Does Southwest Airlines Allow Carry-On?

Are you planning a trip with us and wondering if Southwest allow carry-on? We will provide you with all the information you need to know about Southwest Airlines’ carry-on policy. Also find out about size restrictions, fees, and tips you need to have a smooth travel experience.

Does Southwest Allow Carry-On?
Personal items on flight

Southwest Airlines is known for its passenger-friendly policies. Their approach to carry-on baggage is no exception.

The company is aware that passengers would like to bring important items with them as they are travelling. And that is why they try from their end to accommodate the traveller’s choices.

So if you want to know if they allow carry-on or not, stay with us. You will also learn about the carry-on policies which will help you understand it better.

Does Southwest Allow Carry-On?

Yes, Southwest Airlines allows passengers to carry one bag and one small personal item.

Some personal items include your purse, cameras and laptop as gadgets, as well as, a food case.

The carry-on bag should be stowed in the overhead compartment, while the small personal item should be placed under the seat in front of you.

Southwest Airlines’ carry-on and baggage policy is meant to accommodate passengers’ need for onboard essentials while ensuring a smooth and comfortable travel experience.

Southwest Airlines accepts small vaccinated domestic cats and dogs to travel as pets.

Each pet must be carried in an appropriate transportation. Each pet carrier counted as either a carry-on or a personal item. Remember Pet Fare can change at any time.

What is Southwest Airlines Carry-On Policy?

When preparing for your Southwest Airlines flight, it’s essential to understand their carry-on policy to ensure a smooth and hassle-free travel experience.

1. Carry-On Baggage Allowance

Southwest Airlines follows TSA regulations when it comes to carry-on baggage. Each passenger is allowed one carry-on bag and one small personal item.

For people who travel with a pet, you need to understand that pet carriers are counted either as your item or your carry-on bag, so plan accordingly.

2. Carry-On Size Restrictions

Please ensure that your carry-on bag adheres to specific size restrictions to avoid disqualification for onboard stowage.

The dimensions for your carry-on bag should not exceed 24 inches in length, 16 inches in width, and 10 inches in height.

3. Storage of Carry-On Bags

When you board your Southwest flight, you should place your carry-on bag in the overhead compartment.

Storing it with the wheels facing out is not only convenient for passengers but also helps expedite the boarding process, allowing everyone to settle in more quickly.

4. Gate-Checked Carry-Ons

In some cases, they may check your carry-on at the gate due to limited overhead bin space.

If this happens, don’t worry; they will securely stow your bag below the plane, and you can pick it up at baggage claim upon arriving at your final destination.

You should remove certain items from your bag before gate-checking.

That is items like medications, e-cigarettes, power banks, smart-bag batteries, spare batteries, and assistive devices like canes and keys.


5. Personal Items Allowed Onboard

Alongside your carry-on bag, you’re permitted to bring one personal item onboard.

Personal items can include items such as purses, briefcases, cameras, food containers, or laptop bags (with the laptop included).

6. Personal Item Size Restrictions

To qualify as a personal item, ensure this item fits under the seat in front of you.

Usually, personal items are typically 16.25 inches in length, 13.5 inches in width, and 8 inches in height.

Remember, that these measurements may be different in due time based on your seat type and the aircraft you’re flying on.

7. Exceptions to TSA Limits

Several items are not counted against the TSA carry-on limit and you can bring them onboard separately.

These include child restraint systems, assistive/mobility devices for individuals with disabilities (no limit), outer garments, food in disposable packaging, and walking canes or umbrellas.

8. Traveling with Restricted Items

If you plan to travel with sharp objects or liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes, it’s essential to be aware of TSA regulations.

Make sure to properly cover and secure sharp objects to prevent injury.

Liquid items must adhere to the 3.4 oz (100 mL) limit per item and you should put it in a quart-sized bag. Medications and baby nourishment are exceptions to this rule.

9. Prohibited Items

Southwest Airlines prohibits self-defence sprays like pepper spray on all flights.

Please consult the TSA’s full list of prohibited carry-on items for further information.

10. Duty-Free Liquids

If you’re travelling internationally into the United States with a connecting flight, you can carry more than 3.4 oz or 100 mL of liquids purchased in duty-free shops in your carry-on baggage.

These liquids should be in tamper-evident bags.

11. Lithium Batteries, E-Cigarettes, and Lighters

Passengers can travel with up to 20 spare batteries, including portable chargers and external battery chargers for mobile devices.

E-cigarettes should be in your carry-on bag or with you onboard, not in checked bags. They only allow one lighter as long as it’s in your carry-on.

Is There a Fee for Carry-on Bags on Southwest?

A man with his baggage on flight

Check out the table below. Remember all charges apply for one-way travel.

1st Carryon Bag$0 per bag
2nd Carryon Bag (Personal Item)$0 per bag
1st Checked Bag$0 per bag
2nd Checked Bag$0 per bag
3rd + Checked Bags$125 per bag
Military traveling on active duty or permanent change of station orders$0 per bag
Large Media Camera Equipment$75 per item
Overweight Checked Bag (51-70 lbs.)$100 per bag
Overweight Checked Bag (71-100 lbs.)$125 per bag
Oversize Checked Bag (larger than 62 inches up to 80 inches)$125 per bag
Sporting Equipment$75 per bag
Other FeesFees
Change Fee$0
Cancellation Fee$0
EarlyBird Check-In®$15-$25 one-way, per Customer
Phone Reservation Fee$0
Upgraded Boarding$30-$80 per segment, per Customer
Unaccompanied Minor (UM)$100 one-way per UM (ages 5 – 11)
Items for Purchase at the Ticket CounterFees
Tote Bag (one time charge)$25 per bag
Wax Box (one time charge)$10 per box
Wine/Beer Bag (one time charge)$5 per bag
Pet Carrier$58 per carrier
Car Seat/Stroller Bag (one time charge)$17 per bag
Pets: One-way Carryon Pet ChargeFees
U.S. Mainland$125 per Pet carrier
Between Hawaiian Islands$35 per Pet carrier
WiFi Internet Access$8
Complimentary Beverages$0
Hard Seltzer and Ready to Drink Cocktails$9
LiquorVariable Prices


1. Southwest Airlines will only permit the first two checked bags without charge if the bags weigh under 50 lbs and 62 inches (L+W+H).

Baggage weighing between 51-70 pounds will be charged at $100. While items that weigh 71-100 pounds will cost about $125.

Oversized items over 62 inches but at most 80 inches will be accepted for $125 per item.

Altogether, each customer is restricted to checking 20 pieces of checked baggage per flight. This restriction includes the Carrier’s Free Checked Baggage Allowance and excess baggage would be subject to excess baggage charges.

2. Sporting Equipment encompasses different items like vaulting poles, non-motorized bicycles, and windsurfing/surfboards (measuring 62 inches or less and weighing less than 50 pounds), as life rafts, javelins, kayaks

3. Active duty military Customers ensure that you present your current, valid military ID to qualify for the exemption. Non-active military Customers must also have their orders to receive the exception.

4. Internet services are going for a token fee of $8 per device from takeoff to landing. The price might differ.

However, In order to provide a top-notch Internet experience, Southwest Airlines prohibits access to some high-bandwidth applications and websites. The company also prohibits obscene or offensive content.

5. You will only be able to text on iMessage and WhatsApp (which must be downloaded and activated before connecting to Southwest WiFi).

6. Additionally, due to licensing restrictions, free live TV and iHeartRadio may not be available for the entire duration of international flights equipped with WiFi.

Remember that these rules may change with time. Travel safely and enjoy your journey with Southwest Airlines!

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