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Airport Checkin Required?

AndeeA
New Arrival

Hello, 

 

This morning I checked my husband and I into our flight(s) tomorrow. I was able to check him in without any issues and get his boarding assignment. For my connecting flight, I recieved a message saying "Airport Checkin Required". I fly for work fairly often and have always been able to check in online without an issue. Has anyone experienced this before? I'd hate to get to my connecting airport to realize it's something major. 

Thanks in advance! 

13 REPLIES 13

Re: Airport Checkin Required?

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor
Solution

This usually occurs if you book a special fare such as a senior or child fare that requires age verification. I think it's also possible if all standard boarding positions have already been assigned and the system can't assign you a position. In this case the gate agent will be able to assign you a position.  Last option I can think of is if you have a connecting flight, one flight might be cancelled or rescheduled, but if your husband has the same itinerary this shouldn't be a problem. You can use the flight status tool on southwest.com to check the flights. 

 

If you don't think you have a special fare that requires verification you could try checking in again closer to departure time when a boarding position might have opened up (if that's the problem).

 

Please report back and let us know what the issue was.

Re: Airport Checkin Required?

mjpuz
New Arrival

I too experienced this recently (not traveling on a senior or other special fare)

 

After frustrating conversations with Southwest Reservations and Customer Service representatives, this complaint submitted on Southwest.com:

 

++++++++++

 

Attempting to check-in on the Southwest app within minutes of flight opening (24 hours prior to departure) I was prevented from doing so by this error message :
 
"Airport check in 
required. Unable to 
complete the check 
in process. Please 
visit a ticket counter 
to check in.
 
Error: 400308179
(5746BF46-
D00F-4D71-8C20-54819
227CF04:Li7M0-
rpS-6Kb0-ilDpzvg:ios)"
 
Screenshot attached
 
Not in a location near a Southwest ticket counter, I called Southwest Reservations to seek assistance
 
After a verbal verification of all birth date and passport information, the Reservations agent attempted to check me in
 
After a few moments, the agent replied
 
"I'm getting the same error message"
 
"Let me try to contact another department, please hold"
 
After some minutes, the Reservations agent returned to the call to inform me
 
"I've tried every 'workaround' that I can think of without success"
 
"You will just have to check in at the airport"
 
My reply:
 
"As a Global Entry Trusted Traveler, I understand the need to verify valid travel documents prior to an international flight"
 
"Further, I am happy to check in and receive a boarding pass at the airport if you can inform me of my boarding position now"
 
"However, I do not wish to go to the airport four hours prior to departure simply to secure a decent boarding position"
 
As the Reservations Agent was unable to provide my boarding position, I requested the call be escalated to Customer Service
 
The conversation described above was repeated with the CS agent finally saying
 
"There's nothing I can do"
 
"You will just have to check in at the airport"
 
From this, two outcomes:
 
First, cancelation of my Southwest flight in favor of travel with another carrier (online check-in allowed)
 
Second, this presentation of questions that neither agent could answer:
 
1 - What event or circumstance generated this error message?
 
2 - What purpose was intended by the requirement for my physical presence at a ticket counter to check in? 
 
2 - Why the apparent willingness to violate Conditions of Carriage, to wit:
 
"5. Check-in 
 
a. Boarding Passes 
 
(1) General. Boarding Passes may be obtained at Southwest.com®, the Southwest mobile app, or at the airport from Southwest at: 
 
(i) E-Ticket Check-In kiosks (where available) 
 
(ii) Skycap podiums (where available) 
 
(iii) Ticket counters, or 
 
(iv) Departure gate podiums."
 
Your detailed reply to each question is respectfully requested
 
++++++++++
 
Will update when a reply is received
 
All the best

Re: Airport Checkin Required?

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

@mjpuz wrote:
 
From this, two outcomes:
 
First, cancelation of my Southwest flight in favor of travel with another carrier (online check-in allowed)
 
Second, this presentation of questions that neither agent could answer:

Or third outcome:  Go to the airport, complete check-in at counter, calmly and politely explain the difficulty you encountered to the agent and ask if they would be willing to provide you with an upgraded boarding position.  Doing so with a smile would probably get you a much better result than snarky questions about supposedly violating the contract of carriage.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Airport Checkin Required?

mjpuz
New Arrival

@TheMiddleSeat wrote:

@mjpuz wrote:
 
From this, two outcomes:
 
First, cancelation of my Southwest flight in favor of travel with another carrier (online check-in allowed)
 
Second, this presentation of questions that neither agent could answer:

Or third outcome:  Go to the airport, complete check-in at counter, calmly and politely explain the difficulty you encountered to the agent and ask if they would be willing to provide you with an upgraded boarding position.  Doing so with a smile would probably get you a much better result than snarky questions about supposedly violating the contract of carriage.

