7 Tips for Mastering Southwest Check-In and Boarding

Many reasons make Southwest Airlines a popular U.S. low-cost carrier. Southwest flights are often cheaper. Southwest is the only U.S.

airline without luggage fees or change or cancellation fees. Southwest has distinct seat assignments and check-in policies.

Southwest's lack of seat assignments is its most unusual feature. At the gate, passengers line up by boarding position.

On the plane, people can sit anywhere. Therefore, check-in determines when you board and where you seat. These 7 Southwest check-in strategies

Airline passengers board by “zone” and choose their seats. Each zone—A, B, and C—has boarding position groups of 1 to 30 and 31 to 60.

Your zone assignment depends on your ticket type, Southwest elite status, flight check-in time, and whether you have children under 6.

A Southwest Business Select ticket guarantees you a spot in the “A,” 1 to 15 boarding zone. Since you board after pre-boarding, your seat selection options enhance.

Southwest Airlines regulars can acquire A-List or A-List Preferred elite membership after a specified number of flights or

Southwest Rapid Reward points. Southwest automatically checks elites in 36 hours before their flights, akin to EarlyBird Check-In.