Articles
   
       
       
Pics/Video
   
       
       
Shop
Search
 
 
 
 
 
Home   Articles   Pics/Video   Gear   Wake 101   Events   Community   Forums   Classifieds   Contests   Shop   Search
WakeWorld Home
Email Password
Go Back   WakeWorld > Non-Wakeboarding Discussion

Share 
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old    Ron T (Laker1234)      Join Date: Mar 2010       03-13-2015, 12:57 PM Reply   
I'm flying Southwest Air for the first time and was curious to know how not having assigned seats works. How early do I need to get there to make sure I get on the plane? Any advice or heads up?
Old    Tnsatbhs (Tnsatbhs)      Join Date: Jun 2013       03-13-2015, 1:19 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laker1234 View Post
I'm flying Southwest Air for the first time and was curious to know how not having assigned seats works. How early do I need to get there to make sure I get on the plane? Any advice or heads up?

It's all about when you check in. If you check in 24 hours early, which is as early as you can, then you will be one of the first people on the plane (only after people that paid extra to get at the front of the line). When you check in you will be given an identifier composed of a letter and number (a20 for example) instead of a seat assignment. The planes board in order of your number and seats are first come first serve.
Old    John Anderson (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       03-13-2015, 1:48 PM Reply   
+1 to the above. Check in online as quickly as you can at the t-minus 24 hour mark. I always get a better seat than I do with Delta.
Old    August (augie_09)      Join Date: Mar 2011       03-13-2015, 1:48 PM Reply   
Random
Old    Shredtastic (seth)      Join Date: Sep 2002       03-13-2015, 4:02 PM Reply   
I believe if you have a ticket you will get on the plane, unless of course you get to drunk at the airport bar before and are not allowed on. If you are one of those people who always has to be first in line, starts getting in line before the plane even gets to the terminal, or is the first person to jump up and begin waiting to get off when the plane lands you will hate it. If you dont give a crap you should be ok, unless of course you get to drunk at the airport bar before the plane leaves.
Old    Evan Callahan (ercAXISA22)      Join Date: Dec 2014       03-13-2015, 5:26 PM Reply   
You can pay $12 or somewhere close to that for early boarding. If I'm with a group, one of us will pay and save seats for the others. Prices are good and they fly where I go. The southwest credit card is nice too. Haven't paid for a flight in 4 years.
Old    Eric (DenverRider)      Join Date: Feb 2013       03-13-2015, 7:04 PM Reply   
I can never understand why people want to get on the plane so early. It isn't like there is so much difference between the first seat and the last seat. They aren't giving first class type seats to the first people boarding. Who wants to spend EXTRA time in a metal tube with early boarding?

On the other hand, if you are flying with your family, this airline makes NO sense. Are they going to make my 2 year old sit by some pervert stranger because I didn't board the plane first?? I'll pay extra to fly a different airline thank you.
Old    John Anderson (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       03-14-2015, 7:14 AM Reply   
You can't just be first in line by arriving early. You are assigned a boarding priority. The SW gate has a numbering system so that you get in line according to your boarding code. The system is great if you like an aisle or window seat. I've always been able to get an aisle seat by checking in close to 24 hours in advance. It also makes it easier to sit next to your family or friends. If you board early the whole back of the plane is nearly empty. It also makes it much easier to get a spot for your carry on. I had to travel with preassigned seats on Delta a bunch for work and I almost never got an aisle seat. And if I didn't have a Delta American Express to get priority boarding I would have had problems with my carry on.

There is only one word of advice for SW... Check in as close as possible to 24 hours before the flight.
Old     (newwhit)      Join Date: Mar 2007       03-14-2015, 7:28 AM Reply   
They have "family boarding" after group "a". We always board then and always sit next to each other. I think you need kids under 10, or something like that...
Old    A-dub (behindtheboat)      Join Date: Aug 2006       03-14-2015, 10:14 AM Reply   
You can check in, and want to online as close as possible to 24hrs before your flight time. This assigns you a letter number A 1-60, B 1-60, C 1-60. They announce that the A boarding group line up, and you will see the posts with the letters and numbers. Passengers basically line up in groups of 5, and then A boards, Family boarding, B boards, and C boards. B lines up after the A line has boarded, and C after B, they will announce for the different letters to line up. You walk on the plane, and pick your choice of an open seat.

