One-Click Check-in on Southwest Airlines with your Windows Mobile Phone


NOTE:  Since this posting (about a year or two after), Southwest updated their mobile site so this no longer works..

Okay, I just had to share this nugget of a time-saver (If you know about it already, then this won’t seem very original..).  I got this tip from a colleague of mine, so I’m not taking credit here, but rather just passing it along.

If you haven’t flown Southwest Airlines before, it’s open seating, first-come, first-serve based upon passengers order of check-in.  That means that if you check-in first, you board first. 

First 60 to check-in.. ..get an A boarding pass (numbered 1-60)
Second 60 to check-in.. .. get a B boarding pass (numbered 1-60)
Everyone else.. .. gets a C boarding pass (numbered 1-60)

You can check-in 24 hours before departure.  So what do you do if you want an “A” boarding pass but aren’t at your computer to check-in online?

Southwest Airlines has a mobile website which allows you to check-in via your phone and then print your boarding pass at the airport.  So that saves you some time.  You go to the site with your Windows Mobile phone, enter your first name, last name, and confirmation number, and you’re all set.

Check-in page on SWA's mobile site

Fill in your information, and (assuming you’re within the 24-hour check-in window) you’ll arrive here:

image 

Click “Check In All”, and you’ll be checked into your flight:

image

Then just either print your boarding pass later on your printer, or do it at a kiosk at the airport.

But wait, there’s more..

But what if you don’t have the confirmation handy, say, while you’re driving in your car? 

You can link to the check-in page’s submission directly by embedding your name and confirmation number in the below URL:

http://mobile.southwest.com/cgi-bin/wireless?action=checkin&first=FIRSTNAME&last=LASTNAME&pnr=CONFCODE

Following the link directly will take you to the “Checkin Availability” page where all you need to do is click the “Check In All”  button.

What I do is save the “template” URL as part of my Outlook Contact entry for Southwest.  When I book a flight and add the flight to my calendar, I put the completed URL in the calendar entry, then set a 1 day (24 hour) reminder for the flight. 

When I get the reminder, I simply open the calendar entry, click the link, and check-in.  It takes less than 30 seconds.

Another way to store the completed URL is to create an Outlook task (“Check in for tomorrow’s flight”) with the URL, with a reminder or due date set for 24 hours before the flight.

And since my Windows Mobile device automatically syncs with Exchange, my calendar and task entries, including their reminders, are readily accessible from my phone.

Lastly, I also use TripIt to organize and share my travel itineraries with family and friends.  You can add the direct check-in URL to my itinerary and access on my mobile phone via TripIt’s mobile site.

Comments (6)

  1. Steven Lange says:

    Yup, this method no longer works too well since SW has updated their site in the years since this was posted.

  2. TANK says:

    This URL script doesn't seem to work now in May 2012.  I assume swa changed their website to disable being able to run auto-check in scripts.

  3. zzz says:

    On a few occasions  the  Southwest web page has been down or has too much traffic that will not load when I am trying to check in. It has happened to me about 3 different times, so guessing this is common with their site. Every time this has happened I have checked in using mobile website either from a computer or my phone. So very handy information!!!!

  4. I have been traveling through airports and cities in the United States for quite some time now and at

  5. Steven Lange says:

    Not sure I understand.. many of these airline’s sites have some form of online check-in.  This post is to simply point out that you can also access it via a mobile phone.

  6. duc nguyen says:

    what should I do if I don’t have Wlndows Mobile.other ways to get access to mobile websites are very complicated to me.why you do not have computer access to check in and issuance of boarding pass via computers?