Southwest Airlines Drone Policy – does Southwest Airlines Luv your drone?

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What is the Southwest Airlines Drone policy and just how much does Southwest luv my drone? We examine these questions and more as we deep dive into the Southwest Drone Policy.

This article is Guest Post from our sister site BestTravelDrone.com and is part of our series on Airline Drone Policies. Be sure to check out all of the drone policies by airline. 

Southwest Airlines Drone Policy – does Southwest Airlines Luv your drone?

Southwest Airlines Drone Policy how much does Southwest Airlines Luv your drone_

Unlike many airlines, Southwest actually mentions drones (albeit briefly) in their baggage policies. While most airlines (although not all) are largely silent on drones and instead use other policies (like their generic battery policies or carry on / checked bag policies, Southwest at least makes mention of drones.

And, while it’s maybe not 1000% clear it’s better than nothing. So, let’s deep dive into the Southwest Airlines Drone Policy.

Southwest addresses drones in their special luggage section

The first place drones show up in Southwest’s policies is in their special luggage section. Specifically, the Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) section.

In the PED section, Southwest gives us a few important tidbits of information about bringing a drone on a Southwest flight:

“Portable Electronic Devices containing dry cells or dry batteries (including lithium or lithium polymer cells or batteries) are allowed to be transported as long as the battery size requirements are met. Some examples of these devices include but are not limited to watches, calculating machines, cameras, cellular phones, laptop/notebook/tablet computers, camcorders, medical devices, and drones.”

Furthermore, they note a few additional PED restrictions that travelers must consider inasmuch as it affects their drone travel:

“Effective January 15, 2018, each Customer is permitted up to a maximum of 15 PEDs and a maximum of 20 spare lithium-ion batteries per person. Loose or spare cells or batteries (including power banks) must be protected from short circuit and transported in carryon baggage only.”

Takeaway: You should be fine bringing your drone on the trip because it’s HIGHLY unlikely you will have 15 PEDs (I mean, think about it, worst case: 2 laptops, 2 phones, 1 vape pen, 1 watch…and yeah, 1 drone). Yeah, you are good to go. For those of you that travel with 47 vape pens…you, sir, are out of luck. Also, if you have spare batteries they need to be stored in an appropriate container. We recommend something like these.

Check the Price on this Drone Battery Storage Container

“If the lithium-ion cells or batteries exceed 100 watt-hours, only 2 cells or batteries not exceeding 160 watt-hours each are permitted. Cells or batteries that exceed the 160 watt-hour limit are not allowed as checked or carryon baggage.”

Takeaway: Drones typically have removable Lithium Polymer batteries (LiPO) and they are almost always well under 160 watt hours. How do you know your battery watts? Check the battery itself…or consult the manufacturer’s website. And…only 2 batteries.

“Passengers are asked to transport PEDs in carryon baggage. When this is not possible, the device must be switched off and measures must be taken to ensure it cannot be accidentally activated when placed in checked baggage.”

Takeaway: This is the most important takeaway. Southwest’s Drone Policy strongly prefers that PED’s be carried on instead of checked. Thus, to avoid any additional scrutiny carry your drone on with you. Don’t forget to get a special travel drone case to store your drone in. For example, the Lowepro DroneGuard BP 200 (which fits the best overall travel drone, DJI Mavic Pro) will work perfectly!


Check the Price!

Bringing your Drone on a Southwest Flight (as a carry on)

Read the Rest of the Article Here on BestTravelDrone.com

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Author Biography

We. Do. Business Travel. The CBoardingGroup.com is a leading business travel focused travel blog. The principal author has over 18 years of consistent & frequent business travel. Over the years, he has developed various travel habits, travel tips, advice and more that he shares with fellow travelers of all skill levels. From hotel life, to airplane tips, to the weekly grind of frequent travel, plus a little travel humor, this blog is a haven for business travelers. Read his full bio here.

Advertiser Disclosure: CBoardingGroup has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. CBoardingGroup and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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