Southwest Airlines Baggage Fees & How To Avoid Paying Them!

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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: 13.5″ x 8.5″ x 18.5″
  • Standard: 24″ x 16″ x 10″

Lap Infant Carry-On Policy

  • undisclosed

Stroller Check Policy

  • Southwest allows strollers to be checked at the curb, ticket counter, or gate free of charge.

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

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

Can I Pre-pay for Baggage?

Southwest Airlines does not allow passengers the ability to pre-pay for luggage.

Unfortunately, this means passengers must pay at the ticketing counter at the airport.

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.

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

For other baggage fees related to special luggage (sporting equipment, musical instruments, etc.) please refer to Southwest Airlines’ policy here.

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


How many bags can you carry on at Southwest?

Flying Southwest, you can bring 1 personal item and 1 standard piece of carry-on. The personal item must not exceed 13.5″ x 8.5″ x 18.5″ and the carry-on item 24″ x 16″ x 10″. Southwest does not publish any weight restrictions for carry-on items but you should be able to to lift this into the overhead compartment unassisted.

Can I have a backpack and a carry on Southwest?

Yes, you could take a backpack and a carry-on item on Southwest, provided that one of the items does not exceed 13.5″ x 8.5″ x 18.5″ and the other item 24″ x 16″ x 10″.

Is checked baggage free on Southwest?

Yes, checked baggage is free on Southwest and they are the only airline to allow 2 bags for all fare types. Checked bags must adhere to a max weight of 50lbs and max linear dimensions of 62 inches. Passengers can book 3+ bags for $75 a piece.

Erin Miller

About Erin Miller

Erin currently maintains her status as Alex's adventure-seeking partner-in-crime and contributes to Upgraded Points through content creation & relationship management.
She caught the travel bug just after high school when her grandmother took her on a two-week, whirlwind trip around Europe. That was that - she's been gallivanting around the globe ever since (22 countries & counting)!


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Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.


  1. Thomas Vetter · March 8, 2019 · Reply

    Great service with free baggage, but what about seating – does one have to pay for any seating – special or normal? Thanks, Tom

  2. Ashlea Higgins · May 12, 2019 · Reply

    Is it two free checked bags per person?

    • Christine Krzyszton · May 12, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Ashlea. Yes, it is two free bags per ticket purchased. Thanks for your question.

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