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Holiday Travel Tips - The Video

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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
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Your baggage policy does not specifically address golf clubs. Does this mean that they are not subject to the oversize $50 charge?
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My question relates to infant/child car seats. I'm traveling with 3 children (3 months, age 4, age 6). Does Southwest have a special "bag" or something that car seats are placed in when those items are checked? If not, is there a recommended manner to wrap or protect these items in flight? Thank you!
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do you provide specific boxes to pack and take a bicycle on board from providence to chicago?
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Hi, everyone. I am traveling from Chicago to New Haven, CT. I'm going to college and have a LOT to pack. Is it OK to have 2 backpacks as carryons and 2 checked pieces of luggage without any charge? Thanks.
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I am flying from sacramento, ca to maine and have a my husband and my 4 month old daughter that is flying with me, I want to know if you still let young passengers have a carseat onboard. The carseat is a newborn carseat and is necessary for her to lay in. And is a milk bottle okay to bring onboard?
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WHEN I PRINT MY BOARDING PASS ONLINE.....WILL I BE GAURANTEED THAT I WILL BE SEATED ACCORDING TO THE NUMBER ON MY PASS? AND DOES THE SAME APPLY WHEN I CHANGE PLANES? IS THERE A WAY TO MAKE SURE I CAN HAVE A WINDOW SEAT....THIS WILL BE MY SECOND TIME TO FLY......I AM SO LOOKING FOWARD TO THIS.....
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I would like to see an answer regarding the weekly pill boxes. I am flying in about 24 hours and had been told the meds had to be in their original vials with labels. My medical condition requires a large amount of medication and it is in 90 day supply amounts. Hopefully, I can use the weekly boxes instead. Thank you
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In reference to Mr Messina's problem with a line-jumper. "GET A LIFE". It isn't that important. People have a tendency to worry about unimportant issues and beat themselves up over them. Get over the "I", "ME" issues that you obviously have. Relax. Fire up and forget it. Jeeez.
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In regard to Mr. Messina's problem with a line-jumper and the attendant's response, rudeness and me-ism abound in this world. It is a typical response to ignore such behavior and even ridicule anyone who takes exception to line-jumpers or any other act of rudeness. It would be nice if those in a position of oversight were exceptions to the rule, but that is not the case. I have often been in line at Southwest and had more than one person crowd in front of me. Although I have never voiced my feelings about line-jumpers feeling free to put their own needs ahead of mine, I do feel that the issue here was not that Mr. Messina was suffering from "I", "ME" issues, rather that if an airline makes rules, it is up to them to enforce those rules. Why should someone who is displaying "I", "ME" issues by putting themselves ahead of others (line-jumpers) be patted on the back while those they have claim-jumped be put in a bad light and ridiculed? I am sure that after his original feelings of anger subsided, Mr. Messina did relax and forget about it. But wouldn't it be nice if this wasn't such a problem in the first place? I like Southwest Airlines, but the free-for-all attitude of some passengers makes the boarding process a less than enjoyable experience.
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Can I check in a medium -sized box instead of a luggage?
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Yes, you can. You may be asked about the box's contents to determine if it contains anything fragile. Brian
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I am flying to Harlingen for a wedding this week and need to tale a suit in a suitbag on the plane with me.Is there a place on board to hang them ,or do they have to be folded up un the overhead compartment? Thanks
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H.Brammer - Unfortunately, there is no place to hang your suit, but if you lay it on top of other people's bags in the overhead compartment , it should be okay. You may want to let one of our Flight Attendants know as you board the aircraft. They may be able to help secure you a good spot! Paula Berg Southwest Airlines
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Does Southwest serve any type of food? I will be flying this Sat to PVD (layover at Midway) and I've heard you get starved. If that's the case, I'll take a snack myself but then if there's nothing to drink can you take bottled water?
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just wanting to double check what i am reading. Anything in a "carryon" bag ex. liguids gels etc have to be 3 oz or less. But it can be "normal" size on the checked bags... is this correct. Flying in the morning for the first time and don't need an obstacle.
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Regarding the question on weekly pill boxes for medications. Will weekly pill boxes fly? The liquid prescription I will be taking is in a 5 oz bottle. Will I need to go back to the drug store and have them place it in smaller containers. Thanks
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Am flying to Las Vegas and am taking a carry-on suitcase. Want also to take a smaller bag but a bit larger than purse size. Will I be able to take it on the plane along with the other suitcase?
