People seem to either love or hate Southwest Airline’s boarding policy. If you’re not familiar with it, it goes a little something like this: You purchase your plane tickets like you normally would, but you’re not issued a boarding pass. Starting 24 hours before your plane takes off, you’re free to go online and print out your boarding pass, or wait until you’re at the airport. Trick is, the plane is divided into three groups: A, B and C. If your boarding pass has an A on it, you get to board first. If it has a C, well, you get the picture. The quicker you print out your boarding pass, the better your chances are of getting that coveted A boarding pass. Typically you can find me sitting in front of the computer, counting down the seconds until the 24-hour window opens up so I can print out my A.
I ran across a little trick, however. Last time I was in Las Vegas, the hotel I was staying at (don’t ask!) didn’t have a business center, and since I typically don’t carry around a bubble jet when I travel, I couldn’t print out the boarding pass. The great thing about Southwest’s system is you don’t have to have a printer. You can just log in to their website, get your boarding pass, and when it gets to the screen where you would print, you’re done. Then, when you’re at the airport, find a Southwest Airlines kiosk and insert the credit card you used to purchase the tickets. An option will pop-up on-screen asking if you’d like to reprint your boarding pass, as the system knows you’ve already printed them once. They do this in case you accidentally lose your boarding pass, I guess, or if your printer runs out of ink half way through the printing process. It’s a handy trick to know if you’re stuck somewhere without access to a printer, yet still want that A boarding pass.