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How strict/ relaxed are Southwest about Size & Weight of Checked & Carry-On Baggage?

How strict/ relaxed are Southwest about Size & Weight of Checked & Carry-On Baggage?

Old Dec 16, 13, 9:03 pm
  #1  
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Exclamation How strict/ relaxed are Southwest about Size & Weight of Checked & Carry-On Baggage?

How strict/ relaxed are Southwest about Size & Weight of Checked & Carry-On Baggage?

Baggage Allowed: 2 x 50lbs

How much lee way do we get from Southwest? Few (1-2) inches / 1-2/ 3-4 lbs?

Also, I am using a personal bathroom weighing scale to measure the weights i.e. I lift the bag while I am standing on it. Then weight myself without it - DIFFERENCE = BAG weight. Are these values usually OFF?


MY SPECIFICS:
- FLIGHT: SJC > SAN
- December: 12/18 - 8:50pm > 10:15 pm - Evening - GetAway Fare.
- Early Boarding Purchased: 12$


- Kind of relocating so a bit packed on the baggage
- If I over go on the Checked Bags I might.. push some stuff into the almost empty carry on
- Leave some stuff in SJC at friends place

My Bags (American Tourister): Please have a look at the Specifications/ Dimensions. Do I need to be concerned about any of these bags?

CHECKED BAGS: (Should I be concerned about Size or Weight?

AT - Fabric (Expandable i.e. Height can be increased a bit)
L x W x H
30.5 20.5 10.5 (Taper In) 61.5
30.75 20.5 11 (Taper Out) 62.25


AT - Hard Shell/ Plastic
L x W x H
29.5 22.5 9 61
29.5 22.5 9.5 61.5

CARRY-ON:

Gray - Square Duffel / Tote (Should I be concerned about Overhead Space?)
L W H
24 11 14

Southwest Carry On specs: (Rectangular/ Flatter bag) (from website)
24 10 16

Rolling Laptop Case
W H D
17 15.5 11.5
Wenger Patriot)

Last edited by xmlsoa; Dec 18, 13 at 1:58 am
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Old Dec 16, 13, 9:13 pm
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If your airport has curbside check-in, do that.

I have almost never had them weigh bags, and if I new I was pushing it, have a $10 tip out and you will be fine.

If you go inside, they will definitely weigh it and charge you...
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Old Dec 16, 13, 9:13 pm
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Originally Posted by xmlsoa View Post
How strict/ relaxed are Southwest about Size & Weight of Checked & Carry-On Baggage?
I've seen ticket counter folks at many SWA stations be pretty consistently aggressive re: weight of checked bags for several years. It's pretty common to see people in a mad scramble to shuffle items between bags in an effort to get under the magic number of 50.

OTOH, the few times I've noticed sizing-boxes for carry-on's still sitting around at the gates, they seem covered with dust and ignored. People carry-on a lot of big crap these days.

Like most other rules, your mileage can and probably will vary.

You didn't ask, but my unsolicited free advice is to box-up your stuff and take it to the USPS, UPS or FedEx. It's cheap and easy and you won't have to mess with it in-transit.
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Old Dec 16, 13, 9:24 pm
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Originally Posted by troutmd View Post
If you go inside, they will definitely weigh it and charge you...
And SJC is the worst.
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Old Dec 17, 13, 12:22 am
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Originally Posted by troutmd View Post
If your airport has curbside check-in, do that.

I have almost never had them weigh bags, and if I new I was pushing it, have a $10 tip out and you will be fine.

If you go inside, they will definitely weigh it and charge you...
Originally Posted by Michael El View Post
And SJC is the worst.
So SJC has curb side check-in or no? And would I be able to slide a few lbs at curb side?

I guess given the measurements - DIMENSIONS - I guess they wont be measuring for 1-2" over in case the bag bulges? Or will they?

PS: I do not have enough extra stuff to warrant shipping it.
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Old Dec 17, 13, 6:04 am
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Originally Posted by xmlsoa View Post
So SJC has curb side check-in or no? And would I be able to slide a few lbs at curb side?

I guess given the measurements - DIMENSIONS - I guess they wont be measuring for 1-2" over in case the bag bulges? Or will they?

