Southwest Airlines Check-in

Passengers must go through the boarding process and security check to board the aircraft on time. Southwest check-in policies offer a variety of options to expedite the process and meet individual needs. Passengers can check in 24 hours to 60 minutes before their scheduled flight time.

Take a look at Southwest check in policies for a comprehensive overview.

What are the requirements for Security documents for Southwest Airlines check in?

Security documents include the confirmation number, flight number, and the passenger’s name. It denotes the reservation confirmation and streamlines the TSA Security checkpoint. Note that –

  • It is not a boarding pass. However, can be issued in place of a boarding pass under specified circumstances.
  • It assists the passengers to pass through Security if the boarding pass is received at the departure gate.
  • It is allotted when the passengers cannot avail of boarding passes due to being ineligible under Southwest policies and procedures.
  • Security document is not mandatory for passengers with a boarding pass.

How to Receive Security Documents?

Here are the crucial steps to follow to have to receive security documents –

  • Head to the official website and choose “Check in”.
  • Enter the “confirmation code”, and “first”, and “last name” of the passenger to access flight details.
  • You can request security documents 24 hours before the scheduled flight time.
  • The security document is assigned for every flight segment booked under a reservation.

Note – You can also obtain the mandated security document at the Kiosk, Skycap Podium or Airport ticket counter.

Which travelers receive the security documents?

Following fliers receive security documents, instead of a boarding pass –

  • Passengers who reach the airport less than 20 minutes before the flight departure.
  • Travelers flying on a flight that has been restricted at the gate.
  • Passengers on standby
  • Space available for passengers; non-Revenue

What is the Check in Timings for Southwest Airlines?

The airlines set different Southwest Airlines check in deadlines for different airports to ensure passengers arrive on time.

Failure to comply with these instructions may result in delays and problems at the airport, cancelation of ticket reservations, or denial of boarding.

Below are the general rules for Southwest Airlines check in times –

  • Southwest Airlines Web Check Timings – Begins 48 hours before their planned arrival and concludes 10 minutes before the aircraft departs for all grades of service.
  • 30 minutes Before Departure Time – Boarding begins 30 minutes before the scheduled flight time. Therefore, it is recommended to be on-site before or up to 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time to ensure convenient check-in.
  • 10 minutes Before Departure Time – Note that-
    • Be sure to arrive at the boarding area/gate area at least 10 minutes prior to departure with your Southwest Airlines check in boarding pass.
    • Passengers who do not arrive on time will be considered a “No Show” and may result in the loss of their reservation.
  • If people do not intend to travel – According to Southwest check-in, if a traveler decides not to board the flight on their itinerary, they must cancel their reservation at least 10 minutes before the departure. Check Southwest airline flight cancellation for more.

What are the check-in times for different airport locations?

Get to the airport at least 3 hours before your scheduled flight time to meet Southwest Airlines pre-flight check-in time. Note that times for domestic and international flights may vary from airport to airport.

For international flights, passport control must be completed at least 60 minutes prior to the scheduled flight time.

Take a look at the airport locations and check-in times below for Southwest Airlines domestic and international flights.

Airport LocationDomestic Check inInternational Check in
Albany90 minutes120 minutes
Baltimore/Washington, MD – BWI120 min180 min
Boise, ID – BOI90 min 90 min
Chicago (Midway), IL – MDW120 min120 min
Cincinnati, OH – CVG90 min90 min
Dallas (Love Field), TX – DAL120 min120 min
Fort Lauderdale, FL – FLL90 minutes120 minutes
Honolulu (Oahu), HI – HNL180 min120 min
Indianapolis, IN – IND90 min90 min
Las Vegas, NV – LAS90 min90 min
Miami, FL – MIA180 minutes180 minutes
Minneapolis/St. Paul (Terminal 2), MN – MSP120 minutes120 minutes
Orlando, FL – MCO120 minutes120 minutes
San Diego, CA – SAN120 minutes120 minutes
Tampa, FL – TPA120 minutes120 minutes
Tucson, AZ – TUS90 min90 min
Washington (Dulles), DC – IAD90 min90 min

How to check in with Southwest Airlines?

