9 Expert Tips for Flying Southwest Airlines

1. Check in 24 Hours Before Flight Departure

Southwest has no allocated seats, so you must check in 24 hours before your trip to receive the best boarding order and select your seat early.

2. Think Time Zones

Remember that the time zone may be different returning from your trip, so check the departure time. I did this once after returning from Colorado.

3. Spend More on Early Bird

Early Bird checks you in before everyone else except Southwest Business Select passengers and elite status holders for $15–$25 each way at the time of booking.

4. Print boarding passes

My Southwest app didn't function at the gate (again, extra stress), and if parents had to bring up their mobile boarding pass plus a kid or two, it adds more time and tension trying to find their electronic boarding cards while attempting to board the aircraft.

5. Weigh checked luggage 

The scale weighs your bag when you hook it on and take it up. Before leaving and after returning, we utilize it at home. A "grip handle" is recommended since lifting the bag to weigh it strains your hand.

6. Check for TSA PreCheck lines at your airport

Make sure your departing airport has a TSA queue. PreCheck lets you circumvent lengthy security queues and without taking off shoes, laptops, or electronics.

7. Keep Southwest confirmation numbers in your phone

I recommend having all confirmation numbers on your smartphone, either in email or Notepad, for check-in. Try this on your route to the airport.

8. Google Maps Directions to Your First Location

If you're driving, launch a mapping app on your phone to get instructions to your first destination after landing and turning on your WiFi or cellular.

9. Be adaptable and positive

Delays, missing baggage, and other issues make travel unpleasant. Simply being optimistic and flexible will enhance everyone's experience, regardless of obstacles.

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