How Does Online Check-in Work With Southwest Airlines?


Quick Answer

Southwest Airlines allows online check-in up to 24 hours prior to a flight's departure time. Passengers must be checked in at least 60 minutes before departure, have an electronic ticket and not require special boarding assistance.

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How Does Online Check-in Work With Southwest Airlines?
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Full Answer

The boarding pass may be printed at home, but passengers must still check bags with a Southwest Airlines Skycap or at the check-in counter before the flight cut-off time. The airline advises passengers to check the airport information section on the website for suggested time of arrival.

Normal check-in is between one and two hours prior to scheduled departure time. Special needs passengers, such as unaccompanied minors or those requiring wheelchairs or other transport to the gate, should arrive earlier than the minimum suggested time.

Southwest does not assign seats on its flights, so even with the boarding pass, seating is first-come, first-served. The boarding pass assigns a boarding position, which is an electronic space in line. Special needs passengers are preboarded.

Passengers checking in online with an itinerary that includes other carriers may also check in for those flights unless it is an international ticket. EarlyBird Check-In customers are automatically checked in 36 hours prior to the flight, but the boarding passes may not be printed until 24 hours prior.

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