Southwest Airlines Carry-On Bag Size & Weight Rules
The rules are simple: You can bring one carry-on bag per passenger into the cabin. Your carry-on bag must weigh no more than 50 pounds and it cannot exceed 42 inches wide, 36 inches tall, or 45 inches deep. If the bag does not meet those dimensions, it needs to fit inside the overhead bin.
If you’re traveling with children, however, there are some exceptions.
- Children ages 2 and younger can fly free, while kids age 3 and older can board with a lap child without paying extra fees.
- Kids 4 and older can board with an infant up to age 12. However, infants must sit on the parent’s laps.
For adults, there are three different carry-on sizes: small, medium, and large.
- Small bags do not require a separate ticket, but cost $15 each way.
- Medium bags cost $20 each way and large bags cost $25 each way.
You can check out Southwest’s full list of carry-on baggage policies here.
How is Luggage Measured?
At home you’ll probably just use a tape measure to determine the size of your suitcase.
But at the airport, most airlines use a special metal frame called a “carry-on sizer.”
This is placed next to the x-ray machine and is used to measure the width and length of your checked bags.
If your bag isn’t wide enough, it will be rejected. If it’s too long, it will be weighed and charged accordingly.
Luggage measurement is a little confusing because there are multiple ways to do it depending on where you’re flying.
You might think that airline baggage check policies are uniform across the board, but they aren’t.
But what about those oversized bags that don’t quite fit into the frame? In some cases, you’ll have to pay extra fees for oversize luggage. And even though you didn’t technically break the rules, you still have to go through security screening, so you might want to avoid packing anything too large.
For example, if your suitcase weighs 4 pounds, you’d multiply 4 x 2.5 11.25. Subtract 15% from that number to get 8.75. Round down to the nearest pound and you’ve got your max weight.
Southwest Airlines Carry-On Size Requirements
The rules for carrying liquids, gels, aerosols, creams, lotions, oils, sprays, deodorants, shampoos, hair care products, cosmetics, perfumes, nail polish, powders, lipsticks, eye makeup, and other items vary slightly depending upon whether you fly domestically or internationally.
However, there are some commonalities across both domestic and international flights.
For example, most airlines require travelers to place all liquid containers inside a clear plastic zip-top bag prior to checking in their luggage.
They must also make sure that the bag is placed within the container itself. This prevents spillage during handling and transport.
Some airlines allow travelers to bring up to three empty bottles into the cabin without having to put them in a bag.
Most airlines prohibit travelers from bringing personal grooming supplies such as shampoo, toothpaste, mouthwash, shaving cream, cologne, etc., into the cabin unless those items fit into a small pocket in the overhead bin.
Travelers are allowed to take these items out of their pockets and place them directly next to their seats.
There are certain exceptions to the above rules. For instance, travelers flying domestically do not have to worry about placing liquids in a bag because the airline does it for them.
Also, many travelers can bring up to one quart of milk or juice into the cabin without a problem. International travelers should note that some countries have stricter regulations regarding what types of liquids are permitted.
For example, New Zealand requires that all liquids be packed in a single transparent bottle.
Do the Wheels Count When Measuring Luggage For Carry On?
Luggage companies are constantly trying to convince consumers that their products are the best.
But what about the measurements they give us? Is it actually true that many of their products are “carry-on size”? Are these products really the same size as the standard checked suitcases? What does this mean exactly? How much room do we have to bring our bags with us on a plane? And how do airlines define carry-on luggage sizes anyway?
How to measure luggage for airplane?
The answer to those questions isn’t simple. There are no official carry-on luggage sizes. Each airline defines their own limit.
Some allow up to 50 pounds while others don’t even specify weight limits. Even though most people think that a wheeled bag is considered carry-on luggage, this isn’t always true.
A lot of times, wheeled luggage exceeds the dimensions set by the airline.
So, if you’re planning on bringing a wheeled bag with you on a flight, make sure you check out the airline’s policy.
You might find that you’ll need to pay extra for checking baggage. Or worse, you could end up having to pay to board your flight.
Southwest Personal Item Dimensions
- The dimensions of the personal item are limited to 18.5 inches x 8.5 inches x 13.5 inches (45.7 cm x 22.8 cm x 34.3 cm).
- These dimensions include the handle, wheels, and zippers. Items larger than these dimensions cannot be brought onto the plane.
Do Wheels Count In Checked Baggage Measurement Too?
While checking a bag, most airlines require passengers to check a maximum of one piece of carry-on luggage per person.
This includes handbags, briefcases, laptop bags, etc. For example, United Airlines allows up to 30 pounds of checked baggage per passenger.
The size of the suitcase itself doesn’t matter; it just needs to fit within the dimensions of the aircraft cabin.
As long as it fits within those limits, there are no restrictions on how big it can be.
However, some carriers allow extra space for wheeled suitcases. American Airlines allows up to 50 inches of width and length, and Delta Air Lines allows up to 60 inches of width and length.
So yes, wheels count in checked baggage measurement too. If you want to know exactly how much space you have left, here’s how to find out.
What Can I Bring On Board Southwest Airlines Flights?
