Southwest Airlines Check-In Policy

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How Does Southwest Check In Work?

Southwest Check in policy ensures to provide customers the flexibility to check-in as per their convenience. That’s why this helpful guide strives to offer convenience to every customer who seeks to know the nitty gritties of check-in policy. The Check-in procedure usually begins 24 hours prior to scheduled flight departure. The check-in also closes 1 hour before the scheduled flight takes off. 

Passengers can check-in before the actual check-in begins through the early-bird check-in that is available at certain charges. 

How Can I Check-in My Southwest Flight?

The airline offers multiple options to check-in through the online web check-in method to self-service kiosk check-in method. Passengers who seek assistance or have a query, can directly check-in at the airport. 

Southwest Online Web Check-in 

Passengers can check-in online through the Southwest website starting from 24 hours before the scheduled departure. During online check-in passengers can choose their preferred seat, purchase baggage allowance. Passengers with early bird facility can check-in 36 hours before the scheduled flight departure to choose the desired seat. 

  • Visit the Southwest official website. 
  • Navigate through the menu and click on the Manage Bookings to complete Southwest check in. 
  • Select the flight and passenger for which you want to check-in. 
  • Check your flight details and click on baggage. 
  • Select your baggage requirement and proceed further. 
  • Proceed to seat selection.
  • Select suitable seats and submit them. 
  • Confirm the passenger details and proceed to pay if needed. 
  • Lastly, you will receive confirmation from the airline regarding check-in details. 
  • Once the check-in is confirmed, you can download the boarding pass. 

Southwest Mobile Check-in 

Alternatively, passengers can use the mobile check-in method to check-in for the flight. The user-friendly interface enables customers to check-in conveniently to save more time. 

  • Download the official Southwest application from the IOS play store and Apple store. 
  • Login to the Southwest account with the credentials to check-in Southwest.   
  • Select the flight for which you want to check-in. 
  • Navigate through the options and complete the process and receive your boarding pass. 
  • Save the boarding pass as PDF to show at the airport security checkpoint. You can also get that print later. 

Southwest Self-Service Kiosk Check-in

Check-in at the self-service Kiosk usually takes a few minutes and saves you from the hassle of waiting in long queues. Self-services kiosks are located inside airport premises.  

  • Access the Kiosk machine. 
  • Enter your PNR, last name and flight number to find your reservation. 
  • Select baggage requirements and proceed to seat selection. 
  • Follow the prompts given on the device to continue the process. 
  • Lastly, proceed to confirm Southwest check in and print your boarding pass. 

Southwest Check in at the Airport 

Passengers can also check-in at the airport. The airline advises the passengers to reach the airport at least 3 hours before the departure to complete the check in process. 

  • Once arrived at the airport, reach the airport counter of Southwest. 
  • Provide the airline representative with accurate details such as flight number, reservation number and last name. 
  • Lastly, the staff will check you in and will hand over your boarding pass.

What is an Early Bird Check-in? 

The Early Bird Check-in is a facility that allows passengers who wish to complete check-in and select their desired seat in advance. This Southwest Check in facility will enable the passengers to complete Southwest flight check in at least 36 hours before the actual check-in begins. Usually, there are certain charges applicable on this service ranging from 15 USD to 25 USD. 

Early bird customers can get boarding group A which ultimately means they can board the flight right after business class. 

Business Class passengers are exempted from the early bird option as their business class ticket already includes priority boarding.

How Can I Check-in For Southwest International Flights?

Southwest has certain rules for International flights which should be adhered by the customers. 

  • Southwest airlines advises passengers to carry a physical boarding pass for international flights as many airports may not accept mobile boarding passes. 
  • It is mandatory for passengers travelling Internationally to complete Southwest check in directly at the airport. 
  • Southwest Airlines does not allow unaccompanied minors on international flights thus check-in is not applicable. 
  • Passengers should reach the airport at least 3 hours prior to the scheduled departure of flight.

When Should I Check-in For Southwest Flights?

The airline has strict check-in timing that should be adhered to by the customers for a smooth experience. The airlines advise you to complete check-in within the given time to avoid any hassle at the last minute at the airport. 

  • It is mandatory to complete the Southwest Airlines check-in process at least 1 hour before flight departure. 
  • Southwest check in boarding pass will only be given at the check-in counter after cross-checking the details provided by the customer. 
  • In case of late check-in, airlines do not allow passengers to cancel the reservation. Rather the passenger will be considered as a no-show case. 
  • In case of early-bird check-in, passengers can check-in 36 hours before the flight. 
  • The flight boarding commences at least 30 minutes before the take-off. 
  • As per Southwest Airlines check-in policy, passengers who fail to show-up at the boarding gate at least 10 minutes before the flight cut off timing, will be marked as no-show. 
  • The minimum time to Southwest check in for domestic and international flights is 1 hour before the scheduled departure of the flight.

Does Southwest Check-in Everyone?

An itinerary that involves multiple passengers and has the same confirmation number, Southwest will check all of them in. In exceptional cases, if there is a companion reservation with a separate confirmation number, then the airline checks them in separately. Some reservations, such as a group of ten or more passengers, are not eligible for online Southwest Airlines check in.

How to Get Southwest Check-in Boarding Pass? 

Procuring a boarding pass is essential to validate your travel with any airlines. Passengers will only receive boarding passes after completing Southwest Airlines check-in.

Without a valid boarding pass, passengers will be denied boarding and thus will have to face a no-show situation. 

  • Always complete the check-in process timely either through online method or offline method. 
  • Retrieve booking by adding your reservation number. 
  • Click on the “Boarding pass” option and download the boarding pass. 
  • In case of check-in at the airport, request the staff to print your boarding pass. 

What is the Boarding Procedure in Southwest Airlines?

Southwest Airlines has a unique boarding procedure which depends on the timing of check-in by the passenger. The boarding begins 45 minutes before departure with A1- A15 which includes business class passengers. Customers can check their boarding group mentioned on their boarding pass. The boarding starts from the Business Select passengers who by default have priority boarding access.  Southwest has a boarding order that depends on First Come, First Serve Southwest Airlines check-in. 

  • Upgraded Boarding Passenger
  • Rapid Rewards A-list preferred members
  • Rapid Reward A-list members 
  • Early Bird Check-in customers (A group)
  • Passenger with disabilities 
  • Family Boarding 
  • Group B 
  • Group C

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