What is Boarding Position on Southwest Airlines?

What is Boarding Position on Southwest Airlines?

We’ll be diving into the world of Southwest Airlines’ boarding process and unraveling the mystery behind the boarding position. Picture this: you’re at the gate, anxiously waiting to board, and you wonder, “What does it mean to have a boarding position on Southwest Airlines?”

What is Boarding Position on Southwest Airlines?

Flying can be both thrilling and a tad overwhelming, especially when it comes to boarding a plane. 

Southwest Airlines, known for its unique approach to boarding, employs a boarding position system that sets it apart from other airlines. 

We’ll look into what boarding position means, the various boarding groups, and the Southwest boarding process. Grab your boarding pass and let’s embark on this exciting journey together.

What is a Boarding Position on Southwest Airlines?

When you check in for your Southwest flight, you’ll receive a boarding position, consisting of a letter (A, B, or C) and a number (1-60). 

Your boarding position determines the order in which you can board the plane. The lower the number, the earlier you’ll board and the better chance you have at securing your preferred seat.

Understanding Southwest Boarding Groups

Boarding position on Southwest Airlines is divided into three main groups: A, B, and C. Each group has 60 numbered positions, making a total of 180 boarding positions available on every flight. 

Here’s a breakdown of these groups:

Group A

Passengers holding positions A1-A60 enjoy the luxury of boarding first

These individuals typically consist of Business Select passengers, those with elite status, or passengers who purchased EarlyBird Check-In.

Group B

Following Group A, passengers holding positions B1-B60 are next to board. These travelers usually consist of passengers who checked in online within the first 24 hours of their flight.

Group C

The last to board are passengers holding positions C1-C60. These individuals typically include those who checked in later or didn’t have access to EarlyBird Check-In.


Southwest Boarding Process

Southwest Airlines utilizes an open-seating policy, allowing passengers to choose their seats once they’re on the aircraft. Here’s a simplified breakdown of the boarding process:

EarlyBird Check-In

For a small fee, passengers can purchase EarlyBird Check-In, which automatically assigns them a boarding position within the A group. 

This option can be selected during the booking process or added later.

Gate Check-In

You use an EarlyBird Check-In, check-in online, or at the airport. 

Online check-in begins exactly 24 hours before your flight’s departure time, ensuring you have a fair shot at securing a better boarding position.

Boarding Announcement

When boarding begins, Southwest agents announce boarding groups and positions. Passengers line up accordingly, starting with the A group, followed by B, and finally C. 

Within each group, boarding occurs in numerical order.

Selecting Seats

Once on the plane, you’re free to choose any available seat. Southwest’s open-seating policy allows you to sit wherever you feel most comfortable. 

However, boarding earlier increases your chances of finding preferred seating options.

Tips for a Better Boarding Experience

To enhance your Southwest Airlines boarding experience, consider these tips:

  1. Set an alarm or a reminder to check in exactly 24 hours before your flight to secure a better boarding position.
  2.  If you want to ensure a spot in the coveted Group A, consider purchasing EarlyBird Check-In.
  3.  Arrive at the gate early, especially if you’re part of Group B or C, to find a favorable spot in line.
  4. To speed up the boarding process, pack light and take advantage of Southwest’s generous carry-on and checked baggage policies.


Now that we’ve understood the boarding position on Southwest Airlines, you’re well-equipped to navigate the boarding process with confidence. 

Remember, your boarding position determines the order in which you’ll board the plane, and earlier boarding positions provide greater seat selection opportunities. 

By understanding the boarding groups, employing helpful tips, and planning ahead, you can maximize your Southwest experience and embark on your journey hassle-free. Bon voyage!

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