PS: I do not have enough extra stuff to warrant shipping it.
If you some some stuff that is small and very dense, USPS flat rate boxes are available in several sizes. The large one is $18 to anywhere and you can put up to 70 lbs in it.
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Old Dec 17, 13, 6:19 am
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As others have said, they seem to be quite strict about weight. However, I fly almost every flight with an oversized bag and it has never been measured.
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Old Dec 17, 13, 6:19 am
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Originally Posted by xmlsoa View Post

Also, I am using a personal bathroom weighing scale to measure the weights i.e. I lift the bag while I am standing on it. Then weight myself without it - DIFFERENCE = BAG weight. Are these values usually OFF?
It depends on the scale. I have cheap dial scale that under weighs by around 2-3%. I also have a decent digital scale that is pretty accurate. The method you are using should be fine assuming your scale is good.
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Old Dec 17, 13, 6:27 am
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Fedex Ground is dirt cheap, takes 2 days on that route and will avoid a ridiculous amount of stress and aggravation.

As others note, curbside check with hefty tip (remember it's the holidays too) is the only route.

No way of telling whether your bathroom scale is accurate. If you are 3-4 pounds over and the scale is 3-4 pounds off, that's 8 pounds and that's not going to slide at the curb either.
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Old Dec 17, 13, 6:45 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Fedex Ground is dirt cheap, takes 2 days on that route and will avoid a ridiculous amount of stress and aggravation.
Use an Amex OPEN card for 5% off:

"Use your Business Card from American Express OPEN with FedEx Ground®and automatically get a 5% discount credited to your American Express® statement ..."

You may have to sign in to tell them whether you want the 5% or 2 extra MR points.
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Old Dec 18, 13, 1:52 am
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Originally Posted by InkUnderNails View Post
If you some some stuff that is small and very dense, USPS flat rate boxes are available in several sizes. The large one is $18 to anywhere and you can put up to 70 lbs in it.
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Fedex Ground is dirt cheap, takes 2 days on that route and will avoid a ridiculous amount of stress and aggravation.

As others note, curbside check with hefty tip (remember it's the holidays too) is the only route.

No way of telling whether your bathroom scale is accurate. If you are 3-4 pounds over and the scale is 3-4 pounds off, that's 8 pounds and that's not going to slide at the curb either.
I do not have enough "stuff" to warrant a separate package. I would gladly do so and take an extra bag but that is not the case here. Moved some of the denser / heavier items to the Carry On.

I am not planning to be 3-4 lbs over. I just got done 90% packed (12:30 am PT) and as per my scale will target 49/50 lb mark.

My concerns:
- Inaccuracy or error factor brought in by my bathroom scale
- Inaccuracy or "over weighing" by Southwest scales? (If at all that happens??)
- 1/2 lbs max slide over

PS: Had bought EB Check-in and just did the online Check-in / Boarding pass:
Boarding: A-40 - Is this normal for EB on this route?
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Old Dec 18, 13, 2:00 am
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Originally Posted by Michael El View Post
And SJC is the worst.
ME - Please share specifics? Worst how and do I need to be concerned with the given BAG DIMENSIONS.

Originally Posted by lougord99 View Post
As others have said, they seem to be quite strict about weight. However, I fly almost every flight with an over-sized bag and it has never been measured.
Any other folks with similar experiences? (See bag dimensions).
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Old Dec 18, 13, 4:18 am
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Originally Posted by xmlsoa View Post
- Inaccuracy or "over weighing" by Southwest scales? (If at all that happens??)
- 1/2 lbs max slide over
I have a very accurate digital scale. The Southwest airport scales that I have encountered are also very accurate. If you are 1/2 lb. over, they may well ask you to remove something.
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Old Dec 18, 13, 4:59 am
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Originally Posted by lougord99 View Post
I have a very accurate digital scale. The Southwest airport scales that I have encountered are also very accurate. If you are 1/2 lb. over, they may well ask you to remove something.
If you are going to be over by a few pounds, you will certainly be weighed and there is a high possibility that you will be removing items at the scale. The size is much less important unless it is huge. Yours are close.

If you have just a small amount of stuff, I am back to the USPS. They have what they call regional flat rate boxes, I use the A size a lot, and for short distances like yours it is up to 15 pounds for about $7. You can buy postage online, tape the label to the box and hand it to your mail carrier or drop it off at a convenient post office. I sell a lot of stuff on ebay and this service is a very reasonable way to move small dense items. I sell a lot of nuts and bolts and other hardware and it is perfect.
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Old Dec 18, 13, 10:59 am
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Originally Posted by lougord99 View Post
I have a very accurate digital scale. The Southwest airport scales that I have encountered are also very accurate. If you are 1/2 lb. over, they may well ask you to remove something.
What I meant was that I will not be over 1-2 lbs intentionally from HOME.

I am concerned that 1-2 lbs slip over might happen due to weighing scale inaccuracies and calibrations. Lets see what I can pop into the Carry-on
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