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Holiday Travel Tips - The Video

blusk
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(If you need a captioned version of this video, please click here.)

In addition to Ming’s post below, we have this video starring some Southwest Airlines Employees (with fellow blogger Bob Hurst behind the camera) to help you with your packing. Clayton and Michelle are the Flight Attendants in the video, but my office neighbor, Katie Coldwell, plays the somewhat confused but soon to be enlightened packer. And, her friends, Ashley and Christi are just down the hall in our office. (My Christmas gift is to work with these three ladies!)
300 Comments
READ_THE_RULES_
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90 percent of these questions ARE ALREADY ANSWERED ON THE SOUTHWEST SITE, or linked to TSA site for more details. 1. Baggage size: If you haven't read it (already posted numerous times here), then - don't fly! 2. Golf Bags: If you can walk (or ride) all around a course, and you can find all the greens in correct numerical order, then make it to the clubhouse, how is it you can't find the information posted (try - "Sporting Goods") all over the web? Can you find your ball in the little cup? Then - don't fly! 3. Children. If you can't keep them healthy-controlled-quiet, then PLEASE - don't fly your kids! (And if you CAN'T control your kids, why are you birthing them? Are you raising cattle, or pets?) If you can't "Parent," then please - don't fly! Trick question: There are TWO (2) carry-on bag sizes, that are basically universally accepted for all airlines. (REALLY!) One for the overhead, one for under your seat. Are you smart enough to find the dimensions of each bag? Bonus points if you find the weight limits too! Hint: Answers are on the Internet! Yes, the SAME Internet you're reading now!!! What a concept... Finally, here's a good tip the Boy Scouts came up with before you were born: "Be Prepared." Repeating already answered questions, shows the same disrespect, as line-cutters. Think about that. If your head explodes from thinking, - don't fly!
blusk
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Gee "Rules," that is a bit harsh, and it looks like patience isn't your forte. We understand that some folks may have questions because they just want to make sure they have the correct information before they get to the airport. We try to answer those questions as we can, but you are right in that most of the answers are online at southwest.com or the TSA's site. Still, we don't mind answwering the questions here because we don't want folks to get to the airport and be surprised. Brian
johnathan
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Southwest airlines is so awesome for their hospitality and the people care for you and help you to where u are going whenever you travel you should always pick Southwest if they have an available flight for you to where your going
ms_fe
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we plan on doing some shopping on vacation can we put a packed suitcase inside a empty suitcase to be counted as one or will it be counted as two? We are going on a cruise so we won't be able to check-in 24hours prior to return. how do we do our check-in because we will be out at sea 24hrs prior? please help
blusk
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ms fe: Yes you can pack an empty bag inside another bag and have it count as one bag. Remember, no one bag can weigh over 50 pounds. As to checkin, if you have a smartphone and the ship has wi-fi, you can check in via our mobile site, http://mobile.southwest.com. You can also purchase Early Bird Check In and lets us do the checkin for you.http://www.southwest.com/flight/early-bird-retrieve-reservation.html?int=WFLYBUTN02ELYBRD100316
Debra
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Thanks for all the great tips! Reading through all of the comments and answers, all my questions got answered. I have never flown Southwest before and it's been years since I have flown at all, but this was all very helpful. Thanks so much, and keep up the good work. 🙂
Cinda
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My 16-year-old son is flying to a lacrosse camp and is bringing his goalie stick (approximately 5 ft. long). I understand from the sports equipment policies that the lacrosse goalie stick can count towards a free checked bag. My concern is whether he will risk having the stick damaged. Do the baggage people take any special precautions with sports equipment or will the stick just be tossed in with the rest of the checked luggage?
Beep_Colclough
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We're going camping...truly excited but haven't flown with camping gear before. I have a canvas case that is 37" long (from our massage table) and can accomodate our camp chairs. Can I tie the case containing two camp chairs and tent to form kind of a round shape?? It will be under 25 inches around meeting the 62" requirement. I don't trust the zipper to hold with chairs unless I reinforce the whole thing with nylon rope or maybe packing tape. While I realize this won't LOOK fantastic, is tying or taping OK with regulations? Do I have to break down and buy two appropriate duffel bags to travel? Thoughts?
Bill12
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Can I carry on a suit bag? Its about 60" long by 14" by 4"???
Gabe
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As far as flying with musical instruments goes... I know what the "policy" is for carry-on items, but I've always had great success bringing my instrument on... and I play trombone! My case fits easily into the overhead compartment. I've never had any trouble given to me about bringing it on the plane. There is no way I'd ever check my trombone! What I usually do is ask the people at the gate before hand if I can board early (I've never been able to get in the A boarding group!), and 9 times out of 10 I can usually board with or just after the first group, to make sure there is plenty of space for my trombone in the overhead compartment.
