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Southwest Airlines check-in Policy - AirLines FAQs

Southwest Airlines check-in Policy

Southwest Airlines check-in allows you to complete the check-in process, select your seat, and generate a boarding pass. The pass can be sent to the registered email address of the passenger. To board the plane, display the boarding pass barcode on your device’s screen at the security checkpoint, check your bags at the Southwest Airlines counter, and pass through security.

If passengers are connecting from Southwest Airlines to a flight on one of the 78 participating airlines, they can use the Southwest Airlines mobile app to check in and get their boarding pass.

When traveling with Southwest Airlines, passengers should check in for their flight at least 24 hours before departure. Different times may be required for check-in, baggage, and boarding, depending on the origin and destination. Before departing, passengers should make sure they have taken care of the following:

  • To determine if you qualify for Southwest Airlines check-in at the current time, contact the Southwest Airlines help desk.
  • Passengers must review the rules and regulations established by the airport authority and other important information to figure out when they should arrive at the airport.
  • The Southwest mobile app is like a digital assistant that helps you check in, view your flight status, and check out all in one place.

What is the Southwest Check-In Time

Southwest Airlines passengers must use their six-digit PNR number to secure their desired seat. Web check-in for all service classes opens 48 hours before the scheduled departure time and closes 10 minutes before takeoff. When checking in through the mobile app or the airline’s website, passengers will receive their Southwest Airlines boarding card and a receipt via their registered email address.

Thirty minutes before the scheduled departure – Passengers should arrive at the gate area no later than 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time. Boarding may begin as early as 30 minutes before the flight takes off.

Ten minutes before the scheduled departure – All passengers must have their Southwest boarding passes and be in the Southwest boarding area at least 10 minutes before the flight’s scheduled departure time. If not, Southwest Airlines may cancel the reserved seat by their check-in policies, and passengers will not be able to receive denied boarding compensation.

Suppose passengers do not plan to travel – According to Southwest check-in regulations. In that case, travelers may cancel their reservation at least 10 minutes before the flight’s planned departure time if they do not plan to take any of the flights included in their itinerary. If the original ticket holder fails to cancel the flight segment paid for with a Want to Get Away fare at least 10 minutes before the flight’s scheduled departure, all remaining Wanna Get Away funds will be forfeited. The fare amount for any Business Select and Anytime Fares will be converted into a reloadable travel credit for the originally ticketed passenger only.

Southwest Early Bird Check-In

Passengers can take advantage of Southwest Airlines’ Early Bird Check-in, which allows them a better boarding spot and early access to the overhead bins, starting at USD 50 per person. 

Prices for Early Bird services range from $50 to USD 100 one-way per passenger, depending on the airline’s check-in policy. A few of the features included are:

Southwest Automatic Check-in – The boarding spot will be given to whoever arrives first, regardless of whether the traveler gets their Southwest boarding pass the day before or just a few hours before the flight. Whenever possible, passengers can access Southwest and print their boarding passes.

Better boarding position –  Beginning 36 hours before the Southwest priority boarding positions open, the Southwest aircraft check-in automated system will assign the boarding position. Early Bird check-in does not guarantee an A boarding slot, but it does allow passengers to select their ideal seat on the aircraft more easily.

Be the first one to access overhead bins – Don’t worry; there is no need to worry about extra hand baggage. There is plenty of room available for you. Passengers can take advantage of the overhead storage space that Southwest has made available with their improved boarding process.

How to Check-In for Southwest Flight?

The check-in process for Southwest Airlines flights begins 48 hours before the flight’s planned departure and concludes two hours before the flight’s scheduled departure. 

Are you uncertain about the Southwest check-in process? The following steps can be employed to complete your Southwest Airlines check-in:

Southwest Airlines Check-In Online

The traveler can take advantage of Southwest’s online check-in to check their bags ahead of time, select their preferred seats, choose their meal options, and print their boarding pass. Unfortunately, wheelchair users, unaccompanied minors, and newborns cannot use online check-in for their Southwest Airlines reservations. Additionally, international travelers cannot check in online for Southwest Airlines trips. Even after completing the web check-in process, reservations made with Southwest Airlines can be canceled up to 2 hours before the scheduled departure.

