Baggage/checked baggage/carryon baggage/luggage/suitcase/briefcase/personal items/baggage charges
South West Airlines (popularly known as Southwest) it is one of world’s largest low cost carrier airline connecting 121 destinations in US and 10 other countries. Its business model is different from other US airlines as it uses point to point network, allows free checked baggage and does not charge change fee. Southwest offers a great range of deals and offers and known for comfortable and secure travel. They are also technically advanced and operate in all the major airports in and outside US. When in peak season they record around 4000 departures a day. It is indeed a strong pillar in the whole US Airline System.
Major Hubs- Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago-Midway, Dallas-Love, Denver, Houston-Hobby, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Orlando, Phoenix-Sky Harbour
Southwest baggage policy is one of the most generous and simplest. However there are certain things you need to know about your baggage. Following are the checked baggage rules you need to follow while traveling with a Southwest flight-
First two checked bags per customer, per ticket are allowed by Southwest. (see the size and weight limit further)
Size and Weight Limits- For checked baggage maximum weight set by Southwest is 50 pounds and the maximum allowed size is 62 in (length + weight + height) per checked bag.
Charges- When travelling with a Southwest Airlines, first two checked bags are free if they do not exceed the size and weight limit set by the Southwest (50 lbs and 62 linear inches as mentioned earlier).
Excess baggage charges
In excess of the free baggage allowance, each of the checked bag not exceeding the size of 62 in and weight 50 lbs, will be accepted as excess checked bags at a charge of $75 per item per side.
Oversize or overweight baggage charges and allowance
All the items from weighing from 51 to 100 pound, and having a size of more than 62 in but not more than 80 in will be considered as oversize or overweight item. Such items will be charged $75 per item per side.
An item weighing more than 100 pounds will be shipped as Air Cargo and related charges, terms and conditions will apply.
For domestic itineraries, Southwest liabilities liability is limited to $3800 per customer in case of baggage loss or damage.
For international itineraries this liability is $1288, Special Drawing Rights for each passenger under the Montreal Convention or the Warsaw Convention whichever may apply.
Carry On Items
One bag and one personal item is allowed (per ticket) to carry with you. However following are some rules for carry-on/personal items you need to follow while traveling with a Southwest flight-
Dimension- A maximum of 10 x 16 x 24 inches, including wheels, handles and straps.
It must fit in the overhead bin and its wheels facing out.
While carrying a pet with you, pet carriers are counted as personal or carry-on items.
If your carry-on item exceeds the size limit, you will be forced to get it checked on the gate. It will be safely kept in the luggage area below the craft and you will pick it up at baggage claim and not the gate upon the arrival at your destination.
All the sharp items (like medical items and needles, syringes) should be properly covered and secured to prevent any kind of injury to anyone including you.
You have to inform about it to the flight attendant, so that a separate container for such disposable items be provided.
These include purse, laptop, camera, briefcase, food container etc. including their cases/covers.
Personal item should fit in the storage area under the seat in front of you. If it doesn’t fit under the seat, you will be asked to place it in the overhead bin.
Note: following items are not counted as carry-on or personal items-
A child restraint device for a ticketed child with a reserved seat or when complimentary , available space exists.
Assistive or mobility device for individuals with disability. There is no limit for the number of such devices a customer can bring onboard the flight.
Outer garments or other wearable articles of clothing.
Food for consumption during flight contained in disposable packaging.
Walking canes or umbrella.
Liquids, Gels, Pastes, Creams etc
You are allowed to bring one quart-sized bag of aerosol, gels, creams or pastes in your carry-on bag (one per person/ticket). It should get checked on security check point. The matter inside shouldn’t exceed 3.4 ounces (100ml) per item.
Certain items can be prohibited to carry beyond the check point such as harmful or flammable chemicals etc or the one that security agents thinks is not good for safety.
Lithium Batteries, e-cigarettes, lighters
You are allowed to bring upto 20 spare batteries, portable chargers for mobiles laptops and tablets etc. they should be packed in your carry-on bag and be with you on bag.
E-cigarettes are allowed but cannot be used on board as they are designed to operate by heat. They must be places in a carry-on bag and be with you on board. One lighter is allowed, but should be kept in carry-on bag, on board with you and cannot be used onboard.
Strollers, Child Restraint Systems etc
If you are travelling with children, you will be allowed to check one stroller and one child restraint system (CRS) or car seat per child without charge in addition to the free baggage allowance. Such items are checked at the curb, ticket counter or gate. However Southwest will not assume liability of the damage of these items.
(for the list and rules related to the special items visit the official Southwest Airlines’ website)
Lost and Found- if you left any item onboard the plane, you have to notify about it to the airport authority or a customer service agent before leaving the airport. For which you have to fill the form. Southwest will make all the efforts to bring your luggage back to you and you will be informed about it in next 30 days (whether it is located or not)