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Southwest Seat Assignment Question  
User currently offlineLUVRSW From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 498 posts, RR: 1
Posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 10252 times:

Hi,

Just purchaced tix on SW for the first time, and noticed that I didn't recieve a seat assignment. I also didn't have the option of looking at a seat map, like on NWA.COM. After purchase, it said I can check in online after 1201am the day of flight. Will I recieve my assigned seats then? I saw on another thread that they use some sort of zone system? Also, I will have a baby (lap child)...any suggestions?

Thanks! Probably dumb questions, but I'm a newbie.

33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineScorpio From Belgium, joined Oct 2001, 4981 posts, RR: 44
Reply 1, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 10239 times:

Southwest doesn't have seat assignments. You pretty much sit wherever you want. Though I do believe they indeed have some sort of system with different lines, but I don't exactly know how that works.

User currently offlineBigGSFO From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2887 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 10238 times:

WN does not assign seats. When you check in you will receive a boarding card assigning you a boarding group (on a first come, first served basis). Since you can check-in online, more than likely you will be assigned boarding group A. When your boarding group is called, you get on the plane and choose your own seat. This system works quite well for WN, but if you have never flown them before, get to the airport early especially if it is over a weekend. People line up in their respective boarding groups early (sometimes up to 45 mins. before boarding time) to make sure they get their favorite seat. If you have a lap child they will probably let you pre-board.

User currently offlineUtapao From Thailand, joined Jul 2005, 645 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 10236 times:

Southwest has no pre-assigned seating. It's first-come, first-served with boarding by group designation, so checking in online will help.


Sawasdee khrab!
User currently offlineDC10rules From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 98 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 10223 times:

You will definitely want to check in online no later than 5 AM (on the day you leave) to get into the "A" boarding group. I believe there are only 40 per group so even if you arrive at the gate 30 min beforehand you should have your choice of what seat you want.

Have a nice flight

Cheers


User currently offlineLUVRSW From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 498 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 10196 times:

Wow, that's interesting...must be a mad dash to the exit rows! I have never flown with a baby before, he will be about 6 months old. Any tips? Some friends said they gave their baby some benadryl, and he slept the whole way. Should I sit more towards the front, or the back? Is the seating on a 737 3 and 3? Maybe I should put the baby on my wife's lap, on the aisle, to discourage anyone from sitting next to us?

Thanks for all your help.


User currently offlineLuisde8cd From Pitcairn Islands, joined Aug 2004, 2537 posts, RR: 31
Reply 6, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 10194 times:

What happens if you checkin online but you need to check luggage?

User currently offlineLUVRSW From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 498 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 10188 times:

Probably like NW, you go to the counter or kiosk and add luggage to your itinerary. An agent will tag your luggage.

User currently offlineWnsocal From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 129 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 10119 times:

If you have a lap child you can preboard.But preboard pax can not sit in the over wing EXIT row. We board in Groups of A(45),B(45),C(47)(32 on a dash500).


Airline Nut
User currently offlineAdam727 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 131 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 10100 times:

If you are boarding at one of SWA major Cities like PHX LAS get to the airport at least two hours before your flt. When I take SWA From PHX to MCI I get to PHX at least over two hours. and some times that is not enough.

User currently offlineLUVRSW From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 498 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 10081 times:

I'll be going MDW-RSW. Do they allow planeside checks, such as a stroller?

Thanks


User currently offlineTheGreatChecko From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1128 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 10020 times:

Quoting LUVRSW (Reply 10):
I'll be going MDW-RSW. Do they allow planeside checks, such as a stroller?

Of course, ask the Ops agent when you preboard (thats the person that takes your ticket). Just make sure that its checked to where ever you want to use your stroller next. If you are making a connection, they could check it through to your final destination by accident. Oh and make sure it had a gate claim tag on it as well.

Quoting LUVRSW (Reply 5):
Should I sit more towards the front, or the back?

If you are preboarding, you'll have a pretty wide choice, if you want a smoother ride, sit in the front. If you want a better chance of having an empty seat, sit towards the back (way back).

Quoting LUVRSW (Reply 5):
Is the seating on a 737 3 and 3?

