Woman talking(l+r), Southwest airlines airplanes

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‘I always travel with this blanket’: Woman issues warning after Southwest considered her blanket her carry-on item

‘Flew them last week and they were SERIOUS about it.’

 

Brooke Sjoberg

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Traveling can be an especially frustrating experience, even for the most experienced of fliers.

In the last few years, policies related to travel have constantly been in flux as the world adjusts to post-pandemic environments and staffing constraints. As these changes are made, frequent travelers are use social media to keep the public updated about the most recent rules.

One Southwest Airlines customer says the airline implemented a policy that might see customers incur an additional fee if they attempt to board with items they use to keep themselves comfortable, like blankets and pillows.

In a video posted to TikTok, user Carissa (@carissamonyce) says she was asked to consolidate her purse and throw blanket before boarding or pay a check-in fee.

“Did you all know that Southwest now considers blankets and pillows as a carry on item?” she says in the video. “Apparently this is a new rule.”

Carissa says Southwest implemented the rule “maybe a month or so ago.” However, she only found out about it when she attempted to board her plane with a blanket.

“I just flew Southwest yesterday back home, and I always travel with this blanket, which is a regular size throw blanket. I never do the neck pillows,” she says.

“As I was boarding, I got stopped and a lady was like, ‘You need to consolidate.’ I was like, ‘Consolidate what?’ She was like, ‘Your blanket is now considered a carry-on item,’” she recalls.

Carissa says she initially thought the policy was just for the one airport, as it was a smaller airport. But then, Carissa says another representative at a larger airport told her about the rule as well.

“So if you are flying Southwest Airlines in the future, and you like to bring your throw blanket and your big nice neck pillow, please keep in mind,” she says. “If you’re not able to stuff it in your purse or in your carry-on bag, they will make you check a bag or consolidate altogether to make sure you only have that one personal item and that one carry on.”

@carissamonyce Don’t get caught slipping friend!!! #travel #traveltiktok #southwestairlines #southwest #fyp #foryou ♬ original sound – Carissamonyce | Travel Creator

The Daily Dot has reached out to @carissamonyce and to Southwest Airlines via email regarding the video.

The policy

The actual policy update treats blankets or pillows passengers might carry on their arms or in their hands as their personal item. This leaves their purse, waist pack, or other bags in competition with any larger carry-on bag they brought with them. Effectively, they will be asked to consolidate their items. For example, they might have to place the blanket inside their carry-on bag, backpack, or purse. Or else, they run the risk of having to check in one of their bags for a fee. The policy went into effect at the end of February.

How much will it cost?

Per Southwest Airlines’ website, the first two checked bags for each passenger are complimentary, provided they are under the weight limit. Should a passenger suddenly have a third bag they need to check as a result of the policy change, the third bag could run them $125 alone.

Airlines have cracked down on carry-ons

Airlines have been cracking down on hand luggage, also known as carry-ons, in recent years, shrinking the size of bags allowed in the cabin of planes to ensure there is enough room for everyone’s bags. Many airlines now require passengers to attempt to put their carry on item into a bag sizer. Effectively, if their carry-on item does not fit inside the bag sizer, they will have to check the bag, which can come at a steep price.

Several viewers joked about ways they would now conceal their blankets and/or pillows.

“What blanket bby this a scarf,” one commenter wrote.

“Pillow becomes a bbl,” another quipped.

“Blanket becomes a dress/skirt,” a third said.

Others suggested that there were other factors at play. Some think that airlines caught on to travelers using pillows and blankets as concealments for additional travel items.

“It was all those tiktoks of people posted loading their pillowcases up with additional travel items,” one commenter wrote.

“No more hiding my clothes in my pillow,” another said.

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