Southwest at LaGuardia – Part I

By | June 28, 2009

Curbside at LaGuardia Airport We arrived at LaGuardia two hours before our flight. We wanted to see off the Baltimore flight as well.

Southwest had generously awarded us a free roundtrip flight to Chicago and an overnight at a downtown hotel.

Everything at LaGuardia airport from Southwest is different than what we see from any other airline using the Central Terminal.

Southwest doesn’t do anything conventionally. Just take a look at their check-in at LaGuardia:

JetBlue and Southwest Counters at LGANext to them is the conventional style JetBlue desk. A few counters, with a wall and office space behind. Southwest actually knocked through to the rear corridor creating an archway. You walk through, approaching the an agent at a kiosk instead of a desk, check in, and then take your bag to the TSA on the way to the gate.

One of their people told us that other airlines had wanted to do this, but the Port Authority hadn’t permitted them. Another mentioned Pan Am had done this, but we have no photographic evidence of this. Anyone who does please email us at or Twitter us @Flightwisdom.

Southwest Check-In - LGA This seems to us similar to descriptions and pictures we’ve seen of the innovative check-in process Alaska was trying at some of its airports, and certainly is a friendlier way to move people through. It doesn’t even take that much space.

So far, lots of interesting things, and we haven’t even yet reached the gate.

To be Continued in Part 2…At the Gate.

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