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Early Bird Check-in

Explorer C

I fly SW round trips 3-4 times a year and almost always use Early Bird Check-in. Over the years, this usually meant getting Boarding Position number in the A30-60 range with an occasional dip into the B1-15 range.  Today, I checked in for a flight that I had booked six months ago and got B46 and B48 BP #'s. When I called SW, they basically said that many people must have used Early Bird Check-ins before me.  Given how early I booked the flight, I find this response questionnable.  Have any other travelers had similar experiences with their Early Bird Check-ins?

Smiley Frustrated


Re: Early Bird Check-in

Aviator A

Does your boarding pass actually say "Early Bird Check In" on it? If not, then it likely dropped off somehow (glitch).


Did you pay for Early Bird when you made the reservation, or later? Positions are assigned in order of EBCI purchase.


If it does say EBCI on your boarding pass, have you made any changes to your itinerary after booking?


Unfortunately, EBCI is a product with diminishing returns. Over time, more and more people pay the extra fee, which devalues the product for many of them. The more people that buy it, the less useful it is. (To passengers that is. To Southwest, it's very useful -- to the tune of $240 million last year alone.) Southwest has already raised the price for EBCI twice, but may do so again if customers consistently get B positions after paying the fee.


They've already changed the script of the customer service reply to say it only guarantees automatic check-in and nothing more -- despite the marketing which still promises earlier boarding. 😞