Southwest 2024 Baggage Policy: Extra Baggage Allowance

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Last updated on March 28th, 2024 at 01:02 pm

Are you planning to start your journey with Southwest Airlines? You must know about Southwest Baggage Policy to avoid unnecessary hassle. Every airline follows different rules and regulations. Besides this, they also offer facilities in favor of their flyers. Thus, it is necessary to go through Southwest Baggage Policy once.

You must be aware of how many bags you can take with you as carry-on baggage and also as checked baggage on Southwest. Along with that, you should also know about the baggage fee and weight limit that is allowed.

Key Guidelines for Southwest Baggage Policy

Video Guide on Southwest Baggage Policy
  • Southwest Airlines allows two checked bags free that should be at most 50 pounds and 62 inches in size (length +weight+ height) each.
  • Southwest also allows golf bags and skis that will be counted under two free bags (size and weight limit apply).
  • Also, flyers can track their bags digitally.
  • Southwest allows one carry-on bag and one small personal bag like a purse inside the plane that could be stored under the overhead compartment and the seat.
  • The size limit for carry-on baggage on Southwest is 24” (L)+ 16” (W)+10” (H).
  • If you are traveling with pets, the airline will count it as either personal or carry-on luggage.
  • In  lost, damaged, or delayed cases, Southwest Airline’s liability is limited to $3,800
  • Flyers will have to inform the about the lost or damaged bags within four hours of the arrival at the destination. 
  • Southwest is flexible with the packaging of sports equipment as they accept fragile items, damaged items, and items packed in soft-sided cases. But they allowed it only with the limited release of liabilities as passengers are not entitled to any compensation. 

Carry-On Baggage Policy for Southwest

There are some limits and restrictions related to the carry-on baggage. Travelers should be aware of the Southwest Carry-on Baggage Policy. 

  • Southwest permits one carry-on baggage and one small personal item free 
  • Your bag should be as small as stowed in the overhead compartment.
  • One carry-on bag can go in the overhead bin. For example roller bags, small suitcases, etc
  • One carry-on personal item goes under your seat for instance: a purse, small camera, briefcase, etc  
  • The size of the carry-on baggage on Southwest should not be more than:-
    • 24 inches in length
    • 16 inches in width 
    • And 10 inches in height
  • According to Southwest Airlines Carry-on Baggage Policy, each traveler can pack a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, and pastes. Any item must not exceed 100 ml in quantity. Flyers must present the bag at the time of security check.

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Southwest Checked Baggage Allowance

Southwest follows some rules for the checked bags for their flyers. Flyers must be aware of it before packing.

  • Flyers are allowed two free checked bags,
  • A golf bag and a ski will be counted under two bags. The bag size and weight limit will apply.
  • Each baggage weight should be under 50 pounds on Southwest Airlines and the size should not be more than 62 inches  (length +weight+ height).
  • According to Southwest Airlines International Baggage Policy, flyers cannot check-in their baggage at the curbside. They have to visit the counter at least 60 minutes before the departure to check in their baggage. 
  • At the airport counter, travelers can check in their baggage not earlier than 4 hours before departure. 
  • Southwest Airlines permits travelers to check-in up to 2 bags online. Passengers can check in bags online through, or the app. However, travelers can check in bags only after the check-in window opens. 

Southwest Airlines Baggage Fees 

Southwest allows two checked bags and two carry-on bags for free with limited size and weight. But if the size and weight go over, passengers have to pay a particular amount for it. 

  • Travelers will have to pay around $125 for each bag if he/she is traveling with more than two bags.
  • Besides this, if the bag is overweight, flyers will have to pay $125 per bag.
  • If the flyer baggage is between 51 to 70 lbs, they will have to pay around $100 because the bag is overweight.
  • Also if the bag weight is between 71 to 100lbs, the passenger will have to pay $125 for each bag.

Here is the list of the fee Southwest charge over the extra and oversized checked bags:   

Baggage Max weight Max sizeFee
First checked bag 50lbs62”$0
Second checked bag 50lbs62”$0
Third checked bag50lbs62”$125 per bag
Overweight 51-70lbs or 71-100lbs 62”$100 per bagOr  $125 per bag
Oversized 50lbs 63”-80”$125 per bag
Sports equipment 50lbs 62”$75 per bag
Southwest Airlines Baggage Fees Chart

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Southwest Sports Equipment Baggage Policy

Airlines permit many sports equipment but the limited weight and size restrictions apply to it too. Southwest allows archery equipment, bicycle, baseball, and softball equipment, scuba equipment as well as golf equipment. 

  • Archery equipment including arrows, bows, and average target board. 
  • Baseball bag including four bats, gloves, and helmet.
  • Bicycles within standard Southwest baggage weight and size limits.
  • A bowling bag with balls and shoes.
  • Snow ski equipment consists of a pair of snowboards, ski boots, and ski poles. 
  • Non-motorized skateboards and scooters only. 
  • A tennis bag consisting of racquets and balls.
  • Hard Golf case that consists of balls, clubs, and shoes. 

Southwest Special Bags Allowance

Southwest Airlines follows some policies for special luggage for safety and convenient travel. Flyers must be aware of these items when they are going to travel with Southwest Airlines. Here is the list of equipment that is allowed under Southwest Baggage Policy.

