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SW EB is becoming a must

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by Tammy58, Mar 30, 2015.

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  1. Tammy58

    Tammy58 Frugal Slot Jockey

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    Looks like Early Bird on SW is becoming a must now from my area. We now have preboard so I didn't pay for the EB. I checked in at exactly the 24 hour mark this morning and got B 24/25. We exchange those at the gate for our preboard so luckily that won't be our actual boarding order. Nonstop 7:45 am flight from BDL ( Windsor Locks CT ) to LAS on a Tues morning. It's a 5 hour plus flight. If you are flying with someone you want to sit with or are picky about not being in a middle seat it looks like EB is a must from now on. Generally we get our better boarding assignments on this flight and higher numbers on the return from Vegas. Just thought I would let people who don't normally buy the EB know. Now I understand why last year when I paid for EB I received B1.
     
  2. VegasGroove

    VegasGroove VIP Whale

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    Hi Tammy,

    I agree. I started using EBCI about 4 years ago and never looked back. The extra $12.50 is worth it (to me) to ensure good boarding position (A) without having to babysit my keyboard with my finger positioned ready for that 24-hour mark to click. I let SW do the checking-in for me.
     
  3. hillwood24

    hillwood24 High-Roller

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    The whole Southwest system is broken in my opinion. I've been on flights where seemingly half of the passengers are pre-board and they take up all of the prime, non-exit row seats. And, of course, sometime during the flight, they are struck by the "Southwest Miracle" and are able to sprint off of the plane upon arrival at their destination. It gets old.
     
  4. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    I still play the 24 game for our flight to anywhere, but I'm curious the exact cost of buying preboard? Coming home I always do EB.
     
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  5. IWannaBeInVegas

    IWannaBeInVegas VIP Whale

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    Preboard cannot be bought. It's for those needing extra time and those with disabilities. The miracle of flight does tend to heal quite a few of those.

    I bought eb but depending on my number I may pay the 40 for a 1-15 pass.
     
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  6. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Lol! :thumbsup:
     
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  7. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    I recently checked in at the 24 hour mark and received the B-28 or higher. I liked it better 6 years ago before the proliferation of smartphones, I had a BlackBerry and always received middle A boarding. Darn Technology!
     
  8. gtomew

    gtomew Low-Roller

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    My last time to Las Vegas was in December as I have been almost 30 times and always flown
    Spirit 99 percent of the time and this was my first Southwest experience flying and it was a nice
    flight.Probably a 100.00 more rt but nice. I purchased the early board both ways when I booked
    3 months ahead. Both times received in the A-20s trouble was returning flight must have been
    a connecting flight from California as must have been 50 people still on the plane. Not hardly worth it
    in my opinion.
     
  9. Tammy58

    Tammy58 Frugal Slot Jockey

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    We've been paying for EB for years now too. Every trip the numbers do seem to get higher. In a way we do pay for preboard...for the second time we bought 3 seats instead of 2. Gets us a preboard pass. It works out for us since we have a lot of pts due to using their credit card all the time. 2 free seats and we pay for the empty.
     
  10. monkeyshed

    monkeyshed Tourist

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    Not necessarily so! I checked in this morning at 6:00am right on time and received A44/45. I'm ok with the end of A, middle of B....as long as we can sit together. To me, sitting in the middle or near back of the plane is fine if it saves me $25 EB fees.
     
  11. sam

    sam Low-Roller

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    I have just booked airfare for Fla and I have always purchased the EB but this time I did not. My family members flying with me did not feel it is necessary. We always check in at the 24 hr mark and last time I flew the person just behind me did not even purchase the EB. I guess I will find out in August.
     
  12. volfaninbama

    volfaninbama High-Roller

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    I just checked in at exactly 24 hours and got B41 that is the worst I have ever gotten.
     
