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Southwest Early Bird Check-In

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by JennLH81, Jul 1, 2013.

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  1. JennLH81

    JennLH81 Tourist

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    Heading to Vegas in 33 days. Got a great direct flight out of Hartford, for a great rate. I did not purchase the early check-in option when I initially purchased the flight in March. I've been watching the rates since then and today when I checked it said the flight was "sold out". Given that new information, I'm considering adding EBC, since it's obvious our flight will be full and I don't want to risk not being able to sit with my husband. My question...is it worth it at this point?? I've heard that people who buy it earlier than I did, get first priority. That makes complete sense. So I guess a month out, will I get a better boarding position, then I would if I check in at the 24-hour mark??
     
  2. Tammy58

    Tammy58 Frugal Slot Jockey

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    As far as how they assign EB...total ?. This past trip my husband and the 2 people traveling with us were all A 20s...me A58, all bought at the same time, same price. I know many people are not into paying for EB, but I won't fly to Vegas without it...especially the flight home. Considering all the money we are spending on our vacation an extra $12.50 is worth it to me for piece of mind. I must add we also have over a 5 hour flight going out. If it were a shorter flight I may not care as much. The anti SW people are paying more for their bags or drinks...I pay for the EB. With a full flight I would definitely add it now, at least for your return flight. If you are flying out of a major hub I would suggest it for the flight out also. In previous years I asked people around me in line when they booked, to try to figure out how they assign the EB. I found some had booked after me, some earlier than me, some paid more for their flight,some paid less...been trying to figure it out for years. SW site use to say it was in order of purchase, than something said it was by price you paid for the flight...I think it is a crapshoot.
     
  3. captainron62

    captainron62 VIP Whale

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    I bought late once and got "A 60" for my boarding position. I usually get between "B 10 and B 30" just by checking in the morning before. I have never not been able to sit w sig other just by checking in morning before.
     
  4. djen

    djen Low-Roller

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    I typically buy the EB checkin when buying my ticket. In my case for a flight in late July that I bout last week, so less than a month out. For me I like to board early to get a seat where I like and my carry on luggage in the overhead compartment. EB checkin should get you in the A group, but at this time probably the back of the group.
     
  5. Huddler

    Huddler VIP Whale

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    I used to never purchase the early bird check in. But now, with the reduction in number of daily flights, most flights are completely full and there is the chance you get stuck in the middle seat. That is a bad place to be on a 4 hour flight coming back from Vegas after a 3 day all out partying binge! :eek:So, I always purchase EB these days, particularly on flights to Vegas. You are definitely assured of a choice seat and will get to sit with anyone flying with you.
     
  6. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    If you buy EB, you'll be at the end of the people who bought it, but still in the A group and will definitely be able to sit together.
     
  7. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    I'm inclined to agree with Mike. I asked Customer Service how the seats were determined when EBCI first started. She stated that the positions were assigned 36 hours prior to departure according to date of purchase.....said nothing about price. However, as mentioned in previous posts while standing in line I have asked people when they purchased their tickets and often they were after me. That being said, I too feel that I have a lot of money invested in my trip and don't fly that often so I would rather spend the money, and even though I always got an A boarding pass by checking in 24 hours in advance, I'd rather not gamble with fewer flights and sold out flights. That is even more important knowing that I will have to change planes and get on a flight with limited seating.

    All in all, I have been lucky and have always had an A boarding pass except for the year that I had to return on my second day due to my mom's imminent passing. I purchased my ticket 90 minutes before departure, and got a C boarding pass ( no surprise). I took a chance and headed for the back of the plane and found the center seat in the Exit seats empty with a couple very much hoping that no one else would get onboard. When I asked if the seat was empty, the guy indicated that he was sitting there and gave up his window seat. I don't like window seats but at least I had plenty of leg room!

    Jimbo338
     
  8. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    The vast majority of SW flights seem to be close to full. They are good at that.

