International travel overview
Booking your flight
If you choose to book two separate reservations to connect flights from your point of origin to an international destination and return, please be aware of the following limitations and how they will impact your travel:
- You will have two separate reservations and two separate tickets.
- You must check in for your flights separately to receive boarding passes for both reservations.
- Your baggage will be checked to the destination listed on each ticket, not all the way through to your final destination. This means you must:
- Leave the secured area of the airport.
- Claim your luggage at baggage claim.
- Re-check your luggage at the ticket counter to the destination listed on your second ticket. Note that check-in for international flights closes one hour prior to departure (75 minutes for AUA departures).
- Proceed back through the security checkpoint for screening.
- Arrive at your departure gate ready for boarding at least 10 minutes prior to your next flight’s departure. We may begin boarding as early as 30 minutes prior to your flight’s scheduled departure time.
- If you have not arrived at the departure gate at least 10 minutes prior to departure, your reservation is subject to cancellation and your seat may be relinquished to another Customer.
- Because you are not traveling on a scheduled connection and are building your own flight itinerary, some protections afforded in our Contract of Carriage for disruptions will not apply to you or your travel.
If you choose to book reservations in this manner, we suggest you allow no less than three hours between flights. Make sure to check back often as our schedule changes frequently and connecting service may be available in the future.
When we put flights on sale, domestic or international, our email subscribers will be among the first to know. Not a subscriber? Sign up now.
If you’re in Mexico, please note that due to country-specific currency differences, we typically do not advertise price points for our sale fares within email communication. You will need to visit Southwest.com to view routes on sale and corresponding fares.
Yes! Users can book international flights on the Android and iOS mobile apps or the Southwest.com mobile site.
Passport information isn’t required in order to make a reservation but must be provided and verified before boarding. You can provide passport details during the booking process at Southwest.com, after you book your flight online, during the online check-in process, or at the airport on your day of travel using a kiosk or at the ticket counter. To reduce wait times at the airport, we highly recommend that you enter your required passport information online prior to travel.
All refunds will be subject to government laws, rules, regulations, or orders of the country in which the Ticket was originally purchased and of the country in which the refund is being made.
Refunds will be made in the currency in which the fare was paid, or, at Carrier’s election where legally permissible, in U.S. dollars in the amount equivalent to the amount due in the currency in which the fare or fares for the flight covered by the Ticket as originally issued was collected.
Refer to the Contract of Carriage for more information.
Before your flight
You can check in for international flights and receive your assigned boarding position via our mobile website/apps, though you will not receive an actual boarding pass until you check in at the ticket counter or kiosk upon arrival at the airport and have your passport verified.
You may enter your passport information during the booking process on Southwest.com any time prior to travel by accessing your reservation online or at the airport on the day of travel. Your passport book must be verified by a Customer Service Agent or kiosk at the ticket counter on the day of travel before a boarding pass is issued. Passport cards and invalid or damaged passports will not be accepted.
Follow the same flight change process as you would for a domestic flight and pay any applicable fare difference (no change fees). Additional foreign taxes or fees not associated with the ticket may apply.
We request emergency contact information for international travel, although you may decline to provide this information as it’s not required. The name and phone number will only be used in the event of an emergency. This information can be provided online after booking a reservation, during the online check-in process, or at the airport, though providing it online ahead of time will help expedite the airport check-in process.
During your flight
When booking a reservation, you can provide a preferred method of contact (i.e., SMS text or email) to receive important day-of-travel notifications. If you don’t want these messages, you can opt out during the booking process.
Documentation required to travel to foreign countries and/or re-enter the U.S. varies by country. A valid passport is always required for international travel. Visit our travel information page for documentation required by country.
If any portion of your itinerary contains an international flight, you must check luggage at the ticket counter. If your itinerary for travel into the United States includes a connection, you must claim all luggage, regardless of final destination, upon arrival in the U.S. After clearing Customs, if you aren’t originating from preclear cities, you will then be required to re-check all checked luggage with a Customer Service Agent before proceeding to connecting flight(s). Baggage for international flights will not be accepted if presented less than 60 minutes prior to scheduled departure. For flights departing Aruba (AUA), baggage will not be accepted if presented less than 75 minutes prior to scheduled departure. You can’t voluntarily separate from luggage on international flights.
No. You may not utilize curbside check-in for itineraries that include international flights.
Except for Nassau, kiosks will be available in all other non-U.S. airport locations.
You can check in, scan your passport, add emergency contacts, and print your boarding pass for both the domestic and international legs of your trip at a kiosk. You will not be able to upgrade or change international flights at a kiosk, but a Customer Service Agent at the ticket counter or gate podium will gladly help you.
