Southwest Airlines Check in

Flying with Southwest Airlines is not just about reaching your destination; it’s about enjoying the journey. One crucial aspect that sets the tone for your travel experience is the check-in process. Southwest Airlines check in lets you complete the check-in process, complete the seat assignment and issue the boarding pass. Southwest Flight check in is open 24 hours prior to the planned departure.

What are the ways for Southwest Check in?

Southwest Airlines, renowned for its open-seating policy and affordable fares, has simplified the check-in process to ensure a hassle-free travel experience for its passengers. Whether you prefer the convenience of online check-in or the assistance of airport kiosks, Southwest offers multiple options to make checking in a breeze.

Southwest Check in Online

Southwest online check-in is available 24 hours prior to your flight departure, allowing you to check in from the comfort of your home, office, or even while on the go. To initiate the online check-in process, visit Southwest official website or download their mobile app.

Retrieve Reservation: Enter your confirmation number and the first and last name of a passenger on the itinerary. Click on “Check In” for desktop or “Retrieve Reservation” for the mobile app.

Select Passengers: Review the passenger list and ensure all travelers are included. If necessary, add or remove passengers.

Confirm Seating Preferences: While Southwest doesn’t assign seats, you can select your boarding group, ensuring your preferred boarding position.

Review and Submit: Review your check-in details, including your boarding group and any checked baggage information. Click on “Confirm Check-In” to finalize the process.

Obtain Boarding Pass: Once your check-in is complete, you can either print your boarding pass or save it as a mobile boarding pass on your smartphone.

Southwest Check in Kiosks

For those who prefer checking in at the airport, Southwest offers self-service kiosks located in most major airports. These kiosks provide a user-friendly interface for checking in, selecting boarding groups, and printing boarding passes. If you ever need to make adjustments to your plans, it’s advisable to familiarize yourself with the Southwest Cancellation Policy for guidance on cancellations, refunds, and any associated terms and conditions.

Locate a Kiosk: Upon arrival at the airport, locate a Southwest Airlines Check in kiosk. These kiosks are typically situated near the airline’s check-in counters.

Scan Confirmation Number: Place your passport or boarding pass barcode on the scanner to retrieve your reservation details.

Review Passenger List: Confirm that all passengers are included in the reservation. If necessary, add or remove passengers.

Select Boarding Group: Choose your preferred boarding group, ensuring your desired boarding position.

Print Boarding Pass: Once your check-in is complete, the kiosk will print your boarding pass.

Southwest Curbside Check-in

Curbside check-in for Southwest Airlines is provided at a few US airports that allow customers with verified airline reservations and hand bags only to check in. In certain airports, travelers can also use the City check-in service. Southwest offers curbside check-in at a few international airports in the United States, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The following airports are listed as having curbside check-in options:

  • Chicago, IL – Midway airport curbside check-in Southwest
  • Denver, CO – southwest curbside check-in Denver hours from 12:00 AM to 22:00 PM
  • Dallas, TX- Dallas Love Field Curbside check-in Southwest
  • Baltimore, PA – BWI Curbside Check-in Southwest
  • Phoenix, AZ – Phoenix airport curbside check-in Southwest
  • San Diego, CA – San Diego airport curbside check-in Southwest

Southwest Check in via Mobile App

The Southwest mobile app, which can be downloaded from the PlayStore, enables travelers to check in for their trip, select their preferred seat within the aircraft, view the schedule, and get contact center details in addition to completing the Southwest Airlines check in process. On Android smartphones, the Southwest mobile boarding pass would be accessible following check-in. On codeshare flights, check-in using the Southwest mobile app is not available.

Southwest Early Bird Check in

Southwest Early Bird Check in

For those seeking the earliest possible boarding position, offers Southwest Early Bird Check In, available 70 days prior to your flight departure. This paid option allows you to select your boarding position among the first 60 passengers, ensuring you get first dibs on overhead bin space and your desired seat.

