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Southwest Airlines provides flexibility while packing bags for your next trip. Packing bags is the most exciting thing before a trip. But you should check Southwest Airlines baggage policy first. It helps you understand the airline rules or carry-on, personal items, and checked baggage that you need to meet. 

The airline can also ask for a fee based on its rules. Therefore, the below article will help you know more on airline baggage rules.

How Many Bags Southwest Airlines Allows for Free?

Southwest Airlines allows two checked bags for free to its passengers. Therefore, every passenger can check bags without paying any charges. However, you need to keep the following requirements in check:

First and Second Checked Baggage Weight and Size Restrictions

  • Weight Limit: Southwest Airlines does not allow above 23 kg(50 pounds) on each checked bag. 
  • Size Limit:  The bag size must not be more than 62 inches (length+breadth+height).

Does Southwest Charge For Carry-on?

No. Southwest does not demand anything for carry-on baggage. Therefore, As per Southwest rules, one can take a carry-on bag and a personal item for no fee. However, first, consider the following conditions:

Carry-on Bag:

  • Carry-on bag size should not be above 24(L) x 16(W) x 10(H) inches.

  • It should come in the overhead bin or below the seat. 

Personal Item:

Personal Item Size: Personal Item size should not be above dimension 18.5(L)x 8.5(W) x 13.5(H) or (47x22x34cms)

Personal items include:

- Briefcases, 
- Small backpacks, 
- Purses,
- Laptops, etc.

Do I Require to Place Liquid Containers in Plastic Pouches on Southwest?

Yes. Passengers should consider the TSA regulations for liquids while travelling with Southwest Airlines. These rules keep the passengers safety first. Therefore, it is important to understand about liquid rules and other associated things in advance.

TSA 3-1-1 Liquids Rule

TSA has a 3-1-1 rule for taking liquids in carry-on bag:

  • 3: Southwest Airlines allows a liquid item not more than 3.4 ounces(100ml) in quantity. The liquid item includes aerosols, creams, gels, and pastes etc. 
  • 1: Passengers should pack the liquid containers in resealable and transparent plastic pouches.
  • 1:  The airline allows only one quart-sized pouch for liquids.

Prepare the Liquid in Advance

Container Size: You must not exceed the liquid container size more than 3.4 ounces or 100ml. The items includes shampoo, toothpaste, conditioner, cream, mouthwash etc.
Quart-Sized Pouch: keep each container in a quart size plastic pouch. Remember that the pouch should be resealable. It further makes the screening process easier.

Important Tips to Pack Liquids

  • Make the liquid vessel easily accessible during the screening process. The security officer may ask you to remove it from the bag for screening.

  • Further,place the pouch in the bin itself. It helps TSA officers to easily check the content and its compliance with the 3-1-1 rule.
  • Place the quart size pouch to your carry on bag.

Exclusions for the Rules

Southwest Airlines excludes some items from 3-1-1 rule. Therefore, check out the points below:

Medications: Southwest Airlines allows passengers to carry prescribed or other medications more than 3.4 ounces limit. Still they have to mention it to the TSA officers during screening. 
Baby Formula / Food: The airline lets the passengers carry baby formula, baby food and breast milk in more quantity. 
Duty-Free Items: 3-1-1 rule is not applicable on liquids that passengers buy after the screening process. However, the items should be sealed and in original packaging.
Checked Luggage - Liquid Rules

If you want to carry the liquid in large quantities, then you can keep it in checked baggage. The airline does not consider limits for liquid in checked bags. However, check that the containers should be properly closed and do not leak.

Does Overweight Baggage Costs Extra on Southwest?

Yes. When baggage weight is above fifty pounds, Southwest Airlines will ask you to pay. Therefore, pay Southwest Airlines baggage cost if it weighs above fifty pounds.

  • Baggage weight below 50 pounds: $0
  • Fee for baggage weight from 51 pounds to 100 pounds: $75
  • Above 100 pounds: Not Allowed

How Much I Require to Pay for Oversize Baggage on Southwest Airlines?

You need to pay a Southwest Airlines fee for oversize baggage.

  • Baggage size under 62 inches: no fee
  • Frontier Baggage size from 63 to 80 inches: $75
  • Baggage size above 80 inches: Not allowed

How Many Bags Does Southwest Allow for Military?

Southwest Airlines provides special baggage allowance to active military personnels. Therefore, check the below information to learn more about it:

Checked Baggage Rules

  • As per Southwest Airlines baggage policy, active military personnel can check a maximum of five bags for free. 
  • However, the weight and size requirement are same for military personnel (50 pounds and 62 inches each bag).

The above rules help the personnel to easily commute from one place to another without stressing over the excess baggage charges.

Carry On Luggage Rules

  • The airline permits one carry-on bag to military personnel.
  • However, mandatory size limit is 24(L) x 16(W) x 10(H) inches or (61 x 40 x 25cm).
  • The bag should come below the seat or in the overhead storage.
  • Airline strictly restrict items like explosive, sharp, or inflammable objects.

Personal Item Luggage Rules

Southwest Airlines allows military personnel to carry personal items for free. 

  • Size Requirement: Personal item size should not cross 18.5(L)x 8.5(W) x 13.5(H) or (47x22x34cms).
  • Items include the following:

- Small backpacks, 
- Laptops, 
- Purses, 
- Briefcases, etc. 

Active military personnel can complete a journey comfortably by understanding the above rules in advance.


It is necessary for every passenger to understand the above baggage policy on Southwest Airlines to ensure a smooth travel process. Check your baggage twice to skip the overweight or oversized baggage fee at the airport. The airline also assists on call or online if you have any questions regarding its baggage rules.

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