I also recommend getting the Southwest App, you can check-in, get boarding pass, check flight status, etc.

As a frequent SWA flyer, I appreciate you asking beforehand. You'll even notice people faking to not know what's going on to try and board the plane early.

Last edited by behindtheboat; 03-14-2015 at 10:18 AM.
Old     (Shawn)      Join Date: Aug 2011       03-14-2015, 12:12 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laker1234 View Post
I'm flying Southwest Air for the first time and was curious to know how not having assigned seats works. How early do I need to get there to make sure I get on the plane? Any advice or heads up?
Also a SW frequent flier here. The old "cattle call" loading system is gone. You are now assigned a boarding position based on when you check in. As other mentioned, checking in as close to the 24 hour mark will get you a better position and better seat choice when you board.

You will receive an A. B or C and #. (A1-60, B1-60, C1-60) You line up by your letter group then in numerical order. A1 loads first C60 loads last.

A Business Select ticket guarantees you a A1-15 position. Early Bird check in for a few bucks more will automatically assign you the next open positions, usually in the A20-30 range if you can not check right at the 24 hour mark in or you are picky about your seat ( you sill DO need to check in however...just not at 24 hours for a higher position)

Business Select customers get A1-15
A-List Frequent flier members get positions starting at A16
Early Bird Check In purchasers get the next A positions after A-Listers
General tickets that check in on their own get the next positions.

If you are doing a carry on, no need to even check in at the counter. You ca check in on line, print your boarding pass at home and proceeded directly to the gate. If you are checking bags...still print your boarding pass as some cities have an "express bag drop" lane if you have your boarding pass rather than waiting in the full service line.

SW board flight about 30 min prior to departure, 20 if it is not a full flight.

Last edited by Shawn; 03-14-2015 at 12:20 PM.
Old    Eric (DenverRider)      Join Date: Feb 2013       03-14-2015, 1:54 PM Reply   
What a convoluted mess. It reminds me of our situation for getting up to the ski slopes from Denver. First you had to get on the road by 7 in order to avoid traffic. Then everybody was on the road by 7 so you had to be on the road by 6:30 and then 6. Now you have to be on the road by 4 am if you want to avoid traffic. Either that or you can just wait till 10 when everybody else is already up there. When everybody tries to get there early, then nobody gets there early. I can just imagine the mad rush 24 hours before boarding with everyone trying to get the earliest boarding group. I'll take a reserved seat over this crap any day. That way while everyone else is cramped inside a metal tube I can continue to have a drink at the bar until the last minute.
Old    John Anderson (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       03-14-2015, 2:54 PM Reply   
The SW system works great for me. No rush to the gate at all. Also I recommend getting the SW/Chase Visa card. I got 50,000 frequent flyer points for the $100 fee and putting a couple thousand in charges on the card. Just flew to Utah for snowboarding for under 16,000 points round trip. Plus SW gives you two free check in and no extra charge for being a snowboard.

Also look into the Barclay Arrival card. You get about $460 in travel expenses paid back after spending $3000 on it (which can include the travel expenses). The fee is waived the first year. I canceled mine before the fee was charges, waited 3 months, and got another one with the same deal. It paid for a snowboarding trip I took to Vermont last year.

I also picked up a BoA and a Chase card that each gave me $100 after charging $500 and no annual fee.
Old     (Shawn)      Join Date: Aug 2011       03-14-2015, 3:19 PM Reply   
On the surface it may appear to be more of a concluded mess than say Delta (which I an convinced stands for Don't Ever Leave the Airport) to the casual flyer, but if you are a regular flyer with them the system is great. I have a choice of who I sit next to...and can adjust my seating strategy to the trip I am on. I hate having to pay a seat fee on other airlines just to be sure that I do not get a middle seat.

