It's not necessary if you check in EXACTLY 24 hours prior to your flight. You will still get a good boarding number.
If you won't have the ability to check in exactly at 24 hours prior to your flight, then the early bird option is convenient.
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On Monday, June 5 we were flying home from Long Beach. No announcement was made that they would be boarding from both front and rear doors.
We had an early B group spot in line. After getting in line on the ramp at the front door, we notice the staircase at the rear door. So everyone in line behind us is running to the rear door.
We were the last 6-8 people on the plane. What's the point of checking in 24 hours before the flight, or even purchasing early bird? Even if we were in late A-group, it woudn't have made any difference.
My wife and I were separated and in middle seats. This never happens with a normal boarding procedure and an early B group. We've flown Southwest dozens of times and know this is the case.
The flight wasn't delayed so there was no reason to board from both doors. In fact, we were held on the runway for 20 minutes due to weather at the destination.
This is a terrible idea with the open seating policy.
With each flight on Southwest, we are finding that spending a little more on United or Delta is worth the price.
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