questions for people who fly southwest

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by buzz2400, Sep 21, 2005.

  1. buzz2400

    buzz2400 <font color=teal>The TF waves to buzz2400's DS

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    I am flying southwest for the first time in december and unfortunately I have been watching airline and I am thinking I made a mistake going with Southwest. I have a few questions:
    1. Southwest overbooks their flights. If you print your boarding pass at home, say at midnight, is that considered checking in or do you have to check in again at the counter before you go throught security. I will get there about 2 hours before the flight but that is to account for checking in bags and going through security.
    2. Also can you print your boarding pass at home at midnight if you are going to check bags when you get to airport.
    Thanks in advance for the answers.
     
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  3. jjan

    jjan DIS Veteran

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    You did not make a mistake booking Southwest. It is great!

    First of all, SW just recently changed it so now you can do online check-in and print your boarding pass 24 hours before your flight. So, once you do that you are all set, nothing else to do- you are checked in and have your boarding pass. You will definitely get an "A" boarding pass that way and have no worries about getting a "C" pass or even getting bumped off the flight. When you check your bags, they will look at your boarding pass, but most airports I think have the self-serve luggage check counters and they are awesome. Try one, you'll love it and probably miss standing in any sort of line.
     
  4. grimley1968

    grimley1968 DIS Veteran

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    All airlines overbook their flights, not just Southwest. SW, I think, is just more honest about it.

    If you print your boarding pass at home, you can bypass checking in at the main terminal counter, for checking in purposes at least. But if you want to check bags, of course you'll have to do that there. For that reason, it may not be worth all the effort of staying up till midnight to print the boarding passes. Just do it at the check-in counter, since you have to check your bags anyway. You can print them out and bring them with you if you like, though.
     
  5. Lewisc

    Lewisc <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

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    Jet Blue is the only major carrier that doesn't overbook. If SW has to involuntarily bump passengers the number on your BP is what decides who gets bumped. If you have a BP and get to the gate on time you won't get bumped. SW only gives out as many BPs as they have seats on the plane. If the computer or kiosh tells you to get a BP at the gate run to the gate. You may have missed the cut off time or the plane may be full.
     
  6. Chicago526

    Chicago526 <font color=red>Any dream will do...<br><font colo

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    All airlines overbook, however, in my experiance, SWA overbooks by a greater margin that most other airlines. I can remember at least two episodes of "Airline" where a flight was over sold by more than 50 passengers. They are supposed to use a formula to determine how many seats the can "safely" oversell a flight, but I think those formulas don't work very well sometimes.

    But this is how they (and most other airlines) handle flights that are oversold and everyone shows up.

    First, they ask for volunteers and bribe them with a free ticket. If they get enough, then no one gets bumped and everything is okey-dokey.

    If they do not get enough voluteers, then they will start to bump passengers by who checked in LAST, first. So, if you checked in the day before, you SHOULD be safe. If you check in at the airport, you may have a little bit to worry about, especially if you are cutting it close.

    ALSO, and I can't stress this enough (and if you've seen the show you should know this) you MUST be in the gate area at least 10 minutes prior to schedule departure or they CAN AND WILL give away your seat(s). Even if you are checked in for the flight, you MUST be in the gate area. If it's 15 minutes from departure, then it is NOT a good time to go to the bathroom or get a last minute snack from the McD's two gates down. SWA doesn't care that you were in the bathroom, the don't care if you were stuck in the security line, if you aren't in the gate area and there is someone standing by, then they WILL give away your seat. I've seen more episodes of "Airline" where this happens and the passenger has a thermal nuclear melt down.

    But really, don't worry about it too much. If you check in online and get to the airport in plenty of time, you should be okay.
     
  7. disneyldwjr

    disneyldwjr DIS Veteran

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    You are so right on the time limits imposed. But, then again, most make you be at the gate 30 mins. before departure and all have time limits and all don't give a hoot where you were when you missed the deadline. :)
     
  8. disneyldwjr

    disneyldwjr DIS Veteran

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    I did not have numbers on my BPs this time, which I though was rather odd.
     
