Southwest Airlines

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Headquartered in Dallas, Southwest Airlines currently serves around 100 destinations in the United States with a staff of approximately 55,000. It is the largest domestic airline in the U.S. with more than 4000 flights taking place per day during peak times. The airline was founded in 1967 by Herb Kelleher and currently operates a fleet of 696 aircraft, principally Boeing.

Contact details

Southest Phone Number: 1-800-435-9792.

Website: https://www.southwest.com

Email: Use the form here.

Mailing Address:

Southwest Airlines
P.O. Box 36647-1CR
Dallas, Texas 75235

Social media:

What are my Southwest Airlines check-in options?

Mobile boarding passes and priority boarding
Priority boarding
Flying with children
Seating for infants and children
Unaccompanied children
Flying while pregnant
Group bookings
Disabled access and medical equipment
Pets and service animals

Mobile boarding passes


Online check-in is available from 24 hours up to 60 minutes before scheduled departure. You will need to print out your boarding pass after checking in, or download the mobile app (iOS or Android). Before taking off, check out Cheapflights.com’ guide to 10 things to do before your flight.

Priority boarding


The airline’s Upgraded Boarding option allows you to receive a seat in the A1 – A15 boarding group for $30 or $40 per flight, depending on your itinerary. An adult traveling with a child six years old or younger may board during Family Boarding, which occurs after the “A” group has boarded and before the “B” group begins boarding. Disabled passengers are asked to board before Family Boarding.

Flying with children


As long as your infant is over 7 days old and under 2 years old and is traveling with someone who is at least 15 years old, you are not required to purchase a seat for them and can carry them in your lap free of charge. Once a child has their second birthday (24 months and older), they are no longer considered a lap child and a seat must be purchased at normal adult rates. A boarding pass is not required for the infant, but you will need a Boarding Verification Document.

Seating for infants and children

If your child is to travel in his or her own seat, you must buy a ticket and may bring a safety seat approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In this case, most safety seats that are approved for use in motor vehicles are acceptable for use in aircraft. Seat sizes on Southwest range from 15.35 inches to 17.37 inches. You can also check in one car seat and one stroller for free, and this is not considered part of your normal baggage allowance.

Unaccompanied children


The unaccompanied minor service is available for all domestic flights for a fee of $50 per leg. Unaccompanied minors are not accepted if their flight includes a connection to/from another airline. The service is available for children aged between 5 and 14. Children aged between 15 and 17 can also use the service, but it is not compulsory. Children under 5 years of age may not travel alone. There are further restrictions which you can take a look at here.

Flying while pregnant


There are no restrictions when expectant mothers can fly but Southwest recommends not flying within 14 days of due date. Cheapflights have prepared an information checklist here for expectant mothers.

Group bookings


Group amenities are available for 10 or more people traveling together to a common destination. A $50 per person deposit may be required to hold a reservation after your initial booking. To book, call 1-855-233-0873 and pay over the phone (bank routing number, account number other account information will be required to process eCheck payments). The following benefits are included:

  • Flexible Payments: No upfront payment required to create a Group reservation.
  • No Extra Fees: No booking, ticketing, or change fees.
  • Unlimited Name Changes: Unlimited name changes up to 72 hours prior to departure.
  • Earn Roundtrip Tickets: Earn one roundtrip ticket to be used on your Group’s itinerary for every 30th passenger booked (international taxes and fees will apply).

Disabled access & medical equipment


If you’re traveling with a medical or mobility device, Southwest Airlines offers pre-boarding, deplaning and airport assistance. You can provide advance notice of any needs you may have by calling or, after booking, by clicking on the “FLIGHT | HOTEL | CAR” link located on the top of the home page then selecting “Manage Reservations” from the “Flights” column and inputting the required information on the “Traveler Details” page after clicking “Add Special Services”. If, due to limited space, your wheelchair does not fit in the cabin, it will be stored as cargo. Mobility and medical devices don’t count toward carry-on limits. Federal regulations require spillable (wet cell) and non-spillable (dry cell) batteries to be disconnected from their device unless the mobility aid has an effective design to prevent unintentional activation. For extra information about flying with medical aides, please take a look at Cheapflights.com’s guide to traveling with disabilities and guide to traveling with medication to help prep for your trip.

Pets and service animals


You can bring small pets (domesticated dogs and cats) within the United States in the cabin. Southwest Airlines does not require a health certificate for pets traveling in the aircraft cabin, but certification may be required by authorities in the destination country. A maximum of 2 pets per container is permitted, but only one container per guest is allowed. For more information and requirements regarding traveling with your pet in the passenger cabin, please view the airline’s dedicated page to pet travel here.

Fees are $95 per segment. The maximum size of the carrier cannot exceed 18.5” long x 8.5” high x 13.5” wide. Pets cannot fly in the cargo area.

