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Re: Boarding position changed after paid upgrade

garcianc
New Arrival

@chgoflyer wrote:

I guess I'm still completely confused as to why you don't simply check in at 24 hours prior to departure, so that you don't get a late boarding position and then need to cancel your flight?

 


The confusion is probably because I did not say, nor did I think I said, that I don't try to check in 24 hours in advance Smiley Wink

 

Thanks for your replies.

Re: Boarding position changed after paid upgrade

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

@garcianc wrote:

@chgoflyer wrote:

I guess I'm still completely confused as to why you don't simply check in at 24 hours prior to departure, so that you don't get a late boarding position and then need to cancel your flight?

 


The confusion is probably because I did not say, nor did I think I said, that I don't try to check in 24 hours in advance Smiley Wink

 

Thanks for your replies.


 

If you've been getting C boarding positions when you try to check in 24 hours in advance, then you should try harder.

Re: Boarding position changed after paid upgrade

garcianc
New Arrival

@chgoflyer wrote:

@garcianc wrote:

@chgoflyer wrote:

I guess I'm still completely confused as to why you don't simply check in at 24 hours prior to departure, so that you don't get a late boarding position and then need to cancel your flight?

 


The confusion is probably because I did not say, nor did I think I said, that I don't try to check in 24 hours in advance Smiley Wink

 

Thanks for your replies.


 

If you've been getting C boarding positions when you try to check in 24 hours in advance, then you should try harder.


I think you understand now.

 

Re: Boarding position changed after paid upgrade

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

@garcianc wrote:

@chgoflyer wrote:

@garcianc wrote:

@chgoflyer wrote:

I guess I'm still completely confused as to why you don't simply check in at 24 hours prior to departure, so that you don't get a late boarding position and then need to cancel your flight?

 


The confusion is probably because I did not say, nor did I think I said, that I don't try to check in 24 hours in advance Smiley Wink

 

Thanks for your replies.


 

If you've been getting C boarding positions when you try to check in 24 hours in advance, then you should try harder.


I think you understand now.

 


 

Personally, I've never found it particularly difficult.

 

Sometimes I set a reminder on my phone, which helps me check in as early as possible.

 

Another option would be to purchase EarlyBird Check-In, so you're automatically checked in. I'll buy that often for a return flight, when I know that it will be inconvenient to check in right at t-24.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Re: Boarding position changed after paid upgrade

garcianc
New Arrival

@chgoflyer wrote:


Personally, I've never found it particularly difficult.

 

Sometimes I set a reminder on my phone, which helps me check in as early as possible.

 

Another option would be to purchase EarlyBird Check-In, so you're automatically checked in. I'll buy that often for a return flight, when I know that it will be inconvenient to check in right at t-24.

 


Once again, you understand perfectly. Your last paragraph summarizes the issues with the process.  So I will pick on that scenario as illustration.

 

Let's take, for example, Southwest's Honolulu route. I am sure that it is safe to assume that most of those travelers will not be originating or terminating in Honolulu. By the way I lived in Hawaii for many years and have flown between the mainland and Hawaii many dozens of times. Imagine paying for early bird check-in only to be given a C group boarding position because 120 other roundtrip travelers to Honolulu did the exact same thing ahead of you when they booked. I am sure that Southwest's response will then be to tell passengers to book sooner, set your alarm, etc. When even that starts causing bottlenecks for seat positions, then Southwest's response will be to tell passengers to book business select, and so on. It sure starts sounding like paying for assigned seating and the concept of open seating by boarding position starts to fall apart. It becomes boarding position by chronological sequence of upgrade payment (but, who knows? since that happens behind the scenes).

 

I think the open seating/boarding position concept works on short regional flights, but not so well on longer legs - pun intended, I am very tall. One poster mentioned that seniority is a factor; I doubt it. I would say it plays no factor at all, based on my personal experience. I had been flying SW almost exclusively since 2005 when I banned the use of [our carrier of choice at the time] by my employees for business travel. There are many parts of the SW boarding position assignment process that give some of us the impression of being arbitrary and unfair.