But more importantly...NO bag fees for the first two bags and zero change fees to switch flights which I do on over half my flights...plus their rewards program is one of the best. Between my SW Visa and A-List status I have more points for free flights than I could ever use. I am flying me and two friends for an upcoming weekend trip round trip using 20,000 points total of my 540,000 balance!
Old    Wes (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001       03-14-2015, 5:01 PM Reply   
Eric it sounds like you don't understand the process. There is no rushing at the gate to get anything. You already have a number assigned from when you checked in.

Regardless, I'll fly Virgin over SW or anybody else domestically. Although I do want to try the new xcountry AA product.
Old    Ron T (Laker1234)      Join Date: Mar 2010       03-14-2015, 7:23 PM Reply   
Thanks, I didn't understand the check-in early part on their website, but what you are saying make sense now. The way I was reading it I was to show up 24 hours early at the gate. I'm not too concerned where I sit. I just need some idea about how the system works. We got the point deal, John. I was skeptical when my buddy told me about it but apparently it works.
Old    Brett W (brettw)      Join Date: Jul 2007       03-14-2015, 8:22 PM Reply   
Just pay the $12 for early bird check in each way. Bag or not, it's worth losing any bit of stress you might have about getting the seat you want and putting whatever you want in the overhead.
Old    Ron T (Laker1234)      Join Date: Mar 2010       03-15-2015, 8:02 AM Reply   
So I can print my own boarding pass at home 24 hrs. in advance with the Early-Bird Special?
Old    Wes (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001       03-15-2015, 2:08 PM Reply   
You can print at home with or without early bird.

Or if you don't have a printer handy (or lose the printout) you can just show up at the airport and pop your credit card into one of the kiosks and it'll print the boarding pass for you (you've already locked in your spot when you checked in online).
Old    Nacho (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       03-15-2015, 3:38 PM Reply   
Its pretty chaotic if you've done it before. As mentioned, its all about the 24 hr check-in. Kinda weird, if you're with a group you're not going to sit close to each other

However, 2 free checked bags. One of mine was a snowboard and I didn't even pay an oversized fee. All in all, it was great with the perks they have, especially their rewards. $0 to get a snowboard Dallas Love to DIA and back was awesome, i'll sit wherever and talk to my friends when I get there. And not having to go through DFW was icing on the cake
Old    Ron T (Laker1234)      Join Date: Mar 2010       03-15-2015, 9:41 PM Reply   
Thanks!!!!
Old    Wes (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001       03-16-2015, 3:37 AM Reply   
Hmm I found the new system to be pretty chill and not chaotic. Although it was rare, when travelling with a significant other I never had a problem with one of us saving a seat for the other on a Southwest flight (nobody wants a middle seat anyway).

I did perfect the art of staring down the 5 ft 2 chick who would board early and plop herself down in the emergency exit seat with no seat in front of it. She'd usually get it and move by the time I made my way to the middle of the plane.
Old    Boarder 42 (jhartt3)      Join Date: Jan 2012       03-16-2015, 5:21 AM Reply   
nothing more annoying than tiny people sitting in exit row seats.
Old    A-dub (behindtheboat)      Join Date: Aug 2006       03-16-2015, 9:59 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by DenverRider View Post
What a convoluted mess. It reminds me of our situation for getting up to the ski slopes from Denver. First you had to get on the road by 7 in order to avoid traffic. Then everybody was on the road by 7 so you had to be on the road by 6:30 and then 6. Now you have to be on the road by 4 am if you want to avoid traffic. Either that or you can just wait till 10 when everybody else is already up there. When everybody tries to get there early, then nobody gets there early. I can just imagine the mad rush 24 hours before boarding with everyone trying to get the earliest boarding group. I'll take a reserved seat over this crap any day. That way while everyone else is cramped inside a metal tube I can continue to have a drink at the bar until the last minute.
Are you able to get overhead space with that method?
Old    Onthe Creek (onthecreek)      Join Date: Apr 2013       03-17-2015, 6:51 AM Reply   
You don't even need to print a boarding pass. Have it emailed or texted to your phone and then just show your phone at security and the gate. They have scanners that will read a code on your screen.

