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Early Bird Checkin FAIL

New Arrival

8/15/18 Flight 2497 OAK to Chicago (Midway)

there is a 92 person group on this flight with 29 wheelchairs that preboarded. Southwest - DO NOT sell early bird Checkin when you have a group booking like this. My mother and I were B2&3 with early bird fee and got middle seats. Not only did this group take most of the aisle and windows but they used purses to save seats too. Not cool and SW needs to control this. Any early bird fees should be refunded - this flight is a bad joke 

4 REPLIES 4
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Re: Early Bird Checkin FAIL

Rising Star

@erinlangs,

 

Boarding position with SW is always a gamble. Im A-List Preferred (SW’s highest status), and I’ve been well into the A30s. The lineup starts at A16 with A List Preferreds then A Listers The Early Birds. It is relatively normal for EB to fall into the B boarding group. SW does not guarantee a certain position even with EB, and without EB, your boarding position would have been even worse!

 

With that said, I definitely understand your frustration. I get frustrated when I get anything over about A25 — first world probs, I know. And before I had A List Preferred, I crossed my fingers every time with EB!l to be close to the A30 range. These days, there are so many A Listers that that is less common. 

 

Also, I had to remind myself that the flight may already have people in it who are staying on the plane to connect. With that said, I do find it unusual that there were no windows or aisles. Usually you don’t get to only middles as it gets close to the C group. Did you check toward the back? Sometimes, folks place things in the seats, but if you simply ask, they will let you know they aren’t really saving it and will let you sit down. The large group definitely makes the situation more complex!

 

If you would like to provide thoughts about your experience directly to SW, I would reach out to them via Twitter or contact their customer relations. 

 

Hopefully in your next flight, you will have a better EB experience!

-A List Preferred, Companion Pass holder, Community Champion.
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Re: Early Bird Checkin FAIL

New Arrival

I feel your pain. Last flight I took there were 22 wheel chair people most of which had family board with them. The preboard will get worse now that the EBCI fee will increase on Aug 29 to $25 a person. Everyone who does not want to pay will just hop into a wheelchair. 

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Re: Early Bird Checkin FAIL

Top Contributor

@erinlangs wrote:

8/15/18 Flight 2497 OAK to Chicago (Midway)

there is a 92 person group on this flight with 29 wheelchairs that preboarded. Southwest - DO NOT sell early bird Checkin when you have a group booking like this. My mother and I were B2&3 with early bird fee and got middle seats. Not only did this group take most of the aisle and windows but they used purses to save seats too. Not cool and SW needs to control this. Any early bird fees should be refunded - this flight is a bad joke 


Morning.

 

Sorry to hear about your problems.

 

Your situation was pretty unusual: 29 wheel chairs and a group of 92 (presumably people accompanying those in wheel chairs?) that took most of the aisle and window seats, with A1-aA60

taking the rest. I've never experienced that number of pre boarders.

 

Southwest might not know about that number of pre boarders until shortly before the flight -- probsbly not at the time that most people would buy EBCI. So limiting the number of EBCI buyers would likely not have helped your situation.

 

Gven the unusual circumstances, you might want to contact the airline directly to see whether or not it would be willing to refund your EBCI. If you do, I have no idea what would happen.

 

Details on how to contact the company are on the top left of the contact us web page

 

https://www.southwest.com/contact-us/contact-us.html?clk=GFOOTER-CUSTOMER-CONTACT-US

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Re: Early Bird Checkin FAIL

New Arrival

Hello, I totally agree with the previous commentor: attempt contacting SWA customer service. Who knows what they may consider doing?

 

I work for another major domestic airline; however, my personal travel loyalty remains with Southwest, due to SWA's constant commitment to providing high quality customer service and assistance to passengers. That said, having a group with 29 wheelchairs is extremely rare. As a previous commentor stated, rarely do you have so many preboarders, even on a Southwest flight. The airline I work for has never had more than a dozen preboarders on any one flight out of my station, even on our Airbus flights.

 

As previously mentioned, EarlyBird Check-In is always a gamble; however, if such a large group was booked on the flight, then definitely try contacting the SWA Team. One tenent of their service ethic is to never inconvenience any of their valued passengers. If indeed the 29 wheelchairs were a part of a pre-designated group, then SWA may be able to offer at least small token of goodwill to you. Never hurts to ask.

 

Hope the rest of your flight experience was enjoyable!