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Is Early Bird Check-In needed to get a seat with my partner?

feniss
New Arrival

This is my first time flying as an adult and so I don't really understand much about how anything works at the airport. I have severe anxiety and I know that I'm going to be nervous on the plane, so I want to make sure that I am seated next to my partner. I generally understand how the open seating works, but how possible is it to be able to sit next to my partner? I would prefer to not have to pay any extra fees, so if we weren't going to do the Early Bird Check-In, how early would we need to arrive in order to get seats together?

4 REPLIES 4

Re: Is Early Bird Check-In needed to get a seat with my partner?

dfwskier
Top Contributor

Buying tickets at the same time on the same confirmation number should allow you to board together. You will have sequential boarding positions. Then arrive early enough that you actually board in your assigned boarding position - not after.

 

Your boarding position is determined by WHEN you check in. You can check in a maximum of 24 hours before scheduled departure. You should check in EXACTLY 24 hours before scheduled departure. Every minute you wait beyond 24 hours will result in a less desirable boarding position,.

Re: Is Early Bird Check-In needed to get a seat with my partner?

FlyWithLUV
Active Member

If you aren’t getting EarlyBird, check in exactly 24 hours before departure (set an alarm to check in on the dot). That’ll help you secure a good boarding position. Southwest does not assign seats but does assign boarding positions or the order that you board the plane. If you board earlier, there’s a greater likelihood of you getting seats next to each other. I personally don’t think Early Bird is worth it if I can just set an alarm and check in on the dot for free.

Is Early Bird Check-In needed to get a seat with my partner?

CupCrusher40
Active Member

What does southwest server do if 5 people check in at same millisecond for crowded large plane flights

Re: Is Early Bird Check-In needed to get a seat with my partner?

FlyWithLUV
Active Member

The server is supposed to assign boarding positions sequentially in the order of check-in. In an ideal world, it would assign them by who checked in first (by the smallest unit of time), but even if people hit check-in at the same time, bandwith issues (such as internet connection/range) could delay it by a millisecond. The server can also handle a certain number of requests at a time (and the server will order the requests by time), hence why you might see a loading icon for 1-2 seconds after clicking check-in.

 

Either way, if this were to happen it would probably be exactly 24 hours before departure. You can't check in earlier, and you have to know that whatever boarding position you get is the best boarding position that you could have gotten - there's nothing else you could have done to change it - at this point, it's out of your hands.