How Strict Is Southwest About Carry On Size?

Are you planning a trip with Southwest Airlines and wondering how strict is southwest about carry-on size? You’re not alone. Many travelers have found themselves in a sticky situation at the gate, being forced to check their luggage at the last minute due to size restrictions. Continue reading as this post is about to give you a full review of all you need to know before packing for Southwest Airlines.

The maximum dimensions for the carry-on bag are 10 x 16 x 24 inches, including wheels and handles. Any bag that exceeds these dimensions will be checked at the gate, and passengers may incur additional fees. It’s crucial to note that the size limit is strictly enforced, and Southwest will not make exceptions. Southwest also has a size limit for personal items which is 18.5 x 8.5 x 13.5 inches, including handles and pockets.

Southwest allows passengers to bring one carry-on bag and one personal item on board their flights. The carry-on bag must fit in the overhead bin, while the personal item must fit under the seat in front of you. These guidelines apply to all Southwest flights, including domestic and international flights.

Can You Bring a Personal Item on Southwest Airlines?

Can You Bring a Personal Item on Southwest Airlines?

Yes, you can bring a personal item to Southwest Airlines. In fact, Southwest Airlines allows each passenger to bring one carry-on bag and one personal item onboard their flights. The personal item must fit under the seat in front of you and can be a purse, briefcase, laptop bag, or small backpack.

The maximum dimensions for a personal item on Southwest Airlines are 18.5 x 8.5 x 13.5 inches, including handles and pockets. The airline is quite strict about the size limit for personal items, and any item that exceeds these dimensions may not be allowed onboard and will need to be checked in as luggage.

Examples of acceptable personal items on Southwest Airlines include a small backpack, a laptop bag, a tote bag, or a purse. It’s important to note that the personal item must fit under the seat in front of you and not take up any space in the overhead bin. If your personal item is too large, you may need to check it in as luggage and may incur additional fees.

Southwest Airlines recommends that passengers measure their personal item before arriving at the airport to ensure that it meets the airline’s guidelines. It’s also a good idea to pack your personal item strategically so that you can access your essentials during the flight easily.

How to Avoid Paying Baggage Fees on Southwest Airlines

there are several ways to avoid paying baggage fees on Southwest Airlines. Here are some tips:

1. Check if your baggage is eligible for free checked baggage: Southwest Airlines allows passengers to check in two bags for free, as long as they meet the airline’s size and weight restrictions. If your baggage meets the requirements, you can avoid paying baggage fees altogether.

2. Join Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards: As a member of Southwest’s loyalty program, you may be eligible for free checked baggage, depending on your status level. Members can earn points through flights and other activities, which can be used to redeem free flights or other perks.

3. Get a Southwest Airlines Credit Card: Southwest Airlines offers several credit cards that come with benefits such as free checked bags, priority boarding, and bonus points. If you fly with Southwest frequently, getting a Southwest credit card can help you save money on baggage fees and other expenses.

4. Pack Light: Southwest Airlines has a generous carry-on policy, allowing each passenger to bring one carry-on bag and one personal item onboard. By packing light and avoiding checked baggage altogether, you can save money on baggage fees and enjoy a more hassle-free travel experience.

5. Be Strategic with Your Luggage: If you must check a bag, be strategic with your luggage. Pack efficiently and avoid overpacking, as overweight or oversized baggage can result in additional fees. It’s also a good idea to weigh your baggage before arriving at the airport to ensure that it meets the airline’s weight requirements.

How to Choose the Right Carry On Luggage for Southwest Airlines

Here are some tips on how to choose the right carry-on luggage for Southwest Airlines:

1. Check Southwest Airlines’ Carry-On Size and Weight Restrictions: Southwest Airlines allows each passenger to bring one carry-on bag and one personal item onboard. The maximum dimensions for a carry-on bag are 10 x 16 x 24 inches, including handles and wheels. The maximum weight for a carry-on bag is 50 pounds.

2. Consider Your Travel Needs: When choosing a carry-on bag for Southwest Airlines, consider your travel needs. If you’re traveling for a short trip, a smaller bag may be sufficient. If you’re traveling for an extended period, you may need a larger bag to accommodate all of your belongings.