 

--TheMiddleSeat


Forgive me, but why would one

 

- favor a discussion with a ticket counter agent at a non-US airport (not a Southwest employee, but a local contractor), and

 

- risk an unfavorable outcome with  'last-in-line' boarding positions on a two-flight, nine-hour itinerary,

 

when seat selection and a positive online check-in experience was available with a competitor airline?

 

To your last, I agree with you that a smile goes a long way

 

That said, the Conditions of Carriage are the contract between airline and passenger, and serve to establish both expectations and requirements for both

 

Given that two Southwest employees could not explain the event over the telephone, please instruct me on how a written question after the fact might be considered 'snarky'?

 

As previously stated, I will post Southwest's reply when it is received

Re: Airport Checkin Required?

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

I'd just check in at the airport, and if I received a poor boarding position (which actually doesn't really affect much these days, with planes only partially filled) I'd pay for Upgraded Boarding and then follow up with Customer Relations after the trip is over, requesting a refund or credit for the fee paid. (They are technically unable to give you this for free at the airport, but CR may refund the fee you paid later.)

 

It's a glitch. Southwest is known for them. Get through the situation as best as you can, and follow up with CR later.

 

Contact Customer Relations 

 

 

Re: Airport Checkin Required?

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

But @chgoflyer, no other airline ever has glitches, lol

 


@mjpuz wrote:

Given that two Southwest employees could not explain the event over the telephone, please instruct me on how a written question after the fact might be considered 'snarky'?

 

As previously stated, I will post Southwest's reply when it is received


 

A written question referencing the contract of carriage is snarky because said contract does not entitle to you a boarding position or even the ability to obtain a boarding position online. 

"Carrier reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to restrict Boarding Pass distribution to the departure gate podium."

 

And good for you if you can pay for a last minute international fare on another airline just because you might get a bad boarding position on Southwest.  The purchase of an upgraded boarding position makes a lot more sense.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

 

Re: Airport Checkin Required?

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

Well, of course they do. 

 

But 1) we're discussing Southwest, and 2) no other airline is known for them quite as much as Southwest is. 

 

Unfortunate, but unavoidable to ignore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Re: Airport Checkin Required?

mjpuz
New Arrival

@chgoflyer wrote:

Well, of course they do. 

 

But 1) we're discussing Southwest, and 2) no other airline is known for them quite as much as Southwest is. 

 

Unfortunate, but unavoidable to ignore.


Such has been my experience, even preceding this latest

Re: Airport Checkin Required?

mjpuz
New Arrival

@TheMiddleSeat wrote:

 

A written question referencing the contract of carriage is snarky because said contract does not entitle to you a boarding position or even the ability to obtain a boarding position online. 

"Carrier reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to restrict Boarding Pass distribution to the departure gate podium."


Please know that such language is found in every airline's Contract of Carriage, and is usually reserved for situations where the flight is oversold, or a mechanical issue renders a seat (or block of seats) unuseable 

 

I will await Southwest's reply before expressing a further opinion on its applicability to this situation

 


@TheMiddleSeat wrote:

 

And good for you if you can pay for a last minute international fare on another airline just because you might get a bad boarding position on Southwest.  The purchase of an upgraded boarding position makes a lot more sense.


I must confess that the purchase of an upgraded boarding position did not occur to me, and - presuming this could be reliably done at a foreign airport at check-in time - makes perfect sense

That said, I don't regret the decision to purchase travel on another carrier - 'job done' much more quickly, and with less effort,  than trying to explain an unusual situation at the airport, or attempting to secure a comfortable ride on an already 'glitchy' Southwest app

 

If I may, a few thoughts in conclusion

 

A newcomer to this forum, my intent in registering was to learn if this unusual situation had occurred before

 

Upon seeing that it had, I went ahead with the complaint on Southwest.com

 

My intent in doing so was to give the airline an opportunity to improve its methods and procedures, as well as seek clarification of the Contract of Carriage question

 

That the text may have appeared 'snarky' to some was possibly due to the character limit for complaints communicated on Southwest.com, and the consequential need to pare the text down to 'just the facts' without niceties 

 

My post of the text here was intended to add information to the previous discussion, and alert members here that a reply from the company would be forthcoming

 

To those who replied with good humor and intent, your suggestions and constructive criticism are received with thanks

 

I am always ready to learn, and remain grateful that you took the time to educate a fellow traveler

 

For the Southwest 'fanboys' here - no offense meant, or taken

 

All the best