    As to the EB thing...you can call and get an explanation all you want, but there appears to be mystery in the whole thing. Go to flytertalk.com if you want to read lots more about it.

    Unless you are towards the back, sitting together will not be a problem. It could happen.
     
  9. tatterdema

    tatterdema VIP Whale

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    I would not say "definitely" be able to sit together. If there are a lot of through passengers already on the plane, and you are at the end of the A boarding group, there is still a possibility that you wont get to sit together. Rare, but it does happen.
     
  10. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    One other thing SWA is [STRIKE]good[/STRIKE] at is connecting flights. One Milwaukee to Vegas flight originates in Orlando. Orlando people heading to Vegas, remain on board and then all us Milwaukee folk board.

    I guess the price must be right, because there is no way I would book a connection like that.

    One other Milwaukee to Vegas non stop, then continues on to San Diego and then a 3rd stop that I don't recall.

    All of these type connectors factor into seating availability.
     
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  11. Suekel

    Suekel VIP Whale

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    This is exactly why my husband refers to them as "Greyhound in the sky". That being said, we still fly them for 90% of our travel, we just choose our flights carefully.
     
    Vegas Just Because...
  12. tizzy

    tizzy Low-Roller

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    Totally not worth it! I just got back from Vegas with my wife and another couple and they paid for early bird check in and both flights were full and we were only a row behind them and still got to sit together. If your in any part of A boarding and first part of B you will be able to sit together no problem.
     
  13. VPDana

    VPDana Low-Roller

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    We always take the first flight out when going to Las Vegas, +/- 6 am. Our flight is always chock full. We don't purchase EB, so I am sitting in front of my computer 24 hours in advance with all info entered, ready to hit the button when the clock turns. In April, being exactly on time for check-in, we were given mid-Bs - thought that was a little unusual. We usually get mid to late As. We ran into some people we know at our gate who were on the same flight as us. The four of them forget to check-in until 3:30 pm and were given A-20 through 24. What the heck ????
     
  14. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    I don't want to deal with online check-in exactly 24 hrs prior, so I always book EB for the return flights. For our departure flights, I never do and "usually" end up with A or low B.
     
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  15. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    They were probably "A-listers", if so, I believe their boarding-position(s) is assigned 36 hours in advance of the flight and held until they check-in. Same goes for Business Select tickets.
     
  16. Buddha

    Buddha VIP Whale

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    Trust me on this one ... the EB numbers are assigned in the order they are purchased. Since we typically know well in advance the dates of our trips, we often purchase our SWA flights in the early morning of the FIRST day of that reservation window opening. That always seems to get us EB numbers between A-16 to A-20 ... (since Business Select is # 1 - 15).

    We like the carefree ease of the EB system, so we don't have to sit at a computer, waiting for the magic 24-hour clock to tick down. We can check in at the airport, and our EB number will be locked in, with no worries. :thumbsup:
     
  17. Keyser Soze

    Keyser Soze Low-Roller

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    Just request a wheelchair. You get to board the plane FIRST! And all your travel companions too! And it's FREE! No questions asked.

    The obese people do it all the time. And you guessed it....when the aircraft lands in Vegas, the fat asses jump from their seat and dash up the jetway in search of the nearest buffet. No wheelchair needed.
     
  18. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    In some cases that is true, but I hate you for posting it!:poke::peace:
     
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  19. Keyser Soze

    Keyser Soze Low-Roller

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    Fair point. If my post entices more people to do this (wheelchair fraud), then I really fk'd up. But increased awareness, increased complaints are needed to end this practice.

    I write letters to Southwest after every flight. They are aware of the problem, but tell me the number of complaints they receive is not high enough to fix the problem.

    Each flight, I note of the number of wheelchair passengers and companions that board first, and how many are wheelchairs are requested when the aircraft lands in Vegas. It's enough to piss me off. I've called out some of the obvious offenders in the terminal at McCarran.
     
  20. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    They need to be called out. There is no reason for this crap!
     
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