I'm really disappointed that southwest's (my favorite airline by the way) unaccompanied minors age stops at age 11. My son goes to go visit family every summer and has always traveled with an stewardess escort. I can't believe SW thinks a 12/13 year old can get through airports alone. This process has worked for us up until now. Every other airline I have researched is age 5-14.
I'm not sure I follow. Unacompanied Minors (age 11 and under) can't fly on flights with connections, only non-stops and direct flights.
Just as with UMs, for your 12+ year old you can request a gate pass when dropping them off (so they're escorted by you until they depart) and also whoever picks them up can do the same (so they're met at the gate upon arrival). There should be no need for them to navigate the airport alone as long as you book a non-stop flight. (Although it is possible that their non-stop flight could need to make an unscheduled stop -- but this is rare.)
Or are you upset because a non-stop flight is no longer available for them to travel on?
Many parents, including myself, would be irritated if a 12 or 13 year old had to travel as an unaccompanied minor so it's certainly a situation every parent has to evaluate. Considering the child is only checked on occasionally during flight and there's not really much else to the service I don't see why it would be necessary for my child. Southwest's unaccompanied minor service also does not allow for connections that involve a plane change which could be a limitation for some parents if kids older than 11 were required to travel as unaccompanied minors.