What Is Southwest Airlines Baggage Policy?


While traveling with Southwest Airlines, you can travel with up to two free checked bags. However, there are some hidden fees that you might not be aware of.

It’s a great perk to get two bags for free, but is it really worth it? Before you book a flight with Southwest, check out this guide to discover the hidden fees that the airline charges.

Southwest has the most straightforward baggage policy in the industry. Its first two bags are free with any ticket, and the additional fees are only $75 each.

Southwest Airlines Carry-On Baggage Costs 

Southwest Airlines does not charge you anything for the first and second carry-on bags for all flights. However, you will have to pay $75 for the third and other baggage. The airline will also charge you the same amount for oversized bags.

It costs $0 to carry-on your first bag, your second carry-on bag, and your first checked bag with Southwest Airlines.

If your bag is overweight, you’ll be charged an additional $75 each. It’s usually worth remembering to check it before you travel.

Due to the size of carry-on bags, Southwest Airlines follows the TSA’s guidelines. You can carry one carry-on bag and a personal bag in carry-on bags.

Southwest Airlines allows two pieces of checked baggage for free for each ticket holder.

A $75.00 charge is charged for overweight items and oversized items that weigh over 60 inches.

One-bag limit: No more than 50 linear inches wide x 12 inches high x 127 centimeters wide. Fit in the overhead binor under the seat. Child restraint device: No more than a child seat belt or when available space exists.

Southwest Airlines also allows its customers to bring multiple assistive mobility devices with them on board.

Extra Baggage Fees

If you decide to carry a third bag, you’ll have to pay $75. This fee applies to checked sports equipment, such as bikes and archery gear.

Military baggage fees

Military personnel traveling on active duty or on a permanent change of station can check overweight and oversized bags for free.

Beyond the normal baggage fees, you’ll also be charged for additional services and extras. One perk of traveling with Southwest is that it doesn’t have flight change fees.

EarlyBird check-in fees

Due to Southwest’s unique boarding system, passengers have to check in in 24 hours in advance to get in line. If you’re willing to pay an EarlyBird check-in fee, you’ll get a better boarding position and faster check-in.

Upgraded boarding fees

Usually, Southwest charges a fee to secure a seat in the A1 or A15 boarding group. This perk can be a great incentive to improve your chances of getting an aisle seat.

Your pet can also join you on board for a cool $95 each. You’ll also be charged $6-$7 for a variety of alcoholic drinks and Wi-Fi internet access.

Southwest allows passengers to check up to two bags without paying any fees. This is a great perk to save money, as most other airlines charge for checking a bag.

Other fees, such as international flights and modified bookings, can also be found in this guide. Knowing these fees will help you plan for your next Southwest flight.

Sports Items You Carry On Southwest Airlines 

Southwest Airlines allow you to check in various sports items on a flight. You can take archery equipment if the bows and arrows are appropriately encased. Baseball, bowling, hockey, golf, scuba diving, and fishing items are also allowed on the flight.

Some items are free checked into the hold. Please note that these items are for each passenger.

If you are traveling with a child under 2 years old, you do not need to purchase a ticket. However, they must carry their boarding pass.

Southwest Airlines also allows children under 2 to travel with their parents. In order to travel with them, the child must have their own seat and carry their boarding pass.

Alternative For Carrying Baggage While Flying On Southwest Airlines 

My Baggage is the best alternative for baggage transport when flying with Southwest Airlines. This service allows you to reduce your carry-on fees by offering discount shipping costs. The company will deliver your luggage to the airport or your accommodation.

It is no secret that air travel can be very complex. However, with My Baggage, you can save a bundle on baggage fees.

My Baggage is a great value alternative to carry-on luggage fees. It allows travelers to save on luggage shipping costs.

My Baggage allows you to book online and collect your luggage at the airport. It also offers door-to-door service and allows you to track and receive notifications about your luggage.

Southwest Airlines has one of the most travel-friendly baggage policies in the industry. Their first two bags are free on all flights.

Southwest Airlines Baggage Limit 

Southwest Airlines allow all passengers to bring two free carry-on bags and two checked luggage. You can also take more baggage on the flight, but you will have to pay an additional fee for each bag. Lastly, avoid exceeding size and weight limits.

For all passengers, Southwest Airlines offers 2 free carry-on bags and 2 checked bags. These bags can be used for personal items and devices with special needs.

carry-on bags are allowed to carry up to 1 personal item and 1 carry-on bag, depending on the size and weight restrictions.

If the dimensions of your bag exceed the bag’s stated limit, it will be checked at the gate. However, carry-on items with special needs can be claimed at the baggage claim area.