Lady_with_Sever
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Brian, I have a few questions but want to start off with three compliments. I am very happy that SWA does not have assigned seating. I think it is great that SWA does not charge for baggage. I was thrilled to find out about online check ins. Now to my questions. My first question is about boarding. As my name above states, I have Severe Social Anxiety problems and also Panic Attacks. I was wondering if my Husband and I could possibly get on the plane ahead of time so we can sit at the very front and already be seated before the crowds of people board the plane? My second question has to do with being examined in Security. I also have PTSD and have problems with being touched by strangers. I understand and totally agree that I need to go through Security like everyone else. What I want to know is if there is any way to make it more comfortable for me to go through the process? The third question may seem silly. According to the carry on items considered personal items, briefcases are allowed. Does it matter what is in the briefcase if all items inside are allowable as carry on items? Such as what if we carry our medications and or cell phone chargers, GPS to use in the rental car, etc. ?
blusk
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Hi L.A.S.S. I hope these answers will reassure you about your travel on Southwest. Yes, we offer preboarding for Customers with disabilities. Check with the agent at the gate and tell them you need to preboard. They should ask you how can we help you in boarding? At that point, explain your need to be on the aircraft ahead of Customers and you will receive a blue preboard authorization. Listen for the preboarding announcements. As you know, all Customers have to be cleared at the security checkpoint. If you avoid wearing any metal clothing items, chances are that you will just need to walk through the magnetometer, and there will be no need for further screening. If for some reason, additional screening is required, tell the Transportation Security Administration screeners that you have a medical condition that requires a private screening. Whatever you can fit in the briefcase is fine with us, AS LONG as the items are acceptable to be carried in the cabin. I hope you enjoy your trip. Brian
Brie
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Hi Brian! =] So here's the thing. I'm going to Ohio on wednesday (the 26th) for my little sisters high school graduation. I dont fly very often (my mothers afraid of it), so i've never done the whole layover thing, let alone by myself. But this time i'm flying from Islip on Long Island, NY, to Baltimore, MD, and then to Detriot, MI. Now, I'm taking two checked bags, so do I have to get them when I land in Baltimore and then re-check them? Or is that done automatically? Also- I'm planning on taking a little suitcase for my carry-on (it fits the measurements lol) but then can I take a regular sized backpack as my personal item? or is that too big and considered another carry-on? Thanks! Brie P.S. The guy who ranted about the rules- Uhmm... Chill out, dude! If u don't like the comments on here- don't read them! I think that MTV is a waste of airtime and is the entire reason my generation is completely materialistic, but you don't see me trash talking everyone on the Jersey Shore message boards now do you?
blusk
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Hi Brie Congrats to your sister on her graduation and we look forward to seeing you onboard on Wednesday. Your bags should be checked straight through to Detroit. (When you check them, you will rewceive claim checks, it's always good to double check the destination on the claim checks--yours should show Detroit (DTW). I can't give you a definitive answer on your carryons because I don't know the size. I am guessing if you don't have a purse, you should be okay. For me the easiest rule of thumb is the carryon item can go in the overhead bin, and the "personal" item should be small enough to fit under the seat in front of you. I hope you have a great trip, Brian
Virginia
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I am flying out tomorrow afternoon from Philadelphia to San Diego. I am 31 yrs old and never flown before. I am scared out of my mind. Can anyone give me any tips as to make this flight enjoyable and make me more comfortable with the trip? Thanks bunches!
Kim_L_
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Help!!My future husband and I are going to Las Vegas to be married...we are both first time air travelers....I have many questions im pretty sure that you have heard many times before..is a book bag considered a carry on bag along with a dufflebag? Can I bring a flat iron and a hair clippers inside carry on bags? and how in the world do you know how big a 10x16x24 bag is ???? Our trip is at the end of June and i am really stressing over these issues.
millie-richter-
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Hi Kim ... first off congratulations on your upcoming nuptials in Las Vegas! Being first time flyers, I'm sure you do have many questions. But never fear as the answers to the most common Southwest-specific travel questions can be found on the Travel Center at southwest.com. It’s easily accessed at the bottom of the southwest.com homepage under Customer Service >Travel Tips. To answer your specific questions, each Customer is allowed a maximum of one carryon bag and one personal item, so a book bag and an average-sized duffel bag would be fine. Secondly, I know that flat irons are ok in carryon luggage, but I’m not 100 percent sure about hair clippers. I would recommend visiting the TSA’s website at tsa.gov to verify. And lastly, the best way to make sure you luggage meets the 10x16x22 size rule is to measure it. Hope this info helps and thanks for flying Southwest! Millie Southwest Airlines Communications
Sandy1
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I'm going to be traveling with my 85 year old Aunt at the end of June and she has problems with her legs/feet so I know she will need to use a wheel chair or wheel chair assistance. However that works with SWA. In this case would she (we) be eligible to pre-board before everyone else even if we checked in online 24 hrs before our flight and were already assigned a seat? I did read your procedures but I wasn't sure if the pre-board would coinside with the online check in. This is the first time traveling with my Aunt. Thanks.
