Can I Have a Backpack and a Carry-On Southwest: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you wondering, “Can I have a backpack and a carry-on Southwest?” Explore this detailed guide for insights into Southwest’s baggage policies, tips for efficient packing, and FAQs to make your travel experience hassle-free.


Southwest Airlines is a popular choice for many travelers due to its customer-friendly policies. One common query that arises is, “Can I have a backpack and a carry-on Southwest?” In this guide, we’ll delve into Southwest’s baggage rules, explore efficient packing strategies, and address FAQs to ensure you’re well-prepared for your journey.

Southwest’s Baggage Policies

Carry-On Allowance Carrying a backpack and a carry-on with Southwest is absolutely allowed. The airline permits one carry-on bag and one personal item per passenger. Your backpack qualifies as a personal item, while your carry-on could be a suitcase or another type of bag.

Backpack Size Restrictions While Southwest is known for its generous policies, it’s essential to adhere to size restrictions. Ensure your backpack fits the specified dimensions to avoid any issues during boarding.

Efficient Packing Tips

Maximizing Space To make the most of your carry-on allowance, roll your clothes and use packing cubes. This not only saves space but also helps keep your belongings organized.

Essentials in Your Backpack Place essentials like travel documents, electronics, and medications in your backpack. This ensures easy access during the flight.

Know Your Itinerary Consider the duration of your trip and pack accordingly. For shorter trips, a well-organized backpack might be sufficient, while longer journeys might require a combination of backpack and carry-on.

Can I Have a Backpack and a Carry-On Southwest? Explained

Boarding Process Southwest has a unique boarding process without assigned seats. Having a backpack and a carry-on allows you to keep essential items in your backpack and larger items in your carry-on, ensuring a smooth boarding experience.

In-Flight Comfort During the flight, keep your backpack under the seat in front of you for easy access to personal items. The carry-on can be stowed in the overhead bin, providing extra legroom.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is there a weight limit for the backpack and carry-on with Southwest? Southwest doesn’t specify weight limits for carry-on bags or backpacks. However, ensure you can lift them into the overhead bin unassisted.

2. Can I bring a laptop in my backpack? Yes, a laptop is considered a personal item, so it can be placed in your backpack.

3. Are there additional fees for a backpack and carry-on with Southwest? Southwest allows one carry-on and one personal item for free. Additional or oversized bags may incur fees.

4. Can I bring food in my backpack? Yes, you can bring food in your backpack. Southwest doesn’t have restrictions on carrying snacks or meals.

5. What if my backpack exceeds the size limit? If your backpack is too large, Southwest may require it to be checked as part of your baggage allowance.

6. Can I have a backpack and a carry-on for my child? Southwest’s policies apply to each passenger, including children. Ensure their items comply with the airline’s guidelines.


In conclusion, the answer to “Can I have a backpack and a carry-on Southwest?” is a resounding yes. Understanding Southwest’s baggage policies, efficiently packing your essentials, and adhering to guidelines ensure a stress-free travel experience. Pack wisely, follow the rules, and enjoy your journey with Southwest.

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