How to Get Free Early Bird Check in Southwest Airlines

You’re all set for your trip, but there’s one last thing to sort out – your check-in. If you’re flying with Southwest Airlines, you’ve probably heard about their Early Bird Check-In. It’s a great service, but maybe you’re wondering if there’s a way to get it for free.

What is Early Bird Check-In?

The question you’re probably mulling over: what is this Early Bird Check-In we’re talking about? Well, Early Bird Check-In is a special service offered by Southwest Airlines. It’s known to give passengers some distinct advantages, especially when it comes to seat selection.

When you opt for Early Bird Check-In, you’re automatically checked in for your flight 36 hours prior the scheduled departure. Without this service, regular check-in begins just 24 hours before takeoff. That’s a full 12-hour jump ahead of the rest.

As a rule of thumb, Southwest Airlines does not assign seats. So, the earlier you check in, the earlier you’re able to select your preferred spot. Do you prefer a window seat for the view, or maybe an aisle seat for the extra legroom? With Early Bird Check-In, you’ll have a better shot at securing your ideal seat.

Another advantage – Ever got ensnared in a hectic rush to print your boarding pass? Early Bird Check-In puts an end to that, offering time-saving digital boarding passes directly to your mobile device.

And let us not forget efficiency at the security checkpoint. With Early Bird Check-In, passengers sometimes receive expedited access. But, this perk can vary from airport to airport so there’s no spot-on guarantee.

But, there’s a catch. This isn’t a complimentary service. Southwest Airlines pegs the price for Early Bird Check-In between $15 and $25 per way.

The Benefits of Early Bird Check-In

Isn’t it fantastic to jump ahead of the line without a VIP pass? That’s exactly what the Early Bird Check-In service does for you on Southwest Airlines. When you opt for this service, you’re securing a 12-hour advantage over regular check-in. Now, what does this really mean for you?

Well, consider it as winning the seat lottery. Southwest Airlines operates on a unique ‘open seating’ policy. This means there are no pre-assigned seats. With an early bird check-in, you are more likely to snag that comfortable window or aisle seat because you have the privilege to check-in earlier than the majority of passengers.

Yet, this is just the beginning. The advantages extend far beyond seating preference. When you’re on vacation or a business trip, time is of the essence and early bird check-in truly respects that. This service converts your boarding pass into a digital passport that’s delivered straight to your smartphone. No more standing in lengthy queues at the airport or fretting over misplacing your boarding pass.

Besides, early bird check-in greases the wheels at security checks. Yes, you read it right! It may offer expedited access at security checkpoints. Navigating through an airport has never felt smoother!

But, it’s crucial to remember that benefits come with a price tag – between $15 and $25 per way. But wouldn’t it be a delightful surprise to grab these perks for free? This is precisely what we are about to learn in our next section, “Scoring Early Bird Check-In Free of Cost”. So, stay tuned as the journey to unlock free benefits has just begun! Trust us, the anticipation is worth it.

Understanding the Early Bird Check-In Process

Southwest Airlines’ Early Bird Check-In is a premium service that offers unbeatable conveniences. It’s integral to understand how it works to make the best use of its benefits while also finding the best ways to score it for free.

On purchasing Early Bird Check-In, your check-in is automatically done for you by Southwest Airlines 36 hours before your flight’s scheduled departure. That’s 12 hours before regular customers have the option to check-in. This early check-in luxury gives you an edge to get your desired seat as boarding positions are assigned in the order of check-in.

While Early Bird Check-In doesn’t guarantee an A1 – A15 boarding position, it increases your chances of getting an early boarding position. This potentially lets you access overhead bin space before others too.

Another selling point of this service is the hassle-free access to a boarding pass. Once Southwest Airlines completes your automatic check-in, your boarding pass becomes available on your mobile device. It eliminates the need to print a boarding pass or find a kiosk at the airport. Going digital can save you meaningful time, and it’s environment-friendly too.

Finally, with Early Bird Check-In in your travel plan, you may have an expedited access at security checkpoints at select airports. So it’s not just about seat preference, you’re also paying for convenience and time-saving access through airport security.

But, nothing comes for free. The Early Bird Check-In fee ranges between $15 to $25 per way depending on the duration and nature of the flight. Even with these fees, many passengers find the service worth every penny for the comfort it offers. Now let’s jump into how you can score these perks without loosening your wallet.

Can You Get Early Bird Check-In for Free?

You might be wondering if it’s possible to get the Early Bird Check-In service for free. Normally, this service isn’t complimentary from Southwest Airlines and costs between $15 and $25 per way. Depending on the length of your journey, that could quickly add up.

So the question arises, is there a trick or a hack to avoid paying these fees? While the chances are slim, there are still some ventures you can try.

