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Early Bird Check in is a SCAM!!!

New Arrival

Early Bird Check in is a scam for more money.  If SWA airlines is going to offer early check-in it should guarantee an A boarding position.  If is is not going to do so then say it in BOLD print so that customers know this up front.  It should not be buried in tiny fine print that requires a magnifying glass to see it.  Perhaps it's time to have assigned seats and like other airlines charge more for the premium seats.


Re: Early Bird Check in is a SCAM!!!

Rising Star

Respectfully, I believe scam is a very strong word.  The detail about not being guaranteed an A boarding position is clearly displayed on Southwest's EBCI site.  It is not at all buried in fine print.




The same applies to me and others who have A List status.  We get checked in before EB folks, but we are not guaranteed any certain position.  It is impossible to do so given that there are varying numbers of A Listers and EBs flying on any given flight.  It does seem like there are more and more A Listers today, so I do believe more and more EB folks end up in the B group than in the past.  But that is a general observation from me that may or may not at all be true.


EB is a unique benefit from SW.  Hopefully you can continue to find value in the overall value proposition that SW offers.


Happy flying!


-A List Preferred, Companion Pass holder, Community Champion.

Re: Early Bird Check in is a SCAM!!!

Rising Star

Sorry, you don't like EBCI.


Southwest really can't guarantee an A boarding position.


1) There are only 45 per plane

2) A List Preferred and A-List get first shot

3) EBCIers get whats left (if any)


EBCI allows people to get the best position that's available 36 hours before flight time. Those that buy it early get better positions than those that buy it later. They all get better positions than those people that check themselves in.


If you don't like it, just don't buy it, and check yourself in.

Re: Early Bird Check in is a SCAM!!!

Rising Star

It is interesting how many people incorrectly translate "Better Boarding Position" into "Guaranteed A Boarding".



Re: Early Bird Check in is a SCAM!!!

Active Member

@kjltraveler I totally get your frustration. I would be upset if I paid for a better boarding position and did not get what I expected. Just know that to my knowledge, most of those who do purchase EBCI do receive a better boarding position than they would have without. 

SWA Passenger, Community Champion

Re: Early Bird Check in is a SCAM!!!

Active Member

It's not a scam, but I have found less value in it over time. I bought it a few times when it was $25 ($12.50 each way) but when they increased it to $35 I have used it less. (That $10 makes a difference lol.) For most of my flights when I check in right at the 24 hour mark I am in the As or high Bs most of the time -- there have been times when I am at the end of the B group and I am still able to get a window or aisle seat towards the front of the plane - so I'll save my money unless it's REALLY inconvenient to check in 24 hours in advance - which hasn't happened yet!




Wow, I just checked some of my SWA reservations and Early Bird is $25 for ONE way only! $50 for both flights! Crazy! I see on the site it says that EB can range between $15-$25. I am not sure how you get the cheaper option, but for my flights (I have 7 one-way flights booked from now until the end of the year) they are all $25 each.


I also checked my e-mail history and the last time I purchased EB was in 2013, and it was $25 for both flights (roundtrip). Back in 2011, it was just $20 total.