SWA-Infant BC Exemption?

Old Jul 24, 15, 8:41 pm
  #1  
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SWA-Infant BC Exemption?

Does anyone know if there is an exemption to the infant Birth Certificate requirement? It could take quite a long time to get one for 2 of our kids.

BTW-Does anyone know WHY they have such an oddball rule? I don't see how it's even legal...

Thank you!
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Old Jul 25, 15, 6:22 pm
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SWA-Infant BC Exemption?

It's to verify that your child qualifies for lap child status and isn't 2 years or older.
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Old Jul 26, 15, 8:46 pm
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Exemption #1: Buy the child a seat.

Possible Exemption #2: Perhaps there is some other proof of the child's birth that would be acceptable, although I can't for the life of me think of what, aside from my daughter's birth certificate, I would present to attempt to prove her age. I would call and ask.
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Old Jul 26, 15, 10:34 pm
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Originally Posted by GalleyWench View Post
It's to verify that your child qualifies for lap child status and isn't 2 years or older.
But why a birth certificate?

Is that not a off-the-wall rule?

I mean, you can easily fake a birth certificate in 30 minutes or so at home.

Why do they not ask for birth certificated for children and adults?
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Old Jul 26, 15, 10:40 pm
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Originally Posted by AsiaTraveler View Post
Exemption #1: Buy the child a seat.

Possible Exemption #2: Perhaps there is some other proof of the child's birth that would be acceptable, although I can't for the life of me think of what, aside from my daughter's birth certificate, I would present to attempt to prove her age. I would call and ask.
Buying a seat requires paying money.

You can't think of anything?

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.

I can think of a seemingly endless list of IDs, with photos, that are much more authoritative than a piece of paper that anyone can fake.

So I still beg the question, why a birth certificate?

I have called and asked....
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Old Jul 27, 15, 12:35 pm
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Originally Posted by UNGGOY View Post
Buying a seat requires paying money.

You can't think of anything?

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.

I can think of a seemingly endless list of IDs, with photos, that are much more authoritative than a piece of paper that anyone can fake.

So I still beg the question, why a birth certificate?

I have called and asked....
Why a birth certificate? Because most people who have been born have one... I do not believe most infants have a passport, drivers license, or school ID. A birth certificate is accessible enough to be practical while still serving as a deterrent to those who would try to pass a 2.5 year old as a lap child.

If you have another piece of identification they will accept that as all. We once used an immunization record that showed the infant's birth date when we had misplaced the birth certificate.
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Old Jul 27, 15, 12:50 pm
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Yes, WN does require a birth certificate, even when the child is clearly well under the age 2 lap baby cut-off. If your child has a paid seat, they're exempt from this requirement.

The FAA puts the burden of proof on the airlines and they're very strict that once the child has his or her 2nd birthday, they have to have a seat on the plane.

What about the baby's shot records? Anything else you can get from the ped? All you need is some official paper to state the baby's name and birthdate.

I will admit that national identity cards are convenient in other countries.

I was born in a small Kansas army base I've never seen. I can't tell you what a pain it was to get one, when I needed it (I was in a Drum & Bugle Corps that required members to be under age 22 and every corps I joined, lost mine!) Some secretary in Fort Riley Kansas probably got a little tired of me...

My sister only had to go to the local city hall!
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Old Jul 27, 15, 10:04 pm
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Originally Posted by UNGGOY View Post
Originally Posted by GalleyWench View Post
It's to verify that your child qualifies for lap child status and isn't 2 years or older.
But why a birth certificate?

Is that not a off-the-wall rule?

I mean, you can easily fake a birth certificate in 30 minutes or so at home.

Why do they not ask for birth certificated for children and adults?
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.
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Old Jul 29, 15, 11:36 am
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Having never flown WN with an infant, I have no personal experience, but I find it very hard to believe they would not accept a valid passport. It is every bit as authoritative (and, as the OP points out, far harder to fake) than a birth certificate. I have never had any agency foreign or domestic refuse our children's passports as a valid form of ID and proof of age.

Indeed, my own personal birth certificate is from a third-world nation and looks like something a 6-year-old drew. I have had several agencies question its authenticity so make a habit of providing alternative documentation whenever possible.
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Old Jul 30, 15, 9:00 am
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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.
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Old Jul 30, 15, 9:16 am
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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.
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Old Jul 30, 15, 11:34 am
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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.
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.
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Old Jul 30, 15, 2:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
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.
Yet WN is the only airline I know of that has a proof-of-age requirement. I've never been asked for proof of age when traveling domestically with a lap child on any other airline, but WN asks for it even when the kid is only a couple months old and there's no way (s)he could be over the age of 2.
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Old Jul 30, 15, 5:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Big4Flyer View Post
Why a birth certificate? Because most people who have been born have one... I do not believe most infants have a passport, drivers license, or school ID. A birth certificate is accessible enough to be practical while still serving as a deterrent to those who would try to pass a 2.5 year old as a lap child.

If you have another piece of identification they will accept that as all. We once used an immunization record that showed the infant's birth date when we had misplaced the birth certificate.
Then why don't they require a birth certificate of adults?

All of my children, prior to the age of 2 have had passports from 2 different countries, US passports card, US State driver's license(non-driving), postal ID, health insurance card, and some others I can't think of right now.

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.

Yeah, that's another thing. Do infants born abroad all pretty much need to purchase a ticket? I mean, who carries birth certificates around with them? I am in my 40s and have not needed mine in more than 2 decades. I just applied a year an a half ago, since we were in America. Thought I'd get one while we are here.

SWA is already purchased. No refunds. Not coming back to America ever. And they don't let you give your tickets to people anymore. Also, they are the only airlines we can afford in the USA. Especially since we are bringing 8 massive 24x24x12x50# crates with us for free!

Any ideas? Thanks!
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Old Jul 30, 15, 5:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Eclipsepearl View Post
Yes, WN does require a birth certificate, even when the child is clearly well under the age 2 lap baby cut-off. If your child has a paid seat, they're exempt from this requirement.

The FAA puts the burden of proof on the airlines and they're very strict that once the child has his or her 2nd birthday, they have to have a seat on the plane.

What about the baby's shot records? Anything else you can get from the ped? All you need is some official paper to state the baby's name and birthdate.

I will admit that national identity cards are convenient in other countries.

I was born in a small Kansas army base I've never seen. I can't tell you what a pain it was to get one, when I needed it (I was in a Drum & Bugle Corps that required members to be under age 22 and every corps I joined, lost mine!) Some secretary in Fort Riley Kansas probably got a little tired of me...

My sister only had to go to the local city hall!
Hi. Thanks for your reply.

It can't be an FAA thing though. SWA is the only company that has this rule. But they are the cheapest!

They didn't tell me anything about shot records. But there are no records of them. That is odd. Another member mentioned shot records.

I am from the USA, but have become quite the foreigner. I am lost in my home of origin. I cannot fathom how shot records (which can be faked at home in a few minutes) can have more authority than a United States of America Department of State Passport Book! :P

Yeah, no going to the city hall in New York, as we are in Arizona! lol I am a US Army vet myself. Appreciation to your family that served.
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