Flying internationally from BWI

Old Jun 7, 18, 8:37 pm
  #1  
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Flying internationally from BWI

Heading to PUJ from BWI soon. BWI is my home airport and I fly in and out of there domestically almost weekly so Iím an old pro at that. Have precheck and A-List Preferred. Admittedly Iím quite green at flying internationally on WN. Last time I did it was 2014 I think.

What do I need to differently? We arenít checking bags but do we still need to go to that international desk to check in? Normally for my domestic trips I cut it pretty close and get to the airport only 15-20 minutes before boarding starts. I assume we should allot more time for passport check but how much? Can we still use the precheck lane?
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Old Jun 7, 18, 9:20 pm
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Yes you will still need to head to international desk for check in. Checking in online just reserve your boarding number and will not issue a boarding pass. They are extremely strict at BWI about the 60 minutes check in for international flights so do not try to cut it close. I have seen people having to reschedule.

There is a A-List preferred line at the international check in area and you will now get precheck. Everything else besides the checking in at the desk is standard Southwest ops.
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Old Jun 8, 18, 5:01 am
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Very good thanks for clearing it up. Seems reasonable.
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Old Jun 8, 18, 5:22 am
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Originally Posted by faceboy View Post
Yes you will still need to head to international desk for check in. Checking in online just reserve your boarding number and will not issue a boarding pass. They are extremely strict at BWI about the 60 minutes check in for international flights so do not try to cut it close. I have seen people having to reschedule.

There is a A-List preferred line at the international check in area and you will now get precheck. Everything else besides the checking in at the desk is standard Southwest ops.
Is that 60 minutes for checkin or just for baggage?
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Old Jun 8, 18, 7:27 am
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60 Minutes to check in at the airport. And don't get there anywhere close to that. Southwest and TSA recommends 3 hours. If there's a long line, issues at the terminals, etc, and you finally get to the desk at T-55 minutes, you will NOT be allowed to fly internationally.

You have to check in at the main terminals anyway, since they physically need to verify your passport..
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Old Jun 8, 18, 10:38 am
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Anybody with experience going to the airport the day before to do the passport verification and get the actual boarding pass? I don't really want to have to get there hours before an early morning flight.
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Old Jun 8, 18, 11:03 am
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Does this 60 minutes ruleapply to domestic connect flights before the international leg?
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Old Jun 8, 18, 11:05 am
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Originally Posted by jeffandnicole View Post
60 Minutes to check in at the airport. And don't get there anywhere close to that. Southwest and TSA recommends 3 hours.
Wow 3 hours!? The conspiracy theorist in me says they just want you inside the airport longer and spending money. But I also realize with human nature if you say 3 hours people will do 1-2 hours anyway.
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Old Jun 8, 18, 12:40 pm
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Originally Posted by pgh234 View Post
Does this 60 minutes ruleapply to domestic connect flights before the international leg?
Yes, Per SW website:
If your itinerary includes at least one international flight you should arrive at the Southwest Airlines Ticket Counter at least two hours* prior to your flightís scheduled departure time in order to have your passports verified, to check luggage, and to receive your boarding pass. Curbside checkin is not available for itineraries that include international flights. If you arrive at the ticket counter with 60 minutes or less time remaining until your flightís scheduled departure time, we will be unable to accommodate you on your scheduled flight. For flights departing Aruba (AUA), if you arrive at the ticket counter with 75 minutes or less remaining until your flightís scheduled departure time, we will be unable to accommodate you on your scheduled flight.
https://www.southwest.com/html/air/i...-in/index.html


Passport verification is done on first leg, even if domestic, so need to follow the specified rules.
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Old Jun 11, 18, 8:15 am
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Originally Posted by Marko123 View Post
Wow 3 hours!? The conspiracy theorist in me says they just want you inside the airport longer and spending money. But I also realize with human nature if you say 3 hours people will do 1-2 hours anyway.
The practical reality is: Plan on being there 3 hours ahead of time. Encounter an accident on the highway and you're delayed 15 minutes. Parking lot is nearly full, takes another 10 minutes to get a spot in the far reaches of the lot. Long line at the counter due to weather issues in another city requiring people to rebook flights. Another half hour wasted. Get up to TSA and find the line is 30 minutes there. You planned on being there 3 hours ahead of time. You finally get thru security with 1 1/2 hours before your flight.

