2023 Southwest Baggage Allowance & Excess Baggage Fees

Review Southwest baggage allowances and fees before traveling

Southwest Baggage Allowance
Southwest Baggage Allowance

Send Your Luggage

Sending your luggage is a much easier way to get your things from A to B. It saves you having to drag everything behind you, and on and off conveyor belts and public transport. Plus, it allows you to have many more of your belongings at your destination than you could check onto a Southwest flight. Get your free quote now.

Southwest Carry-On Allowance:

One cabin bag; 10 x 16 x 24 in (25.4 x 40.64 x 60.96 cm), plus one personal item; 16.25 x 8.5 x 13.5 in (46 x 21 x 34 cm). There is no specified weight restriction for carry-on items.

Southwest Additional Carry-On Items

A number of personal items can be brought on board, in addition to the standard carry-on allowance. These are: umbrellas/ walking canes, outer garments, food for consumption during the flight in disposable packaging, assistive/ mobility devices, and a child restraint for a ticketed child or when a complimentary, available space exists.

Southwest Carry-On and Musical Instruments

Musical instruments can be brought on board if they fit under the seat in front or within the overhead locker. Larger instruments can be brought on board if you purchase a seat for them. Such instruments must fit within a seat (only one per seat), be secured with a seat belt, and must not block any aircraft signage.

Southwest Carry On and Bringing Pets On Board

Southwest allows small domesticated cats or dogs to be carried into the cabin on domestic flight, provided they are transported in a suitable carrier that measures no more than 8.5 inches high x 18.5 inches long x 13.5 inches wide (21.59 x 46.99 x 34.29 cm). A fee of $95, one way, is levied for each pet carrier. One pet carrier counts as one of the permitted carry-on items.

Pets cannot be checked into the hold with Southwest.

Southwest Carry On and Prohibited Items

Among those items not allowed within carry-on luggage are:


Lighter fluid,

Camp stoves using compressed gas,


Paintball guns.

Southwest Checked Baggage Fees and Allowance:

Two items of luggage, free of charge, with each weighing no more than 50 lbs (22.7 kg) and measuring no more than 62 inches (157.5 cm) in total dimensions. If you wish to check a third bag you must pay a charge of $75.

Passengers travelling with children may also check one pushchair and car seat, free of charge.

Southwest Excess Baggage Fees

Overweight items weighing between 51 and 100 lbs (23 and 45 kg), and oversized items measuring over 62 inches, but not more than 80 inches (203 cm), are charged at $75 per item.

Military personnel on active duty or permanent change of station orders are exempt from the two-piece baggage limit and will not be subject to excess, oversize, or overweight baggage charges, providing no piece exceeds 100 lbs in weight or 80 inches in total dimensions.

Southwest Checked Baggage and Exceptional Items

Most exceptional items, such as sports equipment and musical instruments, may be checked in to the hold as one free item of hold luggage.

However, some larger items will incur a charge of $75, one way. These include bicycles larger than 62 inches in total dimensions, as well as surfboards.

Information correct as of 08/03/2023.

Southwest News

05/05/2020: Southwest May Downsize and Ups Safety Measures

Despite receiving an estimated $3.3 billion in the form of grants and loans under the CARES Act, a letter to Southwest employees states the money does not fully cover payroll costs through to September of this year.

The letter, written by CEO Gary Kelly, continues to declare that downsizing its operation may be necessary if the record low travel demand does not drastically improve over the coming summer months.

15/04/2020: US Government Agree on $25bn Bailout Package for Airlines

The US government agree on a $25bn bailout package for the struggling airline industry in the wake of COVID-19. Airlines are expected to lose $314bn in revenue this year according to The International Air Transport Association as a result of the global pandemic bringing the majority of air travel to a standstill.

The following airlines are expected benefit from the bailout package: Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Delta, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, United, SkyWest and Southwest.

Southwest logo
Baggage at a glance
Southwest Carry On

One cabin bag, plus one personal item

10 x 16 x 24 in (25.4 x 40.64 x 60.96 cm)

16.25 x 8.5 x 13.5 in (41 x 21 x 34 cm)

Southwest Checked Baggage

Two bags, free of charge; additional bags $75 each

$75 per overweight/ oversized item