How Strict Is The Southwest Carry-On Size Policy?

Steve Cummings

Southwest carry-on size

Southwest Airlines is one of the best budget airlines in the U.S.A. It has a simple business plan for all customers. Each customer will have two free checked bags and a free carry-on bag. How strict is the Southwest carry-on bag sizes? They are free to take on, and you get two free bags.  

With the simplicity of Southwest, it is understandable why so many people want to fly with them. If you like flying with them, it is easier to achieve the coveted Southwest Companion Pass that allows your companion to fly for free. 

Let's look at the Southwest carry-on dimensions and rules. 

What Are The Southwest Carry-On Dimensions?

On the Southwest website, the dimensions of each carry-on luggage must be 24″ (L) x 16″ (W) x 10″ (H). If you know the dimensions of other carriers like American Airlines, Delta, United, and JetBlue, you will notice that the Southwest carry-on bag is slightly larger than the rest of the airlines. 

That makes it a bit more convenient if you bring a larger carry-on, but it is always best to have a carry-on that fits most airlines just in case.  

Does Southwest Have A Checked Baggage Allowance?

If you fly with Southwest, you will have two checked bags for free. Many of the other airlines will limit you to one bag unless you are flying on a Basic economy flight. With Southwest, you are allowed two free pieces of checked luggage. 

If your luggage is either oversized or weighs over 50lbs, you will be charged $75 one way. If you have an additional bag, the cost would be $75. Limiting the size of your baggage and ensuring that your carry-on bag is within the Southwest carry-on size dimensions. 

Southwest is pretty generous, giving people a free checked bag. To reduce excess baggage, they will charge $75 per excess. So take the two free checked bags and try to avoid those baggage fees. 

How Strict is Southwest Carry on size?

How Strick is Southwest Carry-on policy

Looking at reviews and outrage for unhappy customers makes you think about how strict Southwest could carry on size policies, but they are not as tough as other airlines. There has not been much outrage or unhappy customers. 

If passengers fly to other airlines like United, American, Delta, or JetBlue, then they have a carry-on that fits their requirements. Southwest has a much larger carry-on size, allowing most customers to bring their luggage. 

The other good thing is that if your carry-on does not fit the requirements, you can always check the bag. With Southwest, you get two free checked bags. You can even get a surfboard checked in if you are going to Hawaii. 

With two free checked bags, why else would you need more baggage besides if you are moving. 

Southwest is very generous, and that is a part of the reason why many people love them. Their staff is kind, and their business is suitable for everyday travelers. 

What if the Carry on is Oversized?

The simple answer is that Southwest will have the carry-on baggage checked in. There will be a $75 charge for extra bags if you are over the allotment for luggage. It is best to make sure your carry-on fits the dimensions that Southwest puts on their website for your information. 

If your carry-on is oversized, it would be large for many other airlines. It would be best to buy a suitcase that fits other airlines' dimensions not to have to purchase numerous other ones. 

How Heavy can Southwest Carry-On Be?

Southwest does not have a weight limit for their carry-on baggage. As long as it fits the size of the regular carry-on, it should be no problem. 

There is a weight limit for those checked baggage. If your checked baggage weighs over 50 lbs, you will have to pay an additional $75 per overweight bag. 

It is best to weigh your bag before you go to the airport. One of the essential travel accessories would be a travel scale to weigh your luggage. 

Southwest Person Item Policy

According to Southwest, your item should be size: 16.25″ (L) x 13.5″ (W) x 8″ (H). These items must be able to fit underneath your seat. They can include a backpack, laptop bag, or purse. 

Having a personal item can help with carrying more things. With Southwest's generous checked-in baggage allowance, you may not even need a carry-on bag for travel. A book bag or laptop bag could be the only other luggage you may need when traveling with Southwest. 

Final Thoughts

Flying Southwest is an excellent experience aboard a great airline. With Southwest, you get much larger carry-on luggage than other airlines. That does not mean going out and buying the largest one you can find. As other airlines change their rules and sizes, try to also be vigilant in knowing the rules. Ensure that the carry-on passes TSA requirements, can fit in the overhead bin, and does not have to be checked at the gate.

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