Travelling has changed significantly in the past few years, with many airlines changing their baggage policies. As a passenger, you want to be aware of the baggage policies of the airline you’re flying with. In the case of Southwest Airlines, they are known for their generous baggage policy, allowing passengers to bring up to two checked bags for free. However, if you require extra baggage, there are certain factors you should keep in mind. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what you need to know if you’re bringing extra baggage on Southwest Airlines.
How Much will Extra Baggage Cost on Southwest Airlines?
Southwest Airlines is known for offering affordable fares, but if you’re looking to check additional bags beyond the two free pieces, you’ll incur an extra baggage fee. The cost of checking-in a third piece of luggage is $75, while any additional bags will cost $125. Therefore, if you know beforehand that you’ll be travelling with extra baggage, it would be best to pay the extra fees beforehand to avoid costly surprises at the airport.
Weight Limit and Overweight Baggage Fees
Southwest Airlines also has a weight limit of 50 pounds per checked bag. If your baggage is overweight, then an overweight baggage fee will apply. This fee is $75 per bag if it is between 50-100 pounds. To avoid overweight baggage charges, it is advisable to pack smart and check the weight of each bag before arriving at the airport. It’s important to note that bags that weigh over 100 pounds will not be accepted for travel.
Can You Take Items with You on the Plane for Free?
Carry-on baggage is allowed on Southwest Airlines. Passengers are permitted to bring one carry-on bag and one personal item, such as a purse or laptop bag, for free. It is recommended to pre-plan and pack efficiently to ensure you maximise the items you can take as personal items while keeping the carry-on luggage to a minimum. These items should fit under the seat or in the overhead bin. Note that Southwest Airlines has limits on the size of carry-ons and personal items that passengers can bring, so it’s best to research this before arriving at the airport.
Prepaying for Extra Baggage
One way to save time and money when travelling with extra bags on Southwest Airlines is by prepaying for them online. The airline’s website allows passengers to pay for extra baggage before arriving at the airport, which can save money on fees, especially if you’re unsure what fees apply. It’s advisable to check prices before, weigh your luggage and calculate the costs to determine whether prepaying is worth it.
The Importance of Packing Smart
Regardless of whether you’re flying with Southwest Airlines or another airline, packing smart is crucial. Not only does this help with space and weight issues, but it also ensures that you’re not paying for unnecessary items in additional fees. Prior to packing, make a list of all the items you need, and in cases where you have to choose between items, go for the more necessary ones. Before packing, it is essential to check the item allowances and restrictions on the airline’s website.
Checking-In Extra Baggage at the Airport
Checking-in at the airport can be a bit of a hassle, especially if you have extra bags. Passengers with extra bags should plan to arrive at the airport with ample time to check-in and drop off their luggage. At the check-in counter, the airline staff will verify the number of pieces of luggage and any fees that may be due. The processing time for checking-in extra bags will vary depending on how many bags you have, so it’s best to get there as early as possible to avoid any delays.
Checking the Arrival Airport for Baggage Restrictions
It’s important to remember that different airports have different restrictions for checked luggage. It’s advisable for passengers to check the airline’s website or the website of the airport they’ll be arriving at to ensure compliance with the airport’s guidelines. Being aware of any restrictions can help passengers avoid any issues or excess charges related to luggage at the arrival airport.
Extra Baggage for Special Passengers
Southwest Airlines has a policy in place for Passengers with Disabilities that allows additional luggage without incurring extra charges. This policy covers mobility devices such as wheelchairs, power chairs, or scooters to be used by the passenger. In addition, it covers the required medical equipment to be used during the flight. Passengers must provide Southwest Airlines with all the necessary information on the size and weight of these items beforehand to avoid delays.
Golfing Equipment, Instruments, and Pets
Southwest Airlines also has specific guidelines for carrying golfing equipment, musical instruments, and pets. Golfing equipment, such as clubs, must be adequately packed in a hard shell container and should not weigh more than 50 pounds. Musical instruments may be carried in the cabin but must conform to the airline’s size and weight limits. Southwest Airlines policy allows for pets on some flights while accompanied by their owners. However, there are restrictions on the size and number of pets that may travel on any given flight. Southwest Airlines charge a $95 fee each way for each pet carrier.
Southwest Airlines offers a generous baggage policy compared to many other airlines. But, the fees for extra checked bags can add up quickly. Being aware of the free limits and the extra fees for additional bags will save you a lot of time and money. It’s also crucial to weight each piece of your luggage before arriving at the airport as overweight fees can be an unwelcome surprise. Lastly, consider pre-paying for your extra bags, checking in at a minimum 2 hours before the flight, and packing smart to make your experience with Southwest Airlines smoother.