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biglar
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Joined: 02/01/06
Posts: 897
Loc: PA
Southwest Airlines boarding question
      #1663981 - 09/20/15 06:22 PM (71.254.114.87)

My wife and I along with friends will be traveling to Puerto Rico soon. We have never flown Southwest before and aren't familiar with their boarding procedures. We did pay $25 per person so we could board first, but does everyone else do the same? We wanted to make sure we would have a spot in the overhead storage for our carry-on. Just wondering if we will get to sit close to the front or have to board all at one time and take what's left over without bin storage. What are your experiences boarding like this?

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DaveIL
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Joined: 01/31/03
Posts: 668
Loc: Central Florida
Re: Southwest Airlines boarding question [Re: biglar]
      #1663989 - 09/20/15 06:56 PM (107.145.233.101)

On southwest you board in groups. A1-A60. B1-60. C1-60. 60 fliers in each group boarding by number. Since you paid for early boarding you will most likely be in the A group. Your exact number Will be on your boarding pass. No problem getting overhead storage and a good seat.

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Dave


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Bill_S
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Joined: 08/15/00
Posts: 2559
Loc: Southern Maryland suburbs of D...
Re: Southwest Airlines boarding question [Re: biglar]
      #1663994 - 09/20/15 07:51 PM (69.138.217.199)

Make certain that you check in online exactly 24 hours before the scheduled departure and print out your boarding passes...because you paid the extra you WILL be in the A group...when you check in the day before determines WHERE you board within the A group...

There are no assigned seats...when it is your turn to board you get on the aircraft and pick the first seats you come to which are desirable to you for whatever reasons...close to the front, lots of overhead bin space, windows, aisles, whatever...

If you are in the A group you will have plenty of choices...but definitely check in online exactly 24 hours before departure and print out your boarding passes!

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Bill


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JimRosen
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Joined: 12/31/08
Posts: 28
Loc: St. Maarten
Re: Southwest Airlines boarding question [Re: Bill_S]
      #1664000 - 09/20/15 08:39 PM (76.92.206.23)

My understanding is that those that book in a class higher than the lowest class have preferential boarding assignments. Then, boarding assignments are given to those that purchased the early bird option, given according to when the option was bought. All of this is done 36 hours ahead of check in. So, if you bought the early bird option, your boarding pass number has already been decided before the 24 hour check in mark and it makes no difference when the boarding pass is printed.

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BerneandGary
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Joined: 05/01/04
Posts: 686
Loc: Austin, Texas
Re: Southwest Airlines boarding question [Re: Bill_S]
      #1664011 - 09/20/15 09:47 PM (72.177.84.7)

Early bird boarding does not guarantee an "A" boarding group. My husband & I traveled to Cancun in July, 2015 from Austin, purchased our tickets in March, 2015 including the early bird check in. When we received our boarding positions, he was A25, I was B14 - same reservation!!! I contacted Southwest upon returning home & they said there was no guarantee that early bird gets you an "A" boarding pass, but at least they refunded me the $12.50 I spent for the early bird check in.

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Gotta Caribbean soul I can barely control and some Texas hidden here in my heart...(J.B.)


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SXMScubaman
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Joined: 03/21/09
Posts: 6857
Loc: Auburn, WA
Re: Southwest Airlines boarding question [Re: BerneandGary]
      #1664049 - 09/21/15 11:21 AM (75.165.7.198)

Since you were on the same reservation they should have let you board at the same time with your husband. That is the way most other airlines do it. If your traveling with another that has early boarding or VIP status the gate people usually just wave you through with them.

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PreK176
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Joined: 03/24/07
Posts: 1231
Loc: Granville, MA
Re: Southwest Airlines boarding question [Re: BerneandGary]
      #1664779 - 09/27/15 11:59 AM (71.192.225.206)

I have never had that happen Berne! In all the times we have done Early Bird we are always within a seat or two of each other! I also do not jump on the computer to check in at exactly 24 hrs. That is what I pay early bird for! Most of the time I do check in my bags as bags are free. My backpack fits under the seat so not a big deal. Also I was told that if you travel with someone needing wheelchair assist you don't need to buy Early Bird so that was a waste this past trip.

