Southwest Airlines Baggage Policy

Southwest Airlines Co.

Southwest Airline Baggage Policy

Southwest Airlines' baggage policy is among the friendliest policies of all airlines. The first two bags are free on all fares. Additional Southwest Airline Baggage Fees are USD 75 per bag.

Southwest Airlines' baggage policy allows you carry:

  • 1 Free Personal Item (must fit under your front seats)
  • 1 Carry-on Bag Free
    (Based on weight and size restrictions
  • Sport equipment subject to the applicable rules and fares
  • Music instruments are subject to the applicable rules and fares

Southwest Airlines offers 2 free carry-on bags for passengers (1 personal item and one carry-on bag), 2 free checked bags (plus mobility and assistive device), as well as 2 free hand luggage’s.

Southwest Airlines Carryon Baggage Allowance

Southwest Airlines' carry-on baggage policy allows for you to bring 1 personal item and 1 item with you free of charge. However, there are some weight and size restrictions.

  • Personal Carry-on Item 
  • Maximum size (incl. Maximum size (incl. handle, pockets and wheels). 18.5inx8.5inx13.5in

46.9cmx 21.5cmx 34.2cm

  • Maximum weight No restriction

It must fit under your front seats

  • Examples Purse, briefcase, camera,

Food container, laptop (with case).

  • Carry-on Bag 
  • Maximum size (incl. Maximum size (incl. handle, pockets and wheels). 24in x 16in.


  • Maximum weight No restriction
    You must fit into the overhead bin

Tip. Any carry-on baggage exceeding the dimensions specified by Southwest Airlines will be checked in at your gate. It can be collected at the baggage claim area after you board the plane. Strollers and assistive equipment can be claimed at either the jet bridge/gate.

Checked Baggage Allowance

The Southwest Airlines baggage policy allows for 2 checked bags per passenger. This applies to all travel classes.

  • Number of bags 2
  • Max dimensions (incl. Maximum dimensions (incl. handles and wheels) 62 inches/157cm per bag
  • Max weight/bag 50lb/23kg

You can check-in your checked luggage at the airport's ticket desk, curb side (domestic only) or at a kiosk that allows you to tag your bags. This is available up until 3 hours before departure. Those who are Business Select and Rapid Rewards members have the option to check in their luggage quicker using the Fly by Priority check-in lanes at selected airports.

Southwest Airlines Late Check in Baggage

Check in your bags by the deadlines. You can be penalized for late check-in if your baggage is not received within the specified timeframes.


  • Extra charges will be applied to any item exceeding the maximum weight or size.
  • The following items are not allowed to be carried on or personal by Southwest Airlines.
  • One child restraint device per ticketed child, or one child restraint device when complimentary, subject space availability.
  • Mobility/assistance devices for passengers with disabilities
  • Wearable and outer garments
  • Disposable packaging is available for food intended for consumption in flight.
  • Walking canes and umbrellas

Southwest Airlines Military Baggage Allowance

Southwest Airlines' baggage policy exempts active-duty and on-transfer U.S. Military personnel from:

  • Limit of 2 pieces per checked bag
  • Extra, overweight and oversize baggage fees

Southwest Airlines' checked baggage allowance is:

  • Max. weight per bag 100lb/45kg
  • Max. size per bag 80in/203.2cm


Self-tagging allows you to quickly check in by having your checked luggage tagged and printed. The self-tagging kiosks at Southwest are located in select airports at ticket counters. They allow you to:

How Self-Tagging Works

It is easy to self-tag. You will need to register at the airport.

  • Locate a self-tagging kiosk
  • Redeem your reservation
  • Follow the instructions on-screen to:
    • Please indicate the number of bags that each passenger will check.
    • Tag your luggage
      1. Peel off the part at the back and middle of the sticker.
      2. Stick the ends of the tag together by sliding it through the bag's handle.
  • Bring your luggage with you to the Bag Drop Location


You cannot use self-tagging for:

  • International flights
  • Group bookings
  • Unaccompanied minors

Check that the printed tags accurately reflect the flight number and destination cities.