If you planned on being at the airport 2 hours before your flight, you're rushing thru the terminal to get on your plane (guess your A Boarding Pass ain't gonna help you when the plane's already boarding). If you planned on getting there 1 1/2 hours before your flight, the gate door is already shut. If human nature got you to the airport 1 hour before an international flight, you're not flying. You need to be checked in 1 hour before your flight.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 12:17 pm
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Trip came and went and all was well even though we admittedly cut it a bit close. Got to the airport at t-80 or so and took advantage of the A-list line. The girl who checked us in definitely looked at her watch when she pulled up our reservation so that tells me they are strict on the rule, even though we didn't check bags. Precheck line was long and no one was in the priority line at TSA but since we had extra time we stayed in the precheck line so we didn't have to take our liquids out.

One thing I heard over the intercom at the gate got me curious. They said if your boarding pass doesn't have the red DOCS OK stamp on it go to the customer service desk (by the gate) to get it stamped. That made me wonder if one can just skip the line at ticketing and go right through security then get the stamp by the gate? Or will TSA not let you through? Or was this message for people connecting at BWI that didn't get DOCS OK stamped at their home airport?
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Old Jun 17, 18, 3:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Marko123 View Post
Trip came and went and all was well even though we admittedly cut it a bit close. Got to the airport at t-80 or so and took advantage of the A-list line. The girl who checked us in definitely looked at her watch when she pulled up our reservation so that tells me they are strict on the rule, even though we didn't check bags. Precheck line was long and no one was in the priority line at TSA but since we had extra time we stayed in the precheck line so we didn't have to take our liquids out.

One thing I heard over the intercom at the gate got me curious. They said if your boarding pass doesn't have the red DOCS OK stamp on it go to the customer service desk (by the gate) to get it stamped. That made me wonder if one can just skip the line at ticketing and go right through security then get the stamp by the gate? Or will TSA not let you through? Or was this message for people connecting at BWI that didn't get DOCS OK stamped at their home airport?
I think it's mostly for people who are connecting. HOWEVER, it is also in case someone slipped through the cracks somehow.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 3:59 pm
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No different than most carriers. The fines imposed on WN for transporting someone without proper docs are significant and also mean that it has to transport the person back to the US. Not the kind of thing one wants to screw up.

Ideally, the docs should be out for inspection as you board. The number of people who manage to leave a passport at a hamburger stand is astounding.
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Old Jun 19, 18, 7:47 am
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Originally Posted by Marko123 View Post
Trip came and went and all was well even though we admittedly cut it a bit close. Got to the airport at t-80 or so and took advantage of the A-list line. The girl who checked us in definitely looked at her watch when she pulled up our reservation so that tells me they are strict on the rule, even though we didn't check bags. Precheck line was long and no one was in the priority line at TSA but since we had extra time we stayed in the precheck line so we didn't have to take our liquids out.
The 60 minute rule has nothing to do with checking bags. It's for a security list thing.

One thing I heard over the intercom at the gate got me curious. They said if your boarding pass doesn't have the red DOCS OK stamp on it go to the customer service desk (by the gate) to get it stamped. That made me wonder if one can just skip the line at ticketing and go right through security then get the stamp by the gate? Or will TSA not let you through? Or was this message for people connecting at BWI that didn't get DOCS OK stamped at their home airport?
Reasons why:
>You lost your boarding pass for the next flight.
>You arrived on Delta to the airport, but are departing on Southwest. You aren't checking bags, so you didn't need to leave the secured area. So you need to check in at a Southwest Gate, where they can print your boarding passes at that time.
>This step got missed somehow.

If you're on an international flight and arriving on the landside at the airport, you must check in at the airport prior to going thru security.
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