Yes, and the seat pitch is consistant throughout, except in the exit rows of course, but as was said earlier, you will not be allowed to sit there if you preboard.

Quoting LUVRSW (Reply 5):
Maybe I should put the baby on my wife's lap, on the aisle, to discourage anyone from sitting next to us?

If the flight isn't full, this shouldn't be a problem. However, if your flight is on a Friday, Sunday, or Monday, there is a better chance of it being full. Again, I'd recommend sitting in the back for a better shot at keeping an empty seat.

BTW, make sure your reservation indicates that you will have a lap child. It'll give everyone a heads up.

Quoting LUVRSW (Reply 7):
Probably like NW, you go to the counter or kiosk and add luggage to your itinerary. An agent will tag your luggage.

Just did it a couple days ago. Works like a charm.

You don't even have to print your boarding pass out! Yes, you read that right. Just check in online and go to the ticket counter when you check your bags and ask to have your boarding passes reprinted. Works like a charm.

BTW, I checked in at 9AM for a 5PM flight. It was on a Wednesday, so it wasn't full, but I was #22 in line.

Enjoy WN!b

GreatChecko



"A pilot's plane she is. She will love you if you deserve it, and try to kill you if you don't...She is the Mighty Q400"
User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 10001 times:

You lick it - it's yours! That's how it works at SWA!  Smile

User currently offlineFlyingTexan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 9992 times:

LUVRSW –

Welcome to a.net!

As you know by now, SWA - and unfortunately we can’t call them SW because people jump in and scream Air Namibia. You see, Southwest’s code is WN (as in you can’t spell Win without WN). Air Namibia’s code is SW - does not assign seats.

Enjoy your trip down to Fort Myers. And once you complete your journey, you’ll realize you can sit in an unassigned seat and not die (although you’d never know it from reading this forum).

Cheers – FlyingTexan, the independent, unaffiliated Southwest Stalwart


User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 9970 times:

Unassigned seats - does that mean I can get dibs on the jumpseat if I sign a no-terrorist clause?!  Smile

User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8093 posts, RR: 24
Reply 15, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 9949 times:

Quoting LUVRSW (Reply 5):
I have never flown with a baby before, he will be about 6 months old. Any tips?

Use that kid to beat the rush! You can pre-board as a person travelling with a small child and have your pick of the seats!



This Website Censors Me
User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12090 posts, RR: 50
Reply 16, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 9914 times:

Quoting N766UA (Reply 15):
Use that kid to beat the rush! You can pre-board as a person travelling with a small child and have your pick of the seats!

With the exception of bulk head and exit row, they are not offered to pre-boards, makes it fair for every other passenger that way.



You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineFlyingTexan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 9891 times:

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 16):
With the exception of bulk head and exit row, they are not offered to pre-boards

I pre-board (walk with a cane) and sit in the bulkhead 90% of the time. What gives?


User currently offlineMainliner From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 401 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 9881 times:

They use three boarding groups: A, B, and C. Once they call your group, you can pick any open seat. Most people who check in early enough get the A group, but it sometimes seems sort of random. I've checked into my flights in IND over an hour ahead of departure and received a C card, while I've seen people check in after me and get an A card. Just hope you get an A card and are one of the first people in the line so that you can grab an exit row, if that's important to you. By the time they get to C on a full flight, you're lucky if you can find something other than a middle seat.


Every flight counts.
User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12090 posts, RR: 50
Reply 19, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 9875 times:

Quoting FlyingTexan (Reply 17):
I pre-board (walk with a cane) and sit in the bulkhead 90% of the time. What gives?

They are starting to enforce the rule that pre-boards will not take the bulk head and exit row seats, you get to pre-board and take any seat except those.



You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineN200WN From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 784 posts, RR: 7
Reply 20, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 9857 times:

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 19):
They are starting to enforce the rule that pre-boards will not take the bulk head and exit row seats, you get to pre-board and take any seat except those.

The new "Exit Seating Program" started on August 1st. It states:

"Customers who preboard will no longer be allowed to sit in exit seating. This change is necessary to improve consistency, as well as increase the comfort and safety for our Customers who occupy exit seating. In addition, this change will help Flight Attendents ensure that only qualified individuals occupy exit seating."

