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How often do you get C boarding passes checking in 24 hours before a flight?

New Arrival

How often have folks received C boarding passes when checking in exactly 24 hours before a flight? I usually travel alone and am pretty good at remembering to check in for my flights, so Early Bird isn't much of a value to me, but I recently had a new (to me) experience flying home from Las Vegas at the beginning of August. I checked in exactly 24 hours before my flight (I saw the time on my phone change and immediately clicked the check-in button) and received a C-8 boarding pass. It wasn't a big deal, as my flight was on one of the larger (800 series?) planes, so I still ended up with the window seat I wanted, but it made me wonder if I should expect more C passes in the future?

 

I've flown Southwest a couple times every year since 2006 and this is the first time I've had a C boarding pass unless I've completely forgotten to check in anywhere near on time. Do you think this is just a case of Early Bird being more popular now? Do you think more people flying home from Las Vegas use Early Bird than in other locations? Are there more A-List folks on flying from Las Vegas? Or, was this just a fluke or something else likely the cause?

Just curious what your experiences have been and what explanation for this is most plausible. Thanks!

9 REPLIES 9
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Re: How often do you get C boarding passes checking in 24 hours before a flight?

Active Member
Solution

@Flyerfan,

 

I wouldn't be able to cite the specific number of times, but I can tell you when I have my alarm set and "hit the button" right on the second the clock turns, it is definitely frustrating to see a 'dreaded' C boarding position. However, most of these flights turn out to be full of business women and men using the "company plane" to get to their meeting. The abundance of A-listers drives the boarding positions back for the rest of us. Typically, I'm in the high A's or low to mid B's without A-list and a pretty consistent track record of checking in "right on the button."

 

At the end of the day, the longer I wait to board, means the less time I have to wait on the plane. Also, when you're high B or low C, you get to pick who your seatmate is, instead of the other way around. Pretty cool logic when you think of it that way...

 

Happy flying!

 

 

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Re: How often do you get C boarding passes checking in 24 hours before a flight?

New Arrival

@DAL, It's definitely not a disaster to have a later boarding time when flying alone and you're right about having some choice in where you're sitting (I'm usually more concerned with who's sitting around me, particularly trying to avoid someone who might kick my seat during the flight!). I'm just curious if this was an isolated instance or if it's more likely on Las Vegas flights than maybe from other locations. My boarding passes have been later in the past (I'll usually get a mid/early B and sometimes a little later flying to/from other destinations), but getting a C was a bit of a shock.

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Re: How often do you get C boarding passes checking in 24 hours before a flight?

New Arrival
 
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Re: How often do you get C boarding passes checking in 24 hours before a flight?

New Arrival

I'd venture to say that your logic regarding it being a return flight from Las Vegas that has something to do with it. I don't know too many people who are going to remember to check in right at the 24 hour mark on their own, and I know that even with an alarm (or two) it might take me a minute to connect the dots there. Here's hoping it's not turning into a regular thing, but I do find myself buying Early Bird more and more and that's probably what a lot of other people are doing as well.

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Re: How often do you get C boarding passes checking in 24 hours before a flight?

New Arrival
Solution

@Flyerfan,

 

My guess would be your flight had a large number of people connecting, many from airports east of Las Vegas. With check-in starting 24 hours before the first leg of an itinerary, those people get a bit of a "leg" up. 

 

Say someone in eastern time zone is connecting through Vegas. Their morning started three hours ahead of yours because of the time zone change. Then they took a 3-4 hour flight, which probably arrived an hour or two before their connection (your first flight) took off.  

 

So in that example, those passengers had a nine-hour window available to check in before your check-in opened up. 

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Re: How often do you get C boarding passes checking in 24 hours before a flight?

New Arrival

@vincentstjohn, That's a great point about connecting flights. I hadn't thought much about that, but it's probably a big factor here. Most of the flights I've been taking lately originate in the city where I board the flight, but I suspect you're right that this one did not start in Las Vegas and there were probably quite a few passengers picking up this flight as a connection after starting someplace else.

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Re: How often do you get C boarding passes checking in 24 hours before a flight?

New Arrival

I have only gotten C passes maybe 3 times in my flight life with SWA and it's mainly been me. Now recently, I have gotten high Bs, and usually those flights are either going or coming from Vegas. Seems to be a very popular place.  One of my last trips, I was 15 minutes late checking I , sure I was going to be in C.  and was only single digit B. Go figure. Either way, I still love the way SWA does their seating. 

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Re: How often do you get C boarding passes checking in 24 hours before a flight?

New Arrival

We always check in exactly 24 hours before our flight.  I rarely get C, sometimes A, but usually B and that is actually what I prefer.  As a couple flying 99% of the time without kids we prefer to board after the familes with young children to allow us to choose our seating. Don't ge me wrong, we are both Parents and Grandparents and love kids, but it's nice to have the option to pick your nearby seatmates.  Smiley Happy

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Re: How often do you get C boarding passes checking in 24 hours before a flight?

New Arrival

@LuckyB, I agree, that unless I have an early A and can get an exit room or near the front of the plane, that I don't mind waiting until more people have selected their seats to decide where the quietest seatmates may be! If you do get an A boarding pass, you don't have to board when your place in line comes up. You can always get in line later!