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is early bird worth it?

Explorer C

early bird is completely Deceiving. when purchasing early bird you assume that means you get a favorable boarding position. unfortunately their is no limit on how many people can purchase Early bird making it irrelevant. especially after you add all the people that get priority over early bird. the process and explanation of any of this is not disclosed. I sat on the phone for 30+ minutes of someone talking about transparency. None of this is very transparent.


Re: is early bird worth it?

Aviator A

Early bird never promises anything but


1) a better boarding spot than ANYONE who checks in at t-24 hours

2) it also relieves the traveler of the need to remember to check in


NOTHING else is promised


If you buy it 60 days prior to flight time it's pretty worthwhile, if you buy it 2 days before flight time it isn't worth much as EBCI boarding spots are awarded based on when EbCI is bought.


If 1&2 above are not good enough for you, then don't buy the product.  It really is that simple.


edit add -- you want transparency' ? Perhaps you should read what SW says about EBCI.

It is pretty darn transparent

Re: is early bird worth it?

Frequent Flyer A

I'll note that there's only so many A seats, and that it just guarantees you get a decent boarding slot. It never says you'll get A1. I always say that you're buying peace of mind, and not just a boarding/seat position.


Better next time with it!

Community Champion | PHL based | ex-Companion Pass Holder | Southwest Passenger

Re: is early bird worth it?

Aviator A

While I don't agree that Early Bird (EB) is deceiving, I do agree that it may not be worth the cost - it all depends on your expectations. For someone like me who doesn't care where they sit, I take my chances with regular check-in and save the $. I almost always get a pretty good window or aisle seat on the plane. If you don't want to leave anything to chance, pay for EB. While there are still no guarantees (60 other people could also have purchased EB, for example), you will get a better boarding position than everyone else who did not purchase EB, so your chances of getting a decent seat are pretty good. 



Re: is early bird worth it?

Frequent Flyer B

EB does not guarantee you anything other than to check you in automatically 36 hours before your flight. It is only worthwhile if you feel you will be unable to check yourself in the day before.


EB doesn’t guarantee you an A or B boarding number.


EB doesn’t guarantee you a better spot than people checking in 24 hours before without EB. Just ask around next time your in line for a SWA flight and you will see that this is true.


I used to pay for an A1-15 pass at the counter but with SWA allowing anyone to just say the words “pre board” and get on first and save seats, there’s no point to doing this anymore.


SWA is, for me, usually the lowest costs and most convenient choice. But I almost always fly solo and could care less where I sit.


If where you sit or whom you sit with matters to you then you should fly an airline that lets you pick your seat (all at an extra costs of course).


EB worth it? Not if you can check in yourself the day before.

Re: is early bird worth it?

Aviator A

The situation could also determine the value.  You can't always be available to check in 24 hours out.  Perhaps you will be in a meeting.  If so, then it might be worth it to not have the stress of not being able to check in.  Without a doubt, you will have a better boarding position than you would have without EBCI.

-A List, Companion Pass holder

Re: is early bird worth it?

Frequent Flyer C

I usually try to get the first flight out to my destination, which means it could be a 5:00 or 6:00 AM flight, so I have to get up pretty early to get to the airport. EBCI is worth it to me because I don't have to get up at 5:00 or 6:00 the day before the as well. It's all a matter what is worthwhile to you. 

Re: is early bird worth it?

Aviator A

I would include the cost as a determining factor as well. I used to pretty much always buy EBCI when it was $10. Now, to me, sometimes the inconvenience of online check in is preferable to paying $25. 


As we've seen here, there are a lot of different variables that can be a factor. Ultimately, each traveler has to decide what's right for them on any particular itinerary.