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Hi, My Husband and i are flying from Tampa fl to Norfolk Va, to visit our son and his family, they are in the Navy . I havn't flown since 1993 and i am a bit nervous, i hope the flight attendent,will be patient with people like me.? i will be taking a med that is supoosed to help. i know we can't pick our seats, so how do i go about having a outside seat. that way i won't feel closed in? i like being near the front so i can get on & off pretty easy. everyone is saying i will be ok. we leave in the evening:-) so ,that helps but coming back it's a morning flight :-(. can i bring a 3 oz unopened water on the plane?.was gonna bring our dvd player but people said to leave it home, to much hassel at security. hope you can answer these questions for me. i will be reading that should help . Sincerly Micki
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Hi Micki You can chose your seats on Southwest, you just do it after boarding the airplane. We open checkin 24 hours ahead of your flight's departure time and we board by boarding group number. The best way to get a lower numbered boarding pass (and to ensure your best selection of seats) is to checkin online. I don't think you will have trouble with the DVD player, but you might have trouble finding a 3 oz bottle of water. The liquid ban only applies going through security, so you can buy water on the concurse and carry it on from there. I've heard that the TSA is going to be changing the liquid rules, so keep checking this web site: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm Brian
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Donna, This is what our web site says about carryon bogs: Carryon Baggage Per TSA regulations, carryon items are limited to one bag plus one smaller, personal-type item. Personal-type items include purses, briefcases, cameras, food containers, or laptops (case included). Southwest Airlines limits carryon bag dimensions to 10x16x24 inches. All Customers and Employees and their items are subject to a thorough, physical search. The following items are not considered carryon bags or personal-type items and are not counted against the “one-bag plus one personal-type item” limit: A child restraint device for a child who has been ticketed, who has a seat reserved, or for which complimentary, available space exists. Assistive/mobility devices for individuals with a disability. There is no limit to the number of assistive/mobility devices a Customer can bring onboard the aircraft. Outer garments or other wearable articles of clothing. Food for consumption during flight contained in disposable packaging. Walking canes or umbrellas.
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There was a question posted in August about backpacks. I was just curious what the answer was. Can a backpack be used as a carry-on if it fits the size requirements?
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Yes, a backpack can be used as a carryon. Visit http://www.southwest.com/travel_center/baggage.html for all of the details or see below: Per TSA regulations, carryon items are limited to one bag plus one smaller, personal-type item. Personal-type items include purses, briefcases, cameras, food containers, or laptops (case included). Southwest Airlines limits carryon bag dimensions to 10x16x24 inches. All Customers and Employees and their items are subject to a thorough, physical search. The following items are not considered carryon bags or personal-type items and are not counted against the “one-bag plus one personal-type item” limit: A child restraint device for a child who has been ticketed, who has a seat reserved, or for which complimentary, available space exists. Assistive/mobility devices for individuals with a disability. There is no limit to the number of assistive/mobility devices a Customer can bring onboard the aircraft. Outer garments or other wearable articles of clothing. Food for consumption during flight contained in disposable packaging. Walking canes or umbrellas. Please see the TSA's web site for a list of allowable carryon items.
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We are flying from Dulles to Orlando the weekend before Christmas. Should I take my 10 mo old daughter's infant car seat carrier to use in the taxi to and from the airport? Would the car seat carrier be considered a carry on item?
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I'm flying to New Orleans in February to get married. I just called the airline and it doesn't seem like there is any way to travel with my wedding dress. Checking it isn't an option and it won't fit in a bag that would fit in the overhead bin. Is there no where to hang or lay the dress? Will the airline simply not accomodate me at all?
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I'm leaving Seattle to visit family the day after tomorrow, and have 2 questions that I hope you can help me with: 1) I am disabled, and use crutches, but am traveling with a companion. Hopefully he'll be carrying the luggage that I cant maneuver myself, but is there something I can do like get a wheelchair, even though I can walk with my crutches, at SeaTac, and if yes, how do I do this? 2) Not all of my medicine is prescription, I also use chinese herbs prescribed by my acupunturist. With this cause any problems if I carry them on with my prescriptions Rx? These are not OTC medicine, they are prescribed, but since they are "alternative" medicine, will I run into issues at TSA? If it might be a problem, can you suggest how to avoid it? Thank you in advance for your help!
