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Flying SWA into Vegas..need some advice on flying them

Indianapolis...
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Flying SWA into Vegas..need some advice on flying them

I will be taking SWA into Vegas in April and have only flown them once before way back in 2005 so don't recall that much from it. I know they board without set seats, so does everyone just rush in and grab whatever seat they want? Also for an "additional" $12.50 each way I can pay to board early or something, but not sure how that works and if it's worth the $25. Any info on flying with SWA would help this to be passanger.

Saint Joseph...
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1. Re: Flying SWA into Vegas..need some advice on flying them

The Early Bird Boarding ($25) is definitely worth it. If you do NOT get the Early Bird, then you will want to Check In for your flight as close to 24 hours prior as possible. When you check in, you will be assigned a boarding number (position).

When you flew them in 2005, you were ONLY given an A, B, or C. Now you will be given a specific postion within one of those groups (ie. A43, B17, etc.). Folks are boarded by group, in numerical order within that group.

By doing the Early Bird, you do not have to play the "24 Hour Check-In Race"! EB assigns you a spot and you can check in anytime you want.

SE Mich
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2. Re: Flying SWA into Vegas..need some advice on flying them

On SWA you get a boarding position, base on when you check in. Check in opens up exactly 24 prior to departure time. This boarding position will put you in a group, labeled A, B, C, maybe there's a D. Within this group you are assigned a number, for example; B12. You will be the 12th person witin the B group to board. You get to board when your group is called.

The $12.50 per segment fee gets you in an early boarding group, which happens before any of the A, B, C groups.

Either way seating is open once on the plane, you sit wherever there is an open seat, that you want.

Phoenix
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3. Re: Flying SWA into Vegas..need some advice on flying them

If you care about where you sit, then do the early bird check in or when 24 hours strikes before your flight get your boarding pass asap. If the seat doesn't matter to you then just show up at the airport and get your boarding pass pretty easy!

Naperville, Illinois
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4. Re: Flying SWA into Vegas..need some advice on flying them

When you check in for you flight you are given a boarding group and position. There are 3 groups (A,B,C) and 60 positions. When they are ready to board they will call up boarding group A followed by B followed by C. When your group is called you line up in position number and board the plan "in position order". You can check into your flight up to 24 hours in advance. The earlier you check in the "lower" your number. If you get a number above B30 or so you should be able to choose your seat type (aisle or window) but if your towards the back half of that you may not have much choice as to what row.

The early bird boarding option is, IMO worth the extra money. Southwest automatically checks in those with early bird 36 hours before the flight at which time you are assigned a boarding position. In most cases with EB you are given a position in the A group. On the more popular flight (LAS, MCO, etc) you could be in the A or B group but in either case its better then getting stuck back in the C group.

Indianapolis...
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5. Re: Flying SWA into Vegas..need some advice on flying them

So with the early bird, those folk board first, then they begin boarding the hoarding mass in their grouping sections?

Saint Joseph...
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6. Re: Flying SWA into Vegas..need some advice on flying them

........... " The $12.50 per segment fee gets you in an early boarding group, which happens before any of the A, B, C groups." .........

Splitting hairs here, but this isn't exactly true. All the EB does is get you a boarding position ahead of those that are doing the regular check-in. I use the EB on all flights, and although most of the time I wind up in the 'A' group, I have had many 'Bs' also.

It's still worth it!

Kenosha, WI
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7. Re: Flying SWA into Vegas..need some advice on flying them

Personally, I prefer to purchase the Early Bird feature for both ways. However, even if you do not want to pay the extra "fee", I would at the very least purchase the Early Bird for the return trip home. With this option, you are automatically checked-in and assigned a boarding position about 36 hours prior to flight time. This is one less thing to worry about while you are enjoying your Vegas vacation. Then, within 24 hours of your flight time, at your leisure, you can have your hotel print your boarding pass, or you can simply print it yourself from a kiosk at the airport. Easy peasy!

Waukesha, Wisconsin
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8. Re: Flying SWA into Vegas..need some advice on flying them

Yea, thats basically it except EB are behind the 5 or 6 people that travel buisness select. Its odd, sometimes I will have like A24 and there will be a big gap in people lined up from A6 to like A19. I usually get the EB but when i didnt and checked in almost exactly 24 hrs in advance i usually got the end of A or early B. I may have been lucky but I never had a problem finding seats where i wanted when i did that. Its actually pretty orderly. The people with disabilities board first along with what seems like an unlimited amount of their family and friends, then business sel, then A,B,C. I would hate to be in that C group, they look like Forest Gumps looking for open seats on the bus.

Kenosha, WI
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9. Re: Flying SWA into Vegas..need some advice on flying them

"So with the early bird, those folk board first, then they begin boarding the hoarding mass in their grouping sections?"

Here is how it works:

First, pre-boarders are lined up and let onto the plane. These are people with wheelchairs, handicap, elderly, etc.

Next comes the business select group, A1 thru A15.

During this time, they will ask the A group to line up in order. There are signs that show where to line up. A16 thru A60 line up and are boarded next, in numerical order.

Next comes the B group, followed by the C group.

Basically, everyone boards in order. If someone tried "cutting" in line, the agent will usually catch it and make that person get back into line where they belong. Believe it or not, this process usually goes very smoothly, and more often than not it helps fill the aircraft fairly quickly.

Once you are at the gate and see how it works, you will realize how simple it is. I remember my first time flying SWA and asking a bunch of questions when I got to the gate. You will be just fine. Enjoy your flight and trip!!!

Cheektowaga
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10. Re: Flying SWA into Vegas..need some advice on flying them

"So with the early bird, those folk board first, then they begin boarding the hoarding mass in their grouping sections?"

The EB checks you in 36 hrs before your flight automatically and assigns you a Boarding pass number,all others check in no sooner than 24 hrsto get their baoeding pass number. The "A" group boards first according to number A1,A2,etc.One caveat though to this,those needing assistance and families with small children will be first seated. The sooner you sign up for the EB option the better chance you will have of getting an A group.