Food Items

Southwest Airlines' baggage policy allows you the right to bring food items in your cabin for in-flight consumption, but only in disposable packaging.

Southwest Airline Baggage Surcharges

Southwest Airlines charges additional fees for overweight and oversized bags

Southwest Airline baggage policy states that excess baggage is defined as baggage exceeding the 2 bags you receive. Your excess baggage should not exceed 62 inches/157.4cm or 50lb/23kg, respectively.

  • Baggage fees exorbitant
    Southwest Airlines charges a USD 75/bag excess baggage fee per bag for each additional bag (i.e., third bag) you carry. This applies to bags that exceed 62in/157.4cm in length, width, and height. Its weight must not exceed 50lb/23kg.
  • Overweight Baggage Fees
    Southwest Airlines charges a USD 75 per bag overweight baggage fee for bags weighing between 50 and 100 lb (24 to 46 kg). Bags over 100lb/46kg should be shipped as cargo
  • Oversized Baggage Fees
    Southwest Airlines charges a USD 75/bag for any bag that is between 62 and 80 inches (157.4 and 203.2 cm) in size. Bags larger than 80in/203.2 cm will not be accepted.


  • If your standard bag is too large or overweight, only USD 75 will be charged. As long as it does not exceed 100lb/45kg
  • You will be charged for excess baggage that is overweight or oversized.
  • Bags over 100lb/45kg can be shipped as air cargo.

Southwest Airlines Sports Equipment Policy

The following items may be checked in at no extra cost as per Southwest Airlines' baggage policy. Additional baggage fees may be applicable if your equipment is heavier than 50lb/23kg or if its outer combined dimensions (Length, Height + Width) exceeds 62in/157.4cm.

  • Non-motorized Bicycles With a single seat
    • You must pack your bicycle in a sturdy box.
    • You must comply with the weight and dimensions guidelines for checked baggage
    • Protective material must be used to protect pedals and handlebars.
    • It will be shipped as a limited-release item if it is packed in a cardboard box or soft-sided bag.
    • Additional charges will be applied to bicycles that exceed the size of checked baggage.
  • Golf bag
    • You must transport your item in a sturdy case.
    • Include clubs, balls, or shoes.
    • Limited release items will include a hooded bag and a soft-sided bag.
  • Equipment for softball and baseball
    • This bag contains 4 bats, 1 helmet and 1 pair cleat. It also includes 1 glove (batting) and 1 glove (uniform).
    • Additional equipment is permitted for the catcher.
  • Boogie or knee board
  • Archery equipment
    • Included are 1 bow, 1 arrow, and 1 target of average size (large targets not accepted).
    • The bow and arrows should be protected in a container that can withstand normal handling, without causing damage to the equipment.
  • Bowling bag with ball(s), and shoes
  • Fishing tackle box and fishing reel
    • You must pack the rod in a container that is designed for fishing rods.
    • The maximum diameter of the fishing rod container is 3 inches and the maximum length is 91 inches.
  • Hockey or lacrosse sticks
    • Multiple sticks should be securely taped together or placed in a container.
    • Include helmets, pads and pants.
    • Two bags, one bag each of hockey sticks and/or lacrosse sticks, can be substituted for a free bag.
  • Knives, dress sleeves, and swords
    • Only allowed to be checked as baggage
  • Parachutes
    • Allowable in carry-on or checked bags
    • Not allowed to be worn onboard
  • Scuba equipment
    • All air tanks must be empty.
    • All equipment must be packed in a container acceptable to Southwest Airlines.
  • Tennis rackets
    • They should be carried as they are usually in soft-sided cases.
    • You will receive a limited-release item if you check in your soft case.
  • Water ski Equipment
    • Southwest Airlines will accept containers.
    • Only 1 pair of water-skis, 1 vest/preserver and 1 pair of life vests allowed.
    • There will be no excess size charges, but there may be extra weight charges.
  • Skateboard
    • You can substitute a checked or carryon handbag.
    • It doesn't have to be covered if it fits under your seat.
    • To prevent the vehicle from rolling, it must be parked with the wheels raised.
    • If the wheels are to be placed in an overhead bin they must point up and the bag or cover must cover the wheels.
  • Ski equipment
    • Include skis/snowboards, 1 pair of snowboards or skis, 1 set or poles and 1 pair/snowboard boot in a container that Southwest Airlines accepts.
    • You can substitute a bag for a free one, but only 2 bags that contain 1 set of ski boots, 1 set ski poles and 1 pair of ski boots will be counted as 1 item.
    • Snow ski gear is exempt from excess size charges, but may be subject to weight restrictions.
  • Surfboard
    • If you are traveling within Hawaii, 1 checked bag can be used in lieu.
    • You must take out the fins and keels and pack them in your carry-on or checked baggage.
    • There are no length or width restrictions. However, a USD 75 per-way overweight fee will be charged if your weight exceeds 50lb.
    • You can transport it as a limited release item of liability.

