Our Mission is to support yours.

Throughout our history, Southwest® has been committed to supporting the brave men and women who serve our country and fight for our freedom. See how Southwest is simplifying travel for our military and government Customers.

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Military travel policies

Patriotism runs deep at Southwest Airlines®, and we are proud of all those who serve. When it comes to our military boarding policy, we invite active-duty, uniformed members of the U.S. military who did not receive an “A” boarding pass to board between the A and B groups.

Military Exception: Exceptions are made for active-duty military Customers. No fee is charged for additional pieces of baggage. Active-duty military Customers must have their current, valid military ID to receive the exemption.

Military Customers traveling on active duty will be exempt from the two-piece baggage limit and will not be subject to excess, oversize, or overweight baggage charges, provided that none of the pieces of baggage exceeds 100 pounds in weight and 80 inches in size (L+W+H). Bags in excess of 80 inches cannot be checked as baggage but can be shipped as cargo if the Customer is a TSA Known Shipper.

  • A valid United States Uniformed Services Active Duty Identification Card must be presented at the time of check-in for military personnel.
  • In total, a ticketed Customer (including military Customers) may not check more than 20 pieces of baggage per flight.
  • Note: Dependents traveling without the active-duty military member are subject to normal excess, oversized, and overweight charges.

Southwest Airlines is proud to offer military and government fares. To book a military fare, please call 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792) or visit a Southwest ticket counter, as these fares are not available on Southwest.com. Rapid Rewards points cannot be redeemed to purchase government and military fares.

Military fares

  • United States military personnel on active duty (including reservists, National Guard members, and Coast Guard members with active orders, cadets/midshipmen attending the U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Military Academy [West Point], and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy) and their authorized dependents are eligible for Military fares.

Government fares

  • Federal Government (GVT) Fares are not available on Southwest.com and may only be purchased through an eligible federal government personnel’s authorized travel management system, travel agency, or commercial travel office or through the Southwest Government Reservation Desk by calling 1-888-871-8167. Eligible federal government personnel should utilize their agency’s preferred channel for purchasing a ticket.
  • State Government (GST) Fares are not available on Southwest.com and may only be purchased through an eligible state government personnel’s authorized travel agency or through the Southwest Government Reservation Desk by calling 1-888-871-8167. Eligible state government personnel should utilize their agency’s preferred channel for purchasing a ticket.

Military working dogs

  • Military working dogs (MWDs) can travel on Southwest as part of a military working dog team (MWDT). A MWDT includes a trained military handler and a trained canine.
  • Learn more about traveling with military working dogs.

Law enforcement/search and rescue dogs

  • Southwest Airlines accepts fully trained law enforcement service dogs trained in explosives or drug detection (or other specific functions) and search and rescue dogs for transportation, without charge, when accompanied by their respective handlers on official business. Each Customer traveling with a law enforcement or search and rescue dog must present a letter of mission and a copy of the animal’s certification. In accordance with federal safety regulations, the dog(s) must be positioned so as not to obstruct Customers’ prompt evacuation in the unlikely event of an emergency. In addition, law enforcement and search and rescue dogs may not occupy a seat or sit in an emergency exit row.

Want more information on traveling with animals?

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Our Freedom One livery is a symbol of our unwavering pride for our Nation and its heroes.

Why fly Southwest?

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As a proud participant in the 2022 GSA City Pair Program, Southwest® serves more than 1,700 city pairs to provide affordable airfare to government and military travelers.1

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Bags fly free®! In addition to two free bags for all, military Customers traveling on active duty will be exempt from the two-piece baggage limit.2,3

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Our dedicated Military and Government Team provides Southwest Hospitality and Customer Service for all aspects of government travel.


1Source: https://www.gsa.gov/travel/plan-book/transportation-airfare-pov-etc/city-pair-program-cpp
2Military Exception: Exceptions are made for active-duty military Customers.No fee is charged for additional pieces of baggage. Active-duty military Customers must have their current, valid military ID to receive the exemption. 3Bags must not exceed 100 pounds in weight and 80 inches in size. Customer must show documentation that they are on active duty. In total, a Ticketed Customer (including Military Customers) may not check more than 20 pieces of baggage per flight.

