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Unable to check in returning flight till departing flight has completed for short roundtrips

New Arrival


Flight is delayed 1 hr again and cannot checkin for return flight at computer; will only allow departure flight checkin for roundtrip tickets . Inability to checkin is either due to delay of departing flight (flight is "in progress" because of the delay) or checkin is unavailable until departing flight is completed. last time this happened was when my flight was delayed 2.5 hours (delay notification sent only after we have arrived at airport).Thus this time we rushed to airport to checkin in person for return flight (or risk having a terrible seat like C seats because unable to checkin till after delayed flight is completed.) thus we have to wait at airport 2 hours just to accomplish checkin for departure flight at counter. This being a short trip with departure 1 day and returning the next day around the same time of day.

 

Something needs to be done to allow checkin for return flight before departing flight is completed - current computer system does not make sense. Maybe give 2 confirmation numbers for departure and return flights. Was also unable to modify return flight till departure flight completed.

 

Last time this happened, we initially wanted to modify flight for earlier return time for returning trip, but system did not allow until delayed departure flight has completed. Thus it was long waits at airport for delayed departing flight and long wait due to inability to modify returning flight till delayed flight has departed.

 

Suggestions received at counter on what to do about this was make a complaint online (cannot do at counter), call the airline to change flights, or come to airport to checkin. If there are technological advances, hopefully we don't have to call or go to airport to accomplish checkins /flight modification. It was also not doable to call because the 2.5 hour delayed flight last time caused us to be on the plane at the time we were supposed to checkin for return flights, and there were no phone system available on plane, not to say we have to reveal so much private info to checkin and there are passengers nearby overhearing if we try to call a sw agent to checkin (actually not sure if we can call to checkin a flight at all).

 

Another option is to buy one way tickets to allow for easy modification but price is higher. Anyone knows how to resolve this?

6 REPLIES 6
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Re: Unable to check in returning flight till departing flight has completed for short roundtrips

Top Contributor

Hi. Sounds like you have a frustrating situation.

 

The only other thing I can think of is to call the airline and see if it can check you in. I don't know whether or not that is possible.

 

You could buy two one way tickets. Unlike other airlines, Southwest does not price two one ways higher than one roundtrip. In fact the roundtrip price is the sum of the two one way prices.

 

Hope that one of the two suggestions turns out to be helpful.

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Re: Unable to check in returning flight till departing flight has completed for short roundtrips

New Arrival

Thanks yes very frustrating. Delay further prolonged , to over 2 hours delay  with no explanation provided in email. 

 

Good to know tips on how to overcome technological challenges. Will also check out  other airlines in future.

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Re: Unable to check in returning flight till departing flight has completed for short roundtrips

Top Contributor

@dfwskier wrote:

Hi. Sounds like you have a frustrating situation.

 

The only other thing I can think of is to call the airline and see if it can check you in. I don't know whether or not that is possible.

 

You could buy two one way tickets. Unlike other airlines, Southwest does not price two one ways higher than one roundtrip. In fact the roundtrip price is the sum of the two one way prices.

 

Hope that one of the two suggestions turns out to be helpful.


I haven't had this problem before for day trips, but I also usually book two separate one-way flights most times.

 

You could also go for EBCI which would automatically check you in, and which I believe would override the conflict.

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.
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Re: Unable to check in returning flight till departing flight has completed for short roundtrips

New Arrival

What is ebci? Thanks
Further delays ended up 2.5 hours delay total. Upset the whole evening plans and had to cancel dinner plans.


on returning flight still unable to get ticket. Seems stuck on screen for departing flight checkin and never advanced to returning flight checkin (even after landed hours for departing flight. )

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Re: Unable to check in returning flight till departing flight has completed for short roundtrips

New Arrival

After logging out and opening new web screen/refreshing page was able to navigate to returning flight checkin, hope better luck with flight being ontime and will check out other airlines next time.

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Re: Unable to check in returning flight till departing flight has completed for short roundtrips

Active Member

EBCI = Early Bird Check In. It programs your boarding number to basically be after the a-listers.  Though you might not want to add the $15-30 cost for a quick trip lasting less than 24 hrs.  I am not sure if you can buy for the return trip only.

 

Like you, I also wish that I could get the return boarding pass at 24 hours but it won’t allow it until I complete the first leg of the trip.