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Early Bird Check in questions

Dawna22
New Arrival

Booking a round trip flight for a family of 4.  We have never flown Southwest before, so I have a couple of questions.  I will only need Early Bird check in for our return flight.  Can I purchase the early bird check in for only our return flight when purchasing round trip.  Or do I need to purchase two one way tickets?  Also, When you check in 24 hours in advance, does each person have a seperate reservation and therefore I would have to check in 4 times, or because I am booking 4 tickets those 4 tickets would be under one reservation therefore only requiring one check in?

5 REPLIES 5

Re: Early Bird Check in questions

TheMiddleSeat
Rising Star

If you only want EarlyBird on one flight I would suggest booking your trip as two one ways. That helps with other issues too, but not relevant to this conversation. You can then easily add EarlyBird to the one flight that you want and leave standard check-in on the other flight.

 

If you put all four people on the same reservation (paying for them all in one transaction) then one check-in gets all four people checked in. If this is how you want to book it just select 4 passengers when searching for flights and then fill in all the passengers info when completing the booking. 

 

Hope that answers all your questions, 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Early Bird Check in questions

bec102896
Rising Star

If you are wanting to add EB check in to only 1 person on the reservation you can do that after booking on the mobile app or website or by calling SW reservations. If you add it at booking it will charge you the EB fee for all passengers each way. 

 

You could book a Round Trip and add EB later or 2 one ways and add it (I would book 2 one ways as mentioned by TheMiddleSeat)

 

-Blake

Re: Early Bird Check in questions

SWDigits
Rising Star

Three additional thoughts:

 

  • I don't know if this is relevant for your family but if you are traveling with a child six years or younger then two adults may board with the child between the "A" and "B" boarding groups if you don't already have an "A" position.  If that applies to you then folks can provide additional comments if you have questions about family boarding.
  • Southwest prices their round-trip tickets by adding up the cost of the two one-way tickets so there isn't a penatly to do the one-way option.  I also book one-way tickets when I'm flying Southwest.
  • There is also a knowledge base with at least two articles on EarlyBird, here is the link if you're curious to see all of the topics: https://www.southwestaircommunity.com/t5/Knowledge-Base/tkb-p/southwest-knowledge-base

 


Customer | Home airport DCA | Community Champion

Re: Early Bird Check in questions

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@Dawna22 wrote:

Booking a round trip flight for a family of 4.  We have never flown Southwest before, so I have a couple of questions.  I will only need Early Bird check in for our return flight.  Can I purchase the early bird check in for only our return flight when purchasing round trip.  Or do I need to purchase two one way tickets?  Also, When you check in 24 hours in advance, does each person have a seperate reservation and therefore I would have to check in 4 times, or because I am booking 4 tickets those 4 tickets would be under one reservation therefore only requiring one check in?


So many good answers, if any of them have nailed it for you please mark them as the solution.

 

I'll add if you are a fan of self-service, the one-way booking advice is great as you can do much more online in terms of changes, cancels, and enhancements.

 

But as @bec102896 mentioned you can always call or in some cases contact via Twitter or Facebook to make changes such as partially adding EBCI for only a leg, or only one passenger. (It wasn't completely clear to me which you were trying to do.)

 

Live Chat is also great for Rapid Reward members within the Southwest App, but they are limited in being able to process any payment which is best done over the phone if there isn't a self-service option online. Twitter and Facebook are also very responsive but I don't believe they can accept a payment.

 

 

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

Re: Early Bird Check in questions

NicoleAshley Employee
Employee
Solution

Hi @Dawna22! I can verify that you can opt to purchase EarlyBird for just the return flight since I just did it myself on a multi-Passenger reservation. As long as everyone is on the same reservation, you only need to check in once. If you purchased EarlyBird, check-in is automatic for each person you purchased EarlyBird for. We look forward to welcoming you and your family onboard! 

Nicole
Community Manager