Southwest Airlines is known as one of the few airlines with a generous free baggage policy for all passengers. When planning to travel with checked baggage, Southwest is a good option compared to other "low-cost" airlines, as they allow 2 free checked bags on their flights. Other airlines may have a slightly lower base-fare, but end up costing much more when taking into account the price of checked bags. Southwest is our top pick for Baggage-Friendly US-based airlines in 2018.
|Checked Baggage Allowance||10/10|
|Excess Baggage Fees||9/10|
Be sure to check out our new sister-site, Airline-Pet-Policies.com, for information about flying with your cat, dog, or other pet.
Southwest allows one piece of carry-on baggage, with maximum size 10 x 16 x 24 inches, but does not specify a weight limit. As long as you're able to fit your carry-on into the measurement bins by the check-in desk, you should be fine, as it'll fit under the seat in front of you.
You are also entitled to bring one "Personal Item", such as a purse, briefcase, or camera bag. Again, it must be able to fit into the overhead compartment or below the seat in front of you.+ Show Full Policy
Southwest passengers are permitted two carry-on items: One bag, plus one smaller personal-type item. Personal-type items include purses, briefcases, cameras, food containers, or laptops (case included). Pet carriers are considered either a personal item or a carry-on item.
Southwest Airlines limits carry-on bag dimensions to 10x16x24 inches. All Customers and Employees and their items are subject to a thorough physical search. The personal item is limited in size to 18.5 x 8.5 x 13.5 inches.
The following items are not considered carryon bags or personal-type items and are not counted against the "one-bag plus one personal-type item" limit:
A child restraint device for a ticketed child with a reserved seat or when complimentary, available space exists.
Assistive/mobility devices for individuals with a disability. There is no limit to the number of assistive/mobility devices a Customer can bring onboard the aircraft.
Outer garments or other wearable articles of clothing.
Food for consumption during flight contained in disposable packaging.
Walking canes or umbrellas.
Southwest Airlines is one of the few airlines to allow free checked bags for all of its passengers. Every Southwest customer can check up to 2 bags free of charge, with a maximum weight of 50lbs (23 kg) each.
The maximum size for these bags is 62 linear inches. That is, the sum of length + width + height must not exceed 62 inches.+ Show Full Policy
Southwest allows two (2) checked pieces of baggage per ticketed Customer. Size and weight limitations apply.
Southwest will accept the first two checked bags for free provided that the bags do not exceed 50 lbs and 62 inches (L+W+H). Overweight items from 51 to 100 pounds and oversized items in excess of 62 inches but not more than 80 inches will be accepted for a charge of $75.00 per item one-way. Only one $75.00 charge applies if the piece is both oversized and overweight, regardless of the weight as long as it does not exceed 100 lbs. Excess baggage which is also overweight or oversized will be charged excess baggage plus the applicable oversize or overweight charge.
Each piece of baggage in excess of the free baggage allowance specified above that is not in excess of 62 inches (L+W+H) and 50 lbs. or less will be accepted for a charge of $75.00 per item one-way. Excess baggage which is also overweight or oversized will be charged excess baggage plus the applicable oversize or overweight charge.
Linear Dimensions: What are Linear Dimensions?
Piece vs Weight: What is Piece Concept vs Weight Concept
Packing List: Travel Packing Checklist
Musical Instruments: Flying with Musical Instruments on Southwest
Any additional bags you take on a Southwest flight will cost $75 for each bag. If you really have a lot of baggage, 10 or more bags, each of those will cost $110 to take on board.
These additional bags are also limited to a maximum of 50lbs/23kg each. If any bag exceeds the 50 lbs limit, there is an additional overweight fee of $75 per item.
Keep in mind that no bag is allowed to weigh more than 100lbs, and will not be accepted.
Oversize fees of $75 apply to any bags that exceed the 62 linear inches size limit.+ Show Full Policy
The 3rd checked bag and any bag thereafter is $75 USD per piece.
Overweight items from 51 to 100 pounds and oversized items in excess of 62 inches but not more than 80 inches (e.g.; surfboards, bicycles, vaulting poles) will be accepted for an overweight and oversize baggage fee of $75 USD per item.
Any item weighing more than 100 pounds must be shipped as Air Cargo.
If your instrument does not meet the sizing requirements for carryon items (10"x16"x24"), it will be handled as checked baggage provided you do not wish to purchase a seat for the instrument.
In the event you are traveling with a musical instrument that is larger than our sizing requirements for carryon luggage and is fragile in nature, you may purchase a seat for the instrument and carry it in the cabin under the following conditions:
- The instrument must fit in the seat without blocking aircraft signage and be secured with a seatbelt.
- The instrument must be placed in the first row and in a seat closer to the window than any other Customer in that row.
- Reservations must be made and a ticket must be purchased at a charge no greater than the Child's Fare. Musical instruments cannot be transported in place of a free companion under any fare promotion.
Instruments that are transported in a soft-sided case or other packaging that is not strong enough to protect the instrument under normal baggage handling conditions will be conditionally accepted, which means that Southwest assumes no liability for any damage sustained to the item during transport.
Please Note: Some musical instruments (e.g. double bass, cello, etc.) cannot be secured in a seat and must be transported as checked baggage. Oversize or overweight charges may apply.
Wheelchairs & Other Devices
Southwest will stow wheelchairs in the aircraft cabin as long as they can be stowed in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety guidelines. Each aircraft is equipped with a specially designed wheelchair storage compartment to allow in-cabin stowage of at least one standard-size adult collapsible wheelchair. The wheelchair compartment is located in the rear of the aircraft and is available for Customers' use on a first-come, first-served basis.
If the wheelchair will not safely fit in an approved cabin bin or stowage area, we will transport it in the cargo compartment at no additional charge. However, we suggest that all removable parts (i.e., cushions, arm or leg rests, and side guards) be stowed in an overhead bin or under a seat if the parts fit and meet all FAA safety requirements for onboard stowage. The Customer has the option to retrieve the checked wheelchair at the gate or baggage claim upon arrival at his or her destination.
If you are traveling with a power wheelchair, in the event that we need to prepare your wheelchair for stowage, we may ask that you relinquish your power wheelchair up to an hour in advance of departure. In that case, you will be transferred to an airport wheelchair until boarding begins. Power wheelchairs and scooters will be securely stowed in the cargo compartment of the aircraft. Southwest recommends that all removable parts of the wheelchair be stowed in the overhead bins. Full Details.
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