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Southwest Airlines is different from many other airlines in a couple of interesting ways. First of all, there are no assigned seats. When you board the plane, you just pick whatever seat you want and sit down in it. This generally works out fine, but sometimes there are conflicts with people trying to save seats
(READ MORE: Can you save seats on Southwest Airlines?)
So with that said, how the boarding order is determined on Southwest depends on when you check-in. Check-in opens for most people 24 hours before your flight, though you can pay extra for Southwest Early Bird check-in. As you check in, you get a boarding order in one of 3 groups (A, B or C) and a number from 1 to 60 in each of the groups. So, unlike other airlines, it matters WHEN you check in!
In fact, one of the Southwest boarding tips I give for families flying Southwest is to make sure to check in as close to 24 hours before your flight as possible.
Checking in as soon as possible
Unfortunately it’s not always possible to check in right at the 24 hour mark. You may be traveling, asleep or somewhere else without easy Internet access. It’s also tricky if you have multiple reservations as you’ll have different record locators and have to check in multiple times. I remember a time when we were driving to Chicago and pulled over at a McDonalds near Indianapolis in order to use their wifi to check in our family of 8.
So recently I found this script to do an automated Southwest check-in right at the 24 hour mark. You can find the script here on Github, but you’ll need something like Greasemonkey or Tamper Monkey to use it.
Reviewing some of the comments, it looks like it recently was updated because of a change in Southwest’s check-in web page. I was curious to know if anyone had used it before. If it’s useful, I’ll do a full writeup on it to explain it to less technical people but wanted to see if others had used it before I did.
Have you used this (or any other) script to automatically check in to Southwest flights? Leave your experience in the comments