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Minya Nov 1st, 2005 12:45 PM

Flying Southwest for the First Time

As noted in the subject line, I will be traveling with Southwest in the next few months for the first time, and I am unsure of their procedures. I am aware that there are no assigned seating and passengers are boarded in three groups. But...when do they begin boarding?... if I check-in on-line will I be able to print the boarding pass for my connecting flight or will I have to check-in at the connecting flight airport?... Are there any other items/tips that I should be aware of when flying with Southwest?

Your help is appreciated. Thank you.

mali22 Nov 1st, 2005 02:29 PM

You can check in online 24 hours in advance and print boarding passes for both flights. They usually begin boarding 20 min before departure time, but people start lining up in the A,B,C lines ~40 min before departure time.

rb_travelerxATyahoo Nov 2nd, 2005 06:27 AM

Yes, you print the boarding passes for connecting SW flights too.

If I get in the "A" group, I will not stand in the line. Being last of that group is no problem. I've seen people starting the lines even an hour before departure - no way!

MikePinTucson Nov 7th, 2005 03:28 PM

You actually can't print the boarding pass 24 hours in advance. You can only do that at 12:01 AM the day of the flight.

Whether you start lining up as soon as other people do depends on how anxious you are to get a particular seat. Sometimes the lines start way before boarding, but not always.

rkkwan Nov 7th, 2005 04:25 PM

It is 24-hour now. It used to be 12:01, but not anymore.

P_M Nov 8th, 2005 04:26 AM

rkkwan is correct. I just found this info on thier web page last week. I don't know when it went into effect, but I think it's fairly recent.

MikePinTucson Nov 8th, 2005 06:54 AM

Cool. Now I won't have to get up at 3:00 AM any more. Must be VERY recent because it was still 12:01 AM at the end of September.

ChristieP Nov 8th, 2005 06:56 AM

Remember that SWA tries to only keep a plane at the gate for 20 minutes, and that includes deplaning the arriving passengers! So, your boarding time will be quite close to the departure time. They are very efficient in getting everyone on the plane. ;-) DO print out your boarding passes oline as early as possible so you get the "A" boarding group and get your choice of seats. If you have a long flight, bring something to eat since all they'll give you is peanuts...

P_M Nov 8th, 2005 07:38 AM

Hi, ChristieP. Last year I flew from AUS/LAS on SW. It was about a 3 hour flight so we were given peanuts AND a bag of chips!! That's the first time I ever got anything but peanuts from them. I felt like I was like flying First Class on SW. :-))

....but if you don't consider peanuts and chips to be a meal, then take ChristieP's advice and bring something else. :-)

NoFlyZone Nov 9th, 2005 04:46 AM

Flew WN two weeks ago from the east coast to Vegas and am pleased to report that online checking is indeed available 24 hours in advance. More importantly, they now provide a little snack box in addition to a bag or two of peanuts. The box includes some triscuit-like chips, a long fig newton and something else I cannot recall. Actually was not too bad.

Had a moderatly long connection at Houston Hobby and were disappointed that there was no sit-down restaurant, just a couple of fast food joints.

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