Airport arrival and baggage check-in times may vary depending on location. Please visit the airport information page for more information.
If your itinerary includes at least one international leg, you must check in at the airport at least 60 minutes (75 for AUA) prior to the departure time of the first flight in your itinerary.
Yes. Your Known Traveler Number may be added via Southwest.com or by phone.
WiFi is available for many of our international flights, though we may not have coverage for the duration of certain international flights.
Due to licensing regulations for each channel, free live TV may not be available for the duration of flights to/from our international destinations.
Sometimes, events beyond our control or situations we could not anticipate prevent us from operating flights as scheduled. If your flight doesn’t operate as scheduled due to irregular operations, your reservation may be modified (subject to applicable Terms & Conditions) without additional charges, but you must contact us at 1-800-435-9792 to make further changes.
Jet bridges are not available in all Southwest cities. You may have to board and deplane the aircraft using air stairs. In some cities you may have to travel between the terminal and the aircraft onboard buses. Buses will be used to transport Passengers from the terminal to the aircraft, where they will board via air stairs. Boarding the bus will occur at ground level, and you’ll be dropped off at the base of the air stairs.
For a complete list of the cities that may not have level-entry boarding or that may require transfer via bus, or to learn more about requesting assistance and accessibility in boarding the aircraft, please visit our Accessible Travel Assistance page.
We will send flight status updates to the email address that you provided when you booked your original reservation.
Loyalty program and international travel
Yes, designated Companions under the age of 18 can accompany Companion Pass holders on international flights.
The same Rapid Rewards rules and regulations that apply to domestic travel apply to international flights. Additional foreign taxes or fees not associated with the ticket may apply.
International travel to the United States
If traveling internationally into the U.S. with a connecting flight, you can carry more than 3.4 ounces/100 mL in your carryon, provided it was purchased in duty-free shops and placed in secure, tamper-evident bags (STEBs).
Liquids that cannot be screened and cleared will not be allowed to remain in your carryon. This may include liquids in opaque, ceramic, or metallic bottles, or other containers that cannot be effectively scanned. You can place these items into checked baggage, if available, or forfeit them before entering the secure area of the airport.
Currently our only pre-cleared locations are Aruba (AUA) and Nassau (NAS), which means that U.S. Customs is in these two countries. If you are traveling to the U.S. from a pre-cleared location, you will check in for your U.S. inbound flight, go through exit Customs, and immediately go through U.S. Customs in the same airport. Once you arrive in the U.S., your flight will be considered a domestic arrival and you can proceed directly to your connecting flight with your bags without having to go through Customs or re-check luggage.
In some U.S. airports, there will be baggage drop off stations available post-Customs. Others will require passengers to return to the ticket counter to re-check luggage prior to continuing to connecting flights. Please be on the lookout for directional signage and/or Southwest Employees after clearing Customs upon arrival in the U.S.
Policies and fees for international travel
Minors can’t fly unaccompanied (without an adult, age 18 or older) on international flights or any itinerary that includes an international flight.
Passengers on a journey involving an ultimate destination or a stop in a country other than the country of departure are advised that international treaties known as the Montreal Convention, or its predecessor, the Warsaw Convention, including its amendments, may apply to the entire journey, including any portion thereof within a country. For such passengers, the treaty, including special contracts of carriage embodied in applicable tariffs, governs and may limit the liability of the Carrier in respect of death or injury to passengers, and for destruction or loss of, or damage to, baggage, and for delay of passengers and baggage.
Children, regardless of age, must have a valid passport book to travel. Depending on circumstances and travel itinerary, additional travel document requirements may be imposed by the originating and/or destination country.
Animals, other than trained service animals, are not allowed to travel in-cabin on international flights or any itinerary that includes an international flight. Restrictions and documentation requirements may apply to trained service animals and vary by country. Customers should contact the appropriate consulate or embassy to make sure that all necessary procedures are followed.
Infants between 14 days and two years of age can travel on international flights as a lap child or in an FAA-approved car seat with the purchase of a ticket. View policies and procedures for infant travel.
If you plan to travel with an infant as a lap child, you will be required to pay the taxes and fees that apply to the international portion of the infant’s itinerary prior to travel. All forms of payment are acceptable for taxes and fees associated with lap children, with the exception of Southwest LUV Vouchers.
Yes. If you need to change a previously booked international reservation, you will only be required to pay any difference in fare and will not incur a separate change fee.
- Southwest Airlines
- Attn: Chief Data Officer
- P.O. Box 36647 – 1CR
- Dallas, TX 75235
You will be required to provide the following information along with your request: full name, email address, mailing address where a response can be sent, and a telephone number where you can be reached.