Anonymous714
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How do you check in with a mobile device like a phone or I-touch? I will not have access to a printer on my return from Logan although I can print on when I depart from Dallas?
Amy7
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I know this has been asked earlier but I have not seen a recent reply and want to see if anything has changed with the new baggage rules. What is the best way to travel with an acoustic guitar? Obviously the size of the guitar is outside the allowable carry-on limit. He will be bringing a fairly inexpensive guitar to minimize the risk of any big financial loss if damaged. If my son attempts to carry it on and is denied will he at the very least be able to have it checked at the gate (like a stroller?) Is it true that there is a much more likely chance of him getting it in as a carry-on if it is in a soft-sided case? Thank you!
snelson
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Hi, Amy, If your son is planning on checking a guitar, it would be better off in a hard-sided case. Soft-sided cases are "conditionally accepted," meaning that Southwest is liable for loss, but not for damage. However, a musical instrument of reasonable size (like a guitar or a trumpet) that protrudes from only one side of the sizing box is permissible onboard and is counted as a carryon as long as it fits in an overhead bin without unfairly depriving other Customers of overhead bin space. Another option (especially if traveling with a valuable instrument) is to purchase a seat for it. You can find additional information about checked and carryon luggage on our website, southwest.com>Travel Policies>Baggage. Hope this helps!
Anonymous310
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Hi, I'm traveling with my toddler who likes to have his "sippy cup" with milk. Is that okay to bring onto the flight? Ashley
Anonymous393
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This to me is still not enough information. I was hoping to see more about what to carry on and how to pack toiletries. I do not fly often and the last time i flew my tweezers were taken so that is why I am looking for more personal item information. Please up date and yes I must say I did like what I saw in your video. The rolling part was a great idea! Thanks!
johnpeter
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I am an over packer and just repacked my bags for tomorrows flight!!! Yeah rolling does save space ~ I would never have believed it! I do have a couple of questions on carry~on or to the airport. Claiming he was sick, citing neuropathy in his feet and he coughed. I was across the isle from him; I could hear the mucous in his lungs rattling over the sounds of the jet engines. One attendant asked him not to throw trash at her. He then went on to claim she mistreated him. Thank you...... ________________________________________________ Johnpeter Holiday Travel Bureau
sonia11
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Instead of luggage can I pack clothes in a cardboard box? If yes what size? I am bring clothes to my mother and don't wan't to bring back a emply suitcase.
Anonymous4470
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Does the carry-on count as one of your 2 checked bags?
Cynthia_O
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I am flying to CT in about a week, Can I take my knitting on board with me? My needles are metal and about 6 inches long, I have small fold up scissors. Thank you for your assistance
millie-richter-
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Cynthia O.--- I'm not 100 percent sure what items TSA will allow through security, so I recommend that you vist their website--tsa.gov--for a list of prohibited items. Thanks for flying Southwest and reading Nuts About Southwest! Millie Richter
Communications
Southwest Airlines

Anonymous4167
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We are flying as a group this coming weekend. I have two children my daughter who is 9 is afraid to fly, Do you have any tips I can use to help her? Will she be able to watch movies on my laptop? Since we can't check in online because we are a group, how can I be sure we are sitting together during the flight? Will drinks be served on the plane (water, soda)? Thanks A Parent
Anonymous2986
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Will you be adding Miami anytime in the near (or not so near) future?
lmoffat
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A Parent---Here are some helpful web sites on the fear of flying (www.fearofflying.com and www.thisisyourcaptainspeaking.com) or you may call 1-800-FEAR-FLY. We've heard from other Customers that these resources are very helpful. And yes, she can watch movies on your laptop above 10,000 feet (after takeoff and before landing). Also, if you have any problems finding seats together, please let one of our Flight Attendants know so they can help you sit together. Last, we do serve complimentary sodas, juice, coffee, and water on our flights. There's a beverage menu in the seatback pocket. Hope this info helps, and have a wonderful trip! Laurel
Anonymous2415
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I want to pack my clothes in vacume pack bags, the kind that you suck the air out of with a vacume. I also will be visiting family and will be bringing home a quilt, I would like to put it in a vacume bag as well. Is this permitted in checked luggage? If it is opened it will expand and won't go back in the bag. I leave tomorrow the 12th of July.
lmoffat
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Hi Anon-You can pack vacuum sealed bags, however, the TSA can open them for inspection if they find it necessary. No guarantees that they won't open it, but I think you'll be fine.
