Southwest Airlines Baggage Policy and Fee

Your checked luggage will be subjected to security checks after it has been inspected. Make sure to bring all of your items with you to the ticket counters.

Your checked baggage will be screened as required by the Transportation Security Administration. To avoid delays, passengers are asked to present identification at the ticket counters.

For tickets purchased after December 1, 2012, the 3rd checked bag will be charged at $75.

Southwest Airlines Baggage Policy And Fee

Southwest Airlines allow you to carry two checked and carry-on bags for free. Meanwhile, you have to pay $75 each for bringing a third and more bags. To avoid paying extra, you must ensure that the checked luggage doesn’t exceed 50 pounds.

The same fee applies to tickets purchased after December 5, 2012, and after February 13, 2013.

For tickets purchased after December 15, 2012, the maximum weight of checked bags is 50 pounds and the maximum size is 62 inches. For tickets purchased after February 13, 2013, the fee is $75 for overweight and oversize items.

To avoid getting charged for overweight items, all items weighing more than 100 pounds should be transported as Air Cargo. However, customers are not allowed to use SWA Cargo unless they’re a known Shipper.

Military passengers are exempt from the two-piece baggage limit. They can still get charged if the total weight of their luggage exceeds 80 inches and the size of their clothes exceeds 100 pounds.

Southwest Airlines is only liable for the damages caused by delayed or lost baggage. The baggage must be reported within four hours after the passenger arrives at the destination.

Although Southwest accepts most of the improperly packed items, it will not be responsible for damage caused by those items.

It’s also important to check your luggage before the scheduled departure time to give the airlines enough time to accommodate it.

Although Southwest tries to accommodate late checked baggage, it will not be responsible for the delivery charges if your bags do not arrive at your destination.

Southwest Airlines Baggage Policy For International Flights 

You can take two checked bags, one personal item, and one carry-on on international flights. However, the maximum checking-in time is 60 minutes instead of the standard 45 minutes. After that, your bag will be marked late, and you must pay the delivery fees.

If your travel plans include an international flight, you will be required to check your luggage at the ticket counter before reaching the airport. For international flights, the minimum checkin time for passengers is at least 75 minutes before departure.

For international flights, passengers must check their luggage in 60 minutes before their scheduled departure. If they fail to meet this deadline, they will not be allowed to check in or board the flight. After reaching the US, connecting passengers will be required to re-verify their luggage. For items that are smaller than the standard size, Southwest will charge an additional $5 for each bag.

What is Southwest Airlines’ (WN) fee for excess baggage?

For travelers from select cities in Mexico, Central America, and South America, Southwest will charge $75.00 for the third bag and any extra bags.

For bags that are over the weight limit, the airlines will charge an additional $75.00 each bag.

Are there fees for sports equipment on Southwest Airlines (WN)?

Sports equipment such as ski bags, fishing equipment, and hockey equipment can be accepted as one checked bag or hold bag on Southwest.

Southwest Airlines Maximum Carry-On Baggage Allowance 

As per the TSA, you can bring one bag of essential items and a small personal item as your carry-on baggage. The bag should not be more than 10 x 16 x 24 inches. Meanwhile, the item can be a musical instrument or sports equipment.

You can carry one carry-on item and one personal item on Southwest. The items must not exceed 13.5 x 18.5 inches and have a width of at least 16 inches.

You can also carry-on two items on Southwest, provided that the items are not bigger than 13.5 x 18.5 inches and have a width of at least 16 inches.

If your travel plans include an international flight, you will be required to check your luggage at the ticket counter before reaching the airport.

All passengers must claim their luggage upon arrival in the US. After clearing Customs, they will be required to re-check their bags with a Southwest Airlines customer service agent.

Southwest’s baggage fees are among the lowest in the US. They’re also one of the reasons why many people fly with the airline.

Aside from low fares, Southwest also offers various ways to save money on air travel. With its low baggage fees, Southwest has become one of the most economical airlines in the US.

Checking-In Method Of Carry-On Luggage On Southwest Airlines 

Southwest Airlines does not require you to check-in the carry-on luggage if meeting the size requirements. Instead, you can take the bag and item inside the plane to fit them in the overhead bin. You can also keep the small thing under your seat.

Southwest allows each passenger to carry-on one bag and one personal item.


Due to the size of the carry-on bag, Southwest will not allow you to check it at the gate.

Personal item

Personal items can be carried on board with you in checked bags or carry-on briefcases. You must bring your personal items inside the bag or put them under the seat to avoid getting spotted. If they can’t fit, they will be placed in the overhead bin.


Some items that are not considered carry-on or personal items are child restraints devices and carry-on bags.

Individuals with a disability may also bring onboard devices that can assist them with their mobility.

Outer garments and food items that are in containers that are labeled as disposable are also not allowed on Southwest.

Southwest Airlines Baggage Charges 

The company offers you two checked bags, one carry-on bag, and one personal carry-on item for free. You will have to pay $75 for each additional bag or thing if you exceed this limit. This fee is cheaper than what most other airlines ask for.

The low baggage fees that Southwest offers are very valuable to its passengers. While flying with the airline, you should also consider the fees charged by other airlines.

Usually, airlines charge around $60 for two bags, while a one-way ticket can be bought for $130 for two bags. By comparison, Southwest’s fees are cheaper than those of other airlines.

If you want to learn more about how to handle checked baggage, read our guide. It will also give you some helpful tips on how to avoid getting charged for every bag that you check.

Southwest Airlines Maximum Baggage Weight Limit 

The maximum weight limit at Southwest Airlines is 50 pounds. However, you can also bring 51 to 100 pounds of luggage by paying overweight fees. Also, the bag must not be more than 62 inches if you want to avoid oversized charges.

While Southwest allows two bags, it has weight restrictions. In addition, items weighing over 51 pounds and larger are not allowed to be checked free. Also, items weighing less than 80 inches are not allowed to be checked free.

If your bag weighs over 60 pounds, it will be charged an excess baggage fee of $75. For people with third bags, the fee will be $75.

Any items weighing over 100 pounds that are not labeled as Air Cargo can be shipped as ground cargo.

Military personnel traveling on active duty or on a permanent change of station order will not be charged for the excess baggage fees.

Customers can check one stroller and one child seat for free if they bring two bags.


Southwest Airlines is only liable for lost or damaged baggage that’s carried on a flight. This amount is limited to $3,500.


Lost or damaged baggage must be reported to Southwest within four hours of your arrival at the airport.

Your bag will be labeled with a Late Check-In Tag if it’s not arrived at its destination within 45 minutes before your scheduled departure. In the event that it does not arrive, Southwest will not be able to provide delivery charges for your bag.

If traveling on an international trip, you cannot check in or check your bag at the curbside.

Final word

Southwest’s low baggage fees are one of the perks of flying with the company. It’s also a good idea to take advantage of these savings when planning to travel with the military.

James Newman

James Newman is an air travel fanatic. From the fear of flying, TSA regulations, and saving money on flights & airlines, James has extensive knowledge when it comes to air travel. He hopes to make your air travel experience a better one with his blog

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