Middle seats open
through November 30

Face coverings
required

HEPA
air filter

Enhanced cleaning, physical-distancing measures, and equipped Employees

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 and physical-distancing practices such as using electrostatic and anti-microbial spray treatments in the cabin, implemented physical-distancing measures, limited the number of Passengers onboard, modified boarding procedures, and provided masks for Employees. Learn more about the Southwest Promise and what it means when you are ready to travel.

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

disinfectant spray

Cleaning around the clock

  • 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.
  • Sani-Cide EX3, a broad-spectrum disinfectant, will be used to clean onboard lavatories and tray tables before every flight.
  • We deep clean each plane from nose to tail for nearly 6-7 hours every night. (Began March 4)
  • Every 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) onboard that removes 99.97% of airborne particles* - similar to the technology found in hospitals.
  • Hand sanitizer is available at the check-in kiosks, ticket counters, and gates. Wipes will be available for Customers onboard.
  • We’re cleaning the ticket counters, gates, and baggage claim areas multiple times a day.
social distance

Helping everyone keep their distance

  • We’re posting airport signage and floor markers to encourage physical-distancing in gate areas. (Began early May)
  • Plexiglas® is being installed at ticketing and gate counters, and baggage service offices. (Completed early May)
  • Boarding
    • Boarding in groups of 10 to allow for physical-distancing on only one side of the boarding poles.
    • Family boarding is not changing, but we will encourage families to respect the personal space of others during boarding.
  • Middle seats open through November 30.
    • Customers can pick their seat—if you’re traveling together, you’re welcome to sit together.
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 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 14 days in your home and avoiding air travel.
    • Because many people with COVID-19 may be asymptomatic, Southwest Airlines® requires all travelers wear a face covering over their nose and mouth, unless an exemption applies.
    • 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.
  • Customers are required to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth at all times during their Southwest travel experience. It is highly encouraged to bring your own hand sanitizer and face covering. A well-secured cloth or mask that fits snugly against the face, covers an individual’s nose and mouth, and is secured under the chin will be accepted. In alignment with the intention of this policy, these are a few examples of coverings that will not be accepted: (1)Those with holes in the covering, including those with exhalation valves or those made solely of materials like mesh or lace fabrics and (2)Those that cannot be secured under the chin, including bandanas and face shields. Face shields may be worn in addition to face coverings, but not in place of face coverings. Neck gaiters (also called multi-bands) may be worn as face coverings so long as they cover the nose and mouth and are secured under the chin.
  • Maintain physical spacing at the airport and onboard.
  • We are serving water and snacks on flights over 250 miles, when available. Straws are available on request. For all other flights, snack and beverage service is suspended until further notice to limit close interactions. (Began May 22)
  • Print this reference to make your travel experience as smooth as possible.
mask

Equipping Employees

  • Our Customer-facing Employees are required to wear face coverings that fit snugly over the face, cover the nose and mouth, and secure under the chin.
  • We’re cleaning the ticket counters, gates, and baggage claim areas multiple times a day.
cleaning procedures and policies

We’re onboard with the experts

We’re in contact with the following authorities and experts to align our policies and cleaning procedures with their guidance:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • World Health Organization
  • Government officials
  • Our own medical professionals and infectious disease experts that we’ve retained to advise us during this pandemic

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

Coronavirus Travel Updates

Travel restrictions and how we’re taking care of you.

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.
  • Sani-Cide EX3, a broad-spectrum disinfectant, will be used to clean onboard lavatories and tray tables before every flight.
  • A 4-6 person crew also deep cleans every plane, from nose to tail, for nearly 6-7 hours every night.
  • We are also providing Customers with cleaning wipes upon boarding.
  • 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.

While cleaning procedures vary airport to airport, we are cleaning our gate areas, ticket counters, and baggage claim areas multiple times a day.

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, Customers are required to wear a face covering in the airport and on the plane. Customers are required to wear a face covering in order to board the plane. If you forget your face covering at home, a mask will be available for you.

Acceptable forms of face coverings

In accordance with the current current CDC guidance, a well-secured cloth or mask that fits snugly against the face, covers an individual’s nose and mouth, and is secured under the chin will be accepted.

In alignment with the intention of this policy, these are a few examples of coverings that will not be accepted:

  • Those with holes in the covering, including those with exhalation valves or those made solely of materials like mesh or lace fabrics
  • Those that cannot be secured under the chin, including bandanas and face shields

Face shields may be worn in addition to face coverings, but not in place of face coverings. Neck gaiters (also called multi-bands) may be worn as face coverings so long as they cover the nose and mouth and are secured under the chin.

Exemptions to face coverings

  • Young children under the age of 2.
  • If a Customer is unable to wear a face covering for any reason (even a verifiable medical condition), we regret that we are unable to transport the Customer at this time, due to safety risk of asymptomatic COVID-19 transmission by Customers without face coverings. In other words, because of public health guidance recognizing the important role of face coverings in preventing the transmission of COVID-19, Southwest will temporarily refuse to transport any passenger who is unable to wear a mask even if the Customer has a verifiable medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask.
  • In the future, if there is a change in public health guidance on face coverings or other changed circumstances impacting Safety, Southwest looks forward to welcoming all passengers on board again safely.  In the meantime, Southwest encourages all Customers who are unable to wear a face covering (even due to a verifiable medical condition) to postpone air travel, or consider other forms of transportation.

When we expect Customers to wear face coverings

  • Customers will be required to wear a face covering 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 face covering in order to board the plane.
  • We do acknowledge there may be times when a Customer needs to briefly remove their face covering, for instance, to eat, drink, or take medicine. However, we expect these instances to be very brief, and Customers should put their face covering back on as soon as possible.
  • Customers should remove face coverings if a decompression event occurs and they are asked to use an oxygen mask.
  • 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 have modified our boarding process to promote physical-distancing. We are now boarding in groups of 10 and only on one side of our boarding poles to help Customers spread out.
  • You will see airport signage and floor markers that encourage physical-distancing in the gate areas. (Began early May)
  • Family boarding is not changing, but we will encourage families to respect the personal space of others during boarding.
  • Middle seats open through November 30. Customers can pick their seat—if you’re traveling together, you’re welcome to sit together.
  • Once the plane has landed, you are encouraged to stay seated until your row is clear to move into the aisle.

We are serving water and snacks on flights over 250 miles, when available. Straws are available on request. For all other flights, snack and beverage service is suspended until further notice to limit close interactions. (Began May 22)

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 14 days in your home and avoiding air travel.
  • Because many people with COVID-19 may be asymptomatic, Southwest Airlines requires all travelers wear a face covering over their nose and mouth, unless an exemption applies.

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. They are required to wear masks or face coverings anytime while serving Customers. Employees will not be required to wear masks while they are on break in the galley or terminal, unless they are unable to maintain a physical distance or required by a local, state, or federal order.
  • We have installed Plexiglas® barriers in the following areas: Ticket counters (bag drop and full-service locations), gate podiums, and baggage service offices.
  • The ticket counters, gates, and baggage claim areas are being cleaned multiple times a day.