardless of how "weird" you find the process, I highly recommend getting multiple copies of your children's birth certificates for the future as they are necessary for certain things in the US. Even if they are not useful to you now, they may be in the future. Most states will charge you a larger fee for the first copy and a small fee for the second or more copies issued at the same time, so it is worth it to order multiple at once.

Finally, on the Southwest website, it tells you how you can even get the age issue settled ahead of time:

If you prefer, you may mail a copy of a valid picture I.D. or birth certificate proving age to: Southwest Airlines Customer Relations; P.O. Box 36662; Dallas, TX 75235. Please be sure to indicate the traveler's Rapid Rewards account number with your request, and submit your request at least two weeks prior to your flight.
The date of birth field in the account will be updated to reflect that age has been verified.
If you submit your request in writing, you will receive a confirmation letter in the mail once the date of birth has been verified.

I am guessing that the agents you talked to that said that a passport is not acceptable are misinformed. Since it's a mostly domestic airline, I'm guessing they don't have a ton of people showing up with passports as their ID, but the rules above clearly state that a valid picture ID is proof of age. Passports are a valid picture ID.
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Old Aug 1, 15, 2:59 pm
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by UNGGOY View Post
How about a US passport, foreign passport, US passport card, national ID, US permanent resident card, foreign permanent resident card, driver's license, school ID, health insurance card, residence registration card, military dependent ID, and so on.
No, my 15 month old does not have any of these items. Her only proof of age is a birth certificate and perhaps, as others have mentioned, her immunization records. However, I agree that if she had a passport issued by anyone with her birthdate in the western dating system on it, it should be accepted as proof of age.
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Old Aug 1, 15, 5:26 pm
  #29  
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Originally Posted by AsiaTraveler View Post
When I sent in my certificate to get a passport, it was returned to me. All of your official documents should be.

And, regardless of how "weird" you find the process, I highly recommend getting multiple copies of your children's birth certificates for the future as they are necessary for certain things in the US. Even if they are not useful to you now, they may be in the future. Most states will charge you a larger fee for the first copy and a small fee for the second or more copies issued at the same time, so it is worth it to order multiple at once.

Finally, on the Southwest website, it tells you how you can even get the age issue settled ahead of time:

If you prefer, you may mail a copy of a valid picture I.D. or birth certificate proving age to: Southwest Airlines Customer Relations; P.O. Box 36662; Dallas, TX 75235. Please be sure to indicate the traveler's Rapid Rewards account number with your request, and submit your request at least two weeks prior to your flight.
The date of birth field in the account will be updated to reflect that age has been verified.
If you submit your request in writing, you will receive a confirmation letter in the mail once the date of birth has been verified.

I am guessing that the agents you talked to that said that a passport is not acceptable are misinformed. Since it's a mostly domestic airline, I'm guessing they don't have a ton of people showing up with passports as their ID, but the rules above clearly state that a valid picture ID is proof of age. Passports are a valid picture ID.
Thank you for your reply.

All original documents that are submitted for the passport application are not returned.

As for needing BCs fr my kids in the USA in the future, I won't. I do not know what laws have changed in the USA, or will change, but we have never needed one prior to this, and we are not coming back.

For the age verification thing? That is not what this thread is about. As the 2 boys in question are under 2, there is no need for me to make them a Rapid Rewards Account, as they do not earn miles when they fly.

My question was not about infant fares. It is for lap infants. If you read the older posts, I mention this frequently. Also, I do not have at least 2 weeks to register. Nor am I going to pay for that. As I said. The information you are quoting, found here:

https://www.southwest.com/html/gener...ified_faq.html

Is not for lap infants. It is for infant, child, and senior fares online check-in.

Neither is an issue for me. This is:

https://www.southwest.com/html/custo...board-pol.html

This section, while related to the information you posted, concurs the crazy Birth Certificate rule.

No, the agents I talked to know what they are talking about, as photo ID is not accepted, as their site says. Why would people not use picture ID to fly in the USA? I know the TSA does not require Photo ID to board a plane, but it is easier. Do most Americans only fly with their birth certificates now? :P
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Old Aug 1, 15, 5:27 pm
  #30  
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Originally Posted by AsiaTraveler View Post
No, my 15 month old does not have any of these items. Her only proof of age is a birth certificate and perhaps, as others have mentioned, her immunization records. However, I agree that if she had a passport issued by anyone with her birthdate in the western dating system on it, it should be accepted as proof of age.
How often does your 15 month old travel internationally?
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