Southwest Airlines offers travelers a wide variety of options when it comes to packing for flights. You can check out how to pack your bags here.
However, there are some things that are prohibited from being packed inside of a checked bag. If you want to know what those are, keep reading.
The airline allows liquids in accordance to TSA rules, so you could pack one quart-sized bag of liquid containers as much as long as each container weighs less than three pounds (1.36 kilograms), according to the TSA.
This includes shampoos, conditioners and toothpaste, as well as gel products like lip balm and sunscreen.
Aerosols, deodorants, lotions, and hairsprays do not count toward the weight limit.
You can bring up to four small bottles of prescription medicine, such as eye drops, pain relievers, allergy medications, and cold medicines.You cannot take over-the-counter medication though, because it falls under TSA guidelines. You can also bring a travel size bottle of shampoo, conditioner, or body wash.
If you plan on bringing food on board, you must make sure that it fits within a single gallon-sized freezer bag. Anything larger than that will be confiscated.
In addition, you cannot bring meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, or eggs. You can however, bring cheese, butter, milk, ice cream, yogurt, peanut butter, jams and jellies, honey, and syrups.
What Size Of Bag Is 62 Linear Inches?
If you are looking to buy a new backpack, you might want to consider one that measures 62 linear inches. A 62 inch backpack is bigger than most people realize.Suitcase that measures 30.9 x 17 x 12.9 inches. It weighs 11 pounds.
The average person is 5 feet 10 inches tall. At 5 feet 10 inches, the bag is over half way up the human body.
For reference, the average male adult backpack is approximately 50% larger than the average female adult backpack.
Southwest Carry-On Allowance
If you are flying Southwest Airlines, there is good news for you. You now have the option to bring one additional carry-on bag onboard with you on domestic flights. This offer applies to both Economy & Premium economy seats. Your carry-on bag must fit into the following dimensions:
- – Small size: 16.25 x 12.75 x 7.5 inches (41.1 x 32.8 x 19.2 cm)
- – Medium size: 20.25 x 14.75 x 9.5 inches (52 x 37.7 x 23.9 cm)
- – Large size: 24 x 17 x 11.5 inches (61.0 x 43.2 x 28.3 cm)
The airline says that it will allow passengers to check up to three bags per flight. However, you will still be required to pay $20 fee each way for checked baggage. If you want to take advantage of this offer, you must do so within 30 days of booking your ticket.
Can I Pre-pay for Baggage?
- Southwest Airlines doesn’t want you to pre-pay for baggage. In fact, it doesn’t even let you do that.
- You either buy your bag at the gate or you don’t fly.
- If you choose to purchase your bag online, you’ll simply receive a voucher for the amount of the fee.
“We are not interested in charging customers extra money for baggage,” explains Southwest spokeswoman Brandy King. “Our focus is customer satisfaction.”
Carry-On Allowances and Fees
Southwest Airlines announced earlier this week that it will allow passengers to bring one carry-on bag and one personal item onto flights. This change goes into effect immediately.
The policy applies to both domestic and international travel. You can check out the full list of rules here.
Personal items should measure no greater 13.5″ x 9″ x 18.5″, while standard carry-on size measures up to 24″ x 14″ x 10″. Both personal and standard carry-on bags must fit under the seat in front of the passenger.
All personal items should be able to be stowed underneath seats in front of you, while standard carry-ons can either go underneath the seat in the row behind you or in an overhead compartment during flight.
If you are getting stopped at the airport with your bag, make sure to pack light.
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Checked Bag Allowances and Fees
Airline baggage fees vary widely depending on where you fly. Some airlines charge for carry-on luggage while others don’t.
Others offer different rules for international flights versus domestic ones. And some allow travelers to bring certain items onboard without paying extra.
But one thing almost every airline charges for is checked baggage. While it might seem like a hassle, there are actually several reasons why you might want to pay for checked bags.
Saving On Southwest Airlines Baggage Fees (Or Avoiding Them Altogether)
Southwest Airlines recently announced it will increase baggage rates for domestic flights starting April 7. But there are ways you can save money on those fees. Here are some suggestions:
- • If you’re flying out of San Antonio International Airport (SAT), check out the free airport shuttle bus that runs every 15 minutes during peak hours. You don’t even have to wait for a seat on the bus; just hop off and ride to your gate.
- • Book a roundtrip ticket. This way, you won’t have to worry about paying for one leg of your trip.
- • Use Southwest’s mobile app to book tickets. You can do this online or via phone.
- • Check the status of your bag before heading to the airport. Southwest offers 24/7 customer support, so you can call or chat with agents to find out what’s holding up your bags.
- • Don’t forget to bring your boarding pass with you. For some reason, airlines often lose boarding passes, so make sure you have a copy handy.
- • Bring a small carry-on bag or purse, rather than a large suitcase. Some airlines charge extra for oversized luggage.
Limit Your Luggage
Southwest Airlines offers generous allowances for checking bags, including one free checked suitcase per person, up to 22 pounds.
If you’re flying out of New York City, there are no additional restrictions on how many bags you can bring.