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[url=https://www.TickerFactory.com/]

[/url]


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Bill_S
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Joined: 08/15/00
Posts: 2559
Loc: Southern Maryland suburbs of D...
Re: Southwest Airlines boarding question [Re: BerneandGary]
      #1664793 - 09/27/15 03:08 PM (69.138.217.199)

Whenever you two are somehow not in the same boarding group the solution is simple... When the earlier boarder gets on the plane just pick a row a little ways back that is empty. Put yourself on the aisle and put your carry-on on the middle seat next to you and wait for your partner.

If a couple asks to take the other two seats before he/she gets there just put a sad smile on your face and say "I'm sorry, my (husband/wife) somehow wound up in a later boarding group and I am holding this seat for him/her ... the one seat on the window is available though..."

We have never had a problem.

--------------------
Bill


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BerneandGary
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Joined: 05/01/04
Posts: 686
Loc: Austin, Texas
Re: Southwest Airlines boarding question [Re: Bill_S]
      #1664814 - 09/27/15 10:15 PM (72.177.84.7)

This was the first time we had this problem & I travel Southwest at least 7 times a year. I truly think there was an issue with their system & that was why they were so willing to refund my money. Hubby did board first & save me a seat, but I feel funny doing that since Southwest has open seating & "saving" a seat for someone boarding later seems to go against that, at least in my opinion.

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Gotta Caribbean soul I can barely control and some Texas hidden here in my heart...(J.B.)


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Joined: 08/01/00
Posts: 63366
Loc: Central Florida!
Re: Southwest Airlines boarding question [Re: BerneandGary]
      #1664831 - 09/28/15 08:24 AM (68.247.239.225)

I loathe SW's non-seating BS, and I agree, that really seems to go against their whole philosophy, by saving a seat.

By the way, anyone see else see their new commercial, talking about all their Caribbean destinations??? SXM needs to be on that map!!!! With the AA and US Air merger, SXM flights need more competition!!


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JimCandD
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Joined: 05/03/09
Posts: 1135
Re: Southwest Airlines boarding question [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1665606 - 10/03/15 08:48 PM (74.221.68.40)

We got back to Maine from Atlanta today on Delta. When we got the tickets in July they said that seats would be assigned at the gate. On the trip down we were together, but today we were in different seats. They were assigned when we got to the gate, but there were no two seats together. I would have wanted to be with my wife to feel sad together after leaving the grandchildren, but I guess a couple of hours apart didn't ruin our marriage.

Is this a policy for airlines now? I had never heard of it before except for standby tickets in the past.


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GaKaye
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Joined: 07/09/06
Posts: 11597
Loc: Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
Re: Southwest Airlines boarding question [Re: JimCandD]
      #1665649 - 10/04/15 10:14 AM (70.193.58.158)

I don't think it's the norm. We flew American in July and had seat assignments when we purchased our tickets, and we have seat assignments for our November SXM flights.

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SXMScubaman
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Joined: 03/21/09
Posts: 6857
Loc: Auburn, WA
Re: Southwest Airlines boarding question [Re: GaKaye]
      #1665660 - 10/04/15 10:59 AM (174.31.143.219)

Correct. I have seat assignments for our May trip on AA and two seat assignments for two different trips to Alaska on Alaska Air next summer.
Our Vegas trip and Mazatlan trip on Alaska Air have seat assignments too.
All this done with on line booking.


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pat
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Joined: 04/18/01
Posts: 11269
Loc: Brookfield, CT.
Re: Southwest Airlines boarding question [Re: JimCandD]
      #1665661 - 10/04/15 11:04 AM (32.216.68.12)

I'm in complete agreement with GaKaye on this. The only times I've ever seen or heard of this was when a flight was mostly sold out or people were waiting for upgrades or had neglected to choose seats at the time they booked. We only fly Delta on very rare occasions but have not experienced it when we did and it it has never happened to me on AA or JB. But we aren't world class travelers and don't generally fly but three or four times a year, so who knows?