Our commitment to our military

Throughout our history, Southwest has been committed to supporting the brave men and women who serve our country and fight for our freedom. In the Southwest Family, we have more than 8,200 Employees who have served or are currently serving our country and over 1,600 military spouses. Our gratitude for the military also extends to the communities we serve. Southwest has several partnerships with military-focused nonprofit organizations, providing tangible support through our Community Outreach efforts.

Military Employees

The Honor Flight Network

Southwest is a proud partner of the Honor Flight Network, whose mission is to transport America’s veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit the memorials dedicated to honoring those who have served and sacrificed for our country. Southwest also supports the Honor Flight Network through our Points for a Purpose program.

Learn more >

Proud Civil Reserve Air Fleet carrier

Southwest is a proud Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) carrier. As part of this program, Southwest supports the U.S. Department of Defense airlift requirements in emergencies when the need for airlift exceeds the capability of available military aircraft.

Recruitment and hiring

Our Mission is to attract, hire, onboard, and retain extraordinary veterans who served, or are currently serving, our country and have given Southwest the freedom to fly. Our Military Ambassador Program and Military Program Lead help support our Employees who are veterans as well as military spouses.

Learn more >

Wounded Warrior Project

Southwest supports the Wounded Warrior Project through Employee volunteerism efforts.

Learn more >

Awards and Recognition

  • Military Times named Southwest to 2020 Best for Vets: Employers ranking.
  • Southwest received the U.S. Department of Labor 2020 HIRE Vets Gold Award.
  • Southwest Airlines named A 2020 Military Friendly® Employer by Victory Media.
  • Southwest named as one of U.S. Veterans Magazine Best of the Best 2020 Top Veteran-Friendly Companies.
  • Southwest Airlines celebrates 50 years of giving people the freedom to fly by unveiling Freedom One, a high-flying tribute to the United States, its military, and over 50,000 Southwest Employees.
  • Southwest Airlines named as one of Military Time’s Best for Vets: Employers 2019.

Questions?

Contact our Military and Government Team at SouthwestGov@wnco.com.

Frequently asked questions

Yes. Southwest Airlines is proud to offer military and government fares. To book a military fare, please call 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792) or visit a Southwest ticket counter, as these fares are not available on Southwest.com. Rapid Rewards points cannot be redeemed to purchase Government and Military fares.

Military fares

  • United States military personnel on active duty (including reservists, National Guard members, and Coast Guard members with active orders, cadets/midshipmen attending the U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Military Academy [West Point], and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy) and their authorized dependents are eligible for Military fares.
  • Military dependents ages two through 11 years old must be accompanied by a military Customer or a military-dependent Customer at least 12 years of age.
  • Note: Customers must carry and present a valid United States Armed Forces identification at the time of check-in. A military-dependent Customer 12 years or older must carry and present a card that displays their status as an active-duty military dependent.

Government fares

  • Federal Government (GVT) Fares are not available on Southwest.com and may only be purchased through an eligible federal government personnel’s authorized travel management system, travel agency, or commercial travel office or through the Southwest Government Reservation Desk by calling 1-888-871-8167. Eligible federal government personnel should utilize their agency’s preferred channel for purchasing a ticket.
  • State Government (GST) Fares are not available on Southwest.com and may only be purchased through an eligible state government personnel’s authorized travel agency or through the Southwest Government Reservation Desk by calling 1-888-871-8167. Eligible state government personnel should utilize their agency’s preferred channel for purchasing a ticket.

For all Southwest Customers, two bags fly free*! Military Exception: Exceptions are made for active-duty military Customers. No fee is charged for additional pieces of baggage. Active-duty military Customers must have their current, valid military ID to receive the exemption.

Military Customers traveling on active duty will be exempt from the two-piece baggage limit and will not be subject to excess, oversize, or overweight baggage charges, provided that none of the pieces of baggage exceeds 100 pounds in weight and 80 inches in size (L+W+H). Bags exceeding 80 inches cannot be checked as baggage but can be shipped as cargo if the Customer is a TSA Known Shipper.

  • A valid United States Uniformed Services Active Duty Identification Card must be presented at the time of check-in for military personnel.
  • In total, a ticketed Customer (including military Customers) may not check more than 20 pieces of baggage per flight.
  • Note: Dependents traveling without the active-duty military member are subject to normal excess, oversized, and overweight charges.

