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First flight with Southwest. Not impressed.

New Arrival

I decided to fly with southwest for the first time because of the amazing fare sale they had! And the two free checked bags!? I was excited!
 
But I can't believe southwest really tried to argue out with me about my MEDICAL supplies and make me check one of my bags. [I had a carry on, and a personal item, following policy.] 
I had to stand my ground and tell them NO I am not checking my expensive belongings just because I have medical supplies with me.
 
Medical supplies do NOT count as baggage!

I carry my gear with me when I fly, and I always volunteer to offer medical assistance in the event of an emergency on any flight I'm on.
Most airlines are appreciative of that, and will often move my seat accordingly, and treat me with kindness and respect.
They don't argue with someone who volunteered to help save lives if necessary.

I am definitely NOT impressed with my first experience with Southwest airlines.

10 REPLIES 10
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Re: First flight with Southwest. Not impressed.

Top Contributor

Southwest allows one carryon bag and one personal item to be brought into the cabin.  Are you saying that you had more than that and are complaining because you weren't allowed to break the rules? Any reason you could not combine your medical supplies and your carryon into one bag?

 

--TheMiddleSeat

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Re: First flight with Southwest. Not impressed.

Top Contributor

Fyi: Medical supplies, assistive devices, and personal medical devices, such as a CPAP or a breast pump, are exempt from carry on limits. 

 

You may have encountered an uninformed flight attendant. If you ever encounter the situation again, ask to speak with a supervisor.

 

 

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Re: First flight with Southwest. Not impressed.

Top Contributor

@chgoflyer

Isn't the exemption for medical supplies for when the passenger personally needs the medical supplies? In this case it appears the passenger did not personally need the equipment, but was merely transporting them from one location to another.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

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Re: First flight with Southwest. Not impressed.

Top Contributor

@TheMiddleSeat wrote:

@chgoflyer

Isn't the exemption for medical supplies for when the passenger personally needs the medical supplies? In this case it appears the passenger did not personally need the equipment, but was merely transporting them from one location to another.

 

--TheMiddleSeat


 

I believe that's correct, but there are some accommodations made for doctors or nurses traveling with medical supplies. I can't seem to find anything on the Southwest site.

 

It's unclear to me what exactly the OP was doing.

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Re: First flight with Southwest. Not impressed.

New Arrival

I was made aware that these exemptions are for people that would need the devices in flight.  If you're just taking it with you (to use while you sleep, for instance), then it is, indeed, baggage.  If you didn't require it in flight you should have checked it, or checked one of your bags that didn't have your "necessary" equipment in it.

Just because you don't personally agree with a policy doesn't mean it's wrong.  Too many people look for loopholes to exploit situations to their own liking with no regard to that decisions impact on the other passengers; like the people who try to bring on carryon's that are obviously too large to fit into the baggage rack instead of just checking that bag.  Like, seriously?  C'mon...  

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Re: First flight with Southwest. Not impressed.

Top Contributor
Solution

@JoshWithrow wrote:

I was made aware that these exemptions are for people that would need the devices in flight.  If you're just taking it with you (to use while you sleep, for instance), then it is, indeed, baggage.  If you didn't require it in flight you should have checked it, or checked one of your bags that didn't have your "necessary" equipment in it.



 

This is 100% false.

 

TSA actually recommends medical devices be carried on -- not checked -- due to the high value of some medical equipment and the possibility of it being lost or damaged in transit.

 

Under the Air Carrier Access Act, medical equipment is not considered carry-on luggage and does not count toward any carry-on limit. There is no requirement that the equipment be needed in-flight.

 

I travel with a CPAP machine. I always carry it on and have only had a few instances where I needed to declare it to the flight attendant when questioned.

 

More info (specific to CPAP) here.

 

 

 

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Re: First flight with Southwest. Not impressed.

Top Contributor

In this specific case the big question is whether or not the equipment was for the individual who was traveling. If the individual uses/needs the equipment (not limited to just the duration of the flight) then guidance from ADA or other government regulations come into play, BUT if the equipment is brought along just in case the traveler wants to be able to help someone or perhaps is transporting supplies to another location then it should be treated as normal baggage and subject to standard rules.

 

Additionally, just because TSA suggests travelers carry on expensive medical equipment or anything else expensive or fragile does not obligate an airline to accept it as carryon or not charge for it to be carried on.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

 

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Re: First flight with Southwest. Not impressed.

Active Member

What the heck is a CPAP machine?

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Re: First flight with Southwest. Not impressed.

Top Contributor

@SWFlyer007 wrote:

What the heck is a CPAP machine?


A CPAP machine is for those who have sleep apnea (where they snore when they sleep) this helps prevent the snoring and breathing issues that make a person snore.