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Southwest Airlines is known for its low fees and flexible policies. However, starting August 15, 2023, some of that is changing, with multiple fees being raised. It's not all bad news, and these may not affect the majority of passengers, but it's worth knowing before your next trip.
Southwest Airlines Fees Changing August 15, 2023
Here are the new fees travelers will pay:
- Overweight bags: It was previously $75 for bags over 50 pounds and up to 100 pounds. Now, Southwest will charge $100 for bags 51–70 pounds and $125 for bags weighing 71–100 pounds.
- Oversized and excess (3+) bags: This charge is changing from $75 to $125 per bag.
- Pet fare: This charge is increasing from $95 to $125. However, inter-island Hawaii prices are not changing from their standard fee of $35 each way.
- Unaccompanied minor: This charge is changing from $50 to $100 each way for each unaccompanied minor. This fee applies to children ages 5–11 traveling alone.
Southwest has updated the Optional Travel Charges list on its website to include the changes that will be taking place. Full details and descriptions of these charges are available there.
Thankfully, some of the most popular Southwest offerings are not changing. This includes things like two free checked bags, no change fees, no cancellation fees, and flight credits not expiring.
Further, Southwest doesn't charge for seat selection. This is because the airline doesn't assign seats ahead of time. Instead, you'll receive a boarding group when you check in. Then, you'll board when your group is called and choose an available seat anywhere on the plane.
Reasons To Love Southwest
The aforementioned fee-free perks are just a few of the reasons that we think Southwest is a great value for travelers. Free bags, free changes, free cancellations… what's not to love? Another thing we love is Southwest's Companion Pass. It's unmatched by any other airline. Essentially, once you've earned the Pass, you will receive “buy one, get one free” flights for the entirety of the year you earned it, plus the following year.
As we mentioned above, there will be changes to a few Southwest fees in just over a month. However, these are minor compared to the fee-free perks that are included with all Southwest tickets. Bottom line: These fees won't be changing anything about how we fly. However, they will affect a few travelers, and knowledge is power.
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