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Early Bird is 100% a SCAM

sirmacalot
New Arrival

Booked a flight for me, my wife and 2 kids.   Bought Early Bird for the entire trip.  Verified I was charged and could see the logo on my reservation.

It's supposed to check you in automatically at the 36hr mark right?   So i check at the 36hr mark - nothing.  no notifications or email that i had been checked in.  When i clicked on my reservation details, it told me "you can only check in 24 hours prior"...  

Fast forward 12 hours and now it's 24hrs before my flight.  Still no notifications or emails that we have been checked in.  When i pull up my reservation, it has the big yellow "CHECK IN" button...  why though?  Shouldn't we have already been checked in automatically?  Hesitantly, I clicked on it.   And it's like I actually just checked in right then.  Entire family is in group B boarding.  and not even in the front - we are mid way through Group B.    

 

Called Customer Service and got zero explanations or help.  No refunds allowed.  But Family Boarding is in-between Group A and B!  I can board BEFORE my boarding position that Early Bird got me.   "Yes, that's true.  Do that."   WELL THEN WHY DID I NEED EARLY BIRD?!   GIVE ME MY MONEY BACK.  

13 REPLIES 13

Re: Early Bird is 100% a SCAM

chgoflyer
Top Contributor
Solution

Your positions were assigned at t-36, but you can't "check in" and receive your boarding passes until t-24. At that time you'll see the positions that were assigned to you. It's this way with all pre-assigned positions -- Business Select, A-List -- not just EBCI. That's how it works.

 

EBCI positions are assigned chronologically based on when EBCI was purchased. So those who purchased early receive better positions. If changes were made to your itinerary (to a new flight or flight number), the EBCI "purchase date" becomes the date that change was made.

 

Unfortunately, EBCI does not guarantee an A boarding position, and as you've discovered it's possible to receive B (and even C) positions.

 

From the response you received from the phone rep, I assume they verified that EBCI was actually still attached to your booking. You can verify this yourself by looking for the text "EarlyBird Check-In" on your boarding passes.

Re: Early Bird is 100% a SCAM

sirmacalot
New Arrival

how do we know we got checked in automatically, though?   Yes, it was verified that I paid for Early Bird and it was on my ticket, but how do I know?   If I still have to click "CHECK IN" at the 24hr mark just to see my position, how do i know I didn't just check in right then?  There is ZERO assurance that you can know for sure.   For all I know, I checked myself in and that's why I have the Group B boarding spot.

Re: Early Bird is 100% a SCAM

dfwskier
Top Contributor

You personally have to "check in" to get your boarding pass - so it more than just to "see your boarding position". That is not allowed more than 24 hours from time of departure.

 

If you can see Early Bird on your reservation You CAN know for sure that the airline obtained your boarding position 36 hours pre departure time.

Re: Early Bird is 100% a SCAM

jksobonya
Rising Star

@sirmacalot wrote:

how do we know we got checked in automatically, though?   Yes, it was verified that I paid for Early Bird and it was on my ticket, but how do I know?   If I still have to click "CHECK IN" at the 24hr mark just to see my position, how do i know I didn't just check in right then?  There is ZERO assurance that you can know for sure.   For all I know, I checked myself in and that's why I have the Group B boarding spot.


With Early Bird you will be checked in automagically "before" everyone else who checks in at the 24 hour mark - your position will certainly be better than those who have to check in to get their position. You can test this by checking in well after the 24 hour mark - say an hour or two or more later. Your position should still be relatively good which means Early Bird worked. Otherwise you'd be in the Cs. 

 

--Jessica

Re: Early Bird is 100% a SCAM

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

Always fun when someone complains about something they know nothing about. Sounds like everything worked 100% as it should. 

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Early Bird is 100% a SCAM

Adam752
New Arrival

Don’t waste your money on early bird. I wouldn’t say it’s a scam. It’s more of an over promise and under deliver situation. 

If you call Southwest, they’ll tell you that early bird guarantees nothing however the emails they send before the flight seem to promise a great position on the plane. 

Re: Early Bird is 100% a SCAM

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

@Adam752 Without A-List, your boarding position with EarlyBird will be better than without.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Early Bird is 100% a SCAM

sirmacalot
New Arrival

There is absolutely NO way you can know that.   You'll just blindly believe anything Southwest tells you.   No confirmation 36hrs before flight when you're supposedly checked-in via Early Bird.   No emails.  And when you want to check your position, it's conveniently unavailable.  So how can i know what my boarding position is?  "You can check your boarding position 24hrs prior to flight by clicking 'Check In'".   That doesn't seem the least bit suspicious to you?

Let's say you ordered something online.  And you paid extra so it would arrive early.  But there's no confirmation.  No email.  "We delievered it on time, trust us.  Don't worry, it's definitely in your mailbox.  Just don't check for like, another 12 hours.   But it's definitely in there."

Re: Early Bird is 100% a SCAM

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@sirmacalot wrote:

There is absolutely NO way you can know that.    

 

Actually, there is. The next time two of you travel together, have one of you buy EB and the other not and check in manually.. Then compare boarding positions..

 

Let us know the results of that event.