Southwest Airlines check-in lets you complete the check-in process, complete the seat assignment and issue the boarding pass. Passengers can choose to have the link emailed to their registered email address. All you need to do is display the boarding pass barcode on the screen of your device at the security checkpoint, check the baggage at the Southwest Airlines counter, and be ready to board the flight.

Alternatively, passengers can also complete Southwest flight check-in via Southwest Airlines mobile app to access their boarding pass with over 78 different airlines carriers – passengers just need to be connecting from Southwest Airlines to a flight on one of the participating airlines.

Southwest airlines flight check-in is available starting 24 hours before the scheduled departure. The required timing for check-in, baggage check-in, and boarding may vary based on your departure airport and destination.  Before you go, passengers need to take care of the following things – 

  • Check Southwest Airlines help center to see if you qualify for the Southwest check-in time at that moment
  • Passengers need to review the airport authority guidelines and other essential information that will help verify what time to arrive at the airport
  • Southwest check-in mobile app is your digital executive assistance that will allow passengers to check-in, review flight status, and process check out.

Southwest Boarding Order

Southwest Airlines starts boarding 30-50 minutes before the scheduled departure, depending upon the destination and trip type. Southwest Airlines check-in ends 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure. If a passenger is not on board, the airlines will reassign a seat to the passenger. Southwest boarding time lapses once the plane doors are closed. Here is the list of Southwest boarding groups that passengers need to know – 

Southwest Boarding GroupSouthwest Boarding pass type
Group A (Southwest Military Boarding)
Active duty U.S. military with military I.D.
Group BBusiness Select Fare members
Group 3Anytime Fare members
Group DWanna Get Away Fare members Travelers who bought Southwest Early Bird Check-in & Priority boarding members

Southwest Check-In Time

Passengers flying with Southwest Airlines have to complete their check-in to reserve their preferred seat using the six-digit PNR number. Southwest Airlines web check-in starts 48 hours prior to their scheduled departure and closes 10 minutes before the flight departs for all classes of services. After check-in using a mobile app or the Southwest Airlines website, the Southwest Airlines boarding pass along with the receipt would be forwarded to the registered mail ID of the passenger.

  • 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure – Passengers may begin boarding as early as 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time. It is recommended to arrive in the gate area no later than 30 minutes as mentioned here.
  • 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 prior to the flight’s scheduled departure time. If not, as per Southwest Airlines check-in guidelines, the airline may cancel the reserved space, and passengers will not be eligible for the denied boarding compensation.
  • If passengers do not plan to travel – As per Southwest check-in policy, if a passenger is planning not to travel on any flight segment of their itinerary, passengers can cancel their reservation at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure of the flight. Passengers unable to cancel for the Wanna Get Away fare flight segment at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure of the flight will be marked a no-show, as all the remaining Wanna Get Away fund balance will be forfeited. In the case of Business Select and Anytime Fare, the fare value would be converted into a reusable travel credit for the originally ticketed passenger only. 

Southwest Early Bird Check-In

Southwest Airlines Early Bird Check-In

Starting from 50 USD per person, passengers can access automatic Southwest Airlines early bird check-in that helps passengers access better boarding positions as well as earlier access to overhead bins. 

As per Southwest Airlines check-in policy, early-bird services can be purchased at the price ranging from 50 USD – 100 USD one-way per passenger. Some of the features include – 

  • Southwest Automatic check-in – Whether the passenger chooses to print a Southwest boarding pass the day before or hours before the scheduled departure, the confirmed boarding position would be available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Passengers can access Southwest print boarding passes as the schedule allows. 
  • Better boarding position – Southwest flight check-in will automate the whole check-in process and assign the boarding position between 36 hours and 12 hours before the Southwest priority boarding positions become available. Southwest Early Bird check-in does not guarantee an A boarding position. Therefore, it helps passengers access preferential seating that will allow them to pick the favorite right spot on the plane. 
  • Be the first one to access overhead bins – Got hand luggage in excess? No worries! You’ve plenty of room at your disposal. Through Southwest upgraded boarding, passengers can pick off available overhead bin space. 

