General, Personal Finance 

Southwest Online Check-In

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Southwest is known for it’s A, B, C lettered check-in policy where the letter on your ticket indicates when you can board. A relatively well know secret is that you can print your boarding pass online up to 24 hours prior to departure and likely secure a coveted ‘A’ boarding pass. This was recently, not sure how recently, changed from ‘midnight the day of the flight’ so when I went to print out a boarding pass for my flight to Orlando tomorrow morning at 7AM, I unfortunately was hit with a ‘B’ boarding pass.

We won’t be making this mistake on our 6 hour trip, four hours flying, to Lake Tahoe. You are permitted to check-in luggage even if you print the boarding pass online. If you don’t have to check in luggage, then you can just go to the gate directly.

{ 6 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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6 Responses to “Southwest Online Check-In”

  1. denon says:

    hmm .. let’s see, the chance to rush onto the plane before everyone else, sit in a cramped seat, and wait for everyone else to hit you on their way by … or hang out in the terminal with my laptop, Internet and cappuccino, and board right before take-off. Tough call, but I’ll stick with a late boarding.. 🙂

  2. Flexo says:

    I would rather be towards the end of the boarding, as well. As long as I don’t have a large amount of carry-on luggage that would need to be stowed above me, I’d rather not get on the plane early and then wait for another 30 minutes while everyone else boards and gets settled.

  3. LinuxWebGuy says:

    I just got back from a nice long vacation to Orlando and flew Southwest, because they were the only airline with a non-stop from Kansas City. And it was a lot cheaper.

    But I found out the worst part about Southwest. It’s not the A/B/C groupings. On my flight, it was preboarders! On my return flight from Orlando to Kansas City, there were more preboarders than A/B/C combined!!! I don’t want to judge, but most of them appeared not to need any preboarding assistance. I don’t know what Southwest’s policy is on preboarding, but it seemed to be blatenly abused. I can understand elderly people needing to board first, or people in wheelchairs, or the disabled, but I don’t think having a 4-year-old counts as preboarding! Especially when nearly everyone on the flight had kids under 5, or were above 65.

    I don’t think I’ll be flying on Southwest anytime again soon.

  4. LAMoneyGuy says:

    I understand the first two comments, however, none of us enjoy sitting in the middle. The plane’s are set up with two sets of three seats on either side of the aisle. The As get their pick of aisle, middle or window. None pick the middle, and the window and aisle’s seem evenly split. The B gets the aisle or window that the A didn’t take. The Cs are stuck in the middle seat. I’ll take a B, no problem. But no thanks to the C.

  5. denon says:

    I dunno, it’s just a plane, you know? You get on, ride to point B, get off, and go. I’m not sure how important sitting in the cool seat is .. use the bathroom before you get on. 🙂

    Now, my tune changes slightly when flying internationally, but usually you can negotiate a seat change with a fellow passenger if you want..

  6. Matt says:

    If you’re among the first people _on_ the plane, you can be among the first people _off_ the plane. But if you get stuck in the C group, you’ll be in a center seat halfway back and it’ll take half an hour of being half-bent-over to get off the plane.

    Not to mention that for those of us who smoke, having a chance to get outside for a few minutes before baggage reaches the carousel can be mighty handy.

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