Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

Early bird check in- worth it?

RWest1
New Arrival

If you are new to flying or new to Southwest and are considering purchasing the early bird feature, there are a few things you should probably know.  Buying early bird does not automatically put you in A boarding group.  Often times you will be assigned B boarding group.  There are a lot of factors that go into this boarding assignment.  I purchased early bird for my upcoming flight(for the first time).  As I received my boarding assignment, I was given B31.  Out of 175 seats on the plane, I paid $20 to board in the 91st position.  Is that worth $20?  You will have to decide if it is worth it to you.  I'm not sure if B31 will assure me an aisle seat or not.  I had hoped with purchasing early bird I would at least be given B15 or earlier.  At this point I don't feel it is worth the extra money but, depending on how the flight goes and if I get a seat a prefer, my mind may change.   Good luck!  Cheers!

 

6 REPLIES 6

Re: Early bird check in- worth it?

dfwskier
Top Contributor
Solution

Your EB boarding position is based on several factors:

 

1) How many A-Listers are on the flight. They all will get better boarding positions that EB purchasers.

 

2) When you buy your EB. EB boarding positions are assigned in the order of purchase. The earliest birds get the best positions and the latest birds get the worst.

 

It is entirely possible that some EB buyers could get C boarding positions.

 

EB guarantees only 2 things

 

1) You don;t have to worry about when you check into get your boarding position.

 

2) You will get a better boarding position than people that check  themselves  in at t+24.

Re: Early bird check in- worth it?

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor
Solution

@RWest1 wrote:

 I had hoped with purchasing early bird I would at least be given B15 or earlier.  

 


Based on what? Seems extremely arbitrary.

B31 should have no problem getting an aisle, it will just be in the rear half of the plane. 

 

There's also no guarantee A1-15 are occupied so that could reduce the number of passengers before you, but you need to add in preboarding and family boarding and any other passengers remaining onboard if the flight is continuing. In other words, there is no accurate way to determine the exact number of passengers ahead of you.

 

A-List companions are also automatically assigned sequential boarding positions now so those will also be ahead of EarlyBird. 

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Early bird check in- worth it?

maryh1959
Active Member

I got lucky twice with early bird. Both in the high A's.

 

Re: Early bird check in- worth it?

CupCrusher40
Active Member

no

Re: Early bird check in- worth it?

rich1954
Active Member

The only time I buy early bird is when I think I might forget to check in 24 hours early or I am not able to. That being said, whenever I pay for it, I am not disappointed with the boarding position I get which usually is in the B's.

Re: Early bird check in- worth it?

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@RWest1 wrote:

If you are new to flying or new to Southwest and are considering purchasing the early bird feature, there are a few things you should probably know.  Buying early bird does not automatically put you in A boarding group.  Often times you will be assigned B boarding group.  There are a lot of factors that go into this boarding assignment.  I purchased early bird for my upcoming flight(for the first time).  As I received my boarding assignment, I was given B31.  Out of 175 seats on the plane, I paid $20 to board in the 91st position.  Is that worth $20?  You will have to decide if it is worth it to you.  I'm not sure if B31 will assure me an aisle seat or not.  I had hoped with purchasing early bird I would at least be given B15 or earlier.  At this point I don't feel it is worth the extra money but, depending on how the flight goes and if I get a seat a prefer, my mind may change.   Good luck!  Cheers!

 


I like to think of it this way - split the plane into one-third windows, one-third aisles, and one-third center.

 

A's will get the windows, B's will get the aisles, and C will get the centers. (C stands for "Center" 😁

 

That's not literally how it happens - some prefer the other type, some are traveling together and take a center seat earlier in the process, especially to be close to the front of the plane. A1-A15 may not all be given out (often only a few of these).

 

737-700 a little harder with only 143 seats, 737-800/Max easier since it's longer as you noted 175 seats.

 

So anyway, the B group is pretty good to get an aisle or window, although potentially towards the back. I hope it goes well! I think you will get what you wanted out of EBCI.

 

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.