How to Check-in for Southwest Flight?

Southwest Airlines flight check-in process begins 48 hours prior to the scheduled departure flight and lasts until 2 hours prior to the scheduled departure. 

Wondering how you proceed to the Southwest check-in process? Here are the following methods that you can avail to complete your Southwest flight check-in – 

Southwest Airlines Check-in Online

Southwest online check-in allows the 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 reservations check-in online is not available for travelers who use wheelchairs, unaccompanied minors, and infants. The said Southwest Airlines flight check-in is restricted for international flyers. Southwest Airlines booking can be canceled up to 2 hours prior to the scheduled departure even after the web check-in process is completed. 

Southwest Online Check-in

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

  • Visit southwest.com and click on the Southwest check-in web-link. You would be redirected to the official page of Southwest Airlines check-in 
  • 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 would be available online. Passengers have the option to print the Southwest boarding pass right away or print it later as you have an option to send the boarding pass to your registered email address.

Southwest Check-in Kiosk

How to check-in at Southwest kiosk? Well, the self-check-in kiosks powered by Southwest Airlines are available at all the airports across the United States that 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. If passengers have the baggage to deposit, they need to contact Southwest Airlines flight executives at the counter before check-in closure. Here’s the step-by-step method that will allow passengers to complete Southwest check-in at the kiosks – 

  • Find Southwest automatic check-in kiosk machine – the Southwest Airlines webpage should have information about where they are located
  • Provide the Photo ID details/number you used at the time of Southwest flight booking as well as confirmation PNR of the booking information
  • Southwest check-in kiosk machine allows passengers to choose the seat on the plane, or the airlines may automatically assign passengers a seat
  • Take out the Southwest boarding pass as it is required to board the plane

Southwest Curbside Check-in

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 booking and traveling with hand luggage only. Additionally, passengers also have the City check-in facility at some airports. Southwest curbside check-in hours are available 24*7 days, 365 days a year at the selected international airports across the US. Here is the list of the following airports that have curbside check-in facilities – 

  • Chicago, IL – Midway airport curbside check-in Southwest
  • Denver, CO – southwest curbside check-in Denver hours from 12:00 AM to 22:00 PM
  • Dallas, TX- Dallas Love Field Curbside check-in Southwest
  • Baltimore, PA – BWI Curbside Check-in Southwest
  • Phoenix, AZ – Phoenix airport curbside check-in Southwest
  • San Diego, CA – San Diego airport curbside check-in Southwest

Southwest Check-in Mobile App

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, check time table information, and access the contact center information. Southwest mobile boarding pass after check-in would be available on android devices. Southwest mobile app check-in is not available on the codeshare flights. 

Southwest Airport Check-in

How to check-in at the airport with Southwest? Airport check-in is the process, where the passenger upon arriving at the airport hands over the checked baggage. In return, they would be issued a Southwest print boarding pass before they proceed with the onboarding. In order to complete the Southwest Airlines check-in at the airport, passengers need to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours prior to the scheduled departure time.  Here is the following way that will help you complete the Southwest Airlines airport check-in – 

Southwest Check-in desks

After arriving at the airports, passengers can seek the check-in information about check-in for their flights on a special information board. The relevant information can also be obtained at Southwest Airlines airport check-in required desks, which are usually located at the bag drop-off area. Here is the step-by-step method – 

  • 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.
  • At Southwest flight check-in desks, passengers would be asked to present the documents listed above, and passengers can hand over the checked baggage which will be assessed for weightage, and then sent to the plane.
  • After presenting the travel documents and completing Southwest check-in baggage weight requests, passengers will receive a boarding pass that will enable passengers to board the plane. 
  • Once the Southwest Airlines check-in request is completed, passengers should proceed to the security checkpoint. 
  • After a passenger undergoes a security check, they can proceed to the boarding gate, where they will board the plane. Southwest boarding hours would be indicated on the boarding pass. While boarding, Southwest Airlines will make an announcement informing passengers that they may board the plane. 

