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Southwest boarding order

Gerie

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Over Labor Day weekend I flew Southwest to Florida. At exactly 24 hours before each flight (there and back) I logged on to get my boarding pass. in fact on the return flight my first try must have been a couple of seconds before the 24 hour mark on their clock, because I received an error message telling me to wait until it was 24 hours before the flight. A quick "refresh" and I was in. What I want to know is how I ended up with numbers A51 and B63. Were there really that many people who were ahead of me? Does anyone know how they are assigning boarding order? Do they hold the first positions for some people? Those needing assistance were not included in the line-up.

I still had fine seats, but I am curious about this.
 

Dave M

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Yes, about a year ago, Southwest started holding the first 30 or so boarding passes for those who pay a higher fare. The number varies on each flight based on how many high-fare tickets were purchased. After that it's first-come, first-served.
 

Gerie

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Thanks, Dave.

I guess it was about a year ago that I previously flew Southwest, and I just wasn't paying attention.
 

Blues

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Actually, they only hold A1-15 for Business Select (higher cost) customers. That number doesn't vary, but usually only the first few are actually issued. Usually A5 (or so) to A15 don't exist.

Whenever I fly SWA, I do as Gerie said (keep clicking until let in), and I generally get around A22 or so. On my last SWA flight, while talking to those in line in front of me, I discovered why. It's not advertised, but SWA actually reserves the next half-dozen or so (A16-21 or so) for its high-status passengers. If you've flown a large number of segments in the last 12 months (don't know how many), you can check in as late as you like and you'll get one of those. I talked to 3 separate passengers who confirmed that. This number does vary with the number of high status passengers.

But that should only take you to somewhere in the A20's, depending on how many high status passengers there are on the flight. To get you back to A51 would imply that there were 36 of them, which would be very unusual. B63? Doesn't sound right at all to me.

-Bob
 
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Luanne

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I agree this sounds very unusual. In my somewhat limited experience with the new system I found that if I check in at the 24 hour mark I'll end up in the A20's. If I wait several hours I've still ended up in the A's, usually around the 50's. Even checking in the day of the flight (not at the airport, but ahead of time) I don't think I've been in the B's.
 

applegirl

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It's not advertised, but SWA actually reserves the next half-dozen or so (A16-21 or so) for its high-status passengers. If you've flown a large number of segments in the last 12 months (don't know how many), you can check in as late as you like and you'll get one of those.

My husband flies a lot and this is correct.

Janna
 

geoffb

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You also have to keep in mind that people who are checking in for earlier flights and connecting to your flight are checking in ahead of you.
 

susieq

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You also have to keep in mind that people who are checking in for earlier flights and connecting to your flight are checking in ahead of you.

I was going to mention this also, as I've gotten in maybe 10 min. late & ended up with "B". :doh: Then I realized that the flight was coming from somewhere else, and that there were other people who connected to my flight. I've also gotten in too early, only to get the error message. By constantly refreshing, I will eventually get in, only to get A20 or so ...........:shrug:

Sue
 

Gerie

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Thanks again, everyone.

Actually, the flight that got me the B boarding was the first flight out in the morning, so there were no connecting passengers checking in. It may not have been 63, but it was definitely a B.

At least now I realize that there weren't at least 50 other faster finger flickers than me. :D
 

geoffb

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It is a bit of a competitive sport.... I often check in using my cell phone when I don't have a computer handy.
 

Cathyb

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My sister is elderly and flies from Sacramento to San Diego --did they eliminate the priority list for those that are slightly handicapped but not in wheelchairs?
 

Luanne

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My sister is elderly and flies from Sacramento to San Diego --did they eliminate the priority list for those that are slightly handicapped but not in wheelchairs?
They do still have boarding for those who need assistance, but you have to have a special boarding pass. Those people are still boarded first if I remember correctly.
 
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