  • Batteries- 

Southwest allows some batteries but also restricts particular items as well. Airline allows dry cell batteries, fuel cells, and lithium batteries under some regulations. However, airlines do not permit some items like wet cell batteries, hoverboards, gravity boards, and self-balancing devices.

  • Guns ammunition, and Self-Defense Sprays- 

Southwest Airlines permits their flyers for paintball and airsoft guns, etc but they must declare about it at the ticket counter. In the same manner, Southwest prohibits self-defense sprays and firearms.

  • Medication and oxygen- 

Southwest Baggage policy does not provide any hazardous material containing gas or any medical oxygen to its passengers. So if any passenger requires this equipment, they are not allowed to travel with Southwest.  

  • Alcoholic beverages- 

Southwest allows alcohol under particular rules and regulations. Travelers can bring up to 5 liters of alcohol in checked baggage with a maximum alcohol content not exceeding 70 percent.

  • Portable electronic devices (PEDs)-  

Southwest allows portable electronic devices that contain dry batteries but should not cross the required battery size.

  • Engines and air compressors- 

Electric compressor is allowed whereas internal combustion engines, flammable liquids, motor oil, and fluids are not allowed. 

  •  Wedding attire-

southwest permits for the wedding attire that fits in the carry-on dimensions. They do not have a closet onboard for usage. You can bring it in the garment bag and it will be counted in carry-on baggage. 

  • Humane remains-

Southwest understands the emotions of its passengers and allows human remains as carry-on items. However, airlines do not allow checked baggage.

  • Musical instruments- 

Passengers can bring any instruments with them but that should not cross the permitted dimensions which are 24” (L)+ 16”(W)+ 10” (H). The airline allows musical instruments to be carried as carry-on items.

Damaged, Lost, Or Delayed Items Policy

Southwest Airlines provides all required help for their travelers if they are facing any damaged, lost, or delayed-related issues. Passenger can ask for help and report their issues to get back their items.

Policy for Checked Baggage-

  • If the flyer is facing any lost or damaged issue, they need to make a report in person to the baggage service office. and in case the passenger has left the airport then they can also create a report online.
  • Travelers must create their report within 4 hours of their arrival.
  • For domestic itineraries, Southwest is not liable for minor damage or lost items.
  • Whereas for international itineraries, passengers must contact the service team within seven calendar days if they are facing any damage-related issues. Besides this, they are tackling any delay-related problem, they have to claim it within 21 days. Southwest’s liability is limited to the 1,288 SDRs for each passenger. 
  • Southwest Airline’s liability for damaged and lost items is $3800 per fare-paying passenger.
  • After that, you will be updated via phone call, text, or through email. 
  • If the travelers do not find their lost baggage within five days they can claim on the Baggage Claim Web Portal. 
  • Passenger will also receive a receipt with an incident number which will help them to find access to their report.
  • That baggage is delayed 45 minutes from the scheduled departure. Passengers can not claim it or Southwest will not pay any delivery charge for it.

FAQ( Frequently Asked Question)

How many bags can you take on Southwest Airlines for free?

Passengers can take two checked bags with them for free according to the Southwest Baggage Policy. Each bag’s weight should be under 50 pounds and the size should not be more than 62 inches (length + +weight+ height). 

Can I have 2 carry-on bags on Southwest?

Yes, Southwest Airlines allows two carry-on bags under their policy but one should be small like a purse or any small item and the other bag’s dimensions must not exceed 24 inches in length, 16 inches in width, and 10 inches in height.

What is the size limit for checked baggage?

Southwest Airlines permits two checked baggage but size and weight limits apply. If baggage goes overweight or beyond the size additional charges will have to pay. The size of each bag should not be more than 62 inches.

How heavy can a carry-on be on Southwest?

Southwest Airlines does not explicitly define the weight of the carry-on item in its baggage policy. But it defines the size limitations. When the size of the carry-on bag exceeds the permissible dimension, Southwest will allow it as checked baggage.  

How do I check bags for international flights on Southwest?

You can check bags only at the airport counter for Southwest international flights. You cannot check bags at the curbside. Also, you must check-in your baggage at least one hour before departure. 

What happens if your bag is over 50 pounds on Southwest?

Southwest permits for the two free bags that weight should not exceed 50 pounds. If the flyer luggage exceeds the weight between 51-70 pounds they will have to pay $100 and if the weight goes up to 71-100 pounds, the passenger will have to pay $125.

What is not allowed in a personal item bag on Southwest?

Although Southwest Airlines allows personal bags as carry-on luggage, however, there are some restrictions like sharp items, guns, and ammunition, and self-defense items are not allowed in personal bags.

How much is the Southwest baggage fee for additional bags?

Southwest permits two complimentary baggage per passenger. If a passenger wants to purchase an additional baggage allowance on Southwest, then they need to pay $125.

How many bags can you take on Southwest Airlines for free?

Passengers can take two checked bags without paying any cost on Southwest Airlines. Also, they can take extra luggage with them but will have to pay charges for it. Take an overview of the above details for exact knowledge.

Is a backpack considered a carry-on Southwest?

Yes, Southwest Airlines allows its passengers to take a backpack as a carry-on, following TSA regulations, but the dimensions of the backpack should not exceed 18.5 x 8.5 x 13.5 inches. Read the Carry-on baggage guidelines above.

Do you get free checked bags with Southwest?

Yes, Southwest Airlines allows passengers to take two checked bags for free on their flight. However, the oversized and overweight limitations still apply. Read the regulations in the above content.

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