Special Sports Equipment

Southwest Airlines' baggage policy states that the following items will not be allowed as checked baggage.

  • Nonmotorized Bicycles packed inside a hard-sided box or case with total dimensions (L +W + H) exceeding 6 inches.
  • Surfboard
    • Other than flights within Hawaii or surfboards exceeding the weight limit for flights within Hawaii
    • You must remove fins and keels and pack them in a bag or carry-on.
    • You can transport it as a limited release item of liability.
  • Windsurf board
    • You must remove the keel and place it in a bag.
  • Javelins
    • No matter how many items are packed together in the bag, they must be packed in one bag.
  • Kayak (except for a sea kayak).
  • Kiteboard fins and keels.
  • Vaulting poles
    • No matter how many poles you have, all must be packed in one bag.

Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POCs)

Passengers must comply with the following conditions to be able to use an approved portable oxygen concentrator during a flight:

  • Because there are no electrical outlets onboard, the POC cannot be used in battery mode.
  • The battery life of the POC must be at least 150% of flight duration.
  • As a carry-on, you should always have at least one extra battery. Make sure to pack it so that short circuiting is not possible. To prevent contact with metal objects or other battery terminals, make sure you recess the battery terminals.
  • Non-approved POOCs may be carried, but not used onboard.
  • The following label must be placed on the exterior of the POC if you plan to use it onboard:

This POC was manufactured by the FAA and has been certified to meet all requirements for POC carriage onboard aircraft.

Southwest Airlines Baggage Fee

Southwest Airlines doesn't allow you to pay your baggage fees online. You will need to pay at the counter for your baggage.

Southwest Airlines Musical Instruments Policy

Southwest Airlines' policy on musical instruments allows you to bring musical instruments as either carry-on, or checked baggage.

  • You can carry-on musical instruments. You can bring your instrument (incl. case) as carry-on baggage. You can carry your musical instrument if its dimensions exceed the allowed size (10in x16in x 24in).

    You can bring your musical instrument in-cabin if it does not fit under a seat or in the overhead bin.
    • It can be inserted into the seat without blocking any aircraft signage, and is properly secured with a seatbelt.
    • The instrument is in the first row, and the seat closest to the window is for passengers in that row.
    • You can make a reservation, and then purchase a ticket at a cost that is not more than the child's fare.
  • Music Instruments that have been checked. Southwest allows you to check your musical instrument with 1 piece of your checked baggage allowance. You will not be permitted to check your instrument into Southwest if you:
    • The combined linear dimensions (L+W+H) --incl. Case or covering--exceed 150in (381cm).
    • The total weight (incl. Case or covering exceeding 165lb (74.8kg).


