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.
Fill in your information, and (assuming you’re within the 24-hour check-in window) you’ll arrive here:
Click “Check In All”, and you’ll be checked into your flight:
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:
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.