Trish_
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I have a pet fish, and I was wondering what the policy would be on taking it with me to houston from phoenix? would it be possible? I know this might be a stupid question, but I really would like to know.
sebastian
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Hello. I have a question. If i¨ll make my check in online (by internet), How i check in my baggage? Can I make the check in on line and check in my baggage when i m in the airport? Thank s
Martie_Anderson
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I never knew about the rolling.
Arlene_P_
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My husband and I will be traveling to SLC,Utah the 3rd of Aug. He is disabled and needs to bring his walker. I have contacted SWA to let them know he will need wheelchair assistance to board the plane,my question is bring his walker will it be considered as an extra carry on item plus his bags he would carry on the plane? I have flown many yrs with SWA. But this is the first time I had to deaL with a walker!!! Please let me know what I should do. Thanks Arlene P.
Haley-beth
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A friend's husband purchased a ticket for me to surprise them in TN. He mispelled my last name by inserting one extra e! He did get my first name and maiden name correct. Is this going to create a problem at check in when I go to pick up my ticket or board because it does not match my liscense exactly. haley
Laura_Castillo
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My son and I are flying to Las Vegas to visit my daughter. as far of items. do I have to put my shampoo, liquid body soap,hair spray etc in bag with us to carry or in suitcase. I also have small travel bottles where I will put my shampoo, liquid body soap, hairspray, etc, to little plastic travel containers, is that acceptable.
blusk
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Laura, If you want to carry liquid or gel toiletry articles in your carryon luggage, each container must contain less than 3 ounces and the items packed in a clear quart sized ziplock baggie. Most checkpoints require that the toiletry bag be removed from the luggage for the screening process. If you are carrying these items in your checked bag those restrictions don't apply, but I would recommend packing anything that might leak into a leakproof container. Brian
Anonymous2979
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I will be flying from NY to Seattle and will have a painting on watercolor paper wrapped in cardboard that is 16x18. Can I carry this on? If so, would it be considered a third carry-on? I'll also have a purse and tote bag. Thank you.
Anonymous1680
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how many containers can you pack in one quart bag? and is it cheaper fare when you have a depart/return dates than one way?
blusk
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It depends on the shape of the containers. The simple answer is as many6 as it will hold, but each item has to be less than 3 ounces. Most of our fares are sold as one-way fares, so it doesn't matter in most cases.
Tari_Miles
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Two yeasr ago I came back to Ohio from Las Vegas. The cab driver taking me and my three children to the airport was not very happy with the luggage I lined up (eight checked, eight carryons) but the gentlemen at curbside checkin gladly unloaded the cab and helped me determine check and carryon. As a single mother, trying to drag an eight, six, and one year old as well as eight pieces of luggage was the hardest part of the whole trip! I had never flown before so that wasn't sitting well with me either. Anyway, a curtious gate attendant dragged four pieces of luggage, a carseat, and the six year old down the ramp and made sure we were seated all together as well as helped stow my carryons and buckle the kids in. A five hour flight becomes hectic when one person has to potty and only half a person can fit in those bathrooms! I felt I had my own personal attendant. Just to clarify, every chance I get I convince people to fly SWA and my trip home from Cali next much is a much anticipated event - especially since I am traveling home stress free (no kids!) GOOD JOB SWA
Anonymous3595
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Hi, I will be flying with my 2 children on the 25th of August and I was wondering if I purchased seats for my kids ages 3 and 4 will they need the Birth Certificates? Also will I be able to pack in our checked bags a regular size like 14.5 oz Shampoo, conditioner and things like that? Also will I be able to bring snacks in my carry on bag?
snelson
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Dear Anonymous, If you are purchasing tickets for your children, you will not need to have copies of their birth certificates. If either of them was under two and traveling as a lap child, that's when a birth certificate would be needed. As for your shampoo and conditiioner, yes, those items can go in your checked luggage. One little bit of advice from this ex-Flight Attendant, however, place those items in a large ziplock to avoid any leakage in your luggage. And, one final "Yes," you may bring snacks with you onboard. Hope you and your children have a great flight!
Christie_Woodwa
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My grandaughter's spent the summer with us and have accumulated lot's of stuff. We took them to the OCF where they won some large stuffed animals, will they be allowed to take them on the plane as carry ons?
Livedave
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I plan to bring my cell phone and a small walkman (like an i-pod) along with there chargers. I was un sure if i need to put them in my carry on or put them in my checked bag.
Anonymous2368
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how do I carry a wedding dress on a flight
andicelong
New Arrival

Is carrying a hair dryer in your luggage permitted?

We plan a trip in August 2017.  If I purchase my tickets now;then, something comes up and we are to cancel, is there anyway we get our money back?