  9. disneyldwjr

    disneyldwjr DIS Veteran

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    Yes, you can print your boarding pass if you have checked luggage, remember these two words for this: sky cap. :)
     
  10. Delilah Bleu

    Delilah Bleu Delilah Bleu

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    To jjan - thank you so much for that info. I was still thinking I had to get up at midnight and then try to go back to sleep and then get up in time to be at the airport by 6:30 AM. Now I can check in the day before. Thanks again! :Pinkbounc
     
  11. Lewisc

    Lewisc <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

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    Jet Blue doesn't overbook I'm not sure why you're posting wrong information I'm not sure what experience you're talking out, overbooking information is a trade secret and isn't publicly available. Do you have "inside information" or are you making up facts? SW's statistics on involuntarily bumped passengers is similar to other carriers. I hope you're not trying to tell us the incidents that Airline selects for entertainment value is representative of SW passengers experience.

    SW is unique, no matter how low the discounted fare you book a no-show still gives the passenger full credit toward a future flight. Obviously SW can have different overbooking numbers than legacy airlines that impose penalties if a passenger doesn't show.

     
  12. Chicago526

    Chicago526 <font color=red>Any dream will do...<br><font colo

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    I'm sorry, you're right. I should not have said ALL airlines, I should have said 99.9999% of airlines overbook. My point was that overbooking was not unique to SWA, so the OP shouldn't hold that against them.

    The OP was asking what they should do to increase their odds of not being bumped in the event of the SWA flight being oversold. I was trying to answer them so they would know what to do. So sorry to offend you.
     
  13. kilee

    kilee <img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/images/sponsors/s

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    We've flown SW quite a few times in the last few years. I have actually yet to be on a full flight. Maybe we've just been lucky but most of our flights have only been 2/3 full w/ them.

    I think overbooking is all just part of flying. It's just like delays and layovers. You have to take the good w/ the bad. I'll still take these things over the 20 hr drive anyday.

    As for Jetblue not overbooking. I'd like to know where that statistic came from. I have been on 2 flights w/ Jetblue that were in fact overbooked w/ confirmed (not standby) passengers. The first was overbooked by 3 (2 of the 3 were in our travelling party- they booked at the last minute) and the other was overbooked by 4. So, that info is not reliable either.

    I believe that at some time or another all airlines overbook.
     
  14. Lewisc

    Lewisc <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

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    I'm objecting to people who imply that the experience's shown on Airline are typical of what passengers might expect.

    I don't object to reminding passengers to get to the gate on time and for SW to make sure they get a BP. That's certainly sound advice.

    I'm not sure of the statistics but I suspect Jet Blue transports more than 0.00001% of the passengers to Disney.

    SW bases bumping on when you check in. If you check in early enough to get a BP (even a C) and you get to the gate on time you won't get bumped due to an overbooked flight.

    Some of the other airlines base bumping on the fare you paid. An airline can sell a full price ticket on a flight that's already over booked and bump a passenger that booked a discounted ticket months earlier.

    At least with SW you can check in early, get to the gate early and have no problems.
     
  15. Lewisc

    Lewisc <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

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    Comes right from Jet Blue's website. As a business practice they don't overbook. They can do it, in part, because they don't sell any fully refundable tickets. A google news search will find a few articles confirming this.

    I think they'll overbook to accommodate passengers when flights get canceled.

    That said it's possible they recently changed the policy.



     
  16. momsgoofy

    momsgoofy <br><font color=blue>Hello! My name is Laura and I

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    Just got off the phone with a SW rep...yep...24 hours prior to now instead of the 12:01am time for online pre-boarding. This is great news for us since we'll be at a hotel near the airport and internet access is questionable at this point.

    Thanks for the question which prompted new info!
     
  17. Chip 'n Dale Express

    Chip 'n Dale Express Can't stay put!<br><font color=purple>I met lots o

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    AKK! This is not good news for me! I'm usually up at 12:01 anyways, so that was always convenient. 24 hours prior to my flight next week, I wont be anywhere near a computer!
     

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