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Southwest Just Made an Amazing New Baggage Change

The airline's latest tool could help you keep track of your luggage on your next trip.

Of all the major U.S. airlines, Southwest stands out for some of its unique policies and practices. For the most part, customers tend to appreciate the carrier's novel approach to doing business—including the way it handles the boarding process. But like any other airline, the company still strives to make the travel experience better for its customers by adding new perks and features. And now, Southwest has announced an amazing new baggage change, effective immediately. Read on to see how the latest updates could affect your next trip.

RELATED: Travelers Are Boycotting Southwest Over New Boarding Change.

Southwest has added a new feature that allows passengers to track their checked baggage.

Passengers waiting at baggage claim

Modern travelers often find themselves in a difficult position with their luggage. There's always the risk that a checked bag may not make it to their destination along with them, while those who rely on carry-ons might be short on overhead bin space once they make it onboard—or wind up paying a fee.

But now, travelers flying Southwest may have one less thing to worry about on their next trip. In a post on X (formerly known as Twitter) on Oct. 24, the airline announced it had added the ability for passengers to track their checked baggage while en route. The new feature comes in addition to the carrier's famously budget-friendly policy of allowing all travelers two free checked bags per flight.

RELATED: TSA Issues New Alert on What You Can't Bring Through Security.

Passengers can use their phones for updates on their luggage.

southwest mobile app
Vladimka production / Shutterstock

Those who've long feared rolling the dice by handing off their bags will now be able to keep tabs on their belongings through every step of the travel process using their smartphones.

"Southwest Airlines has introduced the ability for customers to track checked bags throughout their journey—from takeoff to landing," a spokesperson for the airline told The Points Guy. "Now on and the Southwest mobile app, customers can view the status of their checked bag across three different milestones of each checked piece of luggage: Confirming when bag tags are printed and when bags are loaded and unloaded from our aircraft."

Travelers can access the new feature—which went live along with the announcement—by tapping "track your checked baggage" on the left side of the app or on their flight's reservation information page.

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The new tool makes Southwest the latest major airline to add bag tracking capabilities.

A close up of a piece of luggage with a LOST tag attached to it
iStock / Bet_Noire

While Southwest is known for its "no-frills" approach to travel, the latest feature does bring the budget airline alongside other major U.S. carriers. Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and United Airlines all already offer a similar service for travelers—while some passengers still go the extra mile by adding a separate tracker to their suitcases, Simple Flying reports.

The feature's sudden rollout caught some travelers by surprise—including many who approve of the latest change. "Finally!" one Southwest customer wrote in response to the airline's post on X. "This is awesome."

"I love this feature!" another replied. "I checked a bag for the cruise I'm on."

Still, others wrapped their praise with some subtle feedback. "Awesome feature. Now maybe some priority bag tags for us A-List preferred customers so this bag to Cancun comes out faster," one user replied with a winky face emoji.

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Southwest also recently made significant changes to its frequent flyer program.

Southwest Rewards
Tada Images/Shutterstock

Besides a better eye on baggage, Southwest customers have also had other reasons to be happy recently. Earlier this month, the airline announced updates to its Rapid Rewards frequent flyer program that lowered the threshold required to qualify for status, The Points Guy (TPG) reported.

Under the new rules, travelers will only need to take 20 one-way flights before the end of the year to reach the A-List tier, while 40 one-way flights will earn travelers A-List Plus status as of Jan. 1, 2024. This is down from 25 and 50 one-way flights previously required for each level, respectively.

The company also announced it was making it easier to reach frequent flyer status without even setting foot on a plane. Holders of Southwest co-branded credit cards will now only have to spend $5,000 to earn an extra 1,500 tier qualifying points, marking a 50 percent drop from the $10,000 previously required to achieve the bump. Customers can unlock A-List once they reach 35,000 points and A-List Preferred by hitting 70,000 points.

Flyers with status can also look forward to some other new perks. Starting Nov. 6, A-List Preferred passengers will receive vouchers for two free premium drinks per flight, including alcoholic beverages, USA Today reported. The complimentary beverages will be available thanks to vouchers sent through the Southwest mobile app.

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Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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