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Penny - Congratulations on your engagement! A New Orleans wedding sounds fabulous! While we don't have anywhere onboard for you to hang your dress, we should be able to secure your dress in one of the overhead bins. My advice would be to try to secure an A boarding pass by either purchasing the Business Select upgrade or checking in online 24 hours prior to boarding. When you board the aircraft, notify the Flight Attendnant in the front of the plane that you are traveling to your wedding, and see if they can help you secure a bin of your own. If needed, we can usually convince a few Customers to let us move thier bags around in order to accomodate a bride. If not, laying the dress on top of a couple of bags and closing the bin, should help keep it in place. Again, congratulations and best of luck to you and your future spouse! Paula Berg Southwest Airlines
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Zoe - We do offer wheelchair services at our airports. Simply notify the skycap or Southwest Agent at the ticket counter of your need, and he/she will call the service for you. As for your perscription, as long as it is not liquid, it should not be a problem. However, for clarification, you can check the TSA's website at http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/specialneeds/index.shtm. Have a wonderful trip! Paula Berg Southwest Airlines
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My son (he's 10) and I will be traveling close to Christmas. I have concerns about our seating arrangment. I see that I could check in online & get a lower numberd boarding pass 24 hrs before our flight leaves - except, I dont have a way to print out the boarding pass. My question is- Can I go to the airport 24hrs before our departure & use a kiosk to print out our boarding passes? We live very close to the airport & it seems worth it to me to make the trip. Is this allowed? Teresa
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I cannot find the weight limit for carry on baggage on the SWA website. I am flying from Buffalo to Albuquerque stopping in Chicago. I estimate my Carry on to be about 35LBS. Is there a weight limit?
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Hello all, I will be flying from SMF to LAX soon, and it will be my first time flying. I'm curious as to how the online check-in works. I just booked my flight last night and received the Ticketless Confirmation email. Few questions I'd love to have answered, if possible, please: 1. What do I do with the confirmation number I received in my email at this moment? I know I can print my boarding pass online, and I should 24 hours before my flight, but I just keep it in my email and wait until the day before my flight, correct? 2. Check-in online, does this mean if I print my boarding pass I can check-in my luggage and go directly straight to my gate and wait? I've never been in an airport and this is my first flight, so I'm kind of foggy on the process of this all. I'd hate to get lost, or print the ticket thinking I checked in and all, only to have it really mean that's just printing the ticket! Also, does anybody have any tips as far as the weather in Los Angeles during mid-January? I'd love to get an idea now in case I have to purchase anything. Thanks!
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Hi Sissy, I hope you have a great flight. Here are the answers to your questions. 1) The confirmation number identifies your reservation. No other reservation will have that number. If you need to contact us or change anything, it will help access your reservation quicker. It's not essential, but it does help. 2) Yes you should checkin online 24 hours in advance. That Boarding Pass will help speed you through the bag check line. By using your confirmation number, you can check the bags at a Kiosk. If you just have carryon bags, you can go directly to the gate when you arrive at the airport. Your boarding pass will have a letter and a number. This is your boarding position number. Most of our gates will have poles that match up with your boarding position. Ask any of our folks at the gate and they will be glad to help. The weather in LA during January can be spectacular. You may have chilly nights (sometimes in the 30s, but not often) and warm to hot days. You can also have a lot of rain that time of year. Rest assured you shouldn't have extreme temperatures unless you head off into the desert. It's not that different from SMF and the Bay Area.
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I bought 2 tickets at the same time. When I check in online do I have to do two seperate check ins (one for me, one for my husband)? Or will our confirmation number check both of us in?
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Hi Julie When you go to the online checkin page, you enter your confirmation number ,and it will give you the option to either check in just one person or the entire party. Brian
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I will be traveling soon and was wondering if I may pack wrapped Christmas gifts in my checked in luggage?
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Brenda There is no rule against putting wrapped gifts in checked bags. However, if the TSA can't tell what is inside the wrapping when they inspect your bag, they will have to unwrap it. Brian
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my 16 yr old daughter is traveling with me . Does she need a Photo ID Card ? If she does can it be her high school photo id? Or does it have to be from the DMV?
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My daughter, is alittle over 4 ft tall and uses a booster seat to drive in the car. Should she use this on the airplane seat before putting the seatbelt on. I want to have it for driving when we get to our destination, but I wasn't sure if she should use it on the plane also? Is this included in the group of car seats that are mentioned as not counting as a personal item besides the carryon so she can have her carryon, a briefcase sized totebag full of travel games and her car seat? I was planning on having a carryon and a laptop in a case, so I was hoping the booster seat wouldn't count!
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I read a question about backpacks, however i am not clear on the answer. In my case I have a carry on bag that meets your size and weight requirements, as for my personal item bag, in which I would like to carry; a camera, a portable cd player, some cd's, a small bottle of water, and a couple of snacks, would a small backpack be ok ? Thanks for your forum, and thanks for a great airline. James Jenkins
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Hello James, Paula included some great information in her post previously, but hopefully this will point you in the right direction. A small backpack is great, but read the TSA requirements about liquid. Security will not let you go through with more than the allotted amount of liquid in the proper containers. Here is a reference to camera equipment including film: http://www.southwest.com/travel_center/cameras.html Here is a reference to all liquids when they are being carried on: http://www.southwest.com/travel_center/travel_alert.html For carrying batteries here is a link: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/batteries.shtm Here is the TSA's website with a list of everything: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm Have a great Holiday and safe traveling. Thanks so much! Caleb Fox Southwest Airlines
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Hello! I will be traveling on Southwest in a few days from Kansas City to LAX....including a connecting flight in Albuquerque. I am traveling to participate in an Honor Band and obviously need to bring my instrument. It is a bass clarinet in a case that measures 38in long by 6 inches wide and 9inches tall. Unfortunately this doesn't fall under the carry on specifics... I am worried about the safety of my instrument! Is there any chance that I could carry it on? Or what else could I do? Thanks!
