What are the Rules for Flying on Southwest Airlines?

What are the Rules for Flying on Southwest Airlines?

Southwest Airlines is known for its customer-friendly policies and efficient operations. If you’re planning to fly with Southwest, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the rules and guidelines to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey.

What are the Rules for Flying on Southwest Airlines?

When it comes to air travel, understanding the rules and regulations of an airline is crucial. Southwest Airlines, a renowned low-cost carrier, has its own set of policies to ensure passenger safety, convenience, and satisfaction. 

Read on to explore the rules for flying on Southwest Airlines, covering various aspects from check-in to in-flight amenities.

What are the Rules for Flying on Southwest Airlines?

The rules for flying on Southwest Airlines put together by the airline is to ensure that customers have an optimum experience when flying with them.

To kickstart your Southwest Airlines experience, it’s important to know the check-in process. Southwest offers online check-in and a mobile app for convenient check-in up to 24 hours before your scheduled departure. 

Checking in early allows you to secure a better boarding position, which impacts your seat selection options.

Boarding Procedure

Southwest Airlines follows an open seating policy, meaning there are no assigned seats. Instead, passengers are assigned boarding groups which could be (A, B, or C) and a number (1-60) within that group. 

Boarding positions are determined based on the time of check-in. Passengers board the aircraft in numerical order and can choose any available seat upon entering.

Baggage Allowance

One of the standout features of Southwest Airlines is its generous baggage allowance. Passengers can bring two checked bags free of charge, subject to size and weight restrictions. 

Additionally, two carry-on bags, including a personal item and a carry-on bag, are also allowed. Ensure you comply with the specified dimensions and weight limits to avoid any additional charges.

Security Checkpoint

As with any airline, Southwest Airlines requires all passengers to go through the standard Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security checkpoint procedures. 

It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the TSA guidelines and regulations to ensure a smooth security screening process.

In-Flight Policies

Southwest Airlines maintains various in-flight policies to ensure a comfortable and safe journey for all passengers. 

These policies cover areas such as electronic device usage, smoking restrictions, and compliance with crew instructions. Familiarize yourself with these policies before your flight to avoid any inconvenience.

Seat Selection

While Southwest Airlines does not assign seats, passengers can choose their seats based on their boarding position. 

Passengers with earlier boarding positions have a wider selection of available seats. It’s advisable to check the seating layout during the boarding process to find the most suitable seat for your preferences.


Onboard Amenities

Southwest Airlines strives to provide a pleasant onboard experience for its passengers. The aircraft is equipped with comfortable seating, spacious legroom, and overhead storage compartments. 

Additionally, Southwest offers a variety of amenities, such as reading materials and blankets, to enhance your travel experience.

Food and Beverage Options

During your Southwest flight, you can enjoy a range of food and beverage options available for purchase. 

The airline offers snacks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, including a selection of beer, wine, spirits, and soft drinks. Feel free to indulge in these options while on board.

Entertainment and Wi-Fi

Southwest Airlines understands the importance of staying connected and entertained during your journey. 

While onboard Wi-Fi is not available on all flights, the airline is progressively equipping its fleet with this service. Additionally, Southwest provides in-flight entertainment options, including movies, TV shows, and music, through its onboard entertainment portal.

Pet Policy

Southwest Airlines has a pet policy in place, allowing passengers to travel with small, vaccinated pets in the cabin. 

Certain restrictions and fees apply, so it’s crucial to review the detailed pet policy on the Southwest website and make the necessary arrangements in advance.

Special Assistance and Accessibility

Southwest Airlines is committed to providing accessible and inclusive travel experiences. 

Passengers with disabilities or special assistance requirements can avail themselves of various services, including wheelchair assistance, visual and hearing accommodations, and support during the boarding process. 

Notify the airline of your needs in advance to ensure a smooth travel experience.

Flight Changes and Cancellations

Sometimes, plans need to be adjusted, because of the unpredictability of life. Southwest Airlines is flexible when it comes to flight changes and cancellations. 

Depending on the fare type you’ve selected, you may be eligible for changes or refunds. Review the airline’s policy and contact Southwest’s customer service for any necessary modifications.

Loyalty Program

Southwest Airlines operates a loyalty program called Rapid Rewards. By enrolling in this program, passengers can earn points for flights and other qualifying activities. 

These points can be redeemed for future flights, upgrades, and other benefits. Consider joining the Rapid Rewards program to maximize your travel experience with Southwest.


Flying with Southwest Airlines can be a delightful experience when you understand and adhere to the airline’s rules and guidelines. 

From the check-in process to baggage allowances, onboard amenities, and in-flight policies, Southwest strives to provide a seamless journey for its passengers. 

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