The airline offers a wide range of Southwest check in options to accommodate the comfort, convenience and time constraints of its passengers.

Travelers must visit the website to contact the airline through customer service to learn about available options and ask questions, such as Southwest baggage policy and more.

Take a look at the Southwest Airlines check-in options below.

How to request Southwest Airlines online check in?

Southwest Airlines’ online check-in allows passengers to check in for everyone on their reservation, with little time required. It begins 24 hours before the scheduled flight time. Follow the steps indicated

  • Access the official website for Southwest Airlines check-in online.
  • On the home page, you will find the “Check-in” option.
  • Once you click on this option, you will be asked to enter details like the “confirmation number”, and “first” and “last name” of the passenger.
Southwest Airlines Check in through website
From the main website of Southwest Airlines, this screenshot is taken.
  • Select the “Check in” option next to the required fields to submit the details.
  • You will now have access to the flight details. Select the preferred seats, otherwise the airline will assign the seats immediately. For more information, see Southwest Seat Selection.
  • You can also select preferred meals or make changes to fare type or original cabin class.
  • Enter the information once you have completed the fields like Southwest Airlines Check-in Documents. You will then be redirected to the confirmation page.
  • You will have access to the Southwest Airlines boarding pass online. You can either save it to your travel device or print it out for easier retrieval.
  • Go to the ticket counter and departure gate to present the completed check-in and board the flight.

How to request Southwest mobile check in?

Southwest Airlines emphasizes the use of mobile devices to meet check-in requirements and obtain the Southwest Airlines mobile boarding pass. Take a look at how to access the feature –

Southwest Airlines Check in App
This screenshot has been captured from the official website of Southwest Airlines.
  • You’ll find the “Check In” option on the main menu or home page of the app.
  • Click on it and enter the “reservation confirmation code” and the passenger’s “first and last name”.
  • Select “Retrieve Reservation” on the interface of the movie app or mobile website.
  • You will be redirected to a new page. Enter the desired seating arrangement, change the fare type or upgrade, and select the desired meals and other options on the screen.
  • Once you have entered the details in the required fields, click Submit.
  • The airline will automatically process the check-in request and send the confirmation via email or SMS for the Southwest boarding pass on the phone.
  • Download and print the Southwest Airlines print boarding pass at airport before reaching the airport for speedy check in.

How to issue Southwest check in via Self Kiosk at the ticket counter?

Self-service counters, present in most airports, provide passengers with an easy-to-understand interface where they can ask their questions without hesitation, including Southwest Airlines boarding pass check-in. Take a look at the steps to follow

  • Self-kiosk check-in offers a plethora of options like checking in, scanning passports, and printing Southwest Airlines online boarding pass for domestic and international flights.
  • You can also request an upgrade or change for international flights.
  • Kiosks are located in the main lobby outside security checkpoints and at the ticket counter of select airports.
  • Go to the kiosk and enter the critical details, such as the six-digit alphanumeric confirmation code, Rapid Rewards A-List membership card or Rapid Rewards number, or swipe the appropriate credit card with your name.
  • Once you have retrieved the booking details, complete the check-in process by following the on-screen instructions.
  • It may include the seating arrangement, meal preferences, upgrading to Business class fare, issuing Southwest flight change and more.
  • You can also be placed on the standby list if necessary or if the amenities you want are not available.
  • Once you complete the required Southwest flight online check in.
  • The kiosk will process the check in request and issue the boarding pass.
  • Take the printed Southwest Airlines boarding pass upgrade to the ticket counter and boarding area to proceed with boarding the flight.

Passengers not eligible for Self-Service Kiosk Check-in – Following types of passengers must head to the ticket counter to complete the check in –

Note – Kiosk check in is available from 3 hours up to 30 minutes before the scheduled flight time.

Does Southwest Airlines offer Social Media Support for Queries like Check in?

The airline is well connected through social media portals to address concerns such as check-in, cancellation, Southwest Airlines pet policy, etc. You can get a response within 48 hours of the request.

Have a look at the popular social media platforms supported by Southwest Airline

Social Media PlatformsProfile Link/ URL

What is the Boarding Process with Southwest Airlines?