I think for the $12 fee you also get auto-checkin 24 hours ahead of time in addition to the good boarding pass.
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       03-17-2015, 9:16 AM Reply   
If flying alone and on a full flight, I actually think having a mid-B#'d boarding pass is better. Everyone who has ever had an A15 boarding pass has thought they were money getting the aisle seat up front only to have the 400 lb guy come in with C20 and take that middle seat right next to you.

With a mid-B boarding pass, flying solo, I ALWAYS try to find two people flying together who are trying to keep the middle seat empty between them. If they don't scoot over and give you the aisle, at least you are sitting in the middle between some skinny peeps.
Old    Trayson Harmon (trayson)      Join Date: May 2013       03-17-2015, 10:07 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawndoggy View Post
If flying alone and on a full flight, I actually think having a mid-B#'d boarding pass is better. Everyone who has ever had an A15 boarding pass has thought they were money getting the aisle seat up front only to have the 400 lb guy come in with C20 and take that middle seat right next to you.

With a mid-B boarding pass, flying solo, I ALWAYS try to find two people flying together who are trying to keep the middle seat empty between them. If they don't scoot over and give you the aisle, at least you are sitting in the middle between some skinny peeps.
It's always better to choose your poison than to have your poison choose you. The last time my wife and I flew SWA, we took 2 of the 3 seats and despite doing everything right on soliciting and avoiding eye contact on the desirable and undesirable later boarders, we ended up with a lady that had so much junk in the trunk that it was physically impossible for her to put the armrest down between her and my wife. So, my wife was forced to sit cheek-to-cheek with this woman. Not fair for us.


With the SWA app, you can typically get the A group by checking in right at that 24 hour mark. Honestly aside from seat selection, the biggest reason for trying to get on the plane earlier is because of the premium these days on overhead bag storage. It's not AS bad on SWA since they give you free checked bags. but on most airlines that do charge people are brining more and more and more carryons (maxing out the limits) so if you're like me and want to put your carryon above you and have nothing to crowd your feet, then you have to get on the plane earlier vs later.


That said, we gave up on SWA after having too many trips where they simply couldn't give us an on time flight. We got sick of the delays and are now loyal Alaska Airlines customers. For us, Alaska is fantastic. My son flys a roundtrip twice a month all year long for visitation between my Ex and me. So he's an Alaska MVP and as such doesn't have to pay any of the unaccompanied minor fees, which is a great savings to us. (even though Alaska has the cheapest U/M fees of anyone at $25 each way vs. SWA at $50 and other airlines at $100). With my son as an MVP, we get to go through the MVP line at the counter, the express line through security, and we get free checked bags and access to the premium MVP seats whenever we fly with him. So Alaska for us is a no brainer. Couple that with the BofA Alaska visa and the 3 of us are flying round trip to NYC this year for Thanksgiving. Woot!
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       03-17-2015, 12:07 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by trayson View Post
It's always better to choose your poison than to have your poison choose you. The last time my wife and I flew SWA, we took 2 of the 3 seats and despite doing everything right on soliciting and avoiding eye contact on the desirable and undesirable later boarders, we ended up with a lady that had so much junk in the trunk that it was physically impossible for her to put the armrest down between her and my wife. So, my wife was forced to sit cheek-to-cheek with this woman. Not fair for us.
Zactly.

I've contemplated wearing a SARS mask while other passengers are boarding. LOL.

Reply
Share 

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 9:29 PM.

Home   Articles   Pics/Video   Gear   Wake 101   Events   Community   Forums   Classifieds   Contests   Shop   Search
Wake World Home

 

© 2012 eWake, Inc.    
Advertise    |    Contact    |    Terms of Use    |    Privacy Policy    |    Report Abuse    |    Conduct    |    About Us