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.
|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 Carry-On items are limited to 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 carryon item.
Southwest Airlines limits carryon bag dimensions to 10x16x24 inches. All Customers and Employees and their items are subject to a thorough physical search.
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.
Strollers and Child Restraint Systems (CRSs) or Car Seats
Customers traveling with children will be allowed to check one stroller and one Child Restraint System (CRS) or car seat per child without charge. This is in addition to the regular free baggage allowance.
The stroller and CRS or car seat allowance applies to any type of stroller (umbrella, full size, jogging stroller, etc.) and CRS or car seat.
The Customer may check the stroller and CRS or car seat at the curb, ticket counter, or gate.
Southwest Airlines will not assume liability for damage to strollers, CRSs or car seats. Each should be tagged as conditionally accepted and placed in a plastic bag.
Southwest Airlines currently prohibits self-defence sprays on any flight regardless if it is checked or carried on.
Please see the TSA's web site for a list of prohibited carryon items.
Duty-Free Items: Duty-free items, or any liquids that exceed three ounces, must be re-checked after clearing Customs upon arrival in the United States before proceeding through the TSA security checkpoint to travel on connecting flights and will count toward the 1+1 TSA baggage policy.
Liquids in Excess of 100 mL: Beginning January 31, 2014, passengers traveling internationally into the United States with a connecting flight will be permitted to carry liquids in excess of 100 mL in their carry-on baggage, provided they were purchased in duty-free shops and placed in secure, tamper-evident bags (STEBs).
Technological advances may allow passengers to keep these liquids in their carry-on baggage, provided they are presented in a STEB and are able to be screened and cleared by Transportation Security Officers at the checkpoint.
Liquids that cannot be screened and cleared will not be allowed to remain in a passengerís carry-on baggage. Passengers may elect to place these items into checked baggage, if available, or forfeit them prior to entering the secure area of the airport. This may include liquids in opaque, ceramic, or metallic bottles, or other containers that cannot be effectively scanned.
Southwest Airlines is one of the few airlines to allow free checked bags for all of its passengers. Every customer can check up to 2 bags, 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.
Maximum weight is 50 pounds and maximum size is 62 inches (length + width + height) per check piece of luggage. Effective for tickets purchased on or after December 15, 2012, for travel on or after February 13, 2013, 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 an overweight and oversize baggage.
Exception: Military Passengers traveling on active duty or permanent change of station orders will be exempt from the two-piece Baggage limit and will not be subject to excess, oversize, or overweight Baggage charges, provided that none of the pieces of Baggage exceeds 100 pounds in weight and 80 inches in size (outside length plus height plus width).
Linear Dimensions: What are Linear Dimensions?
Piece vs Weight: What is Piece Concept vs Weight Concept
Packing List: Travel Packing Checklist
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. Southwest will probably ask you to repack into 2 separate bags, or you would have to send the bag as Cargo, which could be expensive.+ Show Full Policy
The 3rd checked bag and any bag thereafter is USD 75 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 USD 75 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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