The Southwest boarding pass check-in process is important to understand which lane and position to choose at the airport to get to the flight without delay and mistakes. Add to that –

  • There are three boarding groups at the airport (A, B, and C) and 60+ positions are provided post Southwest airline check in.
  • The unique group and position combination are displayed on the boarding pass. The number may look like A35, B67, etc.
  • It showcases the reserved spot in the boarding group at the departure gate and permits the airline to allot groups and positions accordingly.
  • Check the numbered posts located in the gate areas to choose the line.
  • Southwest Airlines 24 hour check in is helpful for passengers and must be utilized by them.
  • Get in the queue and board the airline in the numerical order prescribed within your boarding group.

Take a look at the rundown of the boarding groups for Southwest boarding pass print requirements for the subsequent passengers for easy access.

Boarding GroupsAllotted Passengers
Pre- Boarding (Located between A and B Groups)Passengers with disabilities or needing assistance
Priority Lanes and Express LanesBusiness Select, Anytime, A-List, and A-List Preferred fare type Members
A GroupSouthwest Business Select fares, Those who paid extra for tickets before check-in
B GroupPassengers with disabilities, Families with children 6 or below, Active-Duty US military Personnel (Between A and B Groups)
Group CIt is available in full or big flights. It has positions from 1 to 60.

What is Southwest Airlines Early Bird Check in?

Southwest earlybird check in time is an excellent feature offered by Southwest to enhance the overall check in and boarding experience. Add to that –

  • The airline automatically checks in the passengers and assigns Southwest early check in online up to 36 hours before the scheduled flight departure time.
  • It ensures automatic check-in completion and earlier access to the overhead bins.
  • It enhances the available choices for sitting arrangements, etc.
  • It is a non-refundable facility.
  • Southwest Airlines early bird check in time starts at 15 USD one way per passenger.

How to request Southwest Airlines Early bird check in?

Follow the given to avail this lucrative offer provided by Southwest Airlines –

  • Head to the official website for Southwest Earlybird check in.
  • Scroll down the page and choose “EarlyBird Check in”.
Southwest earlybird check in time
The screenshot is sourced from the Southwest Airlines website.
  • Click on it. You will be directed to a new page.
  • Enter the “Confirmation code, first name, and last name of the passenger.
Southwest Airlines Early Bird check in Time
The authorized website of Southwest Airlines is the source of this screenshot.
  • Click “Continue” and the flight details and the number of total passengers.
  • Confirm the details and pay the applicable fee.
  • Pay the applicable charges including the optional travel charges, if applicable.

How can Upgraded Boarding elevate Southwest airline check in system?

Upgraded Boarding offers passengers to upgrade their boarding position between A1 to A14 up to 24 hours of scheduled flight time. Keep note that –

  • It is subject to availability.
  • The feature is non-refundable and inevitable flight cancellation may cause loss of upgraded boarding option for the particular flight.
  • It enhances the passenger’s chances of boarding the flight first, picking preferable seats, and enjoying easy access to the overhead bin space. 
  • It is available for purchase from 24 hours up to 30 minutes before the final flight departure.
  • Passengers receive an Upgraded Boarding receipt after confirmation of the itinerary.
  • Cost for Upgraded Boarding – 30 USD per passenger, per flight segment.
  • Its overall costs may change depending on the length and highly demand flights.

Who are eligible for the Upgraded Boarding Option?

Upgraded Boarding is available for the following fare types –

  • Anytime Fare Type
  • Wanna Get Away Fare Type
  • Wanna Get Away Plus Fares

Note – Boarding positions between A1 to A15 are already included with Business Select Fare type.

How to Request Upgraded Boarding with Southwest Airlines?

You can avail of Upgraded Boarding via the official website or Southwest mobile application. Follow the given steps –

Via the Official website – You can request Upgraded Boarding as follows –

  • Head to the official website.
  • Choose “Check in”. Enter the “confirmation code” and the “full passenger’s name”.
  • Once you access the flight details, you can choose the “Upgraded Boarding” option below the itinerary.
  • Purchase Upgraded Boarding and complete the rest check-in requirements.
  • Submit the details. The airline issues the boarding pass with the Upgraded Boarding option displayed under the itinerary.