As per Southwest Airlines check in policy, Southwest Early Bird check in services can be purchased at the price ranging from 50 USD – 100 USD one-way per passenger. Some of the features include – 

Purchase Early Bird Check-In: Access your reservation on Southwest’s website or mobile app and locate the “Southwest Early Bird Check In” option. Select the desired flight and purchase the Early Bird Check-In for the corresponding passengers.

Southwest Automatic check-in – Whether the passenger chooses to print a Southwest boarding pass the day before or hours before the scheduled departure, the confirmed boarding position would be available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Passengers can access Southwest print boarding passes as the schedule allows. 

Select Boarding Position: Once the Southwest Early Bird Check In window opens (70 days prior to departure), you will receive an email notification. Log in to your reservation and select your preferred boarding position within the first 60.

Confirm Early Bird Check-In: Review your Early Bird Check-In details and confirm your selection. Your boarding position will be reflected on your boarding pass.

What is Southwest Boarding Order?

Southwest Airlines begins boarding 30 to 50 minutes prior to the planned departure, depending on the kind of journey and the destination. Southwest Airlines check in closes ten minutes before the planned departure. The airlines will reassign a seat to a passenger if they are not on board. The Southwest boarding time expires when the aircraft doors close. The list of Southwest boarding groups that travelers should be aware of is as follows:

Southwest Boarding Group

Southwest Boarding pass type

Group A (Southwest Military Boarding)

Active duty U.S. military with military I.D.

Group B

Business Select Fare members

Group 3

Anytime Fare members

Group D

Wanna Get Away Fare members Travelers who bought Southwest Early Bird Check-in & Priority boarding members

Southwest Check in Time

Southwest check in time varies depending on the type of flight and the airport. However, here are some general guidelines:

Domestic flights: Check-in opens 24 hours prior to departure and closes 30 minutes before departure.

International flights: Check-in opens 60 minutes prior to departure and closes 30 minutes before departure.

Here is a table of check-in times for Southwest Airlines check in flights:

Flight Type

Check-in Opens

Check-in Closes

Domestic flights

24 hours prior to departure

30 minutes before departure

International flights to/from the US

60 minutes prior to departure

30 minutes before departure

International flights to/from Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean

60 minutes prior to departure

30 minutes before departure

International flights to/from Europe

90 minutes prior to departure

45 minutes before departure

International flights to/from Asia

120 minutes prior to departure

60 minutes before departure

A smooth Southwest Airlines check in process is the gateway to a pleasant travel experience, and Southwest Airlines understands the importance of this first step. Whether you choose online, kiosk, or counter check-in, Southwest provides options tailored to your preferences, ensuring your journey starts on the right note.

Frequently Asked Questions-FAQ's

Here’s the step-by-step method that will allow passengers to complete Southwest check-in at the kiosks – 

  • Find Southwest automatic check-in kiosk machine – the Southwest Airlines webpage should have information about where they are located
  • Provide the Photo ID details/number you used at the time of Southwest flight booking as well as confirmation PNR of the booking information
  • Southwest check-in kiosk machine allows passengers to choose the seat on the plane, or the airlines may automatically assign passengers a seat
  • Take out the Southwest boarding pass as it is required to board the plane

Starting from 50 USD per person, passengers can access automatic Southwest Airlines early bird check-in that helps passengers access better boarding positions as well as earlier access to overhead bins. Some of the features include – 

  • Southwest Automatic check-in
  • Better boarding position 
  • Be the first one to access overhead bins

Southwest Airlines web check-in starts 48 hours prior to their scheduled departure and closes 10 minutes before the flight departs for all classes of services. After check-in using a mobile app or the Southwest Airlines website, the Southwest Airlines boarding pass along with the receipt would be forwarded to the registered mail ID of the passenger.

Southwest Airlines starts boarding 30-50 minutes before the scheduled departure, depending upon the destination and trip type. Southwest Airlines check-in ends 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure. If a passenger is not on board, the airlines will reassign a seat to the passenger. Southwest boarding time lapses once the plane doors are closed.