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Early Bird Check in is a SCAM!!!

kjltraveler
New Arrival

Early Bird Check in is a scam for more money.  If SWA airlines is going to offer early check-in it should guarantee an A boarding position.  If is is not going to do so then say it in BOLD print so that customers know this up front.  It should not be buried in tiny fine print that requires a magnifying glass to see it.  Perhaps it's time to have assigned seats and like other airlines charge more for the premium seats.

17 REPLIES 17

Re: Early Bird Check in is a SCAM!!!

elijahbrantley
Rising Star
Solution

Respectfully, I believe scam is a very strong word.  The detail about not being guaranteed an A boarding position is clearly displayed on Southwest's EBCI site.  It is not at all buried in fine print.

 

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The same applies to me and others who have A List status.  We get checked in before EB folks, but we are not guaranteed any certain position.  It is impossible to do so given that there are varying numbers of A Listers and EBs flying on any given flight.  It does seem like there are more and more A Listers today, so I do believe more and more EB folks end up in the B group than in the past.  But that is a general observation from me that may or may not at all be true.

 

EB is a unique benefit from SW.  Hopefully you can continue to find value in the overall value proposition that SW offers.

 

Happy flying!

 

-A List Preferred, Companion Pass holder, Community Champion.

Re: Early Bird Check in is a SCAM!!!

Lumberdog
New Arrival

Sorry buddy, but it is a "SCAM"

  1.  Southwest knows how many A-Listers are on a flight at any given time - they could tell you how many are on the flight BEFORE you purchase Early Bird - but they don't.
  2. Southwest system allows for A list numbers to be vacated and then "taken" by the next available customer checking in.  And it has the ability to automate Early Bird check in - so it has the ability to move you up automatically - but they don't.  
  3. Southwest has the ability to track customers and know which are scanning their boarding passes via smart phone at the gate - so they know which early bird customers are not printing their pass (meaning, they could change the boarding position without someone having a printed copy of an old boarding position).
  4. But the biggest kicker is this.  My boss had a late B boarding position from PHX to Louisville on 10/16/2019.  He walked up to the counter to complain.  They told him it was a glitch..... and gave him A1.  So...... all the A's are not taken.  Some are held back, and the complainer gets the cake.  There ya go.  

I like Southwest.  Bags free is great.  But its frustrating at the same time.  Paying more for the same thing as the next person feels really awful.  And they should rethink their canned responses for how worthless that makes a customer feel.

Re: Early Bird Check in is a SCAM!!!

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

@Lumberdog wrote:

Sorry buddy, but it is a "SCAM"

  1.  Southwest knows how many A-Listers are on a flight at any given time - they could tell you how many are on the flight BEFORE you purchase Early Bird - but they don't.
  2. Southwest system allows for A list numbers to be vacated and then "taken" by the next available customer checking in.  And it has the ability to automate Early Bird check in - so it has the ability to move you up automatically - but they don't.  
  3. Southwest has the ability to track customers and know which are scanning their boarding passes via smart phone at the gate - so they know which early bird customers are not printing their pass (meaning, they could change the boarding position without someone having a printed copy of an old boarding position).
  4. But the biggest kicker is this.  My boss had a late B boarding position from PHX to Louisville on 10/16/2019.  He walked up to the counter to complain.  They told him it was a glitch..... and gave him A1.  So...... all the A's are not taken.  Some are held back, and the complainer gets the cake.  There ya go.  

 

 

So Southwest doesn't do things such as informing people how many A-List flyers there are (which changes constantly) or adjust boarding positions to fill vacated ones (and create chaos when people realize their boarding position is changing) and therefore it's a scam? This sounds like you're desperate to find a conspiracy when there isn't one. 

 

A1-A15 are reserved for Business Select tickets and then sold as upgraded boarding positions at the gate if not all allocated to Business Select flyers. It's quite common for many of these positions to go unpurchased/unused, that isn't some nefarious act of holding back those positions as you indicate. All other non Business Select flyers start at A16. Your boss got A1 because there were no Business Select flyers and no one purchased upgrading boarding at the gate so the gate agent found a creative way to please an unhappy customer. 

 

EarlyBird Check-In does what it promises, checks you in automatically with a boarding position assigned 36 hours before the flight. That's it. Hardly a scam or conspiracy of any kind.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Early Bird Check in is a SCAM!!!

tylermccamey
New Arrival

I would like to respectfully suggest that if you offer something for sale that is of no value that would qualify as a scam. With early bird checkin to Liberia on an anniversary trip with my wife, I got the early bird check-in so we could sit together on the long ride. Our seat assignments were B30 and B60 on the departing flight; B47 and C15! on the return flight. I have a picture of my wife ahead of the last three people to board the plane with Early Bird Check-in. In both cases, Southwest let a lot of people skip ahead in line to boot with this new policy of 13-year old travel. Anyway, clearly Early Bird was a zero value to me, and yet Southwest happily charged me for it and refused an outright refund. Respectfully, until Southwest fixes this, it is a scam.

Re: Early Bird Check in is a SCAM!!!

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@tylermccamey wrote:

  Southwest let a lot of people skip ahead in line to boot with this new policy of 13-year old travel.  

 

Don't know what that means


 

Re: Early Bird Check in is a SCAM!!!

tylermccamey
New Arrival

Southwest announced in line on the way to Costa Rica this Thanksgiving that families traveling with 13-year-olds and under could board between the A-group and B-group. (It used to be only 2 and under). About half of the people who did get a worse spot than me, got to skip ahead. I actually kind of understand this because I remember the days of not wanting to have my young daughter potentially sit between creepy strangers without a parent in the row. You think Southwest could have let just one guardian board with a younger minor, but nope, the whole family skipped right ahead of me. It felt VERY unfair.

Re: Early Bird Check in is a SCAM!!!

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

@tylermccamey wrote:

Southwest announced in line on the way to Costa Rica this Thanksgiving that families traveling with 13-year-olds and under could board between the A-group and B-group. (It used to be only 2 and under). 


The Family Boarding policy is age 6 and younger, not 2, not 13. Sounds like you had a gate agent who went rogue for Thanksgiving.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Early Bird Check in is a SCAM!!!

dfwskier
Top Contributor

Sorry, you don't like EBCI.

 

Southwest really can't guarantee an A boarding position.

 

1) There are only 45 per plane

2) A List Preferred and A-List get first shot

3) EBCIers get whats left (if any)

 

EBCI allows people to get the best position that's available 36 hours before flight time. Those that buy it early get better positions than those that buy it later. They all get better positions than those people that check themselves in.

 

If you don't like it, just don't buy it, and check yourself in.

Re: Early Bird Check in is a SCAM!!!

tylermccamey
New Arrival

I believe the issue that is upsetting is when someone actually does buy it, but then gets no benefit from it. That was the circumstance of many unhappy passengers at the end of the boarding line with me recently. "Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me." You are right about not wasting any more money on a non-product - I have been fooled once.