Double bass, cello, etc. are all examples of musical instruments. Any item that cannot be properly secured in a seat should be checked baggage. Oversize or overweight charges may apply.

Large/Oversized Musical Instruments and Equipment

Southwest Airlines' baggage policy stipulates that passengers must pay any excess or overweight fees if they are:

  • Your musical instrument's combined linear dimensions (L +W + H) are inclusive of the cover. Case or covering - are between 62 and 150in (157.4-381cm).
  • Your musical instrument, including its cover or case, should weigh between 51-165lb (23.1-74.8kg). Case or cover - between 51-165lb (23.1-74.8kg)

What to do if your bag is lost or delayed

You must notify the airline if your baggage was lost or delayed.

  • You can report it to Southwest Airlines Baggage Service Office in person
    (located at the baggage claim area, or airport ticket counter).
  • Your report must be filed within four hours of your arrival

Report your delayed or lost baggage

  • An agent at baggage service will prepare a report and give you a receipt.
  • Regular updates will be sent to you regarding the status and condition of your baggage.
  • To check on the status, you can also call Southwest Airlines (you'll be given a number)


  • Your report must be filed within four hours of your arrival.

Liquids, Creams, Aerosols & Powders

  • Liquids and aerosols (LAGs) must be packed in transparent bags of quart size in your carry-on bag and not exceed 3.4 oz (1100 ml). However, larger containers (incl. You can still pack hairsprays or insect repellents in your checked luggage.
  • You must limit the number of powdered substances such as coffee, milk, spices, and other beverages to 12 oz (350ml) when you travel internationally. After screening, however, you may be allowed to carry larger amounts in your checked baggage.

Prohibited Products

The following items are not allowed to be carried by Southwest Airlines:

  • Attaches and alarm briefcases
  • Antlers
  • Camping stoves
  • Chainsaws
  • Gas cartridges for compressed gas
  • Electric unicycles
  • Car parts or engines that are deemed to be flammable
  • Fermented fish sauce
  • Ferrets
  • Fire dance apparatus
  • Fireworks
  • Fuel
  • Fuel canisters
  • Warming Hands
  • Hoverboards
  • Internal combustion devices
  • Live fish
  • Live lobster
  • Mace
  • Mercury
  • Mosquitoes
  • MRES
  • Nail polish remover (except in small quantities)
  • Paint (except for small tubes)
  • Peacocks
  • Pepper spray
  • Reptiles
  • Rodents (i.e., Guinea pigs, mice, rats, etc.)
  • Salt water
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 7
  • Segways
  • Self-heating pads
  • Shocking devices
  • Spiders
  • Stun guns
  • Swingles golf clubs
  • Tasers
  • Tires (except bicycles)

Frequently Asked Questions (Faqs)

Yes, we have pet relief areas at all of our locations. We will not hold a flight for your pet so that they can go to relief areas.

We have an open seating policy; however, those traveling with pets may not sit in an exit row seat or a seat with no under-seat stowage in front of them.

While your pet is being X-rayed, you will be able to hold it and then walk through the screening machine with your pet. All pet carriers can be searched.

Unaccompanied Minors are not allowed to travel with their pet.

International flights and any itinerary that includes an international flight are not permitted for pets.

Acceptable pet carriers must be:

  • Specifically made for pet carriers (can either be soft or hard).
  • Well ventilated and leak-proof.
  • In the dimensions listed above.

Yes. The fare can be refunded if you cancel or your flight is cancelled, and you don't rebook. To request a refund, call 1-800-FLY-SWA. Pet Fare prices are subject to change at any time.

Space is limited so please call 1-800-I-FLYSWA(r) to make a reservation. We accept pets until we reach six carriers. Sometimes we allow more or fewer than six carriers.

 No. You may lose your pet if you do not follow this requirement.

Small domestic pets are welcome in domestic flight cabins with a suitable pet carrier. You must place your pet carrier under your seat. Customers who travel to Puerto Rico may have to comply with special requirements.