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flying with southwest

Dublin, Ireland
posts: 1,359
reviews: 110
flying with southwest

as i understand it, the earlier i check in online, the better boarding position i get. does this mean it will resemble a free for all like some ryanair flights or is it more controlled?

do i need to wear my usain bolt running shoes?

15 replies to this topic
York, England
posts: 373
reviews: 18
1. Re: flying with southwest

The lines for southwest boarding are done via a numbered queing system. there are numbered posts along the boarding line, you just take your place according to your number. From memory they are grouped in groups of 5 or 10. beware you could end up behind early bird check in's and status passengers regardless.

Liverpool, UK
posts: 11,143
reviews: 23
2. Re: flying with southwest

This clip explains the boarding process.


From the Southwest website

"At Southwest, we have a quick, easy, and efficient boarding process. First, check in to get assigned a boarding group (A, B, or C) and a boarding position (1-60). The earlier you check in, up to 24 hours prior to your flight, the earlier your assigned spot in line will be. When your group is called, stand by the column with your number on it until it’s your turn to board."

Edited: 4:49 pm, March 14, 2014
posts: 7,211
reviews: 30
3. Re: flying with southwest

It is not a free-for-all. It is an organized process and usually everyone follows the process. This Southwest page explains it all very well....

Click on 'Get Onboard'....... southwest.com/html/…index-pol.html

posts: 7,211
reviews: 30
4. Re: flying with southwest

Check-in opens exactly 24 hours before departure time. If you have a 5:05 flight on Friday you need to check-in at 5:05 Thursday for best boarding position.

You could pay the $12.50 Early Bird fee and never have to check-in. Southwest will do it for you. Just show up at the airport. This gets the earliest boarding positions also.

EB is explained here....


Dublin, Ireland
posts: 1,359
reviews: 110
5. Re: flying with southwest

ok done and dusted - got boarding position number 16.....

Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
posts: 36,383
reviews: 49
6. Re: flying with southwest

Just to double check...there should be an alpha designation in front of that "16", either A, B or C.

Dublin, Ireland
posts: 1,359
reviews: 110
7. Re: flying with southwest

B 16 - is that significant?

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 45,409
reviews: 61
8. Re: flying with southwest

Yes, It means that 55 or so people with A numbers will go before you to pick seats.

The A people line up against the numbered poles first and then the B people line up.

In my experience if you are early (like you) in the B line you can still get aisle seats(which I like) . There is also a C group after you.

Dublin, Ireland
posts: 1,359
reviews: 110
9. Re: flying with southwest

ok thanks for all that. not pushed about where i sit really just don't want a middle.

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 6,928
reviews: 74
10. Re: flying with southwest

Believe there's 60 per group so B16 means you are the 76th person to board. Plus might be some already on the plane from the previous destination. You'll get a window or aisle if you want towards the back.

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