Southwest Airlines is a low-cost carrier with major hubs in the city of Dallas and Texas. This airline is very popular because of its excellent and flexible amenities. If you are going to fly with this airline soon then you must know about its check-in policy to avoid any unforeseen situation. 

Here in this article, we have gathered all the essential details required to complete Southwest Airlines check-in effortlessly. So, without wasting any extra minutes let’s have a look. 

What are the Check-in Timings for Southwest Airlines?

When you are going to travel with Southwest Airlines, you must be punctual and should have a firm knowledge of the check-in timings irrespective of the check-in options. To avoid any flight missing situation you must complete the check-in on time. But the question is How early can you check in for a flight Southwest? Well, to get this answer, take a look at the below-given details. 

Timings for Automatic Check-in 

Southwest Airlines provides a special check-in option known as automatic check-in. This facility is specially designated to passengers with Anytime fare and Business Select Fare tickets. In this facility, the airline will complete the check-in procedure 36 before the flight departure time on behalf of the privileged passengers.

However, the passengers can collect the boarding pass 24 hours prior to the flight departure time. 

Timings for Online and Mobile Check-in 

Complete your online or mobile check-in from 24 hours to 1 hour before your flight departs to fly domestically with Southwest Airlines. And if you are flying to an international destination then you have to complete the check-in time starts 24 hours before the flight time and ends 90 minutes before the security boarding time. 

Note: For any queries regarding the check-in timings, you can connect with the Southwest Airlines check-in phone number. The toll-free number is 1 (800) 435-9792. 

Timings for Kiosk and Airport Check-in 

If you have chosen the Kiosk or Airport check-in method then you may take a look at the below-given check-in deadline for both domestic and international flights. 

  • Southwest check-in time at the counter and kiosk podium for domestic flights will end 10-20 minutes before the scheduled flight departure time. 
  • For international flights, the check-in facility will stop 60 minutes before the flight time. 

There are some airports listed below, where the counter check-in differs:

Domestic Flights


Check-in Closing Time
Albuquerque Airport 60 minutes 
Albany, San Antonio, and San Francisco Airports 90 minutes
Baltimore/Washington, Dallas, Atlanta, and Austin Airports 120 minutes 
Aruba and Cancun Airports 180 minutes

International Flights 


Airport Check-in Closing Time
Albuquerque and San Francisco Airports 90 minutes 
Albany, Dallas, San Antonio, Atlanta, and Austin Airports 120 minutes 
Aruba, Baltimore/Washington, and Cancun Airports 180 minutes


How to Complete Check-in for Southwest  Airlines?

Completing the check-in procedure of Southwest Airlines can be a bit challenging if you are trying it for the first time. But no worries, we have mentioned some easy tips which can be helpful for you to complete the process smoothly. Kindly take a look below:

Southwest Airlines Online Check-in 

If you are going to complete your Southwest check-in online then you have to go to the official Check-in Index site of Southwest Airlines. Once the site is open you can put all the details on the blank boxes. Once you fill that in, you have to tap on the “Check-in” option. After that, you can submit your documents online (if required). Once you complete the check-in, you will get an option to download the “Southwest boarding pass”. Tap on that, to get the pass. 

The boarding pass that you will receive is a mandatory document, without which you will not be able to board your flight. You can take a print of the boarding pass to show at the terminal gate or you can send the file to your phone and can fly by showing the digital pass. 

Mobile Check-in

Southwest Airlines' mobile check-in procedure is quite similar to the online procedure. But the only difference is that you have to complete the procedure by downloading the official app of Southwest Airlines. Details are given below:

  • Once you download the app. Go straight to the check-in option. 
  • Fill out the details carefully. 
  • After filling in the details, tap on the check-in button. 
  • After the successful completion, the airline will send the boarding pass to your mail or phone number. 
  • Either you can take a screenshot of the pass or can download it on your phone to show later at the airport. 

Kiosk Check-in 

A kiosk machine can be used to complete the check-in, print the boarding pass, scan the passport, add emergency contact details, print baggage tags, and many more other stuff. For kiosk check-in reach the airport within the given time. However, to board an international flight, you cannot use the kiosk podium for check-in. 

After you reach, go straight near the ticket counter or to the entrance gate of the airport to find the kiosk machine. Once, you find the kiosk podium, follow the given points:

  • Choose your preferable language to proceed further.  
  • After that, you have to put all the details on the blank boxes that are required to be filled in. 
  •  To avoid any sort of problems, you can cross-verify the details carefully. 
  • After that, you can click on “Southwest Airlines print boarding pass”.  
  • After receiving the pass, make sure to reach the flight boarding area at least 30 to 10 minutes before the flight takes off. 

