How Many Bags Can You Check On Southwest Airlines?

Last Updated on November 23, 2021

Southwest is the most generous airline in the United States when it comes to checked baggage.

Their luggage allowance exceeds all other airlines.

Let’s examine how many suitcases you can take on a Southwest flight.

How many free bags can you check on Southwest?

Your first two checked bags fly free with Southwest. The Southwest checked baggage allowance is two bags per ticketed passenger.

These two bags can be both be 62 linear-inches. That means that when you sum the length, width, and height of your checked luggage it should be less than 62 inches combined.

If your bag is over 62 linear-inches but under 80 linear inches Southwest will still let you take it but will charge you a fee of $75.

There is also a maximum weight limit for checked bags of 50 lbs.

If your bag is over 50 lbs but under 100 lbs Southwest will allow it but charge you an extra $75.

Going from ‘free’ to $75 just because your bag is a little too big or too heavy hurts. So now’s the time to get out your measuring tape and your luggage scales to make sure you won’t be disappointed at the airport and start your trip in a bad mood.

If you don’t have any luggage scales with you then you could try the no-scales method of weighing luggage.

The only good news is that if your checked suitcase is both overweight and oversized Southwest will only charge you a maximum of $75.

How many bags does Southwest allow in total?

You are not restricted to only two checked suitcases. You can also bring excess baggage.

In fact, you can bring up to 20 checked bags in total on a Southwest flight.

That’s not a typo. You can bring your 2 free checked bags and 18 paid checked suitcases.

I’d call ahead if you intend to bring more than 3 checked suitcases. I guess if every passenger turned up with 20 checked suitcases they’d run out of room in the luggage hold.

Each additional bag will cost you $75. The same rules apply about size and weight, if your excess baggage is too big or too heavy it will cost an another $75 each time.

I can’t imagine who flies with 20 checked suitcases…

It must be very difficult to wheel them all at the same time 😉

How many carry-on bags can you bring on Southwest?

We’ve covered this topic more extensively elsewhere.

The short answer is you can bring one carry-on bag and one personal item bag into the cabin on a Southwest flight.

The personal item size bag allowance is probably a lot larger than you realise. It’s probably only 15% smaller than the size of the carry-on that you already own. In my view this makes it almost like a second carry-on even if it’s not labelled that way.

The Verdict

You can take 2 checked bags on Southwest for free. You can also bring 1 carry-on bag, and 1 personal item bag for free. That’s 4 free bags in total.

The Southwest carry-on size is larger than all other airlines in the United States.

If you own a Southwest size carry-on bag the maximum size you can bring is about 62 liters capacity.

As well as that you can bring a large personal item bag that can be around 35 liters capacity.

If that’s not enough for you, you can also bring two checked bags for free. The largest possible 62 linear-inch checked bag size is 144 litres.

So your total FREE luggage allowance for Southwest is a whopping 386 litres.

This pallet of soda has about 432 liters just for comparison. So you can almost bring a pallet worth of luggage on Southwest for free. I think it’s pretty fair to day Southwest gives you a pretty generous luggage allowance!

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