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For Musical Instruments: The TSA has a great link ( http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1235.shtm ) that can help you when you are carrying musical instruments. They still have to be in regulation with size requirements if you are carrying them on the airplane, but if you check them you can write instructions to TSA screeners so they know to be extra careful in their handling. "Security officers will handle musical instruments very carefully and will allow you to be as involved as possible in any physical screening." Thank you so much and have a great Holiday! Caleb Fox Southwest Airlines
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I love Southwest Airline. You guys rule. Fred
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I have flown SWA for 23 years and have been extremely happy until this last trip coming home from BWI to Cleveland. Passengers waited two hours for a plane coming to BWI from Chicago. After finally boarding and thinking we were on our way, a half hour in the air, the pilot announced that Hopkins was closed and we were turning back to Baltimore. Half an hour later we were back and Baltimore and told that we could be delayed as long as three more hours. I was feeling very uneasy about the whole thing and had the opportunity to spend the night in the DC area and rebooked my flight for the next day. Much to my chagrin, I discovered the ticket agent had misspelled my name on the boarding pass and I worried that I would not make it through Security with a misspelled boarding pass and called SWA. I was told that I would have to stand in line the next day and get a new boarding pass. What next! Well, after getting the boarding pass straightened out the next day at the airport, I arrived at the gate to find that our plane was going to be delayed because of a seat malfunction and since it was a full plane, SWA wanted to assure a seat for everyone, so they had to fix the seats. So instead of inconveniencing three people's lives, SWA decided it would be better to inconvenience all the passengers and repair the seats. I'm feeling that money was the real issue. One hour later, theplane finally took off and I was finally home. I understand that things happen and that weather played a major part of the problem for travel this weekend but I feel that SWA could have done a better job. For instance, monitors at BWI still showed the first flight I described as 'ON TIME' two hours after it had been delayed. I won't stop flying SWA but my glorified opinion of the airlines has changed.
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Hi James, my husband and i will be flying sat Jan 3rd . we are going to our sons and we have to carry our garment bag on plane cause we are going to a Navy gala. and can't have our outfits wrinkled. can the flight attendent hang it up for us on the plane?. Sincerly Micki
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Hi Micki, I'd like to refer you to Paula's previous advice for a Customer who was flying with a bridal gown: "While we don't have anywhere onboard for you to hang your dress, we should be able to secure your dress in one of the overhead bins. My advice would be to try to secure an A boarding pass by either purchasing the Business Select upgrade or checking in online 24 hours prior to boarding. When you board the aircraft, notify the Flight Attendnant in the front of the plane that you are traveling to your wedding, and see if they can help you secure a bin of your own. If needed, we can usually convince a few Customers to let us move thier bags around in order to accomodate a bride. If not, laying the dress on top of a couple of bags and closing the bin, should help keep it in place." Hope this helps, and have a safe and wonderful trip!
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What is the policy with golf bags I know the limit is fifty pounds but what about height and width I have a Club Glove bag and was curious if I could take it without penalty. Thanks
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I have not flown SouthWest before and am looking into it to fly to my daughters bootcamp graduation. I did not see the charge for checked baggage. Can you please let me know asap? I need to get this booked as soon as possible. Thank you.
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I am requesting clarification of the golf bag question asked twice already without a reply. Since SW's website is ambiguous I read your contract of carriage. Articles 60 and 65 seem like an infinite loop in reference to golf equipment and do not give what I would call a definitive answer to the question. It should be easy since the contract of carriage states it may be charged for based on weight or size. All golf travel bags are oversized if they actually hold golf clubs. Would you please answer whether your policy is to charge or not to charge for golf bags. Thank you.
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Chuck B There is no fee for golf bags, and the bag counts toward the free bag allowance of two bags. Unless you have the world's biggest golf bag, the dimensions should be fine. The only thing that might get you in trouble is if the golf bag exceeds the 50 pound limit. Brian
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Dear Anonymous (the most recent one) Congratulations on your daughter's graduation, and we all salute her. On Southwest, each Customer's first two checked bags are free as long as the bag doesn't weigh over 50 pounds. A third bag costs $25. Also for the free allowance, no bag can exceed 62 inches in dimension (height+width+length). For more info see http://www.southwest.com/travel_center/baggage.html