passenger check-in

Ticket Counter Check-in Requirements

AirTran Airways recommends that passengers arrive at the airport 90 - 120 minutes prior to the scheduled departure of their flight. For more information on your airport please visit the Airport Information page on southwest.com®. Baggage checked less than 45 minutes prior will be marked for Voluntary Separation. Although every effort will be made to get your Voluntary Separated bag on your flight, in the event your baggage does not arrive with you at your destination, AirTran Airways will not assume delivery charges to get your baggage to you.

For international travel, we strongly suggest arriving at the airport at least 180 minutes prior to your flight. Passengers and their baggage will not be accepted at the ticket counter less than 60 minutes before the scheduled departure time. See AirTran Airways’ Contract of Carriage for specific airport check-in requirements.

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Gate Check-in requirements

Customers must present themselves at the flight departure gate no later than ten minutes prior to the scheduled departure of their flight. Failure to comply will cause the customer to lose their reservation and, if so, they will not be eligible for denied boarding compensation.

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Children and Infants

AirTran Airways will not provide transportation services to any infant 14 days of age or younger, unless a written statement is provided by an attending physician approving such infant for air travel. Infants under the age of two years must be accompanied by a passenger 12 years old or older and have a birth certificate for age verification purposes.

You may bring a stroller to the gate for ease of travel through the airport. The stroller may be gate checked just before boarding the plane and will be returned to the aircraft jet way upon arrival at your destination. Car seats and strollers may be checked free of charge; any other items are subject to standard baggage fees (i.e., portable crib, high chair, etc.).

Booster-type child seats, vest and harness-type systems, and lap held child belts are not approved for use in the aircraft during movement on the surface, taxi, takeoff and landing; they may be used during cruise flight only. The C.A.R.E.S. (Child Aviation Restraint System) is currently the only child safety device FAA approved for all points of travel, in place of a child restraint seat.

When traveling with an infant, you are allowed more than the standard one carry-on item in order to travel with baby-related items such as diapers, baby clothes, blanket, etc. We recommend that you carry on an ample supply of baby care items in the event that your flight is delayed. Security requirements prevent us from retrieving checked luggage from the cargo stowage.

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Unaccompanied Minors

AirTran defines an unaccompanied minor as a child at least five (5) years of age but less than twelve (12) years of age who is not accompanied by a customer twelve (12) years of age or older. All applicable fees will apply.

Unaccompanied minors will be accepted for travel, with limitations, based on their itinerary. AirTran does not accept unaccompanied minors on international flights.

  • A child five (5) through eleven (11) years of age will be accepted only on nonstop or direct flights between their origin and destination. AirTran Airways reserves the right not to transport unaccompanied minors on flights that may be diverted or cancelled due to weather or other operational disruptions.
  • Unaccompanied minors will not be booked on connecting flights.
  • Passengers 12 years of age or older will no longer be accepted as unaccompanied minors.
  • Proof of age in the form of a birth certificate or other form of valid identification for the child is required upon check-in at the ticket counter to travel as an unaccompanied minor.

Fees

  • Unaccompanied minors will be charged a fee of $50 one-way per child on nonstop and direct flights or $100 roundtrip per child.

Please advise AirTran Airways if the reservation is for an unaccompanied minor. AirTran will need information regarding the individual designated to take custody of the unaccompanied minor at the final destination. The designated individual will be required to present positive identification and sign a release.

Originating City — Departure Gate

AirTran Airways asks that you have the unaccompanied child check in at the departure gate at least one (1) hour prior to scheduled departure. The child will be courtesy-boarded and identified to the Flight Attendant as an unaccompanied child. Unaccompanied children arriving after the courtesy-boarding process has been completed will be boarded last, to ensure identification to the Flight Attendant. The person escorting the unaccompanied minor to the gate must remain at the gate until the flight is airborne.

Destination City — Meeting an Unaccompanied Minor

The child will be escorted off the aircraft by a Flight Attendant and released to the designee or another designated AirTran Airways Crew Member. AirTran Airways will require the person picking up the unaccompanied child to produce positive identification and sign a release. If an unaccompanied minor is not met at the destination airport, AirTran Airways will make every attempt to reach the adult sending the child or the adult responsible for meeting the child. If AirTran Airways is unable to make contact with the adults listed in the reservation the Unaccompanied Minor will be returned to his/her originating city at the expense of the adult who sent the UM. As a last resort, if the responsible adults for the UM are delinquent in meeting the child and/or responding to calls, AirTran Airways will place the child in the custody of local authorities or child protective services.

AirTran Airways hopes you will understand these requirements are intended for the safety and well-being of your child.

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Boarding Procedures

AirTran Airways will board unaccompanied minors, passengers traveling with infant in arms and passengers requiring special assistance first provided they have identified themselves to an AirTran Airways gate agent prior the start of general boarding. When general boarding commences, the aircraft will be boarded by zones. AirTran Airways recommends that passengers arrive at the gate at least one hour in advance of the flight.

Customers flying on Southwest Airlines segments are assigned a boarding group (A, B, or C) and position (1-60) when they check in. Your unique group and position combination (for example: A35) will be displayed on your boarding pass and represents a reserved spot in the boarding group at the gate. Numbered posts in each Southwest Airlines gate area indicate where to line up, so when your boarding group is called, find your designated place in line and board the aircraft.

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Online Flight Check-in

AirTran Airways offers Online Flight Check-in at airtran.com. Customers may check in using this service from their computers from 24 hours to 45 minutes prior to the flight’s scheduled departure. Flights involving a Southwest Airlines segment may check-in online from 24 hours to 1 hour prior to scheduled flight.

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Kiosk Flight Check-In

AirTran Airways offers flight check-in through self-service kiosks at all stations.

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Changes at the Airport on Day of Travel

Customers have two options for changing to a flight other than their reserved flight at the airport on the day of travel. Based on space availability, customers may reserve a confirmed seat on an earlier flight to the same destination for $50 per person per segment. Or, customers have the option to standby for another flight to the same destination at no charge. These options are only available at the airport on the day of travel.

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Armed Law Enforcement Officers

Law enforcement officers, under certain limited circumstances, may be allowed to fly armed while traveling on AirTran Airways. They must present a completed Carry-On Firearms Authorization form and meet TSA requirements.

Individuals Authorized to Carry Firearms Onboard Aircraft:

  • Federal Law Enforcement Officers who are direct employees of a government agency
  • State, Local or County Law Enforcement Officers authorized to carry firearms who are direct employees of a government agency
  • Foreign Nationals who are armed escorts of Foreign Dignitaries

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