Southwest boarding

Old Oct 5th, 2017, 01:14 PM
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Southwest boarding

Can someone kindly talk me thru Southwest boarding process? Tips & tricks for getting the seat you want?

I know they go by groups, and I know you group is a letter on your boarding pass.

Can you improve your situation by checking in early online? How early? Anything else??

This is for my sister flying SW for the 1st time (and I never have to be able to help).

gracias, Susana
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Old Oct 5th, 2017, 01:25 PM
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Here's their explanation:

https://www.southwest.com/html/trave...the-plane.html

(They call in on their website "boarding school".)
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Old Oct 5th, 2017, 01:27 PM
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The only thing that link doesn't tell you about is the "early bird" supplement you can pay (I think $15) to get your boarding number assigned in advance of passengers who don't pay for it. I think you can go back into your reservation on line and add it even if you bought your ticket previously.
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Old Oct 5th, 2017, 01:27 PM
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Yes thank you. I read that before posting. But that is about "boarding the plane" once you are at the airport.

I'm asking how you get your group letter assignment in the first place. How do you get to be an "A"?

Thanks again.
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Old Oct 5th, 2017, 01:36 PM
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>>How do you get to be an "A"?
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Old Oct 5th, 2017, 07:30 PM
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I pay for early bird ($15) and then check in on line at 24 hours ahead. Usually get around spot #15-20.
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Old Oct 5th, 2017, 07:58 PM
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annw: >>I pay for early bird ($15) and then check in on line at 24 hours ahead
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Old Oct 6th, 2017, 05:52 AM
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Checking in right at the 24 hour mark would likely get your sister somewhere in the B group, which should be fine as far as seat choice once you get on the plane. I've also paid for the early bird check-in a few times and landed in the lower A group. What is nice about the early-bird is that you don't have to be at your computer or phone at exactly 24 hours prior to the flight to check in. You can check in at your leisure.
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Old Oct 6th, 2017, 09:55 AM
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Thanks everyone. I think what tom42 (and others) clarified is what should work for her (to keep track and check in online at the 24 prior mark).

This is Portland - Oakland transfer - onto Puerto Vallarta. So not terribly long flights. And she's not too picky. I was just hoping for her not to get stuck in a middle seat in the last row next to the bathroom ;-)
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Old Oct 6th, 2017, 11:14 AM
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Suze - is she joining you in Puerto Vallarta?
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Old Oct 6th, 2017, 11:17 AM
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Si si senor. I'll be in town for 4 weeks and she's joining me the last 10 days of the trip.
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Old Oct 6th, 2017, 07:53 PM
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Janis, I defer to your knowledge, but when I check in at the 24 h mark vs. later on, with Early Bird, I always get an earlier A segment/lower number. Just luck? Maybe. But I'll keep checking in early, as the pattern is consistent.

We fly SFO-Den and back.
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Old Oct 8th, 2017, 09:09 AM
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I have noticed that as time passes, and apparently more passengers are clued in to check in at the very earliest moment possible (and I have always been one to do that) - the line assignments have been getting further and further back. If I check in at exactly 24 hours - I am lucky to get a B 30.

lately I have paid the $15 early bird fee, and usually am in the A 15-30.

You can also pay about $30 at the gate and be one of the first to board. I have done that only one time - when I had a short connection to a flight on another airline, and I wanted to be sure to sit at the front of the plane in order to get off as quickly as possible.
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Old Oct 8th, 2017, 09:18 AM
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annw: you can continue doing anything you like -- just letting you know that checking in after one has paid for Early Bird does nothing at all.

But like a superstitious gambler or baseball player -- if you think doing something increases your odds, go ahead

Doesn't hurt, but it really is totally unnecessary. Unfortunately there is no way to prove it to you because say you don't check in next flight, and get a B Group you'll just 'know' it was because you didn't check in.
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Old Oct 8th, 2017, 10:10 AM
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Yes, I do see your point Janis and no need to prove anything; actually I always get Earlybird so fortunately will not end up in B; on SW am usually on a tight schedule and need overhead for my carry-on-only. The 16-30 zone works for me.

Suze let us know how it went with your sister.
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Old Oct 10th, 2017, 07:21 AM
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Turns out she had already paid the $15 extra fee when she bought her ticket, before I even thought to ask this question on her behalf. Said she didn't want to mess around -haha- smart girl

Nevertheless, I thank everyone for your advice and assistance!
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Old Oct 12th, 2017, 11:44 AM
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I flew Southwest from SAN to STL last Friday and had early check in. My boarding number was B18. I usually get an A and less than 30, but not this time.
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