Via Southwest Mobile App – Avail of the Southwest Upgraded Boarding feature as follows –

  • Head to the mobile app. Choose “Check in” at the bottom of the screen.
  • Enter the confirmation code, flight details, and the full name of the passenger.
  • Verify the flight details, and choose “Upgraded Boarding” below the “View Boarding Pass” option.
  • Select the option, fulfill the criteria, and pay the charges for the facility.
  • The feature can be added to one or more flight segments in the original itinerary.
  • Pay the Upgraded Boarding fee and the facility is displayed on the itinerary boarding pass.

Note – If you are unable to access your flight details via the official website or mobile application, contact the airline over the phone for the facilities.

Southwest Airlines is dedicated to providing the best experience to passengers with Southwest Airlines check in 24 hours. It not only provides diverse choices but also takes into account the different types of passengers and their respective needs on the flight.

Features like Priority lanes, express lanes, and Earlybird check in for Southwest flight online uplift the overall passenger experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I check in with Southwest?

You can issue Southwest Airlines earliest check in time via the website, mobile app, or the kiosk to complete check-in and receive the boarding pass via email or sms. 

How do I check in online for Southwest Airlines?

Head to the website, choose “Check in” on the home page and enter the on-screen details to complete the process.

Can you check in Southwest by phone?

Yes, the Southwest Airlines mobile app is available on Android and iOS. Use the “check in” and use the confirmation code and the last name to complete mobile check-in.

What time does Southwest curbside check-in open?

Curbside check in is limited to US domestic flights at the majority of airports and allows check-in from 3 hours up to 60 minutes before the stipulated flight time.

How to check in at Southwest kiosk?

The Southwest Airlines boarding pass app is available post-process completion. Enter the flight details, and confirmation code, and follow the instructions to complete check-in.

What is Southwest Earlybird check in?

EarlyBird Check-in permits passengers to check in up to 36 hours before scheduled flight departure time and offer a quick and secured boarding position.

How early do you have to check in for a flight on Southwest?

Reach the airport up to 3 hours for Southwest flight check in time before the flight time to complete check-in and security screening before heading to the departure area.

When do I need to be at the boarding gate?

Make sure to reach 30 minutes before the boarding gate as the boarding begins by that time. Obtain the Southwest Airlines boarding pass printout and reach the gate area.

Is Southwest check-in exactly 24 hours?

For the majority of the passengers, the check-in is 24 hours. However, passengers can opt for Earlybird check-in to check in 36 hours before flight time. 

How to use early bird check in Southwest?

Head to the official website, click on Early bird check in from the home page, and enter the confirmation code and the full name of the passenger to access Earlybird for a fee of 15 USD.

How to request Group travel check in with Southwest Airlines?

Request Group check via the website “Check in tab” for domestic and international flights. Check-in one passenger at a time and receive the boarding passes.

How do you get a boarding pass on Southwest?

You can get the boarding pass by email or text message on the phone once you complete check-in via the website or mobile or get a physical copy at the airport.

Why can’t I check in online Southwest? 

If the flight is less than an hour away, the passengers cannot request check-in online due to security concerns.

How to get mobile boarding pass Southwest after checking in?

Once you complete check in, you will find the “Boarding Pass” button at the bottom to download and print the boarding pass.

How to check in 24 hours before Southwest Flight?

Check-in online or on the mobile app to save time and effort and complete the process 24 hours before flight departure.

How to check in at airport Southwest?

Head to the ticket counter, show the flight details, confirmation code, and name details, and request check-in.

Can you check in on the Southwest App?

Yes, you can check in on the app up to 24 hours before flight departure time via the “Check in button” available on the main menu.

How to check in on Southwest App?

Choose “Check in”, enter the flight details, enter meal preferences, etc. and obtain the boarding pass.

How to print southwest boarding pass after checking in?

You can print the boarding pass at the kiosk post-check-in, or print it at home with a printer for online and mobile check in.

How to use a free early bird check in Southwest? 

Passengers with Rapid Rewards Business cards can access 2 free early bird checks per year with Southwest Airlines.

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