One possibility is to use a Southwest Airlines credit card. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card or Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card holders can often find promotions offering free or discounted Early Bird Check-In. These offers change regularly so be sure to keep an eye on your emails, the Southwest Airlines website, and your Rapid Rewards account.

An alternative way could be to have A-List or A-List Preferred status. These are perks for Southwest’s most frequent flyers and are issued based on points earned or flights taken. As a quick rundown:

  • A-List members earn priority boarding
  • A-List Preferred members earn priority boarding and free in-flight Wi-Fi

Alas, it’s noteworthy, even for A-List and A-List Preferred members, Early Bird Check-In isn’t explicitly included in the benefits list. So, it shouldn’t be banked-on as a sure-fire way to get Early Bird Check-In for free.

Finally, if the demand for Early Bird Check-In is low on a specific flight, there’s a small chance Southwest may gift it to you for free as an incentive. But, that’s the unicorns-and-rainbows scenario and highly unlikely.

Summarizing, while there aren’t guaranteed methods of acquiring it for free, various possibilities exist when it comes to getting Southwest Airlines’ Early Bird Check-In. There’s no harm in exploring these options and maybe you’ll get lucky! Next, we’ll move onto investigate more into the functioning of Early Bird Check-In. Stay tuned to find out how to extract the maximum benefits from this service.

Tips and Tricks to Get Free Early Bird Check-In

If you’re looking to nab Early Bird Check-In at zero cost, there are a few methods to explore. Flying frequently with Southwest, can pave the way toward free Check-In. That’s because Southwest values loyal customers through their Rapid Rewards program. This program allows earning points for each dollar spent, leading to A-List and A-List Preferred status.

How’s this connected to Early Bird Check-In? Simple! Once you’ve achieved either of these highly coveted statuses, you’ll check-in before the rest, 36 hours in advance, rather than the 24-hour window, surpassing even those who’ve paid for Early Bird.

Another dynamic method to get Early Bird Check-In free of charge comes with the Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card. Perks come aplenty with it, including periodic promotional offers. Keep a keen eye on your email and account, who knows, Southwest might just offer Early Bird Check-In as part of a promotion.

Also, the Southwest Business Select fare has Early Bird baked right in! Though this fare may cost more initially, the benefits it delivers – priority boarding, extra reward points, and – you guessed it – Early Bird Check-In at no extra cost.

Opting to fly during off-peak times can also work in your favor. When there’s an excess of Early Bird seats, Southwest has been known to honor regular customers with the sought after Early Bird status.

Bring these tips and tricks into play, and you’re on your way to securing your preferred seating, having more time for that pre-flight coffee, swift security checkpoint whizz-through and a stress-free Southwest flying experience.


So, there you have it. You’ve now got the inside scoop on how to potentially get Southwest Airlines’ Early Bird Check-In for free. While it’s not always guaranteed, having A-List or A-List Preferred status, using a Southwest credit card, or flying during off-peak times can give you a shot at this perk without the extra cost. Remember, Early Bird Check-In isn’t just about securing your favorite seat. It’s also about saving time and reducing stress at the airport. So why not give these strategies a try on your next Southwest flight? You might just find that a little planning and savvy can lead to big rewards. After all, who doesn’t love a freebie, especially when it can make your travel experience that much smoother? Keep exploring, keep flying, and most importantly, keep enjoying the journey.

What is Southwest Airlines’ Early Bird Check-In service?

Early Bird Check-In service offered by Southwest Airlines allows travelers to check-in to their flights 12 hours ahead of normal check-in time. This offers them a better chance of securing their preferred seat and gaining quicker access through security checkpoints.

How does Southwest Airlines’ Early Bird Check-In service work?

After purchasing the Early Bird Check-In service, the automatic check-in process begins 12 hours before the regular check-in time. Customers get their boarding positions based on when they’ve checked in, providing an opportunity to access overhead bin space before others.

Is Early Bird Check-In complimentary?

No, Early Bird Check-In is not a complimentary service. It costs between $15 and $25 per way for each passenger.

Can I access my boarding pass on my mobile device?

Yes, one of the benefits of Early Bird Check-In is the convenience of accessing digital boarding passes on your mobile device.

Can I get Early Bird Check-In for free?

Yes, Southwest Airlines sometimes offers Early Bird Check-In as an occasional incentive. Additionally, ways to potentially get it for free include holding a Southwest Airlines credit card or becoming an A-List or A-List Preferred member on Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program.

How can I maximize the benefits of Early Bird Check-In?

You can maximize benefits by achieving A-List Preferred status through Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program. Opting for Southwest’s Business Select fare and flying during off-peak times can also enhance the advantages of Early Bird Check-In.

Can Early Bird Check-In help me save time at security checkpoints?

Yes, Early Bird Check-In customers usually experience expedited security access which can significantly save on waiting times. However, this is subject to airport and flight circumstances.

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