There is no reference whatsoever about "bulkhead seating" in the new program.


User currently offlineN200WN From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 784 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 9838 times:

Quoting BigGSFO (Reply 2):
If you have a lap child they will probably let you pre-board.

You will most definately be allowed to preboard...disabled Customers and Unaccompanied Minors will preboard first, then those traveling with kids under the age of five. To make this whole process easier I would do the following:

- Check-in online and print your boarding passes

- Get to the airport nice and early and check your luggage at the ticket counter. Also let the agent at the counter know that you have a lap child - have a copy of the baby's birth Certificate with you - not such a big deal now since the baby is only 6 months old - but when junior is 23 months old it becomes real important for SWA to be able to verify the baby's age. Watch reruns of "Airline" for proof. The agent will have you fill out a "Boarding Verfication Document - BVD" so that the lap child will be on the manifest.

- Bring your stroller to the gate and at preboard - or just before - the Ops Agent will tag it up for you with a "claim at gate" tag.

- A day or two before you leave, ask one of us SWA A-Net people here to check your flight to see how high its booked. If it looks good you can also bring a carseat to use for the baby. We always let people use an open seat for a lap child if the flight is not full. I have a lot of experience traveling alone with babies on SWA so if you want any other helpful hints from what I've learned over the last seven years feel free to IM me.


User currently offlineTheGreatChecko From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1128 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 9776 times:

Quoting N200WN (Reply 21):
If it looks good you can also bring a carseat to use for the baby.

As long as it is a car seat (no a booster seat), and I assume that won't be a problem now, and that its approved for aircraft use.

The aircraft use approval will be on a sticker or tag somewhere on the seat. If its not approved, then it can't be used to restrain a baby onboard the aircraft.

GreatChecko



"A pilot's plane she is. She will love you if you deserve it, and try to kill you if you don't...She is the Mighty Q400"
User currently offline1MillionFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 9773 times:

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 16):
With the exception of bulk head and exit row

I wish they enforcred that a few months back, there was almost a fight when some pre-boards took the exit rows and the 6'5" foot guy that was number 1 in the A group couldn't get that seat.

I always wondered how people that were physically challenged could be allowed to sit in the exit row.


User currently offlineTheGreatChecko From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1128 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 9751 times:

Quoting N200WN (Reply 21):
If it looks good you can also bring a carseat to use for the baby.

As long as it is a car seat (no a booster seat), and I assume that won't be a problem now, and that its approved for aircraft use.

The aircraft use approval will be on a sticker or tag somewhere on the seat. If its not approved, then it can't be used to restrain a baby onboard the aircraft.

GreatChecko



"A pilot's plane she is. She will love you if you deserve it, and try to kill you if you don't...She is the Mighty Q400"
25 SWALoveField : Mainliner, It isn't random. You most likely saw someone getting a RE-PRINT boarding pass. Someone who checked in much earlier online, but didn't prin
26 DC10rules : SWALoveField...If I check in at 12:15 lets say and dont print my boarding pass (no printer) can I go to the self service kiosk and print one 90 min pr
27 757223 : Check in at 12:01 AM of the day you are flying if you can. On WN, boarding card number (e.g. #1) is important if you are trying to fly standby. The ot
28 TheGreatChecko : I don't know about a self serve kiosk, but curbside and the ticket counter can definitely reprint your pass. Standby lists on WN are first come, firs
29 757223 : GreatChecko, I know for a fact there are times when boarding card number determines your place in standby order. I cannot speak for other airports, bu
30 TheGreatChecko : I obviously don't know all the details of what happened in your situation, however, I have seen the first come, first served rule for standbys in full
31 757223 : GreatChecko--Thank you for explaining that to me. Looking back, I was misleading in what I was trying to explain. You are correct.
32 Post contains images SWALoveField : Yes. You can reprint from the kiosk 10 mins before the flight. Once you swipe your ID or credit card, there will be an option if you have already che
33 LUVRSW : Thanks for everone's help! I't's great to be a member of A-net!
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