Traveling with a service animal, including emotional support animals, is free and possible on domestic and international flights (except those to Jamaica) as long as certain requirements are met. These are:

  • The Passenger has a mental or emotional disability recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fourth Edition (DSM IV)
  • The Passenger needs the emotional support of psychiatric service animal as an accommodation for air travel and/or for activity at the passenger’s destination
  • The individual providing the assessment is a licensed mental health professional or medical doctor, and the Passenger is under his or her professional care AND
  • The date and type of mental health professional’s or medical doctor’s license and the state or other jurisdiction in which it was issued

For additional guidelines, click here, and for further information related to traveling with pets and service animals, check out Cheapflights.com’s guide to pet travel.

What are Southwest Airlines baggage allowance limits and fees?

Southwest Airlines carry-on size
Southwest Airlines checked luggage size
Extra and overweight baggage charges
Musical and sport equipment

Southwest Airlines carry-on luggage size


You are allowed one carry-on item and one carry-on item. The maximum dimensions for your carry-on bag are: 24″H, 16″W, 10″D including handles and wheels and weigh no more than 35 pounds. The personal item must measure at most 18.5 x 8.5 x 13.5 inches.

Southwest Airlines checked luggage size


The size and weight limits for checked backs are as follows:

  • Maximum Dimensions (length + width + height): 62 linear inches (158 cm)
  • Maximum Weight: 50 lbs

Baggage charges


The airline can take oversized luggage up to 80 linear inches and overweight luggage up to 100 pounds for a fee of $75 per item. Third + checked bags are charge at $75 a piece.

Musical and sport equipment


Musical and sporting equipment can be carried on board or in the hold, depending on the size of the container or bag. A musical instrument may be checked instead of the one free checked bag allowance at no charge on a one-item-for-one-bag basis. Some musical instruments (e.g. double bass, cello, etc.) cannot be secured in a seat and must be transported as checked baggage. The airline does not accept any musical instrument if the sum of the length, height, and width of the outside linear dimensions of the instrument (including case or covering) exceeds 150 inches, or the weight of the musical instrument exceeds 165 pounds.

What additional fees does Southwest Airlines charge?

Booking fees
Flight cancellation policy
Travel insurance

Booking fees


Southwest doesn’t charge a booking fee or any fees for changing or cancelling your ticket.

Flight cancellation policy

Except for tickets purchased for travel within 7 days (168 hours), all tickets may be cancelled for a full refund up to 24 hours after the time of purchase. If you need to change an upcoming flight itinerary, you only pay the cost in fare difference.

Travel insurance


Travel insurance for Southwest Airlines is available through Southwest Vacation’s Travel Protection.

What amenities does Southwest Airlines offer?

In-flight entertainment
Food
Seating
Lounges

In-flight entertainment


You can access Wi-Fi, live TV and movies via the inflight entertainment portal. To access these features during your flight, set your mobile device is set to airplane mode and select “Southwest Wi-Fi” from the list of available Wi-Fi networks. Wife is $8 per day, and television is currently free (normally $5). Each movie costs $5 to watch.

Food


Hot meals and snacks are not served on Southwest Airlines flights but drinks may be purchased. You can see the current offering here.

Seating


Southwest-operated flights have open seating. Once on board, you can choose any available seat and stow your carry-on items in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you.

Frequent Flyers

Southwest Airlines offers the Rapid Rewards frequent flyer program to regular passengers. You can redeem points for flights, hotel stays, car rentals and amenities such as priority services, advance seat assignments, complimentary carry-on and more. More information can be found here.

Lounges


Southwest Airlines does not currently offer lounge services.

Luggage Issues

Delayed, missing or damaged luggage
Compensation for baggage

Delayed, missing or damaged luggage


If your bags are damaged or do not arrive at your destination, you will need to notify the Baggage Service Office before you leave the airport. An airline representative will create a tracing file and provide updates regarding the status of your bag. If it is not found in 5 days, you will need to complete a Baggage Claim Form.

Compensation for baggage


For travel governed by the Warsaw Convention, liability is limited to $9.07 per pound, or actual value, whichever is less, for checked baggage and $400 per passenger for unchecked baggage. For travel governed by the Montreal Convention, liability is limited to $1,131 Special Drawing Rights per passenger for checked and unchecked baggage.

Fun Facts

Southwest employees were once known for often singing in-flight announcements to the tune of popular theme songs.

Southwest Airlines was last modified: January 24th, 2018 by Melisse Hinkle
Author: Melisse Hinkle (367 posts)

A New England native but explorer at heart, Melisse has traveled throughout North America, biked through rice paddies in Bali, seen the Northern Lights in Iceland, walked alongside llamas in Machu Picchu and made her way around Europe while studying abroad in London. She is the Head of Content and Social Media for North America at Cheapflights.