Electrostatic
disinfectant spray

Face coverings
required

HEPA
air filter

The Southwest® Promise from check-in to deplaning

When you travel with Southwest, we have your well-being in mind. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we've made changes to our operations and procedures to better support the well-being and comfort of our Employees and Customers – and we’ll continue to evaluate our policies and procedures as we learn more.  We've employed stringent cleaning practices such as using electrostatic and anti-microbial spray treatments in the cabin, as well as provided masks for Employees.

Grab a low fare and face covering and let’s go.

disinfectant spray

Cleaning

  • Both an electrostatic disinfectant and an anti-microbial spray are applied on every surface of the aircraft, killing viruses on contact and forming an anti-microbial coating or shield for 30 days.
  • Every night, we deep clean each plane from nose to tail for more than 6 hours and while we’re there, we treat our high touch hard surfaces such as tray tables, armrests, and lavatories, with a disinfectant approved by the EPA to kill COVID-19.
  • Each aircraft is equipped with a sophisticated air distribution system that introduces fresh, outdoor air and HEPA filtered air into the cabin every second while inflight, resulting in exchange of cabin air every two to three minutes. We use HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters onboard that remove at least 99.97%*
    *Measuring 0.3 micrometers or greater or greater in diameter (the most penetrating particle size test) passing through the filter.
    of airborne particles - similar to the technology found in hospitals.
  • Hand sanitizer is available in the airport and wipes are available for Customers onboard.
  • Every day, we’re cleaning the ticket counters, gates, and baggage claim areas.
Southwest employee disinfecting airplane cabin
Southwest Airlines cabin
Southwest flight attendant in cabin with mask
hand sanitizer

Where you come in

  • Prior to travel, please check your temperature and confirm that you do not have a fever. Do not travel if you have a fever.
  • Please stay at home and do not travel if you have recently been diagnosed with, are currently experiencing symptoms of, or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 in the past 10 days.
    • If the above applies to you, the CDC recommends quarantining. For more information on their recommendations, visit here.
    • If you have questions, feel you cannot or should not travel, or need rebooking assistance, please contact a Southwest Airlines Representative.
  • Download your mobile boarding pass prior to arrival to limit the amount of exchanges you make with others. We recommend using the Southwest Airlines app. You can download the app here.
  • Arrive at the airport earlier to allow for new check-in and security processes.
  • Federal law requires each person to wear a mask at all times in the airport and throughout the flight, including during boarding and deplaning. Refusing to wear a mask is a violation of federal law and may result in denial of boarding, removal from the aircraft, and/or penalties under federal law. A properly worn mask completely covers the nose and mouth, is secured to the head, and fits snugly against the side of the face. On the aircraft, if wearing oxygen masks is needed because of loss of cabin pressure or other event affecting aircraft ventilation, masks should be removed to accommodate oxygen masks. For more information on our mask policy, including attributes for acceptable masks, see our FAQ. If you forget your mask or bring one that’s deemed insufficient, a mask will be available for you.
  • Maintain physical spacing at the airport.
  • We are serving a selection of non-alcoholic beverages and snacks on flights over 250 miles, when available. Straws are available on request.
mask

Equipping Employees

  • Our Customer-facing Employees are required to wear face masks that fit snugly over the face, cover the nose and mouth, and secure under the chin.
cleaning procedures and policies

We’re onboard with the experts

We continue to evaluate our policies and procedures based on public health guidance, scientific research, and advice from medical and aviation organizations, such as:

  • Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • The International Air Transport Association (IATA)
  • Boeing
  • U.S. Department of Defense’s U.S. Transportation Command
  • Our own medical professionals and infectious disease experts that we’ve retained to advise us during the pandemic

To read more about recent studies and current COVID-19 research, click here.

*Measuring 0.3 micrometers or greater in diameter passing through the filter.

What some of our Customers are saying

Follow us on Twitter at @Southwestair to read more Customer experiences.

Replying to @SouthwestAir Flew last weekend and will be in two weeks! Felt safe and the @SouthwestAir crew was phenomenal!! 🧡

— Twitter

Thank you @SouthwestAir for a great travel experience on my round trip from MCI —> BNA. First time flying in a while but felt perfectly safe and appreciate the level of service that you always provide! 🧡

— Twitter

Love Southwest ♥️ I’m an essential worker flying since last March! All good and no problems! Thanks Southwest!! 🙋🏻‍♀️

— Twitter

Travel Updates

COVID-19 travel restrictions, quarantine and testing information.

FAQs

  • Both an electrostatic disinfectant and an anti-microbial spray are applied on every surface of the aircraft, killing viruses on contact and forming an anti-microbial coating or shield for 30 days.
  • A 4-6 person crew also deep cleans every plane, from nose to tail, for more than 6 hours every night.
  • Cleaning wipes are available for Customers onboard.
  • These stringent cleaning policies and procedures are aligned with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • All of our aircraft are equipped with High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, which remove 99.97% of airborne particles—similar to technology found in hospitals.
  • Our aircraft are designed with an air circulation system that mixes in fresh air from outside the plane with air inside the plane.
  • Full exchange of cabin air with fresh, outdoor air and HEPA filtered air every 2-3 minutes.

