Southwest Airlines check in lets you complete the boarding process, complete the seat assignment and issue the boarding pass. Passengers can choose to mail the boarding pass link to their registered email address. Passengers can request check-in online, mobile app, and at the airport. 

Southwest Airlines Check-In - AirlinesPolicy

The check-in window opens 24 hours before scheduled departure, up to 10 minutes. Below are the detailed guidelines and how you can make the most of the Southwest Airlines check in process.

How to check in for Southwest flight?

Southwest flight check in process begins 24 hours before the scheduled departure flight and lasts until 2 hours before the scheduled departure. 

Wondering how you proceed to the Southwest check in process? Below are the methods that you can avail to complete your Southwest flight check in.

Southwest Airlines Check in Online

Southwest online check-in allows passenger to check their baggage in advance, choose the preferred seats, select meal options, access Southwest Airlines print boarding pass requests and much more.

Southwest Airlines Check in Online

Who cannot request for Southwest Airlines online check in?

Southwest Airlines flight check in online is not available for travelers who – 

  • Unaccompanied minors.
  • Passengers seeking wheelchair assistance.
  • Passengers who booked Southwest pet travel service.

Southwest online check in process

Here are the steps that help you complete the online check-in process with Southwest Airlines – 

  • Visit Southwest’s official website.
  • Click on the check-in link.
  • Enter the passenger information – PNR confirmation, First Name, and Last Name – to get checked in for your flight.
  • Click on the Check-in button to proceed.
  • Complete the Southwest seat check-in request to confirm
  • Your Southwest Airlines boarding pass will be available online.

Please Note: Passengers have the option to print the Southwest boarding pass right away or print it later as you have the option to send the boarding pass to your registered email address.

Southwest Online Check In Via Mobile App

The Southwest mobile app for check-in would be available at the PlayStore that allows passengers not only to complete their Southwest check in for their flight but also be able to choose the seat of their choice on board. The mobile boarding pass would be available on Android devices. 

Southwest Kiosk Check in

The self-check-in kiosks are available at all the airports across the United States and enable passengers to complete their Southwest check in request and obtain a boarding pass from the kiosk machine. This facility is available for domestic as well as international flights.

Southwest Kiosk Check-in

Southwest Airlines kiosk check in process

Here is the step-by-step method that allows passengers to complete the Southwest check in at the kiosk – 

  • Locate the Southwest automatic check-in kiosk machine.
  • Provide the Photo ID details/number you used at the time of Southwest flight booking as well as confirmation PNR of the booking information
  • Choose the required seat.
  • Collect the printout of the Southwest boarding pass check in.

Southwest Curbside Check in

The Southwest Airlines curbside check-in is available at the selected airports across the US that offer a check-in facility to passengers holding confirmed airline bookings and traveling with hand luggage only. Southwest curbside check-in hours are available 24*7 days, 365 days a year at selected international airports across the US.

Southwest Curbside Check in

Here is the list of the following airports that have Southwest curbside check in facilities.

Southwest Airlines curbside check-in locations –

  • Chicago, IL – Midway airport curbside check-in Southwest
  • Denver, CO – Denver hours from 12:00 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Dallas, TX- Dallas Love Field Curbside check-in Southwest
  • Baltimore, PA
  • Phoenix, AZ 
  • San Diego, CA 

Southwest Airport Check In

Find the appropriate Southwest airport check-in gate for your scheduled flight. Keep your travel documents handy – passport, government-issued photo ID, Southwest Airlines reservation code, or a printout copy of your ticket. The Southwest check in desk opens 3 hours prior to the scheduled departure. 

Southwest Check In Time

Southwest Airlines check in online starts 48 hours before their scheduled departure and closes 10 minutes before the flight departs. Here’s what the timeline looks like – 

  • 30 minutes before departure – Passengers may begin boarding as early as 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time. Boarding time lapses 10 minutes before departure.
  • 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure – All passengers must obtain their Southwest boarding pass, and be there at the gate area for Southwest boarding at least 10 minutes before the flight’s scheduled departure time.
  • If passengers do not plan to travel – As per Southwest check in policy, passengers can cancel their reservation at least 10 minutes before the scheduled departure of the flight.

Please Note – Passengers unable to cancel for the Wanna Get Away fare flight segment at least 10 minutes before the scheduled departure of the flight will be marked a no-show, as all the remaining Wanna Get Away fund balance will be forfeited. To know more, refer to Southwest Airlines cancelation policy.

Southwest Early Bird Check In

Early Bird check in Southwest service is an add-on service that offers automatic check-in. The service opens 36 hours before scheduled departure.

For 15 USD – 25 USD one-way, passengers are check-in automatically and assigned a boarding position. This work before the general Southwest check in period. 

Following passengers do not need the Early Bird check-in –

  • Business Select fare
  • You have A-List preferred or A-List status
  • Parents who are traveling with children who are 6 years or younger.
  • Passengers who availed Southwest unaccompanied minor service. 
  • Passengers seeking special assistance with Southwest Airlines.
This video is taken from | Credits: @Southwest (Youtube Channel)

To understand the benefits of Early Bird check in, you need to understand the Southwest boarding process 

Southwest Boarding Pass

The Southwest boarding positions are assigned based on the following factors –

  • Fare type purchased.
  • Passenger’s tier status.
  • Whether you’re traveling with a family member
  • The time at which you check in 
  • Pre-boarding positions.

Southwest pre-boarding – Pre-boarding is meant for passengers who prefer a specific seating. The boarding order would look like – 

Positions A1-A15 – Business select passengers would be the first one to board the flight. Families traveling with children under 6 years of age are allowed to board in Group A positions. 

Southwest Airlines boarding process starts 30-50 minutes before the scheduled departure, depending on the destination and the trip type. Below is the list of boarding categories that must be assigned on priority –

Southwest Boarding GroupSouthwest Boarding pass type
Group A (Southwest Military Boarding)Active duty U.S. military personnel
Southwest Business Select passengers
Group BFamily boarding
Group CWanna Get Away Fare members
Travelers who bought Southwest 
Early Bird Check-in & Priority Boarding members
Group DWanna Get Away Fare members
Travelers who bought Southwest 
Early Bird Check-in & Priority boarding members
This video is taken from | Credits: @flightsassistance (Youtube Channel)

Through online, kiosk, curbside, or mobile app check-in, Southwest Airlines aims to effectively execute the check-in and boarding process for travelers, ensuring a smooth and efficient start to their journey. There are a range of check-in options, providing passengers with the freedom to choose the method that best suits their travel needs.

FAQs related to Southwest Airlines Check In Policy

What time do Southwest kiosks open?

The Southwest kiosk opens 24*7 and is available at the selected airport in the United States. 

What is early bird check in Southwest?

Early bird check-in is an add-on option that covers automated check-in and prioritizes the boarding position for the passengers. 

Does Southwest early bird automatically check you in?

Yes, Early bird check-in completes the automated check-in for passengers. 

When can you check in for Southwest?

Southwest online check-in starts 24 hours before the scheduled departure. 

How much is an early bird check in Southwest?

The early bird check-in service ranges 15 to 25 USD per passenger each way. 

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