7 Tips for Mastering Southwest Check-In and Boarding

Many reasons make Southwest Airlines a popular U.S. low-cost carrier. Southwest flights are often cheaper. Southwest is the only U.S. airline without luggage fees

Southwest's lack of seat assignments is its most unusual feature. At the gate, passengers line up by boarding position. On the plane, people can sit anywhere.

A Southwest Business Select ticket guarantees you a spot in the “A,” 1 to 15 boarding zone. Since you board after pre-boarding, your seat selection options enhance.

Southwest Airlines regulars can acquire A-List or A-List Preferred elite membership after a specified number of flights or Southwest Rapid Reward points.

If you buy a Wanna Get Away fare without Southwest elite status, the airline gives you a zone based on when you check in. Remember that passengers can check-in 24 hours before departure. 

Families with children under 6 can board between “A” and “B”. Boarding is open to the whole family.

Try to check in 24 hours before your flight. This is the ideal boarding zone if you didn't buy EarlyBird Check-In or a Business Select fare and don't have kids under 6.

Individual check-in is required for Southwest Rapid Reward points travelers. This applies when checking in a Southwest Companion Pass holder. 

EarlyBird boarding zone positions are assigned via purchase order. If you think EarlyBird Check-In is worth it, buy it when you buy your ticket or early.

Southwest flights fill up first in the front and aisle, as expected. Window seats also fill up fast. Passengers save seats for later boarders, despite being told not to.

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