Travel Tips

My First Experience with Southwest Airlines


Advertising Disclosure: The following review is my own opinion entirely. I was not sponsored, paid, or given any incentive to make this review. This post contains affiliate links, which if you click on them, give me a small commission at no cost to you. 

Prior to this flight, I had never flown with Southwest Airlines. My hesitation has always been my lack of understanding the unassigned seats. People are at their worst when flying and the sheer thought of fighting for seats with my family sounded horrible. However, based on the price and flight times, Southwest looked really desirable for this trip, so a I popped a Xanax and booked it!

Boarding Process

As previously stated, Southwest Airlines does not assign seats. Instead, they assign a boarding group and number to each ticket holder (even children); for example, you may be assigned B10 (boarding group B/10th in line). This assignment is provided when you complete your 24 hour check-in.

Group A is the first to board and then ticket holders 1-60 get on the plane. After group A is on the plane, then Southwest calls families traveling together. If you are a family with children and didn’t board in group A, this is your chance to board. At this time, you have plenty of seats available to ensure your family is all together. No sweat!! After families are on, they call B1-60 and then C1-60.

*An exception to the boarding process. On our return flight, they took our tickets and boarded us in the exact same way as mentioned above. But then, they had us board a bus to shuttle us down to the airplane. We could have walked to the plane and kept our boarding order, but, we didn’t know. If this happens to you, be sure to ASK if you can walk instead of wait on a bus.

Early-Bird Check-In

Not knowing that families would board after group A, we purchased the Early-Bird Check-In. This cost us $15 per ticket. For this price, Southwest will automatically check you in 36 hours prior to the flight. No extra effort on your part is needed. You will get an email with your ticket and boarding assignment. Since you are checked in prior to everyone else, this is your best chance to get a earlier boarding group. However, this really depends on how many people signed up to Early-Bird prior to you. We signed up 3 weeks prior and were at the beginning of group B – not bad. If not traveling with kids, this check-in would be an anxiety reducing move!

Airplane and Crew

Southwest’s airplane was clean and comfortable. The seats were leather and we had plenty of leg room and under seat storage. The plane did not have any TVs in the head rest, but was equipped with onboard Wi-Fi!  We had downloaded a movie from Netflix for SP to watch – but Wi-Fi gave us the added flexibility to watch other stuff if necessary.

The flight crew was very pleasant and efficient. The drinks were flowing like water on our flight and they kept up with the demand with a smile on their face. I’d love to sip a glass of champagne on a flight, but my anxiety just gets the best of me and I am much better off sipping 7Up. We were given two snacks – peanuts and wheat thins.

Would I fly Southwest again? Absolutely, I am looking forward to it 🙂

Happy Travels!!

Have you ever wondered about Southwest Airline's boarding process? Read more!

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