Note: Maximum Kiosk podiums are available at US Airports. Hence, before opting for this check-in method, kindly make sure that your concerned airport has a Kiosk facility. 

Automatic Check-in

There are some benefits of automatic check-in that are listed below:

  • Your confirmed boarding position will be available and waiting for you whether you decide to print your boarding pass a day in advance or only a few hours before flight departure.
  • You can select the seat as per your preference. 
  • You can also get the benefit to become a Rapid Rewards A-List Preferred or A-List member.

However, if you have purchased some other ticket than Anytime fare and Business Select Fare tickets, then also you can get the automatic check-in benefit. Details are given below: 

  • You can purchase the automatic early check-in facility at $15-25 per direction. This offer is validated up to 36 hours before the flight time. 
  • To upgrade your boarding, you can pay $30-50 per segment at the ticket counter. 

Note: No refund can be claimed on the early check-in purchases.  

Southwest Airlines early check-in

Southwest Airlines is a very popular airline which means more passengers. So, there is a high chance that you might have to wait for a quite long time in the check-in queue to complete the check-in procedure at the airport. To avoid that situation you can apply for the online or mobile check-in. There are many benefits of early check-in, some of the major advantages you can get while flying with this airline are given below:

  • By completing the procedure earlier, you can get to choose a seat as per your preference. 
  • You can also get access to overhead bin storage for carry-on baggage or for any other personal item.
  •  An earlier checker means you will get to board the flight earlier. 
  • You can have enough time to complete other airport formalities. 
  • You can avoid paying any penny for late arrival at the boarding gate.
  • Minimizes the chances to miss a flight.  


Who is Required to Complete the Check-in Procedure at the Airport?


Not all people can do their check-in procedure via online or kiosk modes. There are certain sections of people who are required to complete their check-in at the airport. Categories are mentioned below:

  • A minor under Southwest UMNR Policy
  • A passenger traveling with a pet. 
  • Passengers who are traveling with paper tickets. 
  • A passenger who is traveling with an infant.
  •  A person traveling with a Military fare. 


What are the Southwest Airlines Check-in Documents Required?  


There are certain documents that are required to complete the check-in, to confirm that you are eligible to be in the carrier or if you are legally eligible to fly to a different destination or not. The essential documents that are needed are listed below:

  • Your government-authorized ID card, to travel internally. The ID should have your full name, photo, gender, and current address. 
  • A passport is needed if you are going to travel to some international destination. The valid period of your passport should be at least 6 months from your arrival. 
  • For international trips, tourist/ business visas are mandatory. However, the requirement solely depends on the country to are going to visit.  
  • Your electronic ticket and boarding pass are required to show up at the departure terminal gate. 
  • If you have any medical issues then you must have to carry documents related to your medical history.  
  • Some pet certificates if you are flying with your pet. For instance, rabies certificate and health certificate. 


How to Download Mobile Boarding Pass? 


A boarding pass is the most important document that you need. It gives you permission to board a particular flight. Through the boarding pass the guard at the terminal gate get to identify your name, flight number, seat number, scheduled date, and flight time. If you have completed your check-in virtually then you can get the e-boarding pass, which means flying paperless. 

To get the boarding pass, you only need to complete only 3 steps; 

  • Complete the check-in on your mobile app. 
  • Once you are done, you will see an option “Download Southwest Airlines mobile boarding pass” flashing on your screen. 
  • Tab on that option to download and save the pass. 

Note: Any infant, unaccompanied kid, passenger traveling on a military fare, or someone who is going to fly internationally cannot use the mobile boarding pass facility. 

Boarding Pass from the Kiosk Podium 

Once you complete the kiosk check-in you will see an option to “print boarding pass Southwest Airlines”. You just have to tap on the option and your pass will get printed. The kiosk facility is available at all airports outside the US except at Nassau Airport. 

However, you cannot get your boarding pass from the kiosk machine, if you fail to complete the check-in process at least 30 minutes before the flight boarding time. You can only get your boarding pass from the Departure gate of the airport. 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The person who already purchased the tickets and has an upcoming flight with the details of the e-Ticket number or the confirmation number those are eligible.

Yes, you may use the website to do the online, but after that, also you have to visit the Southwest Airlines check-in counter for the baggage.

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