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Cannot Board with Two Rollerbags Even though 1 Fits under the Seat

rjmains
Explorer C

After flying Southwest over 150 flights as an A-lister for the last 6 years, including one of the few people on their planes during two years of COVID when the flights were 75% empty, I've only been hassled twice about my taking two roller bags onto my flights. But today, flying from OAK to DAL, and with a boarding pass being A20, three gate lady agents converged on me and insisted I had to gate check one of my bags because "two roller bags" were not allowed. I told them one fit up top, the other went under the seat, but they refused to let me down the runway. They even wanted to deboard me, telling me I could walk over the the counter and check one of my bags, then get back in line to board. I refused to do that, as people went boading on past me by the dozens. Finally, one of them gate checked my bag and gave me the paperwork telling me I would pick up my bag at baggage claim. On the plane, I asked one of the flight stewards who hadn't seen this episode up the ramp about this policy and he told me it's always been that way. (Apparently, just not on my 150+ flights on Southwest). As a shareholder of Southwest stock, and an A-lister who brags about them constantly to others, today I felt treated like a second hand citizen on this airline. What IS the correct policy? I would like to know. I do plan to buy a backpack instead and board my flight going forward with one roller bag and a back pack, as I really don't want to sit and wait for checked luggage in any airport. Today, I need to make a 90 minute drive after the flight touches down, so I want to get out of the airport quickly.

26 REPLIES 26

Re: Cannot Board with Two Rollerbags Even though 1 Fits under the Seat

bec102896
Aviator A

Did your other bag fit in the bag sizer thing for carry on? I feel like that’s all that should matter if it doesn’t fit you would need to check it. 

you can share your feedback with Southwest by clicking on the contact us link at the bottom of this page and they can document your issue and pass it on to the appropriate teams. 

Re: Cannot Board with Two Rollerbags Even though 1 Fits under the Seat

ZevSupport
Frequent Flyer A

I've never had an issue with a rollerbag that fits under the seat, but I usually carry it down the ramp just to show it's true size...


Community Champion | PHL based | ex-Companion Pass Holder | Southwest Passenger

Re: Cannot Board with Two Rollerbags Even though 1 Fits under the Seat

rjmains
Explorer C

Yeah. that's a good idea to hand carry the one bag that will go under the seat. That might get me home safely on this trip until I can purchase a backpack.

Re: Cannot Board with Two Rollerbags Even though 1 Fits under the Seat

rjmains
Explorer C

Both carryons with rollers FIt within the bag sixer thing, but I'll double check on this trip to make sure. thanks for the idea.

Re: Cannot Board with Two Rollerbags Even though 1 Fits under the Seat

jksobonya
Aviator A

As long as the 2 bags meet and do not exceed the sizing dimensions, I don't think it should matter if they are both rollerbags or not. Most people -do not- have two rollerbags though, so I'm guessing  that's why it's being questioned. Most have 1 rollerbag and something smaller like a purse or backpack. But again, if you just have these 2 items and no 3rd item like a purse or backpack, I don't see why you can't board with both, especially if one of them fits underneath the seat. 

 

--Jessica

Re: Cannot Board with Two Rollerbags Even though 1 Fits under the Seat

kriseogilvie
Explorer C

I just had this happen at the Austin airport. Was embarrassed and confused while I was trying to walk down the jetway. I had to check my bag right there. I always use a small rolling bag to hold my purse and jewelry. Of course, it always goes under my seat. I went through Southwest formal question/complaint process. They didn’t answer the question. They just said my personal item had to fit under my seat. So Southwest needs to come up with a better policy and be consistent

Re: Cannot Board with Two Rollerbags Even though 1 Fits under the Seat

floridaguy
Aviator C

The gate agent is CORRECT.  The Southwest rules support TSA rules are for one piece of luggage and one small personal item.  Two carry on items where both are luggage is NOT ALLOWED.

 

TSA regulations limit carry-ons to one bag and one small, personal item. If you're traveling with a pet, carriers are counted as either your personal item or carryon.

 

Being annoyed with how people abuse the carry on count and size policy, I am drafting a legislative proposal that all items coming through TSA be scanned for mass (size) and rejected right there at the TSA check for either oversize or over count.  

 

The process would be to refuse the individual and their "stuff" from proceeding, referring them back to the original point of entry to check their luggage.  There would also be an administrative fee of $250 assessed for every passenger impacted.  

 

The objective would be to allow smoother boarding with less grappling over the bin space and to improve the air travel experience for passengers, like myself, who are weary of people bringing their riding lawn mower, tool box, kids pay set, shopping bags and small pianos on the plane.  

 

I am writing this proposal for introduction to the US House of Representatives and is designed to hold accountable those who continuously push the envelope. 

Re: Cannot Board with Two Rollerbags Even though 1 Fits under the Seat

kriseogilvie
Explorer C

My small rolling bag fit the requirements of a personal item.  He just said I couldn’t have wheels.   
This was SWA reply to my query.  Nothing about wheels.   Not sure how your legislation would help here.    

 

“Thank you for contacting us. Each Customer may carry one bag and one personal item onboard the aircraft. Carryon bags must be no larger than 10 x 16 x 24 inches. Personal items must be smaller than carryon bags. Examples of personal items include purses, backpacks, briefcases, and laptops (inside their cases).”

Re: Cannot Board with Two Rollerbags Even though 1 Fits under the Seat

floridaguy
Aviator C

Please re-read the TSA regulations.  Whether it fits under the seat, or not, is irrelevant.  The fact that you have two pieces of luggage is the issue.

 

Soon the legislation will stop this right at the TSA checkpoint.  No one will try and "sneak" anything through since doing so will cost you a $250 administrative fee plus going all the way back to check the bag, then go through the TSA line again.

 

By pushing the envelope, the rules are becoming tighter and more expensive.