On Sunday, the United States starts daylight saving time, which means that clocks spring ahead one hour. Although most flyers who normally use online check-in for a flight 24 hours before the scheduled flight departure time, Southwest Airlines warns that passengers traveling on March 11 need to check in 23 hours before flight time.
Although all airlines have adjusted their flight schedules to reflect the new daylight saving time, the actual amount of hours between Saturday and Sunday are only 23 hours, thus, Southwest Airlines has issued a travel advisory to guide passengers to check in 23 hours early.
According to USA Today, when you check-in matters whether you get the seat selection you prefer. Southwest Airlines uses a system where it is first come, first serve from check-in by setting up three groups when people board: A, B, and C.
Then, passengers embark on the plane in alphabetical order. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that if a passenger wants to avoid the dreaded middle seat, or if they want to sit with their traveling companions, they want to be in group A.
Yet, USA Today reminds flyers that Southwest Airlines does offer some solutions for passengers. The airline offers a $15 EarlyBird Check-in fee as well as paying a first-class upgrade of $30-$50, which grants a passenger preferred seating.
Of course, passengers can also purchase a first-class seat in the first place to be guaranteed comfort and no one sitting between the window and the aisle seat.
What may seem a little unusual is that there was a travel advisory regarding the recommended 23-hour check-in by Southwest Airlines in the first place. Advisories are usually issued for weather or for dangerous destinations.
Yet, it is clear that the airline is working to avoid any undue customer frustration. Making this once-a-year adjustment may not be at the top of passengers’ minds, along with remembering to set their alarm to reflect daylight saving time, in order to not miss a flight. This alert should help prevent missed flights and seat frustration.
It should be noted that even states such as Hawaii and most of Arizona that do not happen to observe daylight saving time are affected by this particular change.
According to 12News, Arizona “opted out” of daylight saving time in 1967 after trying it out for one year. What can make this a bit confusing is that some Native American tribes located in the state observe the time change, and some do not.
For example, in the northeast section of Arizona, the Navajo Nation observes daylight saving time. Yet, the Hopi Nation, which is essentially an island in the midst of the Navajo Nation, does not observe daylight saving time.