The steps to complete the online check-in process with Southwest Airlines are as follows:

  • Go to and click on the Southwest check-in link. You will be directed to the main page of the Southwest Airlines check-in website.
  • To sign in for your flight, enter your passenger details (flight confirmation number, first name, and last name).
  • To carry on, choose the Check-in option.
  • Complete the Southwest seat confirmation form to ensure your reservation.
  • You can get your Southwest Airlines boarding pass online. Southwest gives passengers the option of either printing their boarding pass right away or waiting and sending it to their registered email address.

Southwest Check-In Kiosk

Using the Southwest kiosk to check in is easy! You can find these kiosks in airports all around the United States. You can submit your Southwest check-in request at the kiosk and print your boarding pass. It applies to both domestic and foreign flights. If you have bags to check, talk to a Southwest Airlines flight executive before check-in closes. To check in with the kiosk, follow these steps:

  • The Southwest Airlines website should indicate where to locate the Southwest self-service check-in station.
  • Provide the Photo ID and number you used when booking your Southwest flight and the PNR (Passenger Name Record) confirmation of your reservation.
  • The Southwest check-in kiosk system allows passengers to choose their seats on the plane, or the airline can assign them automatically.
  • To board the aircraft, the Southwest boarding permit must be present.

Southwest Curbside Check-In

At certain U.S. airports, Southwest Airlines provides curbside check-in for travelers who have confirmed flight reservations and only carry-on luggage. Additionally, some airports provide City check-in services. Southwest Airlines also offers curbside check-in services at a limited number of international airports in the U.S. around the clock, 365 days a year. The following airports provide curbside check-in services:

  • Chicago, Illinois – Southwest curbside check-in
  • Southwest curbside check-in is available in Denver from 12:00 AM to 10:00 PM.
  • Dallas, Texas – Curbside check-in for Dallas Love Field Southwest
  • Southwest BWI Curbside Check-in, Baltimore, Pennsylvania
  • Phoenix, Arizona – Southwest curbside check-in
  • San Diego, California – Southwest curbside check-in

Southwest Check-In Mobile App

The Southwest mobile check-in app will be available on the PlayStore, allowing travelers to check in for their flight, choose their seat, view the schedule, and get contact center information. Android smartphone boarding passes will be accessible after checking in. Unfortunately, check-in on codeshare flights is unavailable through the Southwest mobile app.

Southwest Airport Check-In

When you arrive at the airport, check-in and give your baggage to the attendant. You’ll receive a Southwest print boarding pass in return. To ensure you get on the plane on time, you should be at the airport two hours before departure. To complete the Southwest Airlines check-in process, follow these steps:

Southwest Check-In Desks:

Upon arriving at the airport, visitors can utilize the special information board to discover information regarding the check-in process for their flights. Furthermore, the check-in desks for Southwest Airlines, which are generally situated near the luggage drop-off area, can offer pertinent data. Here is the process in more detail:

  • Find the right Southwest check-in gate for your flight departure time.
  • Have your passport, a valid photo ID issued by the government, your Southwest Airlines reservation number, or a printed copy of your ticket readily available.
  • Passengers must show the necessary documents at the Southwest airline check-in desks. They can also give their checked bags, which will be weighed before they are put on the plane.
  • Passengers will be given a boarding pass to get on the plane after presenting their travel paperwork and following Southwest baggage weight limits.
  • Passengers should go to the security checkpoint after completing their Southwest Airlines check-in process.
  • A passenger can go to the boarding gate after going through security screening. Their boarding pass will show the boarding times for Southwest Airlines. Passengers will be able to board the aircraft while it is in the process of boarding.

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