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Southwest Airlines Check-In Policy

Southwest Airlines is renowned world’s largest low-cost flag carrier in the United States of America. The airline was successfully established on the 15th of march in 1967 with its headquarters in Dallas, Texas. The airline has more than 60,000 employees in order to serve satisfactory and fruitful air services and also specializes in operating around 3000-4000 departures per day, especially in the peak travel season.

In addition to flying operations, Southwest Airlines has operated flying services to over 101 destinations in the United States and more than 10 other additional countries or destinations. In 2019, Southwest Airlines expanded its services to Honolulu, Maui, and Kailua-Kona respectively, and started to expand its service to Hilo, Lihue in mid-November 2019.

Guidelines: Southwest Airlines Check-In Policy

Southwest Airlines largest low-cost airline and the unique one if you talk about their policies which are also flexible for customers. Southwest doesn’t assign a set at the time of booking they give a seat confirmation at the time of check-in which helps you to where you sit and from where you board.

In today’s era at the time of the digital world, Southwest gives you an option to check-in online through the website or with the help of mobile devices. The only thing you should keep in mind is that you are allowed to check-in only 24 hours before the scheduled departure of the flight and print the boarding pass.

  • Passengers are also allowed only web check-in if they check-in till one hour prior to the scheduled departure of the flight.
  • Group Check-in is also allowed for online check-in and at airport, they can get a boarding pass at the counter
  • Southwest Airlines’ early bird check-in service is a quite popular add-on that facilitates passengers who are ticket holders to avail of automatic check-in which usually starts 36 hours before the scheduled departure of the flight.
  • Passengers who purchased Any Fare will be given priority over those passengers who bought other fares like Wanna Get Away

Steps to follow for Online Check-in

  • Firstly go to the official website of Southwest Airlines and enter your login password.
  • On the home page of the Southwest, you can see the check-in tab on the right side of the screen at the menubar you just have to click on it.
  • The next step is to enter some details which are verifying your ticket. It depends on the three types of details by giving confirmation number, first name, and last name
  • Likewise, after entering your details it helps to retrieve your ticket details.
  • After that, you have to pay for your baggage and choose your seat and then print your hard copy of your boarding pass.

Early bird check-in – Passengers on the same bookings 

  • Passengers who are flying on the same reservation or booking must have to buy the Early Bird check-in by Southwest Airlines. If you are buying Southwest EarlyBird Check-In and buying the flight simultaneously, then everyone on the reservation will have to buy the EarlyBird Check-In service. 
  • At the time passengers buy EarlyBird Check-In service, 36 hours before the flight departure they automatically check-in and can assign their boarding position with great ease and comfort. 
  • Passengers with Southwest Airlines early bird check-in avail better boarding positions for their desired destinations than passengers who do not have EarlyBird Check-In.
  • In early-bird check-In service, passengers are checked in automatically and also are given their boarding number or position prior to the 24 hours self-check-in services being opened. 
  • And if we talk about the Pricing for early bird check-in service then it will be based on the length of the route and the popularity or demand for Early Bird Check-In.
  • The Early Bird Check-in service or automated check-in service can be bought with your credit card for $15-25 one-way, up to 36 hours before the flight departure. Here passengers can easily use the Early Bird Check-in online with the help of visiting the mobile site or app of Southwest Airlines on their mobile phone. 
  • Once passengers purchase the Southwest Airlines Early Bird then automatic Check-in purchases will not be refundable. Early bird check-in also does not guarantee passengers to give a position in group A boarding.
  • And EarlyBird Check-In can also be purchased later and you can add it to an existing itinerary, or you can purchase it even if others booked on the same reservation do not.

Purchases of Southwest Early Bird Check-In are not refundable. 

When passengers are willing to cancel their flight or may make changes to the flight then the Early Bird Check-In fee for that particular flight will be non-refundable. In case, Southwest Airlines itself cancel your flight then the fee will be refunded to the passengers. Here’s an article to help you out. what is the best timing for making a reservation with Southwest Airlines.

You Probably Can Use Early Bird Check-in By Southwest Airlines if:

  • When you are not able to check-in exactly 24hrs prior to the scheduled departure.
  • Passengers who forgot to check-in within 24hrs prior to the scheduled departure and care about where they will sit.
  • When passengers would like to sit close to the front of the plane, they may want to use early bird check-in.
  • When passengers are willing to have an aisle seat, window seat, bulkhead seat, or exit row (or just despise the middle seat).
  • When you might not be traveling with your children, but you are on a family-friendly flight to a destination, then perhaps you can go for an early bird check-in add-on by Southwest Airlines.

