New Southwest boarding process

Old Sep 19th, 2007, 01:17 PM
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Don
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New Southwest boarding process

For those of you who normally sit or stand in line to get a good spot in your A, B, or C boarding group, Southwest just announced a new boarding process to eliminate that.

Now when you check in, you'll be given a number within your boarding group. When it's time to board, they'll call out groups of 5 to board: A1-A5, A6-A10, etc. No more waiting on line--yay.

Here's a link to the description of the new process: http://www.southwest.com/help/boardingschool/
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Old Sep 19th, 2007, 01:28 PM
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Don - this is GREAT news! I fly SW whenever I can and that process was a pain! This makes more sense. Thanks for the info
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Old Sep 19th, 2007, 02:02 PM
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WAY COOL! Thanks for the heads up.
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Old Sep 19th, 2007, 02:12 PM
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May still be some problems, including the obvious problem that'll come up if you can't get to a computer 23 hr. 55 min. before the flight, or if your computer misbehaves, or if everyone is checking in on line at precisely 23 hrs. 56 min. ahead. And still can be a problem with second leg of connecting flight.

Also, noted on the "SW thinks my husband's a terrorist," issue raised re: those who get can't check in electronically and will be delayed in security.

So how is the new system any different from old system along these lines? Suspect people will now scramble on line the way they used to in person. Will help some, hurt others. As usual.

I applaud them for trying -- will see how it works.
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Old Sep 19th, 2007, 02:40 PM
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Per cfc's points:

If you can't get to a computer immediately within 24 hours of your flight, you probably won't be able to get in the A1-A-5 group. But depending on what time you do get to a computer, you'd still (presumably) be in the same group (A, B, or C) that you would've been in under the current system. The only thing is, if you aren't quick enough to check in to get toward the front of your group, you won't have the option of sitting/standing in line to get a better boarding spot anymore--you'll end up in whatever subgroup you're in based on your time of check-in.

As for connecting flights, under the current system when you check in, you're checking in for all your flight segments. With the new system, for connections, I'm guessing the advantage goes to whoever's initial flight leaves first--their 24-hour check-in window for their initial flight segment will start earlier than somebody who's taking a later flight, so they'll also be getting an earlier opportunity to check in for the connecting flight. Again, no recourse for the person who's booking later to sit/stand to improve their position within the group for the connecting flight.

Yes, this doesn't solve the problem of "my husband's a terrorist," but I don't know what would.

So yes, it will help some, hurt others. But I'm guessing the removal of the need to stand/sit in line will probably be viewed as a positive by more people than not. We'll see...
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Old Sep 19th, 2007, 02:40 PM
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They are also having families board AFTER the A group...this is starting earlier (October 2nd) and should help speed up the process too.
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Old Sep 19th, 2007, 03:33 PM
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They plan to roll this out in November nationwide...however in San Antonio where they are testing it out, it has been adding 5 or 10 minutes to the boarding times and they're not happy about it. Some twitching needed.
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Old Sep 19th, 2007, 05:10 PM
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I have a dumb question. I don't have a printer at home. Can I still check in on line and then print my boarding pass at the airport?
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Old Sep 19th, 2007, 05:15 PM
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Not a dumb question -- Yes, you can check in online and then print out passes at kiosk at airport.
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Old Sep 19th, 2007, 05:19 PM
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Debi, you've made my evening! Thanks so much.
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Old Sep 19th, 2007, 05:50 PM
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There are NO dumb questions..you can only look dumb if you don't ask!
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Old Sep 21st, 2007, 07:48 PM
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Sounds good to me. It's about time. I certainly won't miss standing in line! I have always checked us in as early as possible and usually get A1-10 but then when we get to the airport we have to stand in line for hours or be one of the last As on. This summer we thought we had a good spot in line but many people ahead of us were saving spots for big groups.

I actually like not having assigned seats as it gives us more flexibility on who we sit by. My husband wears a hearing aid and has a hard time stting by children so we usually keep our distance from families. Hopefully, having families go on at the end of A won't cause a problem for us.

Getting to a computer can be a problem on the return home but we try to book a hotel with internet access the night before. In Jan. this year, one place charged 50 cents a page but usually it's free. Thanks for the info on checking in and then printing the passes at the airport.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2007, 06:23 AM
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It was noted on another BBS that 'if you had a Senior/Internet special ticket' (which we have) you are NOT allowed to check in on-line? Any information on this policy?

I can check in (if allowed) on Monday from home, but not on our return trip on the following Sunday (at a motel..but don't know if a computer is available). I was told I could have our daughter check in for us on Saturday and then we could check in on Sunday...T or F? TIA
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Old Sep 22nd, 2007, 06:55 AM
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You can have anybody check-in online for you. There are even 3rd party paid services that charge $5 to do it right at the 24-hour mark.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2007, 07:10 AM
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mamajo - anyone who has your confirmation number and last and first name can check you in online from any computer. The catch is that it most be 24 hours in advance od flight time local time.

We live in Mountain time zone; DH is in eastern on a trip. His flight leaves at 8 am EDT. That is 6am MDT. I have not been able to checkhim in here in mountain time zone until 8am MDT. [which of course is 10am EDT]

I am not sure why this is and if it happens all the time or just something on my computer, but it has happened several times. He still usually gets an A pass, but now will most likely get a hight number after the A.

You can also ask the desk clerk at motel to do this for you and give them $5 tip.

This is also available, but I have never used it as I have always managed to find someone to check me in, even if I can't do so myself. [I have NO vested interest in this site -- just happened to read about it on here or see it somewhere]

http://www.checkinsooner.com/

Debi
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