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Weirdness in Business Select Check-In / Boarding Position

Explorer C

Had a strange experience checking-in Business Select for LAS<->RNO this past weekend with my fiancée. We are not A-List right now due to timing.


Outbound I manually checked-in via high speed internet (no bots or automated bs) exactly 24 hours ahead time and received A10 for my fianceé and A12 for me. I found it weird there was a gap (we've been flying Business Select for 5 years and never had a gap) and found it even weirder we were so "far" back - only because of previous experiences and then what happened next, not because that's actually a bad boarding position.


Inbound, we didn't have internet at the start of the check-in period so we didn't bother with it. Then we got a notification we were checked in, A8 for her and A10 for me - on a fully booked flight. Talking to the experienced SW flyer in A9, he did check-in at exactly the right time, and received a boarding position in between us. So again a gap - but a little further up than before - without even checking in?? 


Just to be clear, I'm not complaing about our position, asking SW to assign seats, etc, etc. I just find it very strange. I really appreciate the overall value of open seating (e.g. time! :).


Is anyone aware of any changes at SW? I just want to know what to expect. And I  don't want to waste time checking-in if it doesn't make a difference, or even makes it worse, lol. 🙂 


- mt from LAS, sporadic BS SW flyer


Re: Weirdness in Business Select Check-In / Boarding Position

Aviator A

Southwest automaticaly assigns business select travelllers boarding spots between A1 and A15. I don't know the exact method it does so, but I'd assume that it is something like first purchased gets A1 and last purchased gets A15. I guess it's possible that someone else could have been purchasing a BS fare the exact time you did, which would explain the gap in boarding spots between the two of you. 


When you actually get your boarding pass (checking in) has absolutely no impact on your boarding spot. If SW assigns you spot A5, you will get A5 whether you check in 24 hours in advance, or an  hour before flight time at the airport. 

Re: Weirdness in Business Select Check-In / Boarding Position

Aviator A

Southwest changed how BS positions are assigned about a year ago. Previously, BS passengers had to check in and were assigned positions based on check-in time. Now, BS positions are automatically assigned sometime between t-36 and t-24, but according to a system known only to Southwest. Much like the order of A-List positions, theories include purchase order and/or "loyalty," re. amount spent with Southwest annually. It is likely that A-Listers receive BS positions ahead of others, but there's nothing written anywhere that verifies any policy.