3. Look for Durability and Quality: Your carry-on bag will go through a lot of wear and tear, so it’s essential to choose a bag that is durable and of high quality. Look for bags made of sturdy materials like polycarbonate or ballistic nylon.

4. Consider the Bag’s Features: Look for bags that have features that will make traveling easier, such as multiple compartments, spinner wheels, and TSA-approved locks. Spinner wheels make maneuvering the bag through the airport a breeze, while multiple compartments help you stay organized.

5. Check for Compatibility with Southwest’s Carry-On Policy: Before purchasing a carry-on bag, check to ensure that it meets Southwest’s carry-on policy. Some bags may be too big or too heavy, which could result in additional fees or the need to check the bag.

Southwest Airlines’ Carry On Size Limits for International Flights

Southwest Airlines' Carry On Size Limits for International Flights

According to Southwest Airlines, the carry-on bag dimensions for international flights must not exceed 10 x 16 x 24 inches or 25 x 40 x 60 centimeters, including the wheels and handles. The airline strictly enforces this size limit, and any bags that exceed these dimensions must be checked in, and fees may apply.

Southwest Airlines carry-on size limits for international flights are essential for a few reasons. First, it ensures that there is enough overhead bin space for all passengers’ carry-on bags. If bags were allowed to be larger, the overhead bins would fill up quickly, leaving some passengers without space to store their bags.

Second, it makes the boarding process more efficient. If every passenger were allowed to bring large carry-on bags, the boarding process would be slower, as passengers would have to maneuver large bags through the aisle, causing congestion and delays.

Third, it makes the flight safer. If the overhead bins are full, and bags are protruding or falling out, they can become a hazard during takeoff and landing. By enforcing carry-on size limits, Southwest Airlines ensures that all bags are securely stored in the overhead bins, reducing the risk of injury.

Southwest Airlines carry-on size restrictions

The Southwest Airlines carry-on size restrictions state that passengers are allowed to bring one carry-on bag and one personal item on board the flight. The carry-on bag should not exceed 10 x 16 x 24 inches or 25 x 40 x 60 centimeters, including wheels and handles. The personal item should be small enough to fit under the seat in front of the passenger. This could be a purse, laptop bag, or a small backpack.

These carry-on size restrictions are essential for several reasons. First, they ensure that there is enough space for all passengers’ carry-on bags in the overhead bins. If bags were allowed to be larger, the overhead bins would fill up quickly, leaving some passengers without space to store their bags. This can cause delays during boarding, as passengers may have to search for available space or check their bags at the gate.

Second, carry-on size restrictions make the boarding process more efficient. If every passenger were allowed to bring large carry-on bags, the boarding process would be slower, as passengers would have to maneuver large bags through the aisle, causing congestion and delays. With Southwest Airlines’ carry-on size restrictions, passengers can quickly and easily store their bags in the overhead bins and take their seats, reducing the time it takes to board the plane.

Third, carry-on size restrictions make the flight safer. If the overhead bins are full, and bags are protruding or falling out, they can become a hazard during takeoff and landing. By enforcing carry-on size restrictions, Southwest Airlines ensures that all bags are securely stored in the overhead bins, reducing the risk of injury.

It is essential to note that Southwest Airlines enforces its carry-on size restrictions strictly. Any bags that exceed the size limit will need to be checked in, and fees may apply. This could result in additional costs and inconvenience for passengers, especially those with connecting flights.

How to measure your carry-on bag for Southwest Airlines

The Southwest Airlines carry-on bag size limit is 10 x 16 x 24 inches or 25 x 40 x 60 centimeters, including wheels and handles. To measure your carry-on bag, follow these steps:

Step 1: Start by measuring the length of your bag. This is the longest side of the bag, usually from the bottom to the top.

Step 2: Measure the width of the bag. This is the distance from one side to the other.

Step 3: Measure the depth of the bag. This is the distance from the front to the back of the bag.

Step 4: Add the length, width, and depth of the bag together. This will give you the total size of your bag.

Step 5: If the total size of your bag is within the Southwest Airlines carry-on bag size limit, then your bag is allowed on the plane. If your bag exceeds the size limit, you will need to check it in, and additional fees may apply.