We understand it’s important to remove unnecessary touchpoints. That’s why we are encouraging everyone to maintain a physical distance wherever possible and limit hand-to-hand contact with others. We are also requiring that all Customers wear a protective mask or face covering in the airport and on the plane. (Began May 11)

Here are a few ways you can limit contact:

  • Download the Southwest® App for a mobile boarding pass to avoid exchanging paper with others.
  • Hold up your credentials for verification versus passing it to an Employee.
  • At gate check, scan and keep your boarding pass instead of handing it to the Southwest Gate Agent.

Yes, Federal law requires each person to wear a mask at all times throughout the flight, including during boarding and deplaning. Refusing to wear a mask is a violation of federal law and may result in denial of boarding, removal from the aircraft, and/or penalties under federal law. On the aircraft, if wearing oxygen masks is needed because of loss of cabin pressure or other event affecting aircraft ventilation, masks should be removed to accommodate oxygen masks.

Masks are also required in the airport.

If you forget your mask at home, a mask will be available for you.

Acceptable forms of masks

In accordance with the Federal law, a properly worn mask completely covers the nose and mouth, is secured to the head with ties, ear loops, or elastic bands that go behind the head, and fits snugly against the side of the face. Cloth masks should be made with two or more layers of a washable, breathable fabric. Neck gaiters (also called multi-bands) may be worn as masks as long as they have two layers of fabric or may be folded to make two layers and cover the nose and mouth and are secured under the chin.

In addition, if your mask meets the requirements noted above, the following are acceptable:

  • Clear masks or cloth masks with a clear plastic panel to facilitate communication with people who are hearing impaired or others who need to see a speaker’s mouth to understand speech.
  • Medical masks and N95 respirators.

The following are some examples of coverings that are not accepted:

  • Masks not made of a solid piece of material, including those with slits, exhalation valves, or punctures
  • Face shields (face shields may be worn in addition to a mask that meets the above required attributes)
  • Bandanas, scarves, ski masks, or balaclavas
  • Shirt or sweater collars (e.g., turtleneck collars) pulled up over the mouth and nose
  • Masks made from a single layer or thin fabric that do not block light
  • Masks that do not fit properly (large gaps, too loose or too tight)

Exemptions to face coverings

  • Young children under the age of 2.
  • Beginning March 14, 2021, Southwest Airlines will consider applications for exemptions from this mask requirement from Passengers with a disability who cannot wear a mask, or who cannot safely wear a mask because of the disability. Several conditions apply that must be completed/adhered to prior to travel and receiving a mask exemption. For more details on this policy and for access to the submission form, please visit here.

When the Federal law requires Customers to wear a mask

  • Customers will be required to wear a mask over their nose and mouth at all times during their Southwest travel experience—while checking in, boarding, while in flight, deplaning, retrieving baggage; and any other time they may engage with a Southwest Employee or another Customer. Customers are required to wear a mask in order to board the plane.
  • The following are times when a Customer may need to briefly remove their mask:
    • When necessary for identity verification purposes such as during Transportation Security Administration screening or when asked to do so by our Employees or any law enforcement official
    • While eating, drinking, or taking oral medications. Prolonged periods of mask removal are not permitted for eating or drinking; the mask must be worn between bites and sips.
    • While communicating with a person who is hearing impaired when the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication
    • If, on an aircraft, wearing of oxygen masks is needed because of loss of cabin pressure or other event affecting aircraft ventilation
    • If unconscious (for reasons other than sleeping), incapacitated, unable to be awakened, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance
  • Yes, per federal mask mandate, the requirement to wear a mask applies to all passengers ages 2 and over, including vaccinated persons. Please continue to adhere to all current travel requirements, including United States Government requirements for flights arriving in the United States and other federal, state, international, and local COVID-19 travel restrictions that apply to your specific itinerary. For more information regarding travel requirements for specific destinations, please click here.
  • TSA is making a medical exception for hand sanitizer and will allow each passenger to pack up to 12 oz. in a carryon bag, but those Passengers will need to be screened separately.
  • Additionally, Southwest will provide hand sanitizer in the lobby, at gate podiums, and baggage claim areas. We will have cleaning wipes onboard upon request.
  • We encourage Customers to wash their hands frequently and use hand sanitizer and/or anti-bacterial wipes when traveling.

We are serving a selection of non-alcoholic beverages and snacks on flights over 250 miles, when available. Straws are available on request.

As always, you’re welcome to bring your own non-alcoholic beverages onboard. However, FAA regulations prohibit passengers from drinking alcohol on the aircraft unless it is served by the air carrier.

The TSA has made some adjustments to security screening touchpoints to support physical-distancing and are routinely cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and security screening equipment. Learn more at tsa.gov/coronavirus.

Please stay at home and do not travel if you have recently been diagnosed with or are currently experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

  • If you’ve recently had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, the CDC recommends quarantining for 10 days in your home and avoiding air travel.

If you’re unable to rebook your travel on Southwest.com, please call us at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA so we can help modify your reservation.

The well-being of our Employees, as well as Customers, is our top priority. We are implementing the following safeguards for our Teams:

  • We are providing masks to all Customer-facing Employees. Employees are required to wear face masks that fit snugly over the face, cover the nose and mouth, and secure under the chin.
  • We have installed Plexiglas® barriers in the following areas: Ticket counters (bag drop and full-service locations), gate podiums, and baggage service offices.