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SWA Early Bird Check in question

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by IWannaBeInVegas, Sep 11, 2013.

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  1. IWannaBeInVegas

    IWannaBeInVegas VIP Whale

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    So I am thinking about going ahead and booking my airfare for the long off spring trip, the rates are not bad but its a gamble knowing they could go down. Questions about the SWA early bird checkin are:
    1. If I book my flight and EB now, does that affect my boarding number over someone who books 3 months from now? Basically, is it the earlier the better or is it totally random?

    2. If I book now, and have to cancel and rebook for whatever reason, including changing date or if the rates drop, do I have to pay the EB again or does it follow the new reservation?

    3. Are you guys finding it worth the money to use? I used it last flight and had decent boarding numbers but not sure if it would have been any different if I had been sitting at the computer checking in myself.
     
    Tentative Arrival
  2. grosx2

    grosx2 VIP Whale

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    1. The earlier the better.

    2. You would have to pay for EB again.

    3. I buy EB for every flight, then again I'm 6'5". Getting an exit row is huge for me. I would say I'm able to get one on 75% of flights when booking EB. If you don't want to pay $25 per round trip, I would at least do it for your flight home. That way you don't have to worry about checking in during your trip, and you won't risk having a shitty middle seat for your hungover flight home.
     
  3. Gino

    Gino "The King of Inappropriate."

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    Ill try to help..

    I just recently had to change my reservation and my e.b followed, I did not have to pay again. Earlier is better w/SW, and I'm pretty sure you'll have a better number than anyone booking 3 months from now. I find it very useful, but then again, I book way early, and always take a real early morning flight. IMHO, it's a $25 well spent..

    :beer:
     
  4. jimboguy

    jimboguy Blubbery Whale

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    If you CHANGE an existing reservation then the EB follows the reservation. However, if you CANCEL a reservation, the EB does not associate itself with your newly developed, non-refundable travel funds.
     
  5. bdautch

    bdautch High-Roller

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    I've been an SWA Rapid Rewards member for about 15 years, and I fly them every 2-3 months. I literally always get the Early Bird because it guarantees me overhead bin space. I always try to pack via carry on to avoid waits at baggage claim, so that's a real key for me. Besides, it's kind of a nominal fee relative to what you'll shell out on your vacation, you know?
     
  6. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    When they first introduced EBCI, I called SWA's Customet Service and asked about booking and was told that the earlier you added EB CI, the better your boarding pass would be. However, in the years since I get talking with folks around me in line and people ahead of me booked a week or two before and I booked about six months in advance. Go figure?

    EBCI follows the confirmation number. If you change flights or dates and keep the same Confirmation number your EBCI stays with you. However, if you cancel your flight you lose your confirmation number (and money).

    My flight going to LV originates here so chances are good that I won't need an EBCI. However,the flght home sometimes stops in LV from another airport and so a few people get off and you get whatever is left. I'd prefer to spend the money than take my chances.

    Jimbo38
     
  7. Dean Martin

    Dean Martin VIP Whale

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    That is exactly correct. I got in a situation on our upcoming trip were I had booked our flights home using old air tran credits that converted to to a free flight on SW but it was only good/useable for certain flights. So when we changed our flight home (extended 1 day), the flight wasn't available as a "free flight using old AT credits" but I had plenty of SW points so I had to just cancel the orig flight and the free flights dropped back into my account and then booked the new flight. I lost by EBCI but it was worth it to stay an extra day and get a much better flight home.

    Even so, you gotta love SW....where else can you make that many changes w/ no fees charged and basically a full refund of the original flight (to be used within 1 yr).

    I was just thinking the other day....our trip last yr EBCI was $10 and this time it was $12.50....how long do you think it will be before they slip it up to $15?:poke::rolleyes2:
     
  8. IWannaBeInVegas

    IWannaBeInVegas VIP Whale

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    I agree that swa is the best and please don't give them ideas of raising the eb price again
     
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  9. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    There just doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to EB. We had EB for a flight on Tuesday. They were purchased 3+ months ago for a flight from Boston to Milwaukee.

    We got A34 & 35. The plane was half empty :confused2: Just 2 people boarded in A1-15.

    As others have mentioned, we always buy EB for the return flight. I don't want to deal with it on the road.
     
    Christmas
  10. tatterdema

    tatterdema VIP Whale

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    On flyertalk many people say that EBCI is directly related to price you paid, and not when you bought. I dont think anyone really knows, and I really do think it is random.
     
  11. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    I have been in the middle B's before and still get 2nd row window, if you check in 24 hours before your flight early bird is really not necessary IMO.
     
  12. hondo230

    hondo230 Tourist

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    Just flew 9/10

    We booked our tickets within minutes of each other (3 months ago). We paid in the same identical way as each other (cash). My EB was A22, my wife's was B02. WTF? Gate agent informed us that it all relates to how & how much you pay (cash,RR's, etc.). Informed her how we did it & she said "O well, you'll have to deal with it."
    I actually think that Southwest just an average airline. All employees I have interacted with have different answers from each other, just as any airline.
     
  13. JAMES WILSON

    JAMES WILSON Tourist

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    swa

    I used it last march and got a34a35 I found it worth it theres was a lot of people waiting to board plane was full I will use it again:eek:
     
  14. tatterdema

    tatterdema VIP Whale

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    Same with me. Tues I forgot to check in @ 24 hours, so I ended up with B53 on a full plane. I sat in row 2 seat A. This is the seat I would have picked if I was A1 boarding pass....
     
  15. runningonthehub

    runningonthehub Low-Roller

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    Last Tuesday, with EB I was A26 going and A20 returning. Bought the ticket in June.Both flights were full. I believe the earlier you buy your ticket the better your place in the order.

    With so many flight being full, I will take my chances with EB. I think with EB, you are automatically checked in 36 hours before your flight, not the 24 hours if you are not EB.

    My experience with EB has been very good. I will always use it. Your experience may vary.
     
  16. Keyser Soze

    Keyser Soze Low-Roller

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    I fly SW to Vegas once per month, every month. My EB experiences have been good. Only once a B boarding pass. Average is probably A35.

    But, its probably a waste of money. I could probably get a good mid-range B, and that's good enough for my preferred window seat. Perhaps next time, I'll skip EB and see what happens.
     
  17. Mitkraft

    Mitkraft High-Roller

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    On my flight home last Tuesday I bought EBCI less than 48 hours before my flight and got A27 & A28. The flight was full btw.

    This is my first time to do EBCI. We were flying with the dog and didn't want to risk late boarding.
     
  18. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    Yup, not unusual to be the 70th person to board and walk on and see an open good seat, all you have to do is look at them and say "that seat open?" Give it a try people, you dont have to follow the sheep ahead of you pushing to the rear.
     
  19. tatterdema

    tatterdema VIP Whale

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    Even if it is a middle seat, chances are the people on both sides are together, and if you ask for the middle seat, one of them will move over and give you either the aisle, or window. I have had that happen many times. Watch for body language to see if they are together or not.
     
  20. mikenhe

    mikenhe VIP Whale

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    I did a quick weekend trip to the northeast from tampa over labor day. both flights started at the place I boarded and both times I logged on 24 hours before and got a B8 boarding pass
    one leg I sat at the window in the 8th row. one leg I got an aisle seat in the exit row.

    anything below a c boarding and you should get a decent seat if you aren't too fussy.

    I normally use early bird on my return trips from vegas because I can't guarantee I'll be ready to do anything 24 hours before leaving...
     
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