Southwest Airlines Check in Policy


Southwest Airlines Check-in process is unique and different from other airlines. Southwest Airlines doesn’t assign you seats, and instead, the check-in process helps to determine when you board and where you sit. You board by ‘zone’ and choose your seat when you’re aboard. The zones are divided into A, B and C categories and those are further divided into 1 to 39 and 31 to 60. The type of Southwest tickets you purchase, whether you have Southwest Elite Status, the time you check-in for your flight, whether you purchase early bird check-in and if you have a child age six or younger are the basis on which you are assigned the zones.

Southwest Airlines Check In Online


Firstly, as guests can check-in up to 24 hours before the departure time, you receive your seat in order of the check-in. So, if you check-in at the last minute, you can be the last person on the plane or you may have to pick a random seat with strangers and not with your companions.

Secondly, Southwest Airlines Check-In and boarding depends upon the type of your ticket. So, if you buy a Business Select ticket, you are guaranteed to be in the A1 to 15 boarding zone because of the priority boarding.

Another way to check-in first is to buy ‘Early Bird check-in’. With the help of this, you are automatically checked-in 36 hours before the flight departure time. It costs $15 and $25 per person.

Same goes for Elite Status as you are automatically checked-in 36 hours before the scheduled departure time. Regular Southwest customers can earn Southwest A-list or A-list preferred elite status after several Southwest points.

Moreover, for families who travel with children aged six years and younger can board between A and B zones. The entire family is allowed to board and sit together. Also, people with disabilities are provided with unique seating.

You can check-in online merely by visiting the official website or simply downloading the official app. On the website open the main menu and click on ‘check-in’. Then fill in the information and retrieve your Southwest Reservations.

You also get access to Mobile Boarding Pass, which is an electronic document that lets you pass through security and board the plane. During Southwest Airlines Check-In, you can select whether you want to receive the boarding pass via email, text message or view it on the browser. Then you can save the pass to your device and present this pass at the security checkpoints and during boarding.

Southwest Airlines Cancellation Policy


Business Select and Anytime tickets are more expensive, but they offer a generous cancellation policy as compared to the others. If a customer cancels a Business Select and Anytime ticket, he/she gets a 100% complete refund in the original form of the payment. The payment may be in the form of cash or Rapid Rewards points. Although, if you fail to inform the airlines about the cancellation at least 10 minutes before the departure the purchase price of your ticket will be converted to travel funds that can be used in future within one year. If Rapid Points are used to purchase the tickets, those points will also be redeposited into your account. In case you make changes in your current flight, that flight will become a non-refundable one, so it is best to cancel the original flight and re-book it for the ticket to remain fully refundable. Standby travel between the same cities and on the same day is permitted and is free of charge.

Southwest Airlines Check In At The Airport


If you want to check-in at the airport, you need to arrive at least 2 hours before the scheduled departure. If your itinerary includes at least one international flight and you have to get your passport verified, luggage checked-in and receive boarding pass you must be at the airport on time. With Southwest Airlines, Curb-side check-in is not available for international flights.

If you arrive at the airport one hour prior or less before the departure time, the airlines won’t be able to accommodate you on your scheduled flight. Also, certain cities require passengers to be present at the airport three hours before the departure time during the peak seasons. So it becomes essential for the passengers to be ahead of time to have a smooth check-in process.