Many of you heard the news that we are offering Customers the opportunity to purchase available boarding positions in our A1-A15 boarding group. We tested this option, Upgraded Boarding, in San Diego last month. Customers loved the opportunity to upgrade their boarding position on the spot. With a successful test behind us, we launched Upgraded Boarding coast to coast this week!
What is this? How does it work? Glad you asked! Our Customer Service Agents will now make an announcement beginning 45 minutes before departure that available boarding positions can be purchased via credit card for $40 per flight. These positions are only available at the gate, and Customers will not receive any of the benefits associated with Business Select Fare—meaning you won’t receive a premium drink on your day of travel or earn any extra Rapid Rewards Points, unless purchased with their Rapid Rewards Chase Visa.
This new option is not a replacement for our Business Select Fare or EarlyBird Check-In, but simply a creative way to improve Customer experience. We typically offer 15 Business Select positions per flight. Seeing that there were not always 15 Business Select Customers on certain flights, we wanted a creative way to offer those last-minute boarding opportunities. Our goal is not to dilute the Business Select Fare which offers priority boarding, extra Rapid Rewards Points, Fly By lane access and a premium drink on day of travel—so we’ll be watching the trends closely. We also know that our EarlyBird Check-In is a fan favorite because it automatically checks you in allowing our Customers the freedom to simply print their boarding pass at their leisure beginning 24 hours prior to departure. Both the Business Select Fare and EarlyBird Check-In are sure things and Upgraded Boarding will only be available in limited quantities and will vary flight by flight.
Southwest strives to offer Customers options. If boarding first is your thing, we have something for that. If you want to watch television live from your seat, we have something for that. If you want to peacefully snack on peanuts while you jet off to your next destination, we definitely have something for that. So if you are out and about on Southwest and hear the Upgraded Boarding announcement—give it a try! You might like what you find!