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Early Bird, explain this

terrygtx
New Arrival

I have read the discussions about how early bird works and that boarding position is not guaranteed, etc.  But explain this me please:

 

I have early-bird check-in and 2 co-workers do not.  Right at the 24 hour mark, they check-in via the app and get A-23 and A24.  I wait about an hour or, because I have early-bird check in and so should be already assigned boarding, right?  So I then check-in via the app and get A-31.

 

They do not fly that much, so are not A List, A List Preferred, or Business Select.  It sure seems like that $30 didn’t get me anything.

9 REPLIES 9

Re: Early Bird, explain this

chgoflyer
Top Contributor
Solution

Southwest re-issues the positions of people who have been checked in but then cancel or change their flight. Many times these are A-Listers, who have low-A positions (because they're automatically checked in ahead of EarlyBird Check-In customers) and who have more flexibility (because they can travel same-day change or standby for no additional cost). The next people to check in manually receive those positions. This is 99% certainly what happened here.

 

No, it's not fair. But all manner of complaining about this specific issue has brought about zero change to how Southwest does things.

 

Last year, Southwest made nearly $300 million on EarlyBird Check-In fees alone.

Re: Early Bird, explain this

terrygtx
New Arrival

@chgoflyer wrote:

Southwest re-issues the positions of people who have been checked in but then cancel or change their flight. Many times these are A-Listers, who have low-A positions (because they're automatically checked in ahead of EarlyBird Check-In customers) and who have more flexibility (because they can travel same-day change or standby for no additional cost). The next people to check in manually receive those positions. This is 99% certainly what happened here.

Thanks for the reply.   I guess that does make the most sense.  It seemed awful coincidental that I was just a few positions after them and they checked-in a little before me.  So it seemed like it was still being assigned by order of check-in.

 

But, I guess if I think it through further, there should have been a lot more than just 2 people who also checked in during hour that I delayed.  So if it was still just based on check-in order, I would have been quite a bit further back.

Re: Early Bird, explain this

rtaibo
New Arrival

This is it:

"Last year, Southwest made nearly $300 million on EarlyBird Check-In fees alone."

 

I used to get Early Bird until I qualified for A-List for years.  It used to be worth it.

 

Recently I bought Early Bird for my granddaughter, and it was useless: it is just like all the other airlines, except that Southwest only has this one rip off, all the others have many.

 

Yes, lawyers write the rules and they stand, but still is a rip off, all we have to do is read the rules.

 

This program is like TSA PreCheck: so many people are enticed to enrol, that the lines at times are better on the regular side, with all the other cattle.

 

Glad i will be able to stop flying in a couple of years.  Every time you turn around is like buying a used car, with a new sales trick.

Re: Early Bird, explain this

KimVanderKley
Active Member

I hope you found a comfortable seat and trust the flight was safe. If the co workers had status that could explain ... I have been told purchase date of the ticket comes into play I cannot verify at this time .. best of safe travels...

@16fKimVKley

Re: Early Bird, explain this

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

@KimVanderKley wrote:

I hope you found a comfortable seat and trust the flight was safe. If the co workers had status that could explain ... I have been told purchase date of the ticket comes into play I cannot verify at this time .. best of safe travels...


FYI: Ticket purchase date has nothing to do with anything. 😉

 

Among those who have bought EarlyBird Check-In, those on an Anytime fare are given priority ahead of those on Wanna Get Away ones, and among those with Wanna Get Away the EarlyBird Check-In purchase date is used to assign boarding order position.

 

 

Re: Early Bird, explain this

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

Are you sure they aren't messing with you? Those are certainly A-list territory.

 

The other likely scenario is that someone on the A-list changed their plans between 36 hours and 24 hours, vacating those positions. Early bird (and all the other A-list and A-list preferred) positions would already be assigned, then whoever checked in first would get the vacated spots which turned out to be your co-workers.

 

If so, good for them, but it was a fluke that those two spots were available and that they were able to get them.

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

Re: Early Bird, explain this

StAugustine
Active Member

I had to reschedule a flight 18 hours before takeoff. On my new flight I figured my wife and I would be C-somethoing. Instead, we were A-49 and A-50. Pleasantly surprised.

Re: Early Bird, explain this

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

@StAugustinewrote:

I had to reschedule a flight 18 hours before takeoff. On my new flight I figured my wife and I would be C-somethoing. Instead, we were A-49 and A-50. Pleasantly surprised.


 

You should be very pleased -- that's a very uncommon occurrence. Your flight was either very lightly full, and/or there weren't many A-Listers or EBCI purchasers on it.

 

 

Re: Early Bird, explain this

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

Probably two people with A-list that had A49 and A50 had one hour earlier change of plans than you did, and you happened to catch their vacated positions.

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