Modern tourists often encounter difficulties with their baggage. There’s always the chance that a checked bag won’t make it to their destination with them, and those who depend on carry-ons may run out of overhead bin space while onboard—or end up paying a charge.
However, Southwest passengers may have one less thing to worry about on their next flight. On October 24, the airline stated on X (previously known as Twitter) that it has provided the option for travelers to monitor their checked luggage while en route. The new service complements the airline’s well-known low-cost strategy of providing all passengers with two complimentary checked baggage every journey.
Those who have long been afraid of taking a chance by handing over their luggage may now use their cellphones to track their items during the journey.
“Southwest Airlines recently launched the ability to allow consumers to track checked bags throughout their journey—from takeoff to landing,” said a Southwest Airlines spokeswoman. “Now on Southwest.com as the Southwest mobile app, customers can view the current location of their checked bag across three different stages of each checked piece of luggage: Confirming when bag tags have been issued and when bags are loaded into and removed from our aircraft.”
Travelers may use the new function, which launched with the announcement, by clicking “track your checked baggage” on the left side of the app or on the reservation details page for their travel.
While Southwest is renowned for its “no-frills” approach to flying, the new feature places the low-cost carrier with other big US airlines. Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and United Airlines all provide a comparable service for customers, however some passengers still go the additional mile by attaching a separate tracker to their baggage, according to Simple Flying.
The feature’s unexpected release surprised numerous passengers, including those who support the current adjustment. “Finally!” said one Southwest consumer in reaction to the airline’s X post. “This is awesome.”
“I love this feature!” said another. “I checked a bag for the cruise I’m on.”
Others, however, accompanied their compliments with some subtle commentary. “Excellent feature. “Perhaps some priority bag tags for us A-List preferred customers so this bag to Cancun arrives faster,” one user responded with a winky face emoji.
Aside from a closer eye on luggage, Southwest passengers have lately had additional reasons to be pleased. The airline made adjustments to its Rapid Rewards frequent flyer program earlier this month, lowering the level necessary to qualify for status, according to The Points Guy (TPG).
Travelers will only need to take 20 one-way flights by the end of the year to get A-List membership, while 40 one-way flights will gain them A-List Plus status as of January 1, 2024. This is a reduction from the former requirements of 25 and 50 one-way trips for each level.
The business also said it will simplify getting frequent flyer status without ever boarding an aircraft. Holders of Southwest co-branded credit cards will now only need to spend $5,000 to earn an additional 1,500 tier qualifying points, a 50% reduction from the $10,000 previously needed. Customers may unlock A-List after earning 35,000 points and A-List Preferred after earning 70,000 points.
Flyers with status may also look forward to additional benefits. According to USA Today, beginning November 6, A-List Preferred customers will get coupons for two complimentary premium drinks every trip, including alcoholic beverages. The free drinks will be distributed via coupons distributed via the Southwest smartphone app.