  13. Darreningreenwood

    Darreningreenwood Low-Roller

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    Interesting, as lately I've been getting some pretty good numbers by checking in at the 24 hour mark. I just wish I had a better idea of how SW decides where to start handing out numbers for people without EB. Yes, 1-15 are reserved, but I'm willing to bet that different factors are used in starting the numbering for check in. Things like having already checked in for a flight that connects to the flight you're on, how many people are set to stay on the plane during the stop at your airport, etc....

    I think SW's boarding method has worked pretty well over the last 6 or 7 years, but as mentioned above, everyone having a smart phone is starting to invalidate the advantages to their system. I wouldn't be surprised if we see some tweaks over the next year or so. Maybe reserving a block of A's for people with higher RR credits, or pre-assigning based on how early you book your flights, etc.
     
  14. FXT

    FXT VIP Whale

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    I don't know if its a must just yet. We've never had a problem finding an isle/middle seat and we never eb. Worst we will get is high B group. The only thing I would want to see SW change is not allowing entourages on board with a person in a wheelchair. Limit a wheelchair person to 2 handlers and rest have to board with their actual group.
     
  15. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    The SWA planes are indeed filling-up... I fly Business-Select and in the "old-days" (a year of more ago) there'd be like 6 or 7 of us (out of the 15 allotted spaces) and it'd be people I recognize as other business or frequent travelers. Now... almost always, all the spaces are taken and by people you can tell paid a premium and bought those because they were the last seat available for the flight. One day I was A-2 and the older gentleman who was A-1 had NEVER flown before!
     
  16. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    I only buy early bird to make sure that my bag has a place in the overhead. What time I get there doesn't really matter, but for me, an extra $25 (12.50 each way) is worth it.

    Be aware, SWA doesn't place a limit on EB sales, so your could purchase EB and STILL get C-60. (of course that would mean that everyone else on the flight had purchased EB)

    I understand that there is a lawsuit over that particular issue going on.

    UPDATE:

    OK, the particular lawsuit that I saw was for another issue

    http://pointsmilesandmartinis.boardingarea.com/2014/11/southwest-airlines-sued-early-bird-check/

    According to the lawsuit, SWA allows people purchasing tickets in the higher two classes to board earlier than early bird. My understanding is that those people board in the A1-A15 group. That I have no problem with. If you want to pay $300 for a one way trip to Las Vegas and I only paid $80, "more power to ya"

    The other potion of the lawsuit contends that "Additionally that the airline doesn’t limit the number of Early Bird Check-Ins it sells per flight"

    It should be pretty easy to prove or disprove that.

    This article gives a pretty clear description of Southwest's boarding process:

    http://crankyflier.com/2013/01/24/how-southwest-determines-your-boarding-card-number-and-how-you-can-now-jump-the-line-for-40/
     
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  17. FXT

    FXT VIP Whale

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    This is the exact reason we bought EB for our next flight. We're lugging along a wedding dress/suit and it was a toss up between getting eb or buying an extra seat.
     
  18. NandJfrmNJ

    NandJfrmNJ High-Roller

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    What DaiLun said: what happens when most of the passengers decide to buy EB and some passengers end up with C passes? It WILL happen sooner or later. We have been buying it on the return flight only so we don't have to worry about the 24 hr check-in but we still do it the old fashioned way on the way out. As long as we both get aisle seats we don't care where we sit.
     
  19. IWannaBeInVegas

    IWannaBeInVegas VIP Whale

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    I booked EB both ways. Going out, I want a window seat, preferably the exit row or the row missing a seat. Depending on what my boarding number is I may pay the 40 upgrade at the gate for a BS pass.

    Iv read just as recently as today a family that had bad flying anxiety used that as a reason to pre-board. I wonder if the fact that I have anxiety over how much money I may lose in Vegas would qualify for that :beer:
     
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  20. Yall

    Yall Low-Roller

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    I will normally pay for EB if travelling with other people, especially if I'm flying with my wife. She's a fairly nervous flyer and likes to have my hand to squeeze.

    If I'm flying alone I won't really bother.
     
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