Southwest Airlines Baggage Fees & How To Avoid Paying Them! [2018]

Southwest baggage fees

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Southwest Airlines has the single most clear-cut (and cheapest!) baggage policy of any airline. Thank You, Southwest!

Your first two checked bags are FREE with any fare, and the extra/excess fees are a simple $75 each.

Southwest is one budget airline where you definitely won’t get stuck with hidden baggage fees.

Southwest Carry-On Allowance:

1 personal item: FREE
1 standard carry-on bag: FREE

Size Restrictions

  • Personal: undisclosed
  • Standard: 24″ x 16″ x 10″

Lap Infant Carry-On Policy

  • undisclosed

Southwest Checked Baggage Allowance:

All checked bags must adhere to a max weight of 50lbs and must adhere to max linear dimensions of 62 inches.

Southwest is the only Airline that provides TWO FREE CHECKED BAGS for all fares.

1st Bag: FREE
2nd Bag: FREE
3rd+ Bags: $75

Additional / Excess Baggage Fees:

Overweight Fee: $75
Oversized Fee: $75

Credit Cards That Reimburse You For Checked Bag Fees

Unlike Spirit Airlines, Southwest has a generous checked bag policy that allows two bags per person. If you are taking a big trip and need additional checked bags, you can use one of the cards below to offset the cost.

Credit CardFee Reimbursement Details
💳 Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite MasterCard®

  • Use your miles to cover any qualifying travel purchases of $100 or more, including baggage fees.
  • Annual Fee: $150
  • Rates & Fees
💳 Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a calendar year for baggage fees at one airline. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, then $195
💳 The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • $200 airline fee credit per calendar year on your previously designated airline. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $550
💳 The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN
  • $200 airline fee credit per calendar year on your previously designated airline. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $450
Chase Sapphire Reserve℠
  • $300 travel credit per calendar year (covers all travel related purchases).
  • Annual Fee: $450
Citi Prestige Card
  • $250 air travel credit per calendar year.
  • Annual Fee: $450

Military traveling on active duty or permanent change of station orders – 3rd+ bags FREE; no charge for overweight/ oversized bags

Exclusions & Waivers:

No charge for overweight/ oversized large media camera equipment

Plus, some special sporting items fly free as well! (subject to certain restrictions)

“Any of the items listed below may be checked in substitution of one piece of the free Checked Baggage allowance for each Passenger at no charge on a one-item-for-one-bag basis. If the item of sporting equipment exceeds 50 pounds in weight or 62 inches in size (outside length plus height plus width), excess weight and size charges may apply.”

  • Archery Equipment
  • Baseball/Softball Equipment
  • Boogie/Knee Board
  • Bowing Bag
  • Bicycles
    • hard-sided bicycle box falling w/in 62″/50lb limits
  • Fishing Rod & Tackle Box
    • limited to 91″ in length, 3″ diameter
    • counts as ONE item even if packed separately
  • Golf Bag
    • hard-sided golf bag
    • excess size charges waived; excess weight charges may apply
  • Hockey/Lacrosse Sticks
    • Up to two bags allowed to count as ONE item, even if packed separately
  • Kiteboard
  • Knives, Dress Sabers, Swords
    • checked bags only
  • Parachutes
    • carry-on or checked bag
    • may not be worn in flight
  • Scuba Equipment
    • air tanks must be empty
  • Skateboard
    • carry-on or checked
  • Snow Ski Equipment
    • Up to 2 bags (one set of equipment) allowed to count as ONE item, even if packed separately
    • excess size charges waived; excess weight charges may apply
  • Water Ski Equipment
    • excess size charges waived; excess weight charges may apply

To see more airline baggage fees and policies, click here.

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