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Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Joined: 08/01/00
Posts: 63366
Loc: Central Florida!
Re: Southwest Airlines boarding question [Re: JimCandD]
      #1665667 - 10/04/15 11:15 AM (68.247.239.225)

I personally haven't flown Delta in some time, but some airlines are going to a policy where you have to pay extra for assigned seats at time of booking. So far, AA has been charging more for some seats, but if you don't pay anything extra, you can still get an assigned seat, although it may not be toward the front of the plane.

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BeachKitten
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Joined: 11/01/09
Posts: 1399
Loc: Maryland/DC Metro
Re: Southwest Airlines boarding question [Re: JimCandD]
      #1665675 - 10/04/15 12:01 PM (108.18.118.16)

We are booked Delta down on the 24th, and flight is full. No 2 seats together without paying, so hubby and I are 14 rows or so apart.
Not happy, and we probably won't have any luck attempting to change at the gate.
Same story for our American return flight two weeks later. It sucks.
(Two one ways were cheaper than round trip)

I'm not happy about how they charge more for aisle seats or exit rows. But they weren't even an option as the flight was FULL.

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"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" ;)



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PreK176
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Joined: 03/24/07
Posts: 1231
Loc: Granville, MA
Re: Southwest Airlines boarding question [Re: JimCandD]
      #1665702 - 10/04/15 05:01 PM (71.192.225.206)

When we book early enough we always get seats together. When you wait last minute to book and you don't/can't choose seats then seats are assigned on check in. We have done this too. We always book seats together with US Air, AA, Delta, JB etc. On Southwest we do Early bird.have had no issues.

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biglar
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Joined: 02/01/06
Posts: 897
Loc: PA
Re: Southwest Airlines boarding question [Re: PreK176]
      #1665735 - 10/04/15 07:36 PM (173.8.12.101)

I just went online and checked-in. Did do it almost exactly 24 hours from flight time. Got "A" boarding with #s 22, 23, 24, 25. Looks like we will be some of the first to board and get our choice of seats. Thanks for the info!

--------------------
www.lifewithldub.blogspot.com


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Bill_S
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Joined: 08/15/00
Posts: 2559
Loc: Southern Maryland suburbs of D...
Re: Southwest Airlines boarding question [Re: biglar]
      #1665764 - 10/05/15 07:35 AM (69.138.217.199)

Great!

The only other piece of advice now is to make sure all four of you are at your gate at least 35 minutes before scheduled departure...preferably 45 or 50...

Southwest starts lining up the A Group while the last passengers from the inbound aircraft are still deplaning. Usually the A Group will begin boarding right at 30 minutes before departure...sometimes earlier, and if someone in your party is off to the rest room or a store they will have to board later whenever they get back to the gate area.

SW starts boarding early ao they can pull away from the gate exactly at the published departure tiime or even earlier if they have everyone on board before then. They try to minimize the turn-around times at each airport to get better utilization of each aircraft in their fleet and to keep up their reputation for on-time performance.

Enjoy your vavcation!

--------------------
Bill


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boucharda
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Joined: 12/01/04
Posts: 2932
Loc: Massachusetts
Re: Southwest Airlines boarding question [Re: biglar]
      #1667867 - 10/22/15 09:09 AM (24.60.32.138)

I realize you probably have already taken your flight but I just wanted to add a few clarifications re: SWA Early Bird boarding...

$12.50 each way

Automatic check in 36 hours in advance and boarding number assigned at that time...no need to go online except to print your boarding pass (24 hours in advance of the flight)

The earlier you book your flight the better you will do in the number assignment.

Most always you will end up in A but if booked late you will probably be in the front of the B line...still ahead of a bunch of travelers.

Remember, on a connecting flight there will already be some passengers on board so you will have to deal with that fact.

Early Bird will be assigned for all connections on a trip.

It has worked for us BUT our main airline is now JB because of the N/S flights and extra room (SWA leg room is decent also)


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