1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

How does SW no assigned seating work?

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by nursepower, Jun 6, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. nursepower

    nursepower Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    338
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    3
    I'm sure this should be obvious but what do we do? I've never flown SW before. It's NS BWI to LAS and there are 2 of us. Can someone walk me through the process?
     
  2. Buddha

    Buddha VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    1,471
    Location:
    Chicago 'burbs
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    60
    When you check in (online), inside the 24-hour window, you will be assigned a numbered boarding pass ... A (1 thru 60) , or B (1 thru 60) , or C (1 thru 60). When boarding time is approaching at the gate area, the "A's" will line up first in numerical order, and board the plane in that order. This will be then followed, in a similar procedure, with the "B's" ... and then the "C's". There are no assigned seats, so as you board the plane, you are free to take any empty seats you want. But obviously, the further back you are into the B's and C's, the less opportunities you will have for a "Good" seat position.

    You can greatly improve your boarding postion by purchasing the "early bird" boarding pass assignment ... $12.50 per person, per flight.
     
  3. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Messages:
    11,324
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    175
    We normally buy the Early Bird boarding for $12.50 on our return flights, so I don't have to deal with finding wifi on vacation.

    But save yourself $25 on your outbound trip and preset SWA web site for check-in with your name and confirmation #. Hit the enter key exactly 24 hrs ahead of your flight time. You should end up with a decent A boarding position, or a high B. Plenty of good seats available with A & B.

    One more tip...if you have separate confirmation #s, have two browser windows loaded with the info preloaded into each one.
     
    Christmas
  4. grosx2

    grosx2 VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    1,401
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    21
    Can't stress this enough. On busy flights, being even a minute or two late will usually result in a "B" boarding pass. As soon as your phone or computer clock rolls over to whatever your flight time is, be ready to click.

    A few years ago, I started buying early bird for all of my flights, as I am able to get an exit row the majority of the time. I'm 6'5", so the extra $25 per roundtrip is well worth it for me.
     
  5. nursepower

    nursepower Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    338
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    3
    What constitutes a good seat? I prefer window but definitely want to sit with my husband.
     
  6. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Messages:
    11,324
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    175
    All the SWA planes are the same; 3 seats on both sides of the plane except for two exit rows which only have two. So if you want window, hubby will end up in the middle seat if you want to sit together on a full flight. On SWA to and from Milwaukee, almost every flight is full. I take the window and my wife takes the middle and hopes a big person doesn't sit next to her. We watch DVDs so we sit together. But we just bought a tablet and I was mumbling about me using the DVD player and her using the tablet to watch stuff and maybe take adjacent aisle seats on our next trip. But, we can both last a 4 hr flight w/o a bathroom break, but it sure seems a lot of people can't, so that means getting up and putting everything away so someone can get out.
     
    Christmas
  7. grosx2

    grosx2 VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    1,401
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    21
    http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Southwest_Airlines/information.php

    You can click on the different types of planes under "aircraft summary" and see the layout for that particular plane with whichever particular airline you have selected. Roll over the individual seats for info are why they are good or bad. Also listed are things such as seat width, pitch, and whether or not there are amenities available such as wifi, tv, power outlets, etc. This site is outstanding; anyone who travels even once in a while should have it bookmarked!
     
  8. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    3,380
    Location:
    Northeast Ohio
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    52
    First Class on United.....:wink2:
     
  9. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2011
    Messages:
    5,264
    Location:
    Northern Nevada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    204
    It works GREAT... pick a seat and sit in it! What could be easier? Even if you're a mid-B boarder, you still have over half the plane to choose from and that's assuming it's gonna be a full-flight.
     
  10. kps

    kps High-Roller

    Joined:
    May 2, 2013
    Messages:
    784
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    22
    As long as you make sure you are on SW's website 5 minutes before check in on the page ready to hit the check in button when the clock hits your departure time 24 hours later you should be good to go.

    BWI is a major airport so if you think you are going to forget to do this or work prevents you from doing this, go back to your reservations and pay the $25 roundtrip/$12.50 each way upgrade for you and your husband and it auto checks you in at the 24 hour mark and you can print your tix any time.

