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Why don’t you check bags?

New Arrival

I love that I can check my bags for free. I’m barely over 5’ tall and my upper body strength isn’t what it used to be. So, everything I bring on board fits under the seat in front of me and I can board the plane with ease. I love flying internationally when everyone must check, boarding and deplaning goes so much faster!


So, I’d like to ask the community why they don’t take advantage of this fantastic SW service more frequently?


Re: Why don’t you check bags?

Top Contributor

I love free baggage! I would carry on in these limited conditions:


- medicine

- expensive electronics, laptop, jewelry, irreplaceable items

- business trip where a misplaced bag will impact my mission

- business trip where I’m anticipating a need for flexible connections, bad weather re-routes, etc.

- batteries that FAA and Southwest wants you to have in the cabin with you


Other than these I’m using that 2-bag allowance!




Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Why don’t you check bags?

Top Contributor

Whether or not I check a bag usually depends on how long the trip is or what clothing options I will need. On longer trips I may need toiletries in sizes larger than TSA will allow me to carryon and clothing requirements may dictate additional bulky shoes. But, if I can carry-on I will, primarily so I can land and get going as quickly as possible. I really hate waiting and waiting for baggage to show up at baggage claim is painful to me. Yes, it's nice to not lug a bag around, but speed usually wins out for me. That's what's great about Southwest, I can do whatever works best for me without having to worry about additional fees.




Re: Why don’t you check bags?

Rising Star

It's funny, I never used to take advantage of the free checked bags because I was always afraid that my luggage would get 'lost' somehow, or I wanted to avoid the time it took to go retrieve the luggage from baggage claim vs. having my luggage with me and I can deplane immediately and get a taxi / Uber / etc. 


My luggage is an average size piece that I can either take on the plane or check.


Now, however, I admit I find it more convenient to check the bag and bring larger toiletries. Rolling my suitcase around the airport for hours, through TSA, etc., gets old 😉 When you don't do it for awhile, you get used to it!!




Re: Why don’t you check bags?

Active Member

My typical policy is to never check bags because I seem to (mentally) need a lot of flexibility when I travel.  Flight delayed because of the incoming plane?  Look for another route.  Flight delayed because something wrong with the weather?  Consider bailing out and leaving the next day.  Connection problems requires an overnight stay?  Bag at hand means quicker to hotel and faster to sleep.  In a hurry when landing?  No waiting at baggage claim.  Cancelled flight with a driveable destination?  Abandon flight and first at rental car counter.


At 5’5”, I don’t have your stature challenge, and I have learned to pack as light as I can get 5 days of dress clothes in a standard roller bag.  I used to be on planes 2-6 times per week, so I wanted all the flexibility I could achieve.  


But it certainly is a Southwest perk.  That is one of the best things about Southwest.  Lots of perks to choose from.  My personal favorite?  No change fees.


happy travels!