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In the Airport

Southwest® peanuts

Check in and get your boarding pass online at up to 24 hours before your flight.

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Check in and get your boarding pass online at up to 24 hours before your flight. You can also get a boarding pass at the Skycap Podium, ticket counter, or self-service kiosk when you arrive at the airport.

We automatically reserve boarding positions for EarlyBird Check-In Customers and Rapid Rewards tier Members, so you can print your boarding pass at your leisure.

Note: Customers must retrieve a boarding pass and be present in the gate area ten minutes prior to departure. For Rapid Rewards tier Members to receive boarding privileges, the Member must include his/her Member number in the reservations at least 36 hours prior to flight time.

Documentation required to travel to foreign countries and/or re-enter the United States varies by country. Visit our portal and enter your origin/destination for documentation requirements specific to your itinerary. A valid passport is always required for international travel, in addition to other documentation based on your destination.

If checking luggage, please note that connecting passengers must claim all luggage regardless of final destination upon arrival in the U.S. After clearing Customs, passengers with connecting flights will then be required to re-check all checked luggage with a Southwest Airlines Customer Service Agent before proceeding to connecting flight(s).

Also, please note that you cannot check luggage at the curbside with a SkyCap if any portion of your itinerary includes an international flight. You must visit the Southwest Airlines Ticket Counter.

Check your luggage at the Southwest Airlines' ticket counter, curbside Skycap Podium, Express Bag Drop kiosks (where available), or Self-Tagging kiosks (where available). Business Select Customers and Rapid Rewards tier Members can check bags faster through the Fly By Priority Check-in Lanes at select ticket counters.

Be sure to have your government-issued photo ID ready when checking luggage. Learn more about our checked baggage policy.

You must have a government-issued photo ID and a boarding pass or Security Document to pass through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Checkpoint.

Business Select Customers and Rapid Rewards tier Members can head to the front of the security line with Fly By Priority Security Lane access at participating airports. Learn more about TSA checkpoint guidelines.

Customers board the plane based on boarding group (A, B, or C) and number (1-60). Boarding positions are assigned when you check in and will be displayed on your boarding pass.

General boarding starts with Business Select customers, who are guaranteed positions at the front of the A Group, followed by Rapid Rewards tier Members and the remaining Customers in the A Group, families with children age six and under, then groups B and C. Learn more about our boarding process.

We have an open seating policy, so feel free to sit in any available seat when you get onboard.

Customers traveling on shared itineraries will follow the existing boarding procedures for each Operating Carrier. Learn More

30 minutes prior to scheduled departure time: We may begin boarding as early as 30 minutes prior to your flight’s scheduled departure time. We encourage all passengers to plan to arrive in the gate area no later than this time.

10 minutes prior to scheduled departure time: All passengers must obtain their boarding passes and be in the gate area available for boarding at least 10 minutes prior to your flight’s scheduled departure time. If not, Southwest may cancel your reserved space and you will not be eligible for denied boarding compensation.

If you do not plan to travel on your flight: In accordance with Southwest’s No Show Policy, you must notify Southwest at least 10 minutes prior to your flight’s scheduled departure if you do not plan to travel on the flight. If not, Southwest will cancel your reservation and all funds will be forfeited.

EarlyBird Check-In.

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Rapid Rewards Last Activity Date

Rapid Rewards accounts will remain active and points won’t expire as long as you earn Rapid Rewards Points from flights or Partners every 24 months.

Learn More About Rapid Rewards Program Last Activity Date