Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

Early Bird Check-In-Misleading

20620642313
New Arrival

Very disappointed in SW EB Check -In. Due to a death in my family I had to make a last minute flight and paid for an early bird check in. I received an email stating that SW has received my payment and that they would check in for me. When I checked my flight, I was at Group C-27.  I was under the assumption that since I paid $25 for the Early Bird Check In that would at least be in A group. After  1hr and 45 min with Southwest it was discovered that they put my Check In for my return flight. The supervisor said that early bird check in can only be done 36 hours before my flight or it gets attached to my return flight! No where in the email or even when I was paying did any warnings come up notifying me that this would happen. So now I’m stuck being the last passenger on the plane severely stressed and upset sitting between passengers who get to listen to me cry for my dad who died unexpectedly. Shame on Southwest for misleading information.

7 REPLIES 7

Re: Early Bird Check-In-Misleading

Imani
Active Member

My condolences on your loss.  I know when I made a last-minute flight to Denver, when I tried to add the EB check-in, I got an error message saying it wasn't available due to it being less than 36 hours.  If you have to fly last minute again, remember you can purchase an upgraded boarding pass at the airport before your flight.  I am unaware of the cost, but another option for the future.

Re: Early Bird Check-In-Misleading

parpitt1
Active Member

First, Sorry for your loss.

Let me preface what I say next with the statement that I am not a fan of EB check-in and would never recommend it for purchase by any passenger. 

Unfortunately for you, SWA does not mislead passengers about Early Bird Check-In. They don't promise nor imply that EB purchasers will receive A boarding, only that the EB purchaser's boarding position will be pre-determined prior to the the 24 hour check-in marker. EB check-in is a bad deal for the consumer every time in my opinion. 

There is really only 1 way to insure you will board in the A group, Buy a Business Select Fare. This puts you somewhere from A1 to A15. Banking on being able to purchase "upgraded boarding" at the gate or check-in the day of your flight is a complete crap shoot dependent upon there not being 15 Business Select ticket holders and/or other passengers who bought the upgraded boarding before you. 

In the end this really comes down to reading before you click to make a purchase and not making assumptions.

Safe travels in the future and again sorry for your loss.

Re: Early Bird Check-In-Misleading

jksobonya
Rising Star

The later you purchase Early Bird, the less beneficial it is, because think about it: A-List and A-List Preferred already get priority, and all of the Early Birds who purchased Early Bird before you also get priority. Because of that, getting an A position is not guaranteed. The only real benefit is that you don't have to worry about checking in right at the 24 hour mark to get a boarding position assignment, since that is already taken care of for you 36 hours in advance.

 

--Jessica

Re: Early Bird Check-In-Misleading

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

EarlyBird Check-in can be an extremely helpful option and is something I purchase in the right situation.  If I'm on vacation relaxing on the beach or have a full day of meetings, I don't want to worry about having to check-in and EBCI handles it for me.  You should be aware of what you are purchasing though before you buy anything.  Nowhere in any of the promotional materials does it say you will get an A boarding position and to assume so is clearly not Southwest's fault.

 

Your statement about not being warned that EBCI did not apply to flights purchased within 36 hours is also 100% inaccurate.  Here is the screen that shows EBCI is not being applied to a flight I am booking for tomorrow AND there is an additional warning at the bottom stating "EarlyBird cannot be purchased less than 36 hours prior to your flight's scheduled departure time."

 

EBCI.JPG

 

If you want to obtain a better boarding position for the upcoming flight, inquire about upgraded boarding at the gate.  That will get you a position in A1-15 if there are any spots available.  Cost is usually in the $40-$50 range.

 

Shame on you for not reading and paying attention to what you are purchasing.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Early Bird Check-In-Misleading

20620642313
New Arrival

Thank you. I’ll try to be more alert and aware when my next family member dies unexpectedly! You probably hate kittens and puppies too. I hope to be perfect like you someday.

Early Bird Check-In-Misleading

CupCrusher40
Active Member

given financial struggles of families you should be in group a if check

in 24 hours beforehand because many busy at work then

Re: Early Bird Check-In-Misleading

NicoleAshley
Employee
Employee

Hi everyone. This thread has gotten heated, and I want to take a moment and encourage everyone to refresh themselves on our Community User Guidelines. We want all Members to feel comfortable sharing thoughts and ideas here, and we ask that you follow the Golden Rule and treat other Community Members the way you would like to be treated. Keep your tone positive and your comments constructive.

 

Nicole
Community Manager