Passengers Won’t Have To Use Early Bird Check-in if

  • If you are going to purchase a Business Select fare then no need to think about Early bird check-in.
  • When passengers have A-List preferred or A-List status
  • When you have a family boarding (traveling with children 6 years old and under) then no need to use automated or early bird check-in.
  • And if you require any “extra time” or special assistance for boarding the plane then no need to use check-in through an early-bird add-on or plugin.
  • If you are an unaccompanied minor then it does not require you to go with early bird check-in.
  • If you are quite punctual and 100 percent confident that you can check in within 24 hours.
  • If passengers do not care about where they would like to sit or what type of seat they would prefer to have.
  • If you are flying with any of your friend or partner who has status on Southwest, Business Fare, or Early Bird Check-In.
  • If your flight time is unclear 

How To Buy An Early Bird Check-In Online?

Passengers Can Purchase Early Bird Check-in while Purchasing Original Ticket For Flight

When you are about to buy the ticket on or through Airlines mobile app, then you will be displayed a pop-up or notification like adding Early Bird Check-In to your ticket.

And If you would like to use this check-in service, then you can simply select it at that time and can continue to purchase Early Bird Check-in. While booking a flight over the phone with an agent, then surely you will be asked if you’d like to buy Early Bird or not. So, this way you also can get early bird check-in.

Passengers Can Purchase Early Bird After Original Ticket Purchase

Here passengers can add early bird check-in to the itinerary by accessing reservation and booking 36 hours before the scheduled departure of the flight.

  • On the dedicated Early-Bird check-in purchase web page
  • Through the mobile app
  • By consulting with a reservation agent 

Other Different Check-In Options Are Provided By Southwest Airlines

  • Southwest Airlines Online Check-in – by visiting the Airline’s website
  • Southwest Airlines Mobile Check-in – through a dedicated app or on, from your mobile device.
  • Southwest Airport Check-in– At the self-service kiosks, ticket counter, Skycap podium, or departure gate.
  • Southwest Airlines Online Check-in – by visiting the Airline’s website

In order to start the Online Check-in process with Southwest Airlines, you must have your correct first and last name, and the confirmation number. Passengers who are traveling with groups can check in online by clicking the option called “select or Add which passengers to be checked in with you.

Online check-in can be done along with your boarding pass 24 hours prior to the flight departure. And online service will be accessed no later than 1 hour prior to the departure time of your flight. Passengers can print their boarding pass at the Ticket Counter, Skycap Podium, or self-service kiosks. 

Passengers for international flights can check-in online Check-in 90 minutes prior to the scheduled departure to secure a boarding position. Also, passengers for international destinations must have to check in at the ticket counter after reaching the airport for some reasons such as getting their passport verified, luggage checking in, and obtaining the boarding pass. 

At the United States airports, self-service kiosks check-in is also used to check in, add emergency contact information, scan the passport, and receive the boarding pass.

  • Southwest Airlines Mobile Check-in – through a dedicated app or on, from your mobile device

For mobile check-in, you must have your confirmation number and your first and last name when using your mobile device to check-in. Mobile Check-in is available for multi-passenger reservations.

Once you complete all the mobile check-in formalities then you can easily have your boarding pass either on your mobile devices or can print it from the self-service kiosk check-in at the airport.

  • Southwest Airlines Airport Check-in, At the self-service kiosks, ticket counter, Skycap podium, or departure gate

In Given Situations, You Can use Airport Check-in By Southwest Airlines

  • Passengers who are Unaccompanied Minors can easily check-in at a counter or check-in desks at the airport.
  • Passengers who are traveling with their pets or animals can use the airport check-in service as they are not able to check in with an online or mobile check-in service.
  • If you are flying with Infant, Child, and Senior Fares 
  • Passengers traveling on a Military Fare.
  • Passengers flying with paper tickets.

Southwest Airlines Check-in Deadlines

Deadlines for check-in completely depend upon which check-in option you choose. Generally, the check-in task begins 24 hours and up to 10-20 minutes before your scheduled departure of the flight. 

For international flights, the check-in deadline is at least 50-60 minutes prior to flight departure, and passengers who fail to meet this check-in limit, then they will not be proceeded to check in or for boarding the flight.

Passengers have requested to check in anytime within the time limits or deadlines as per Southwest Airlines. You will have to remember that Southwest Airlines does not offer an “ assigned seat” policy. Southwest Airlines flights don’t have reserved seat offerings. Upon boarding the plane, here passenger can select his or her seat. 

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