Regardless of the type of flight, the policy of Southwest Airlines allows passengers to carry 2 free checked bags.

The maximum size of a carry-on bag is 62 linear inches wide and weighs 50 pounds. It can be checked-in at the airport’s ticket counter, self-tagging kiosk, or through the Fly By Priority check-in lanes.

Southwest Airlines Maximum Bag Check-In Time 

You must remember that Southwest Airlines will not cover delivery charges if your baggage is late. Typically, you must check in the bag 45 minutes before your departure time. The airline allows late check-ins, but you must pay the transportation costs.

Late check-in can result in your bag not arriving at its destination. It can also be considered late check.

For military members and those on transfer orders, excess baggage fees are charged by Southwest Airlines.

Self-tagging is a fast and convenient way to check-in your bags. You can use Southwest’s kiosks located inside select airports.

Excess Baggage Charges

Extra bags and overweight bags are considered excess baggage. They can only be checked if the combined weight and size of their bag exceeds the 2 free bags.

Excess Baggage Fees

If the combined length and width of your bag exceeds the bag’s stated limit, Southwest Airlines will charge an excess baggage fee of 75 cents per bag.

Overweight Baggage Fees

For bags weighing between 50 and 100 pounds, the fee is 75 cents per bag. For bags exceeding 100 pounds, the fee is $145.

For bags weighing over 80 pounds, the fee is $145. For bags that measure less than 62 inches wide, the fee is 75 cents per bag.

If your bag is overweight and exceeds the weight limit, the fee will be charged plus the applicable overweight charge.

If your bag is overweight and exceeds the weight limit, the fee will be charged plus the applicable overweight or excess charge. The bag will be sent as air cargo.

Southwest Airlines Sports Equipment Policy

Under the company’s baggage policy, sports equipment weighing more than 50 pounds can be checked-in at no additional charge. However, if the equipment exceeds the weight limit and the combined length and width of the bag exceed 62 inches, additional charges may be applied.

If you use two bags, one for each hockey and/or lacrosse equipment bag, they will count as one item.

All equipment that’s required to be carried by passengers must be packed in a container that’s acceptable to Southwest Airlines.

Skis, snowboards, and a pair of shoes are required in a container that’s acceptable to Southwest Airlines.

If two bags are used, the additional items will count as one item.

According to Southwest Airlines’ policy, all sporting equipment must be checked as checked baggage.

Pack at least one extra battery in order to prevent it from shortcircuiting. It’s also important to recess or package the terminals to prevent metal objects from getting in the way.

Southwest Airlines Policy For Carrying Musical Instruments 

Your tool must be 10” x 16” x 24” if you want to bring the item as a carry-on and fit it in the overhead bin. The airline allows you to take larger instruments, but oversize charges may be applicable.

If you have a musical instrument that’s big enough to fit in a carry-on bag, Southwest allows you to bring it with you on board. However, if the size of your instrument exceeds the permissible carry-on bag size, it’s not allowed to be carried on.

If your instrument doesn’t fit in the overhead bin, you can carry it in-flight by purchasing a seat.

However, if you bring an instrument with you, you’ll be prohibited from checking it in against one of your free checked bags.

Musical instruments, such as those used by professional musicians, are not allowed to be checked as checked baggage.

If the baggage service office of Southwest Airlines can’t find your bag within five days, you can pursue your claim through the airline’s online portal.

Southwest will not cover the cost of repairs or replacement of items due to minor defects.

Due to the airline’s strict policies, items such as musical instruments and certain sports equipment are prohibited to their weight restrictions.

Lithium batteries and other rechargeable devices are not allowed to be carried-on or checked baggage unless they’re being repaired or made safe.

Lithium-ion batteries are also not allowed to be placed inside checked bags unless they’re already removed.

In-flight beverages can only contain up to 5 liters of alcohol. However, alcoholic drinks with more than 70% content are not allowed.

Non-solid food items such as Jellies, Jams, and Jelly can be safely packed in checked bags. They can be transported in containers up to 3.4 oz.

Although ice is not allowed in checked bags, reusable gel packs are permitted.

Lithium-ion batteries and spare batteries are also not allowed to be carried on board.

Firearms and ammunition can be checked in checked bags in hard-sided cases that are secure and can’t be tampered with.

Liquids, aerosols, and gel packs must be placed in transparent carry-on bags and are not allowed to exceed 3.4 oz.

Spices, coffee, and other powders must not exceed 12 oz in their carry-on bags. Larger quantities can be permitted after going through security.

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 flyingcomfortably.com.

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