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Early Bird for Group in Reservation

636895291
New Arrival

I recently purchased an Anytime Fare, which recently added automatic Early Bird check-in for the reservation included in the price.

 

I was surprised in two ways:

 

1) Even though there are only two (2) people in the reservation, we were not checked in sequentially. We were fifteen (15) (!) boarding positions apart on one segment.

 

And this even though both were checked in at the same automatically.

 

This also means you are not able to check-in in line together using the SWA app, which we thought was now a preferred method.

 

2) The SWA agent we called on the phone took a long time researching this and said this was NOT supposed to happen, you should be checked in together and preserve your boarding order as per the reservation. Specifically, this is a BENEFIT now of buying the more-expensive Anytime fare.

 

When the same thing happened again, we followed up by email and writing and were told we are not guaranteed an "A" boarding position (which we had not asked about), and that

you could be out-of-sequence, even by a lot of positions.

 

What's strange is that in the few times I have used Early Bird with a Wanna Getaway fare,

I've always gotten sequential or maybe got 3 or 4 positions maximum apart.

 

This is merely a technology issue that ought be corrected, anyone buying Early Bird checked in automatically together ought get sequential boarding positions.

 

The technology is there to fix this.

 

Without it, the value of Early Bird is diminished, but ESPECIALLY the benefit of buying the Anytime ticket.

 

From the traveler's perspective, it's better to be farther back together in boarding position rather than one farther forward, the other way back, fighting for a seat near the others in the reservation.

9 REPLIES 9

Re: Early Bird for Group in Reservation

parpitt1
Active Member

This is a guess, but the non-sequential boarding may have to do with an algorithm relative to the number of flights you and your other passenger have taken, your individual rapid rewards account number, or the lack of your other passenger even having a RR account (maybe?) and/or your A-list, A-List Preferred status or lack there of.

I have shared my opinion about EB check in other threads, the Southwest employee that thought this cash grab up was a genius, but it is a bad financial deal for any passenger. (Buying the Anytime Fare to gain the option of refundability is great move if you travel infrequently, but not for the EB Check in.)

Safe travels

 

Re: Early Bird for Group in Reservation

636895291
New Arrival

In this case, both pax were on Anytime fares, with the new automatic Early Bird benefit.

 

The advertising implies you get checked in together for Early Bird, a benefit of buying the more expensive Anytime fare. It implies "preferred" check-in as the fare is so much more expensive.

 

No idea what an algorithm might differentiate, but we have always traveled together, in like manner on SWA. Similar profiles.

 

I think this is technology glitch.

Re: Early Bird for Group in Reservation

636895291
New Arrival

@636895291 wrote:

In this case, both pax were on Anytime fares, with the new automatic Early Bird benefit.

 

The advertising implies you get checked in together for Early Bird, a benefit of buying the more expensive Anytime fare. It implies "preferred" check-in as the fare is so much more expensive.

 

No idea what an algorithm might differentiate, but we have always traveled together, in like manner on SWA. Similar profiles.

 

I think this is technology glitch.



@636895291 wrote:

In this case, both pax were on Anytime fares, with the new automatic Early Bird benefit.

 

The advertising implies you get checked in together for Early Bird, a benefit of buying the more expensive Anytime fare. It implies "preferred" check-in as the fare is so much more expensive.

 

No idea what an algorithm might differentiate, but we have always traveled together, in like manner on SWA. Similar profiles.

 

I think this is technology glitch.


From the SWA website:

 

Yes. Customers who have purchased Anytime fares receive priority over Customers who purchase EarlyBird Check-In with Wanna Get Away Plus and Wanna Get Away fares. Customers who purchase EarlyBird Check-In with Wanna Get Away Plus receive priority over Customers who purchase EarlyBird Check-In with Wanna Get Away fares. Boarding positions are assigned based on the time stamp of the EarlyBird Check-In purchase relative to Passengers within the same fare product.

 

 

How could two Anytime passengers, in the same reservation, checked in preferentially, at the same time, be 15(!) boarding positions apart?

Re: Early Bird for Group in Reservation

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

Based on the information you provided it does sound like something went wrong. The most helpful thing you could do is to send this information to Southwest in writing so they can investigate. Use the contact us link at the bottom of this page and send a message. Be sure to include your confirmation number. 

 

--TheMiddleSeat

 

 

Re: Early Bird for Group in Reservation

636895291
New Arrival

Been there, done that.😁

Re: Early Bird for Group in Reservation

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@636895291 wrote:

I recently purchased an Anytime Fare, which recently added automatic Early Bird check-in for the reservation included in the price.

 

I was surprised in two ways:

 

1) Even though there are only two (2) people in the reservation, we were not checked in sequentially. We were fifteen (15) (!) boarding positions apart on one segment.

 

And this even though both were checked in at the same automatically.

 

This also means you are not able to check-in in line together using the SWA app, which we thought was now a preferred method.

 

2) The SWA agent we called on the phone took a long time researching this and said this was NOT supposed to happen, you should be checked in together and preserve your boarding order as per the reservation. Specifically, this is a BENEFIT now of buying the more-expensive Anytime fare.

 

When the same thing happened again, we followed up by email and writing and were told we are not guaranteed an "A" boarding position (which we had not asked about), and that

you could be out-of-sequence, even by a lot of positions.

 

What's strange is that in the few times I have used Early Bird with a Wanna Getaway fare,

I've always gotten sequential or maybe got 3 or 4 positions maximum apart.

 

This is merely a technology issue that ought be corrected, anyone buying Early Bird checked in automatically together ought get sequential boarding positions.

 

The technology is there to fix this.

 

Without it, the value of Early Bird is diminished, but ESPECIALLY the benefit of buying the Anytime ticket.

 

From the traveler's perspective, it's better to be farther back together in boarding position rather than one farther forward, the other way back, fighting for a seat near the others in the reservation.


I just wanted to confirm neither of you is A-list or has an A-list promotional offer? If one were A-list then that position would potentially be a bit earlier than the EBCI assigned order. 

 

You should still be sequential, but there could have been a logical case missing in the computer to keep the two together when the EBCI was applied later it might have superseded what was supposed to take priority.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Early Bird for Group in Reservation

636895291
New Arrival

We had four segments, two outbound, two return.

 

We did upgrade to business select on the outbound AFTER we got the 15 boarding position difference (paid $80 more for that). On the return, we did not, still had Anytime tickets and had a 9 position difference.

Re: Early Bird for Group in Reservation

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@636895291 wrote:

We had four segments, two outbound, two return.

 

We did upgrade to business select on the outbound AFTER we got the 15 boarding position difference (paid $80 more for that). On the return, we did not, still had Anytime tickets and had a 9 position difference.


And you were also both on one confirmation number with a single purchase of both tickets simultaneously?

 

The tickets were purchased prior to the announcement of including EBCI with Anytime?

 

I'm curious if we can find anyone on the board that has purchased two Anytime tickets after the system was updated and if this happens, most likely it was a bug in the algorithm for the tickets that had to upgraded to match the policy and current bookings are working as expected.

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Early Bird for Group in Reservation

636895291
New Arrival

And no, we were not, are not A List.