Southwest Check-in Policy – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Southwest Airlines starts boarding 30-50 minutes before the scheduled departure, depending upon the destination and trip type. Southwest Airlines check-in ends 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure. If a passenger is not on board, the airlines will reassign a seat to the passenger. Southwest boarding time lapses once the plane doors are closed.

Yes, Southwest Airlines Early Bird check-in is a low-cost option that gives passengers the convenience of automatic check-in before a conventional 24-hour check-in. Passengers have the benefit of an earlier boarding position. With Southwest early bird check-in, passengers have a better opportunity for seat selection and have earlier access to the overhead luggage storage compartment for the carry-on baggage.

Southwest Airlines have four boarding groups (A, B, C, D) and boarding positions from 1-60 upon Southwest Airlines check-in. The unique Southwest boarding groups and positions will be displayed on the boarding pass, thus representing a reserved spot in the boarding group at the gate. The numbered post in each group for the gate areas indicates where to line up. When your Southwest boarding group would be announced, you would be asked to board the aircraft in numerical order with your Southwest boarding group. 

Southwest Boarding GroupSouthwest Boarding pass type
Group A (Southwest Military Boarding)
Active duty U.S. military with military I.D.
Group BBusiness Select Fare members
Group 3Anytime Fare members
Group DWanna Get Away Fare membersTravelers who bought Southwest Early Bird Check-in & Priority boarding members

After completing the Southwest Airlines check-in process, passengers can view or download the Southwest boarding pass in a few easy steps. All you need to do is visit southwest.com, and enter Southwest Airlines’ booking PNR, First name, and Last name in the required field. Once downloaded, we recommend you to carry the printed copy or digital copy of the same upon arriving at the airport for the scheduled departure.

Passengers who are traveling with Southwest Airlines have to complete their check-in to reserve their preferred seat using the six-digit PNR number. Passengers may begin boarding as early as 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time. It is recommended to arrive in the gate area no later than 30 minutes as mentioned here.

Southwest Airlines web check-in starts 48 hours prior to their scheduled departure and closes 10 minutes before the flight departs for all classes of services. After check-in using a mobile app or the Southwest Airlines website, the Southwest Airlines boarding pass along with the receipt would be forwarded to the registered mail ID of the passenger.

Wondering how you proceed to the Southwest check-in process? Here are the following methods that you can avail to complete your Southwest flight check-in – 

  • Southwest Airlines Check-in Online
  • Southwest Check-in Kiosk
  • Southwest Curbside Check-in 
  • Southwest Check-in Mobile App
  • Southwest Airport Check-in

Starting from 50 USD per person, passengers can access automatic Southwest Airlines early bird check-in that helps passengers access better boarding positions as well as earlier access to overhead bins. Some of the features include – 

  • Southwest Automatic check-in
  • Better boarding position 
  • Be the first one to access overhead bins

Yes, Southwest Airlines offers access to the mobile boarding pass, a digital document that gives access to the passenger to pass through security and board the aircraft just from the convenience of their smartphone. Using a Southwest mobile boarding pass is very easy and convenient, all you need to do is – 

  • Complete Southwest Airlines check-in at least 60 minutes before departure
  • Tap on the Southwest Airlines mobile app, and tap on the ‘Boarding’ Pass button to access
  • Save the Southwest boarding pass on the mobile device
  • Show the e-boarding pass at the security and during boarding

Here’s the step-by-step method that will allow passengers to complete Southwest check-in at the kiosks – 

  • Find Southwest automatic check-in kiosk machine – the Southwest Airlines webpage should have information about where they are located
  • Provide the Photo ID details/number you used at the time of Southwest flight booking as well as confirmation PNR of the booking information
  • Southwest check-in kiosk machine allows passengers to choose the seat on the plane, or the airlines may automatically assign passengers a seat
  • Take out the Southwest boarding pass as it is required to board the plane

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