Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

Highlighted

Re: Early bird

New Arrival

Early Bird is becoming a joke.  I've purchased Early Bird boarding for friends that I'm travelling with and they end up with a mid B boarding position.  With the growing number of pre-boarders, family boarders, military boarders having mid B boarding position isn't worth much.

Highlighted

Re: Early bird with a “B” number

New Arrival

Has anyone paid for an early bird check-in only to find that you are assigned a “B” number and then had to wait for all the family boarding to occur?  Seems like SW should either close the purchase of early bird check-ins if they cannot guarantee an “A” position or take “B” boarders with early bird boarding passes before family boarding. Thoughts?

Highlighted

Re: Early bird with a “B” number

Employee
Employee

Hi @DaveW. Customers who take advantage of our EarlyBird option are automatically assigned a boarding position 36 hours prior to their flight's scheduled departure time. We reserve the best boarding pass numbers available after our Business Select Customers' and Rapid Rewards A-List Members' boarding passes are assigned. Since the number of these types of Customers will vary on each flight, the boarding group number of Customers with the EarlyBird option will also vary. Therefore, EarlyBird Customers are not guaranteed to receive an "A" boarding pass.

 

We have not considered closing purchase after the A Group, and many Customers are happy to be in the B Group, especially since they can often still secure seats together. The reasons Customers purchase EarlyBird also vary. For example, some People do not want to wake up 24 hours prior to their 5:30 a.m. flight to secure a good boarding position. 

 

Nevertheless, we regret if you were not happy with your boarding position, and your concerns have been taken to heart. As a peer-to-peer support forum, we aren't equipped to document your suggestion, but we encourage you to reach out via the options in the link below. Thank you!

 

Submitting a Suggestion and/or Complaint

Nicole
Community Manager
Highlighted

Re: Early bird

New Arrival

I know what you mean.  You pay $15 for early bird check-in and then end of getting a 'B' group boarding pass.  This happened on my last trip and 6 families boarded in front of me and it didn't cost them anything extra.  They should board after the early bird check-in or pay a fee for family check-in.

Highlighted

Re: Early bird

New Arrival

 


@zip_it wrote:

I know what you mean.  You pay $15 for early bird check-in and then end of getting a 'B' group boarding pass.  This happened on my last trip and 6 families boarded in front of me and it didn't cost them anything extra.  They should board after the early bird check-in or pay a fee for family check-in.



I couldn't agree more.  I have written them twice about this and all I get is the blah blah we value your business crap.  If they can't guarantee A then they shouldn't accept your money.  As far as I can tell the the only beneficiary is Southwest's bottom line.

Highlighted

Re: Early bird

New Arrival

I paid for Early Bird check in months ago when I booked my flight. I just went on line to print my boarding pass. I am at the End of the B boarding. Two of my friends that did not pay are 21 and 11 postions AHEAD of me.  I fly Southwest regularly always paid for Early Bird with a decnt A boarding position. No one on the phone could help me! Extremely disappointed!

Highlighted

Re: Early bird

Top Contributor

Does it say "EarlyBird Check-In" on your boarding pass? Two things may have happened:

 

1) If it does say EarlyBird:

Many people buy EBCI now, and since Southwest doesn't limit the number they will sell on any flight, people often get B (and sometimes even C) positions even after paying the additional fee. Also, people who did not pay the extra fee can actually get better positions than those who do because Southwest re-issues the positions of passengers who change or cancel their flight after being checked in. The next person to check in gets that position. 😞

 

2) If it does not say EarlyBird:

Itinerary changes, or infamous Southwest "glitches" can cause EBCI to be dropped from a reservation. If this is the case, you can get a refund of the fee... but nothing else at this point, unfortunately. Positions have been assigned already, and Southwest never comps an open A1-15 one. You may be able to buy one yourself for $30/$40 at the gate.

 

Highlighted

Re: Early bird

New Arrival

I just had the same thing happen. My wife is traveling on business and I purchased her an EarlyBird. When she checked in she received B21. I called SWA Customer Service and was told "at least she didn't get C21". The Customer Service rep indicated that there was no guarantee of an A boarding pass (which I am fully aware of). However, I asked her why SWA continues to take the extra fees when the system clearly knows that there are no longer A boarding passes available. In this day and age, I know that the system could be programmed to stop accepting EarlyBird request and, in doing so, stop collecting the fees. This is, in my opinion, a money grab by SWA.

Highlighted

Re: Early bird

Top Contributor

Of course it is. 😉 Without bag fees, they have to make up ancillary income somewhere. Last year, the earned over $240 million on EBCI fees alone. 

Highlighted

Re: Early bird

New Arrival

Yeah I don't trust it anymore either. I don't believe it checked me in early since my friend got 17 ahead of me and didn't do ebci. She found it funny but i think it's serious to falsely advertise it like that. Plus it went from $10 to $12 to $15 but I'm behind manual people? And customer service doesn't care they have your money at that point. Worried southwest is going to start going downhill like the others... 😔