But if you’re traveling outside of NYC, you’ll want to pay attention to the weight limits.
- For example, if you’re flying out of Chicago O’Hare International Airport, you can take up to four bags total.
- However, if you’re flying from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, you can only take three bags total.
If you do decide to exceed the weight limit, you’ll have to pay extra baggage fees.
- You can still use the airline’s free checked bags for items like laptops, tablets, phones, cameras and more.
- In addition, you can also bring one personal carry-on and one standard carry-on bag, both weighing less than 45 pounds.
- There are no size restrictions for either piece of luggage.
Credit Cards That Reimburse You For Checked Bag Fees
Southwest Airlines offers some of the best deals around. They even give you extra miles just for checking a bag!
But did you know that there are credit cards out there that reimburse you for checked baggage fees? There are plenty of options to choose from, and we’ve outlined the ones that provide the most value.
Does Southwest charge for checked luggage?
- Southwest Airlines charges $75 per bag for the first two bags you check, no matter how big those bags are.
- If you want to bring another bag, it costs $75 each.
- But active members of the military are exempt from paying baggage fees.
Can I bring a backpack as a personal carry-on item?
If you’re flying Southwest Airlines, there’s good news: You can take along whatever you want in your personal carry-on bag without having to pay extra baggage fees. But there are some rules to follow.
Southwest Airlines’ personal carry-ons must be no larger than 16 inches wide, 20 inches tall, and 18.5 inches deep.
They cannot weigh more than 110 pounds, and they must fit within one of three sizes: small, medium, or large.
Be sure to include any wheels or handles in your measurement.
If your backpack is larger, it may need to be counted as your standard carry-in item instead, and will likely need to go into an overhead bin for the entire length of your flight.
Please note this airline takes the personal carry-on policy very serious.
Before you arrive to the terminal, make sure you have the proper size and do not bring anything that exceeds the TSA liquid limit.
Here’s what else you need to know about Southwest Airlines’ personal carry on bags.
What if I need to check special equipment?
Southwest Airlines is pretty generous when checking certain types of equipment.
For example, you can check-in bikes, skis, kayaks, surfboards, musical instruments, cameras, media/cameras, laptops, guitars, drums, percussion and much more without paying anything extra.
You will still pay for the weight limit of each bag, though.
Many sporting equipment items fly free because they are considered small enough to fit into the overhead compartment.
This includes bikes, skateboards, scooters, snow skis and snowboards, surfboards, fishing rods, golf clubs, tennis rackets, baseball bats and much more.
In most cases, you will not be charged any overweight or oversized fees.
However, you generally will be charged a fee for each piece of baggage you check. Be sure to read Southwest’s policies carefully beforehand.
Guidelines for Southwest Airlines Excess Baggage
Can I have 2 carry-on bags on Southwest?
You can now bring two carry-on bags on board a flight with Southwest Airlines.
However, there are some restrictions.
- First off, it’s still not allowed to check either bag into cargo.
- Second, the carry-on bag must weigh no more than 50 pounds and cannot exceed 45 inches in length and width combined.
- Third, the second bag cannot exceed 15 inches in length and 12 inches in height.
- Finally, the second bag cannot weigh more than 25 pounds.
The airline says that passengers can use the same bag for each leg of their trip. If you want to take a separate bag on the return flight, you can do so without paying additional fees.
What happens if your checked bag is over 50 pounds?
If your checked bag is more 50 pounds, you will pay 75$ extra to get it on the luggage carousel.
This fee applies to oversized bags such as surfboards, golf clubs, bicycles, skis, etc.
You will also have to pay $1 per pound above 50 pounds.
For example, if you check a bag weighing 60 pounds, you will have pay 125$ ($75 + $50 $125).
Can I check 3 bags on Southwest?
You might think that checking three bags on Southwest Airlines costs $75 extra per bag.
But there are some exceptions. If you pay for the excess baggage fee of 75$, you can carry up to three bags weighing no more than 50 pounds each.
You must also meet the airline’s size requirements for checked luggage. For example, the total combined length and width of all bags cannot exceed 45 inches.
And the largest bag allowed must fit under the seat in front of you.
Southwest Airlines allows many sports equipment bags — including skis, golf bags, surfboards and even snowboards — to fly free and count towards your carry-on luggage limit. Many other airlines charge fees for similar items.
But, even if the equipment fits inside one bag, it still counts as separate bags toward your allowance.
So, if you bring four pairs of skis and eight sets of ski/snow boarding boots, you could fit up to 16 pieces of equipment in one bag.
Overweight and oversized Southwest baggage fees
If you want to avoid paying extra for carrying your heavy luggage on board, make sure it fits under the airline’s “baggage guidelines.” Otherwise, you could end up being charged a hefty fee.
The rules apply to passengers flying on Southwest Airlines. They include the following restrictions:
- • You can carry no more than 2 checked bags and 1 personal item each.
- • Your total checked bag limit cannot exceed 50 pounds.
- • Each bag must fit inside the aircraft cabin.
- • A maximum of one piece of hand luggage per person is permitted.
- • All bags must be stowed overhead or underneath the seat in front of you.