    Remember also A List and A List preferred get first priority and the people who pay the extra for the auto check in will be ahead of you in the A List 1-60 tix. 21-24 rows rows x 6 seats total across the plane is 126 to 144 people on the flight. 1 Plane has 30 rows so that's 180 but I'm going to lowball for my point. Assume everyone wants to sit next to at least 1 other person by the time you get to B 30 you may not be able to sit with your husband. I'm not taking into account single flyers who all want aisle or window seats so all that is left are middle seats. Actually on a 144 seat plane the magic number is B 36 and I can pretty much guarantee middle seats only above that ticket.
     
  11. wigwam_salesman

    wigwam_salesman VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Messages:
    2,468
    Location:
    Manchester, United Kingdom
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    It's even less organised in Europe. Most short to mid haul flights are unassigned seats (longest I have had is a four hour flight with unassigned seating). You can either pay for priority boarding, or just get in the queue and whoever gets on the plane first gets to choose their seat first.

    It always works though. Even if people get on first their idea of a great seat will be different to the next persons. Me, I like to sit at the back as I reckon that if we crash into a mountain I might at least get to see a bit of the explosion before I am returned to sender.
     
  12. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Messages:
    15,193
    Location:
    Central California Coast
    Just make sure you have adequate postage to actually get there. :wink2:

    I like the SWA protocol. Now what I don't like are the airlines that board the front of the plane first. What an asinine concept.
     
  13. Keyser Soze

    Keyser Soze Low-Roller

    Joined:
    May 2, 2013
    Messages:
    484
    Location:
    right behind you
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    999
    On Southwest flights, the wheelchair people are becoming a huge problem. Anybody can request a chair, no proof of any disability is needed. The wheelchair passenger and all their travel companions board the aircraft first. Even ahead of the A listers.

    I observed this for some time and what typically happens is this-

    There will be approximately 10 wheelchair passengers board the aircraft going to Las Vegas. Upon landing in Vegas, Southwest will have 10 wheelchairs in the jetway to assist these passengers. Usually only 1-2 of the chairs are used. The remaining "handicapped" travelers will jump from their seats, grab their luggage, and run up the jetway to start their Vegas vacation.
     
  14. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2011
    Messages:
    5,264
    Location:
    Northern Nevada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    204
    I fly SWA twice as month and you speak the truth... especially in freekin' Phoenix! I can't believe the number of old people in wheel chairs waiting for SWA planes there. Ughhhhh... I'm 54 and I know I'll be one of them someday, but I won't have the crabby, self-entitled attitude that most of them have... no way.
     
  15. mescalita

    mescalita High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2012
    Messages:
    500
    Location:
    Tejas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    19
    Remember the "good/weird old days" on Southwest? Whoever got to the airport earliest boarded first, flight attendants in miniskirts, smoking allowed in the rear of the plane.....and of course, peanuts!
     
  16. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Messages:
    4,648
    Location:
    Somewhere in Middle America
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    70
    Mooooooooo !! :)
     
  17. da1chifan

    da1chifan High-Roller

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    772
    Location:
    MSP
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    28
    Wow, what terrible karma going into a LAS trip!
     
  18. wigwam_salesman

    wigwam_salesman VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Messages:
    2,468
    Location:
    Manchester, United Kingdom
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    If you mean rather than using all doors I'm fairly certain that is for headcount purposes.

    If you mean in order of getting people seated, yeh it's dumb. The back should get on first.
     
  19. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Messages:
    4,648
    Location:
    Somewhere in Middle America
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    70
    When they had the Untied Shuttle, they used to board the windows first, then the center seats, then the aisles. Called it "boarding zones" or something. It actually worked quite well.

    Then they stopped the shuttle flights and merged them in with the regular Untied flights and then went back to their regular method of boarding.
     
  20. runningonthehub

    runningonthehub Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    334
    Location:
    Chicago-Hyde Park
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    58
    Southwest has a nice video tutorial on the boarding process on their web site.
     
Tags:
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.