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Check in boarding assignment

New Arrival

I always try to check in right at 24 hours to get an A seat asignment if possible.  My question is:  If I get  an A assignment when I check in on line (let's say A35) and print a hardcopy boarding pass  will I keep the A35 assignment if when I get to the airport I go to a kiosk and print my boarding pass again?  Or will I lose my A35 assignment because the system thinks I am just then requesting my boarding assignment?

13 REPLIES 13
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Re: Check in boarding assignment

Retired Community Manager
Solution

Hi @atreccani,

 

Great question!

 

Once you check in and receive your boarding position, you will keep that boarding position whether you print it at home, at the airport, or multiple times in multiple places. 

 

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Re: Check in boarding assignment

New Arrival

When and how, due my wife and me receive our seat assignment for our up coming flight to Seattle, Wa. ?  We are both seniors and we need one isle seat, and we for sure, want a seat

assignment next to each other on the flight! Thank You, Robert Jackson

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Re: Check in boarding assignment

Top Contributor

Southwest doesn't have seating assignments. It's "open seating," meaning you choose any available seat when you board the plane.

 

The boarding order is based (basically) on the order you've checked in online, beginning at 24 hours prior to departure. Check in online at exactly 24 hours before your flight, and you should be able to get the seats you need.

 

You might want to consider paying the additonal fee for EarlyBird Check-In ($15 per person, each way), which will check you in automatically and assign a position earlier than those checking in at 24 hours. If your flight is very soon (next few days) don't bother with EarlyBird, as these boarding positions are assigned in order of EB purchase.

 

Good luck!

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Re: Check in boarding assignment

Active Member

The need to check in precisely 24 hours before departure is a failed system that needs replacement.  Two  of my recent Southwest trips I was driving between two mountain communities where I had no cell service or internet access and was conducting a funeral at the time-critical moment.  Someone could also have been in the dentist's chair, doing surgery, skiing or swimming.  Early Bird check-in is a far less than sure thing for a good boarding number.

 

What would be fair to all (call in "transFAIRency") would be to assign the boarding sequence number at the time of ticket purchase rather than force everyone into the chaos of trying to get online check-in at what may be a very inconvenient or impossible moment, and even worse if a significant number of passengers are connecting from earlier inbound flights and have effectively jumped the line at their origin city. 

 

If I fly Brand X I can get my seat assignment when I book my flight.  If I fly Southwest with no seat assignment, can I at least get my boarding sequence number when I book?  How about it Southwest?

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Re: Check in boarding assignment

Top Contributor

Last year Southwest earned over $300 million on EarlyBird Check-In fees alone.

 

Don't expect any changes to the boarding system until the point at which EBCI fees drop or level off, and a new system which leverages seating in an equally monetarily beneficial way can be implemented (like, say, assigned seating). 😉

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Re: Check in boarding assignment

New Arrival

The check in system is not as represented. I fly biweekly on Southwest, and each time I set my alarm to check in precisely 24 hours before. I often get b30+. I find it hard to believe that the entire plane checked in within 2 minutes of the check in process opening. 

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Re: Check in boarding assignment

New Arrival

Likewise, I have checked in much later and was assigned a low A number. It’s not first come, first serve. 

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Re: Check in boarding assignment

Top Contributor

@Iowagirl1 wrote:

Likewise, I have checked in much later and was assigned a low A number. It’s not first come, first serve. 


 

As has been noted on here frequently, Southwest unfortunately repurposes the boarding positions of those who are checked in and then cancel or change their flight. These are often low A boarding positions, as A-Listers have greater flexibility for flight changes. These released positions are then offered to the next person who checks in online.

 

This is how it is possible to check in online -- even late in the process -- and still receive a low A boarding position.

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Re: Check in boarding assignment

Top Contributor
Solution

@Iowagirl1 wrote:

The check in system is not as represented. I fly biweekly on Southwest, and each time I set my alarm to check in precisely 24 hours before. I often get b30+. I find it hard to believe that the entire plane checked in within 2 minutes of the check in process opening. 


 

These days, many, many people purchase EarlyBird Check-In, often purchasers even receive B positions. keep in mind that your position will always be after everyone who has purchased EBCI, A-Listers, and those with Business Select. 

 

Additionally, if your flight is part of a connection, those people whose itinerary includes your flight as their second leg can check in at t minus 24 for their originating flight, which would include check in for your flight, earlier than you are able to check in.