Some novice questions about traveling with Southwest

It has been over a decade since I flew with Southwest. That will be changing bright and early on Monday. I did add early bird check in to my reservation. What do I have to do, just print the boarding pass prior to leaving home? Is there anything else I need to do? Also, I have never flown with just a carryon. When I arrive at the airport with boarding pass in hand, can I go right to security and by pass any check in in the lobby? Sorry to sound so silly, but going solo and not bringing much has never happened before. I knew I could ask my fellow liners without any slack from you guys…


You boarding number will be assigned so all you need to do is print it out before your flight (or use the app). Yes, just go directly to security.

Also, there will be poles right outside the gate. They will call groups: A first, then B, then C. Find your Letter/Number when they call your group.

Thank you! That’s what I thought, just wanted to make sure.

Carry on- is toothpaste considered a liquid and fall over the 3oz rule/quart bag?

Yes. Anything not 100% solid falls under the 3-1-1 liquids rule.

Great. Thanks!!

Is there the on line check in 24 hrs before the flight?

There is but OP paid for Early Bird check-in which takes care of that for you!

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To clarify, the poles won’t have letters, but will have groups of numbers…I think from 1-60?..and they will call the groups up using letters and numbers. Once all the A’s line up and most have boarded, they will then they call the beginning of the B’s who will use the same numbered polls as the As did.

I am pretty sure that every Southwest flight I have ever taken had a few people that were confused by them having only one set of numbered polls for A, B, and C to use. :upside_down_face:

Funny, the poles around here have electronic letters these days that change with each group. Other airports still have the old ones?

Thanks all! Now I just have to worry about parking at the airport. Thankfully the economy lot, where I would have to take a shuttle, is still closed so I can use one of the garages where it’s just a short walk to doors. It’s like $5 more a day, but work is footing the bill for this trip😀. Only issue is I not entirely familiar with getting to the entrances of the garages. I’m sure I will be fine and there shouldn’t be much traffic at 430am on Monday.


Well, I haven’t been in the Philly airport since before COVID so maybe they upgraded since then? I can give you an update late next month! :slightly_smiling_face:

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I look forward to it! Now I am trying to remember where I saw the fancy ones and where they are the old printed numbers only.

As of March this year, they had not upgraded them.
Still have the birds living in the terminal though!!! :rofl:


St Louis certainly

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Our local airport and I think MCO have the poles stationary with the numbers printed on them. At the front of each “row” on either side of the poles is an electronic display that shows A1-30 and A31-60. Then it changes to “B1-30” etc. But the poles themselves are not electronic.

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Maybe that is what I am thinking of? It used to be just the numbers and the electronic signs were added?

maybe. I don’t remember the electronic signs always being there.

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I just wanted to clarify something here - when you get Earlybird, you are assigned a boarding group automatically, but you are NOT CHECKED IN automatically. You still need to go in (either through the app or online or at the kiosk at the airport) to actually check in at some point before your flight. If you don’t, at least 30 minutes prior to depature, they can give away your seat.

Also, if using the app, I always take a photo of the boarding pass while still at home, that way if I run into any wifi wonkiness, I’m still able to board the plane without issue.


Thank you. That totally makes sense. I made it without any issues. Thank you

Ooo thanks, I’ve never used Earlybird before, my mistake!