Southwest Airlines Baggage Policy

Southwest Airlines Baggage Policy – Fees & Allowance. Southwest Airlines has the single most clear-cut (and cheapest!) baggage policy of any airline.

Your first two checked bags are FREE with any fare, and the extra/excess fees are a simple $75 each.

Southwest is one budget airline where you definitely won’t get stuck with hidden baggage fees.

Southwest Airlines Baggage Policy Fees Allowance
Southwest Airlines Baggage Policy Fees Allowance

What is Southwest Airlines’ (WN) baggage policy?

The Southwest Airlines (WN) baggage policy for regular basic fares include the following:

  • Carry-on baggage.
  • 1 personal item – Fee free
  • 1 carry-on item – Fee free
  • Checked baggage / Hold luggage – Applicable fees per bag increase with number checked beyond 2 bags
  • Overweight and Oversize bags – Applicable fees per bag depending on weight and size categories
  • Sports equipment – Certain items might have applicable fees

What is Southwest Airlines’ (WN) carry-on baggage policy?

Southwest Airlines (WN) allows 1 carry-on bag and 1 personal item (purse, briefcase, laptop bag) per passenger fee free.

Carry-on should not exceed the following size and weight restrictions:

  • 50 linear inches (24 x 16 x 10 in) or 127 centimeters (61 x 41 x 28 cm) including handles and wheels
  • Fit in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you.
  • Personal item should of proper size to fit under the seat in front of you

The following items do not count 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.

NOTE: Bulkhead seats do not have under seat storage, therefore, all carry-on baggage must be stowed in the overhead bin during take-off and landing.

What is Southwest Airlines’ (WN) checked baggage / hold luggage policy?

Southwest Airlines’ (WN) standard checked baggage / hold luggage policy details follow:

  • 2 bags standard, up to 10 bags maximum
  • Maximum dimensions: 62 inches or 157 centimeters (length + width + height)
  • Maximum weight: 50 pounds or 23 kilograms

Are there fees for baggage on Southwest Airlines (WN)?

Yes, fees might apply if you want to check more than two bags.

The first two bags checked are fee free.

If you are an active U S military personnel and/or dependent then additional bags may be checked fee free.

Southwest Airlines’ (WN) standard checked baggage / hold luggage fees follow:p>

  • First bag: Fee free
  • Second bag: Fee free

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

Southwest Airlines (WN) will charge $75.00 USD per bag for the third bag and any additional bags.

Note: Passengers traveling to/from Belize, Mexico City, Montego Bay, and San Jose, Costa Rica from November 16 through January 16 are limited to 2 checked bags.

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

Southwest Airlines (WN) will charge the following for bags that are greater than the standard 50 pounds or 23 kilograms:

  • 51 to 100 pounds or 24 to 46 kilograms: $75.00 USD extra per bag
  • Bags exceeding 100 pounds or 46 kilograms will not be accepted as checked baggage / hold luggage.

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

Southwest Airlines (WN) will charge $75.00 USD extra for bags that are from 63 to 115 linear inches or from 160 to 292 centimeters.

Bags greater than 115 linear inches or 292 centimeters will not be accepted as checked baggage / hold luggage.

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

Sports equipment such as skis, golf bags, fishing equipment, hockey, and lacrosse equipment will be accepted up to Southwest Airlines’ (WN) size and weight limits and will count as one checked bag/hold bag. Associated fees might be applied.

CPAP Devices:

CPAP are allowed. They do not count as a carry on. No advanced notifications are required.

How many bags can you carry on at Southwest?

Flying Southwest, you can bring 1 personal item and 1 standard piece of carry-on.

The personal item must not exceed 13.5 x 8.5 x 18.5 inches and the carry-on item 24 x 16 x 10 inches.

Southwest does not publish any weight restrictions for carry-on items but you should be able to to lift this into the overhead compartment unassisted.

Can I have a backpack and a carry on Southwest?

You can take a backpack and a carry-on item on Southwest, provided that one of the items does not exceed 13.5 x 8.5 x 18.5 inches and the other item 24 x 16 x 10 inches.

Is checked baggage free on Southwest?

Checked baggage is free on Southwest and they are the only airline to allow 2 bags for all fare types.

Checked bags must adhere to a max weight of 50 pounds and max linear dimensions of 62 inches.

Passengers can book 3+ bags for $75 a piece.

International Travel

If any portion of your itinerary contains an international flight and you plan to check luggage, you will be required to do so at the Southwest Airlines Ticket Counter upon arrival at the airport.

You cannot checkin or check luggage at the curbside if traveling on an international itinerary.

Connecting passengers must claim all luggage, regardless of final destination, upon arrival in the U.S. After clearing Customs, connecting passengers will then be required to re-check all checked luggage with a Southwest Airlines Customer Service Agent before proceeding to connecting flight(s).

Also, please note that you cannot check luggage at the curbside with a SkyCap if any portion of your itinerary includes an international flight.

You must visit the Southwest Airlines Ticket Counter.

Checked Items2222
Over 62″NoNoNoNo
Over 50 lbs.Yes*Yes*Yes*Yes*
Coolers/Storage ContainersNoNoNoNo

*All fees apply

Pets / Animals

Southwest Airlines allows small vaccinated domestic cats and dogs to travel with you in-cabin under the seat in front of you.

All pets must be carried in an appropriate carrier as noted below.

The pet carrier counts as either a carryon item or a personal item.

Pet Fare Price:

  • Pets traveling are subject to a $95 Pet Fare each way per pet carrier.

Get your official Southwest Airlines branded pet carrier for $58 (tax included) at any Southwest Airport Ticket Counter or online (tax not included) at Southwest: The Store (not an affiliate of Southwest Airlines Co.). Pet carriers are nonrefundable.

Acceptable Pet Carriers:

  • The Southwest Airlines Pet Carrier (17” long x 9.5” high x 10” wide).
  • Other pet carriers with maximum dimensions of 18.5” long x 8.5” high x 13.5” wide.
  • Soft-sided and hard-sided carriers specifically designed as pet carriers are acceptable.
  • The carriers must be leak-proof and well ventilated.
  • The pet carrier must be small enough to fit under the seat in front of the Customer and be stowed in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.

Pet Carrier Requirements:

  • Southwest Airlines allows only one pet carrier per ticketed Passenger.
  • The carrier may contain two (2) cats or dogs and must be of the same species per carrier.
  • The cat or dog must be completely inside the pet carrier and be able to stand up and move around the carrier with ease.
  • Pets must be secured in the pet carrier at all times while in the gate area, during boarding/deplaning, and they must remain in the carrier for the entire duration of the flight. Failure to follow this requirement may result in denial of transportation of the pet onboard Southwest Airlines.

Note: Pet carriers are considered either a personal item or a carryon item. A Customer may board the aircraft with either a pet carrier and a personal item or a pet carrier and a regular size carryon bag. A Customer may not board the aircraft with a pet carrier, a regular size carryon bag, and a personal item. The pet carrier must conform to all carryon baggage regulations. Learn more about traveling with your pet.

Lost and Found

If you’ve left an item onboard the plane, please notify a Southwest Airlines Customer Service Agent before leaving the airport so he or she can try to retrieve your item.

If you have left the airport, you will need to file a lost item report.

Southwest will make every effort to locate your item and return it to you.

You will be contacted via email and/or phone within 30 days if they are able to locate your item.