 

I don't think anything will change, since that is how SW operates, but I wanted to add my voice to that of those passengers who are starting to feel like the open seating process is being manipulated into a paid upgrade driver.

Re: Boarding position changed after paid upgrade

SWDigits
Rising Star

@garcianc wrote:

I don't think anything will change


@garcianc I am fascinated by the Southwest business model and, more specifically, the Southwest boarding process because customers seem to have such strong and conflicting feelings on the process.  Assuming nothing will change based on this discussion thread I am still genuinely interested to hear about proposed solutions (I've asked others too).  What would your ideal seating scenario entail?

 

Thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts.


Customer | Home airport DCA

Re: Boarding position changed after paid upgrade

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

Your point, now that you've made it, is absolutely valid. Many elements of Southwest's boarding system are in fact unfair.

 

Southwest began with a boarding system designed to be egalitarian, the problems began when they started monetizing it.

 

Currently, the system isn't designed to be fair, it's designed to generate ancillary revenue. 😉

 

Your initial post postulated the concept that purchasing an upgrade would somehow negatively affect your boarding position on later flights. This, hopefully you understand by now, is not true.

 

I suspect that at some point the negatives in Southwest's boarding system will outweigh the positives, and Southwest will be forced to move to assigned seating like everyone else. Right now, with EarlyBird Check-in generating $400+ million annually, it's unlikely that change will come soon.

 

Often, people disappointed by the inequalities of the current boarding scheme will find themselves better suited to carriers that use assigned seating.

Re: Boarding position changed after paid upgrade

garcianc
New Arrival

@chgoflyer wrote:

This, hopefully you understand by now, is not true.

I wouldn't go that far. I have no knowledge of SW boarding position assignment algorithm. Do you? I am not sure what your relationship is with SW, so maybe you do.

 

We know that the Early Bird Check-in process boarding position is based on an algorithm known only to Southwest. Why would SW stop there?

Re: Boarding position changed after paid upgrade

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@garcianc wrote:

@chgoflyer wrote:

This, hopefully you understand by now, is not true.

I wouldn't go that far. I have no knowledge of SW boarding position assignment algorithm. Do you? I am not sure what your relationship is with SW, so maybe you do.

 

We know that the Early Bird Check-in process boarding position is based on an algorithm known only to Southwest. Why would SW stop there?


I believe that Southwest's boarding position algorithm is pretty well known

 

1) Business select get the first 15 spots.

 

2) A-List preferred get the next slots, Within the category I don't know how slots are assigned.

 

3) A-Listers get the next slots. 

Within the category I don't know how slots are assigned.

 

4) EBCI get the next slots in the order in which EBCI was purchased. The first EBCI purchasers get the first slot after 1 ,2, and 3 above. The last one gets the last.

 

5) Everybody else gets slots in the order that they check in

 

Of course sometimes people get lucky. They get boarding positions much better than expected because someone else cancelled a flight and relinquished a boarding posiiton  that was then recycled to someone else.

 

You mentioned Hawaii in an ealier post. I would expect that a fair number of people are burning RR points to Hawaii. Those that have a fair number of RR points are more likely to be A-List. Thus I would expect more  A-Listers on those flights, which would make EBCI boarding positions "worse" than average, but still better than those that check themselves in. 

Re: Boarding position changed after paid upgrade

bec102896
Top Contributor

@dfwskier wrote:

You mentioned Hawaii in an ealier post. I would expect that a fair number of people are burning RR points to Hawaii. Those that have a fair number of RR points are more likely to be A-List. Thus I would expect more  A-Listers on those flights, which would make EBCI boarding positions "worse" than average, but still better than those that check themselves in. 


On both my flight to HNL and from HNL I was at worst position A19 as A List (not preferred) and not many people wanted the exit rows.