It is essential to note that Southwest Airlines measures carry-on bags at the gate. If your bag exceeds the size limit, you will be asked to check it in, and additional fees may apply. To avoid this, it is crucial to measure your bag before traveling to ensure it meets the size limit.

In addition, it is also essential to consider the weight of your carry-on bag. The maximum weight for a carry-on bag on Southwest Airlines is 50 pounds or 23 kilograms. Any bag that exceeds this weight limit will need to be checked in, and additional fees may apply.

What happens if your carry-on bag is too big for Southwest Airlines?

What happens if your carry-on bag is too big for Southwest Airlines?

If your carry-on bag is too big for Southwest Airlines, you will need to check it in at the gate or ticket counter. This means that your bag will not be allowed on board the plane as a carry-on, and you will need to wait for it at baggage claim upon arrival at your destination.

Additionally, Southwest Airlines charges a fee for checked baggage. The fee for the first checked bag is $30, and the fee for the second checked bag is $40. These fees can quickly add up, especially if you have multiple bags to check-in.

It is important to note that if your carry-on bag is too big, you may also face additional fees if you have a connecting flight. This is because you will need to check your bag at the gate for each leg of your trip, and the fees will apply each time.

If you are traveling with valuable items, it is also important to note that checked baggage is not covered by Southwest Airlines’ liability coverage. While Southwest Airlines takes great care of passengers’ belongings, it is important to consider purchasing additional insurance to protect your items in case of loss or damage.

To avoid the consequences of having a carry-on bag that is too big for Southwest Airlines, it is important to measure your bag before traveling and ensure that it meets the size restrictions. If your bag is too big, consider packing lighter or checking it in to avoid additional fees and inconvenience.

How Strict Is Southwest About Carry On Size?

Southwest allows passengers to bring one carry-on bag and one personal item on board their flights. The carry-on bag must fit in the overhead bin, while the personal item must fit under the seat in front of you. These guidelines apply to all Southwest flights, including domestic and international flights.

The maximum dimensions for the carry-on bag are 10 x 16 x 24 inches, including wheels and handles. Any bag that exceeds these dimensions will be checked at the gate, and passengers may incur additional fees. It’s crucial to note that the size limit is strictly enforced, and Southwest will not make exceptions.

Southwest also has a size limit for personal items. The maximum dimensions for a personal item are 18.5 x 8.5 x 13.5 inches, including handles and pockets. Personal items that exceed these dimensions will not be allowed onboard and will have to be checked in as luggage.

To ensure that your carry-on bag and personal item comply with Southwest’s guidelines, it’s recommended that you measure your luggage before arriving at the airport. This will help you avoid any surprises and ensure a smooth check-in process.

If you’re unsure about whether your bag meets Southwest’s guidelines, the airline offers a sample bag sizer at their check-in counters and gates. Passengers can use the sizer to check the dimensions of their carry-on bag and personal item before boarding the flight. If your bag does not fit in the sizer, you will need to check it in as luggage.

Tips for packing efficiently with Southwest Airlines’ carry-on restrictions

Here are some tips for packing efficiently with Southwest Airlines’ carry-on restrictions.

1. Check the size restrictions: Before packing, make sure to check Southwest Airlines’ carry-on size restrictions. The size limit is 10 x 16 x 24 inches or 25 x 40 x 60 centimeters, including wheels and handles. By knowing the size limit, you can pack accordingly and avoid the inconvenience of having to check your bag at the gate.

2. Use a packing checklist: To avoid overpacking, create a packing checklist. This will help you stay organized and ensure that you only pack the essentials. Be sure to include items such as toiletries, clothing, and any necessary electronics.

3. Pack lightweight and versatile clothing: Choose lightweight and versatile clothing that can be mixed and matched. This will help you pack fewer items while still having a variety of outfits to wear. Consider packing items such as lightweight jackets, dresses, and versatile shoes.

4. Use packing cubes: Packing cubes are a great way to stay organized and maximize space. Use them to separate items such as clothing, toiletries, and electronics. This will help you find items easily and ensure that everything stays in place during travel.

