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Flying SW

topmom101

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Hi all, I am a first time Southwest flyer and have a reservation for next week to fly to FL. I opted not to buy the early bird seat assignment as I remember reading somewhere it wasn't necessary. Can someone share the protocol to getting seat assignments? Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.
 

scootr5

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Are you flying alone? Origin and destination airports? Online check in starts exactly 24 hours in advance of the flight, so you'll want to check in right at that time to get the highest possible boarding number.
 

topmom101

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Hi Scott, I am flying with my sister (she has her own reservation) from West Islip, NY to Fort Lauderdale. How does their seat assignment work?
 

scootr5

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It's open seating in 3 groups (A, B and C), based upon your boarding number. There is no seat saving, so if you get a B10 and you sister gets a C20, you won't board together.

You're not going in or out of Orlando, so if you both check in at the 24 hour mark you'll likely end up with low As or high Bs. You should be able to easily get two seats together probably mid point to back of the plane if you both check in right at the 24 hour mark.
 

Passepartout

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There are NO seat assignments. Check in- either by phone or online EXACTLY 24 hours before your first flight. THIS IS IMPORTANT! You will be given a boarding number Like A-10 or B-24 or C-2 or something this is your boarding order to actually get on he plane. Then when you get on the plane, sit anywhere you want.

Jim
 

Luanne

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As to whether or not buying the Early Bird seating is "necessary" it may all depend on where you are flying out of and in to and how popular those flights are, and also whether or not the majority of the flyers purchase it. It may also depend on whether you have anything to store in the overhead bins and if you want that stuff close to you.

We always purchase it now. Started doing it as at times we weren't near a computer (and you can't phone in to check in, or at least you didn't use to be able to) to check in at the 24 hour mark.

There are times even with Early Bird that we've ended up at the very end of the A boarding group. I'm not sure if we've been as low as being in the B group.

Mostly I do it because I dislike waiting to board. ;)

And from the Southwest website, everything you ever wanted to know:

https://www.southwest.com/html/customer-service/airport-experience/index.html
 
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SmithOp

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I think they reserve all the A tickets for frequent flyer priority boarding and to sell as early bird, so the lowest you may get is B-1. It depends on how many FF and EB they have on your flight.

From their FAQ
When are EarlyBird Check-In Customers' boarding pass positions reserved?
EarlyBird Check-In Customers will have their boarding passes reserved beginning 36 hours prior to their flight's scheduled departure time. Boarding Passes can be printed beginning 24 hours prior to the flight's scheduled local departure time.

Will EarlyBird Check-In Customers get an "A" Boarding Pass and be among the first to board?
More than likely you will receive an "A" Boarding Pass, but not always.


Sent from my iPad using the strange new version of Tapatalk
 

Luanne

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I was also told (by a SW customer service agent at the airport) that the order in which the Early Bird numbers are assigned has nothing to do with when you purchased the tickets. The first 15 are for their "Business" class. I don't know if those are also for their premier status members. But after that, I was told, it's based on how much you paid for your ticket. So my assumption is, if you used points for the tickets, and then purchase Early Bird, you're screwed. :ignore:

But this system is so much better than when they used to board just by A, B or C groups and everyone would jam into line in order to be first.
 

topmom101

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Thanks, guys. I will do exactly as you say. Looking forward to trying SW and a week at the Beach Towers, another first for me.
 

mdurette

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You will be fine without the purchase of EBCI. The only time I purchase it is when I know I won't be able to check-in at the 24 hour mark (like on a cruise).
I disagree that is a necessity to purchase. I fly with a party of 3 all the time and we have never had an instance that we didn't get an entire row together.

As a party of two, you will most likely find seats before the exit row together and if you don't mind splitting up, you could be in the first few rows.

Just set the alarm on your phone to remind you to check in at 24. Make sure you have your confirmation (reservation) number with you. Once checked in you will get a boarding pass with a letter (a,b or c) and a number.

