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Re: Early Bird didn't work?

lynn2609
New Arrival

I was pretty disappointed. I checked in exactly 24 hours prior and got a B30 - it was a total waste of money I think

It would be more worthwhile if you could see the position before purchase

leaving for FLL tomorrow from BWI

Re: Early Bird didn't work?

RhondaHSmith
New Arrival

Absolutely worthless! Do not waste your money on Early Bird check in! I don't even know what we are paying for if not to get a better boarding position, who the hell cares that about whatever they mean by the 36 hours. You can pay for Early Bird then if you want early boarding they will hit you up for another $40 per person at the airport. Never again will I waste my money on this!!!

 

I have always hated how Southwest herds people like cattle onto the plane and now after spending extra to think I was getting a better boarding position I hate them even more!!!

Re: Early Bird didn't work?

AshleyMainz Employee
Employee
Solution

@RhondaHSmith

 

Early Bird is designed to automatically check you in 36 hours before your flight's departure - that's 12 hours before general boarding positions become available. It's very important to note that Early Bird does not guarantee an A boarding position. However, it does improve your seat selection options since we're checking you in before all of the general boarding positions become available. 

 

You can find more info on Early Bird here: https://www.southwest.com/flight/early-bird-retrieve-reservation.html   

 

Ashley
Community Manager
Southwest Airlines Community

Re: Early Bird didn't work?

dadcali
New Arrival

Your explanation, as well as that of the agent I spoke to about my similar complaint makes no sense.   My wife and I booked a trip with my daughter.  All on the same confirmation number.  I paid for Early Bird for my wife and I, as I wouldn't be in a location where I could check in 24 hours prior to the flight.  My daughter, who has no Rewards account, and no airline status, recieved an A boarding position, along with her friend also on the same flight, with no RR account or status.   My wife and I were given B48/49, almost 50 positions behind!   That makes no sense.  If we were slotted 12 hours before my daughter could even login, how were we given a position BEHIND them?   Early Bird is a waste of money, and has to be fixed or scrapped.  Southwest does so much to be THE airline without hidden fees and tricks, yet this service seems no better than a $15 lottery ticket that never wins!

 

Re: Early Bird didn't work?

rtbarron
Active Member

It's a simple explanation actually.

At 36 hours before departure, you and your wife were assigned B48/49 because those were the next available boarding positions at the time.

By the time your daughter and her friend checked in, there must have been a few cancellations by passengers holding A boarding positions. They were given these A boarding positions because, at that time, those were the next available boarding positions.

Re: Early Bird didn't work?

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

@dadcali wrote:

Your explanation, as well as that of the agent I spoke to about my similar complaint makes no sense.   My wife and I booked a trip with my daughter.  All on the same confirmation number.  I paid for Early Bird for my wife and I, as I wouldn't be in a location where I could check in 24 hours prior to the flight.  My daughter, who has no Rewards account, and no airline status, recieved an A boarding position, along with her friend also on the same flight, with no RR account or status.   My wife and I were given B48/49, almost 50 positions behind!   That makes no sense.  If we were slotted 12 hours before my daughter could even login, how were we given a position BEHIND them?   Early Bird is a waste of money, and has to be fixed or scrapped.  Southwest does so much to be THE airline without hidden fees and tricks, yet this service seems no better than a $15 lottery ticket that never wins!

 


It is distressing to pay for a service that you think gives you a better boarding position, and then discover that people who didn't pay anything extra are given a better position than you. Sadly, that's just how Southwest's system works.

 

Southwest re-issues the positions of passengers who have been checked in but then cancel prior to departure. It's not fair, but Southwest doesn't really care much, as EarlyBird Check-In was created only to make money for the carrier in the first place. Southwest earned $400 million on EBCI fees alone in 2017. At this point, it's best to consider EBCI as only a way to be automatically checked in -- not a way to receive a better boarding position or earlier access to overhead bins, despite advertising as such.

 

EBCI customers often now get B positions, but B48/49 is particularly bad. Do your printed boarding passes actually say "EarlyBird Check-In" on them? Perhaps it dropped off via infamous Southwest "glitch." Did you make any changes to your flights within 36 hours of departure? That can cause EBCI failure as well. If it dropped off you are due a refund of the fee.

 

Re: Early Bird didn't work?

tmikct
New Arrival

Maybe you should consider flying on a HIGH COST Airline and paying another $ 50 or more for the 2 bags plus the extra $$ for a seat the same size it is on Southwes ??

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Re: Early Bird didn't work?

busybea
New Arrival

I'd rather pay more and know what I'm getting than have the illusion of saving.

Re: Early Bird didn't work?

scottnearsmf
New Arrival

Congratualtions, you A16 Position meant that you must have met an A-1 Rapid Rewards Priority Boarding requirement just prior to the flight where you earned your A16 position.  That position usually goes to the first reservation of a customer with Priority Rapid Rewards Priority Boarding privledges after the schedule is extended.

Re: Early Bird didn't work?

Tristan
New Arrival

Earlybird will get you checked in for your flight 36 hours prior to departure but does not guarantee a specific boarding position.