Firearms

Military Customers on official orders are exempt from having their weapons inspected, provided the weapons are collectively secured in a crate and banded or individually locked in a hard-sided case. Please contact local airport officials in advance for procedures. Any questions must be directed to a Southwest Supervisor or Customer Service Coordinator.

Cargo

We offer expedited air cargo service to destinations across the map. We keep it simple and provide you with fast, efficient, and reliable service. Visit Southwest Cargo to learn more.

*Weight and size limits apply.

When it comes to our military boarding policy, we invite active-duty, uniformed members of the U.S. military who did not receive an “A” boarding pass to board between the A and B groups.

Yes. We are proud to honor our fallen soldiers.

Please fill out the military human remains booking form so that we can coordinate the security screening of any escorts and/or honor guards and clearance for planeside hearse access. After completing this form, please call the human remains booking line to make your booking at 1 (888) 922-9525.

All bookings must be made 24 hours before the requested departure time.

Breed types and travel

Southwest has no restrictions of the primary breeds (Belgian Malinios, Dutch Shepherd, Labrador, and German Shepherd) used in the military working dog (MWD) program.

MWDs can travel on Southwest as part of a Military Working Dog Team (MWDT). A MWDT includes a trained military handler and a trained canine.

Carrier retains the right, at its sole discretion, to refuse to transport any dog that exhibits aggressive behavior or any other characteristics that appear to Carrier to be incompatible with air travel at the airport, in the boarding gate area, or onboard the aircraft.

If you’re transporting an animal to Hawaii, there may be additional restrictions. Learn more here.

Reservations and staff interaction

Once tasked with a mission requiring airline travel, the assigned handler utilizes the online Defense Travel System (DTS) to schedule MWDT travel and generate orders. Handlers making the reservation, or an assisting kennel master/supervisor, will follow up directly with Southwest Customer Service to confirm the reservation and verify the traveling MWD's information.

  • The military member can contact Southwest Customer Service directly or ask their commercial travel office (CTO) or travel management company (TMC) to contact Southwest via the Government Hotline 877-633-4425 to verify the reservations. Southwest can only support a CTO or TMC representative when using the hotline.
  • Only refer to the canine as a military working dog. Do not use “service animal” or other terminology to describe the MWD. The reservation notes must include the MWD's name and tattoo number.

When speaking with Customer Service, the handler may purchase a second seat for the MWD. The second seat allows additional floor space for the MWD and improved readiness upon arrival at the mission location. The MWD will not occupy the seat.

At check-in, the handler provides their Department of Defense (DOD) I.D. and a copy (paper or electronic) of their DD Form 1610 (Request and Authorization for Temporary Duty Travel of DOD Personnel) or Permanent Change of Station (PCS Order), which will include the MWD's name and tattoo number.

  • A Temporary Duty (TDY) or PCS Order, DOD I.D., and government reservation together serve as indicators of official travel for the handler and MWD. The handler is not required to provide additional identification to validate official travel or status as an MWDT.
  • The handler is responsible for having appropriate health certifications and supporting documentation required for MWDT travel.

Labeling and uniform travel requirements

The MWD may wear a harness with "Do not pet" and will wear a boxed muzzle, which are travel uniform items for a DOD MWD. Southwest does not require a muzzle for behaved animals and recognizes the MWD's muzzle does not indicate negative behavior but rather a DOD requirement. Likewise, DOD MWD labeling conventions for kennels/crates of "Danger" or "Caution" do not indicate a behavior issue but rather a DOD requirement. Kennels/crates and other MWDT equipment travel as checked baggage/cargo. For more information on shipping cargo with Southwest, visit Southwest Cargo.

Planning resources

Southwest only allows animal in-cabin travel. For this reason, mission planning using Southwest flights mitigates risks associated with weather/heat embargo concerns associated with underwing/cargo animal transport.

Contacting Southwest Customer Service is the primary means to access assistance. In addition, Southwest.com provides 24/7 access to current requirements for MWD travel.

DOD MWD and Southwest recognize that unique circumstances may present themselves and encourage members/Staff to elevate concerns or opportunities using appropriate company or MWD functional leadership channels.