5. Wear bulky items: If you are traveling with bulky items such as a winter coat or boots, wear them on the plane to save space in your carry-on bag.

6. Use compression bags: Compression bags are a great way to save space and reduce the volume of your clothing. Use them to compress items such as sweaters, towels, and blankets.

7. Consider shipping items: If you need to bring larger items such as gifts or souvenirs, consider shipping them to your destination instead of packing them in your carry-on bag. This will help you save space and avoid the risk of having to check your bag at the gate.

Southwest Airlines’ carry-on policy for international flights

Southwest Airlines' carry-on policy for international flights

Here is Southwest Airlines’ carry-on policy for international flights.

Carry-On Size Restrictions

Southwest Airlines carry-on size restrictions for international flights are the same as for domestic flights. The maximum dimensions allowed for a carry-on bag are 10 x 16 x 24 inches or 25 x 40 x 60 centimeters, including wheels and handles. Any bags that exceed these dimensions will not be allowed as carry-on and will need to be checked in at the gate or ticket counter.

Number of Carry-On Bags

Passengers traveling internationally with Southwest Airlines are allowed to bring one carry-on bag and one personal item on board. The personal item must be small enough to fit under the seat in front of you, such as a purse, laptop bag, or small backpack.

Additional Carry-On Items

In addition to the carry-on bag and personal items, Southwest Airlines allows passengers to bring certain additional items on board for free. These include items such as a jacket, umbrella, food, and reading material.

Carry-On Baggage Fees

Unlike some other airlines, Southwest Airlines does not charge any fees for carry-on bags. This means that you can bring your carry-on bag and personal item on board at no additional cost. However, if your carry-on bag exceeds the size limit, you may have to pay a fee to check it in at the gate.

How to avoid having your carry-on bag gate-checked with Southwest Airlines

How to avoid having your carry-on bag gate-checked with Southwest Airlines

To avoid this situation, here are some tips on how to ensure that your carry-on bag stays with you during your Southwest Airlines flight.

1. Pack smartly and efficiently: The first step to avoiding gate-checking your carry-on bag is to pack smartly and efficiently. Make sure your bag meets Southwest Airlines’ size requirements for carry-on luggage, which is typically 10 x 16 x 24 inches. Pack only what you need for your trip and avoid overpacking, which can make your bag bulky and difficult to fit in the overhead compartment.

2. Choose the right seat: Choosing the right seat on your Southwest Airlines flight can make a big difference in whether or not you are asked to gate-check your carry-on bag. Seats towards the front of the plane are more likely to have overhead compartment space available, so try to choose a seat as close to the front as possible. 

Also, avoid seats in the emergency exit rows, as these seats have smaller overhead compartments.

3. Board early: To increase your chances of finding overhead compartment space for your carry-on bag, make sure to board your Southwest Airlines flight as early as possible. Southwest Airlines has open seating, which means that you can choose your own seat when you board the plane. 

If you have priority boardings, such as with Southwest’s A-List status or EarlyBird Check-In, take advantage of this to board early and secure space for your carry-on bag.

4. Be flexible: In some cases, even if you follow all of the above steps, you may still be asked to gate-check your carry-on bag due to space limitations or other reasons. In these situations, it’s important to be flexible and understand that the airline is doing its best to accommodate all passengers. 

Make sure to remove any valuable items from your bag before handing it over to the gate attendant, and keep your boarding pass and ID with you at all times.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you’re planning to fly with Southwest Airlines, you might be wondering how strict is Southwest about carry-on size. The answer is that they are quite strict, and for good reason. By enforcing size limits on carry-on bags, Southwest ensures that all passengers have enough space for their belongings in the overhead bins.

It’s important to note that the size limits for carry-on bags can vary depending on the type of aircraft you’re flying on. For example, smaller regional jets may have smaller overhead bins and stricter size limits. It’s always a good idea to double-check the specific size limits for your flight before you pack your bags.

If your carry-on bag is too large, you may be asked to check it at the gate. This can be inconvenient, but it’s ultimately for the safety and comfort of all passengers on board. Plus, Southwest doesn’t charge any additional fees for checked bags, so you won’t be hit with any unexpected costs.