Once you are at your gate, you will see poles with numbers: 1-5, 6-10 etc.

When your group (a,b or c) is called to line up, you just go to stand where your number is. If you are late to the airport and your group has already gone, you can go up anytime.
 

Sandi Bo

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Just set the alarm on your phone to remind you to check in at 24. Make sure you have your confirmation (reservation) number with you. Once checked in you will get a boarding pass with a letter (a,b or c) and a number.

This is what I do. If I am not home, or busy at the time, I still checkin (can do it from my phone) and then later in the day, when it's convenient for me, I will checkin again. You keep your original boarding status. At that time I print my boarding passes or whatever I am going to do.
 

GrayFal

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Thanks, guys. I will do exactly as you say. Looking forward to trying SW and a week at the Beach Towers, another first for me.

This time of year out of ISP you will not have a problem. Just be sure to check In At exactly 24 hours.
It is a pleasure to travel from ISP.
 

vacationhopeful

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Flying home from FLL .. you might want to buy it ... the cruise port ALWAYS has full flights OUT with all their trinkets (Snowbird season and full cruise ships).

"Trinkets" being in the overstuffed shopping bags from the ports where they brought "junk" to remember their GREAT voyage or gifts for family.
 
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topmom101

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Will be flying back from Miami to Charlotte via Delta so no worries. I have a feeling SW will become my new preferred airline. I used to be a loyal JetBlue passenger but too many changes made me look elsewhere. Thanks everyone for the great advice.
 

Passepartout

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If you have a smart phone, you can check in at Southwest.com, get your boarding number and be completely paperless. Or when you check-in your (free) checked bags, print it there, but be sure to check in at 24 hours before your first flight time.
 

nightnurse613

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Also, make sure you sign up for their Rewards program - especially if they are going to be your "favorite" airline. Those points do add up (slowly). I was surprised (annoyed, dismayed) to read one post that your boarding pass number was assigned by how much you paid. I know that business select (and higher class tickets) get preferential boarding priority but I always presumed first come first served at the 24 hour mark - preferred seating and EBS being assigned before the rest of the herd. My personal experience is that MANY of SWA flights have their full contingent and, if you are looking for a specific seat you should get a priority seat (and then it's still open seating)- otherwise, if you are still an adventurous type and don't care where you sit or with whom-avoid the EBS fee. Sometimes, if we are flying together one gets the EBS and saves a seat (once a cheapskate, always a cheapskate).:shrug:
 

scootr5

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People who purchase a higher priced "Anytime" fare get first priority in EBCI over the "Wanna Get Away" fares; it is also based on the time stamp of the EarlyBird Check-In purchase.

The first 15 in the A group are reserved for business select, and they will often "sell" an upgrade to one of those numbers at the gate if they don't have 15 BS passengers on the flight.
 
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Dori

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I think you will really like SW. If we are travelling in the U.S., we always do the 3 hour drive from Toronto to Buffalo just to fly with them.. We luv their policies, and the staff is super!

Dori
 

silentg

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This is what I do, go on check in online, put all info in ahead conf name etc, push check in will get a oops but keep refreshing last 5 minutes until check in push buttons fast and usually get an A spot, any hesitation will get you B spot. If you forget you will be in C. We fly southwest mostly if possible. Just flew yesterday with my DH. Our daughter checked us in both got A .
Silentg
 

topmom101

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Great idea, silentg, thanks. Will do.

PigsDad, already downloaded Southwest app and my phone and IPad. Thanks.
 

silentg

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Also FWIW we have a southwest Visa card, you get 50,000 points at sign up, and points for every purchase charged. They also have partner car rentals, etc. Makes award tickets awarded faster than just Rapid Rewards. Has worked for us since we try to book Southwest for most of our trips.
Silentg
 

Bwolf

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How does SW do it when you change planes?

When you print your boarding passes you get a pass for the first flight and another pass for the second flight.
 
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