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Southwest Airlines Community

International Flight Boarding Time

New Arrival

How long before an international flight takes off does boarding present? Is it different than domestic? 


Re: International Flight Boarding Time

New Arrival

If you arrive at the ticket counter with 60 minutes or less time remaining until your flight’s scheduled departure time, Southwest will be unable to accommodate you on your scheduled flight. Make sure you get there at least 2 hours early to be safe! 

Re: International Flight Boarding Time

New Arrival

Here is a tip though, check to see if your destination has US Immigration Pre-Clearnace which means that you will pass through US Immigration BEFORE departing your foreign destination.  While this saves time upon arriving in the US, it can take time on check in.  We flew to Aruba and upon return the process was this:


Check in at Southwest and check bags

Go through Aruba departure passport control

Go through airport security screening

Walk though terminal to enter US Immigration area

Collect your checked luggage that you had previously checked in

Go through US Immigration and Customs

Drop off your checked bags

Go through another airport security screening (where you have touched your checked luggage)

Go to gate