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Another Southwest Airlines Early Bird Question

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Jul 24th, 2014, 05:40 AM
  #1
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Another Southwest Airlines Early Bird Question

Have not flown on SWA since the mid-1980's and at that time there was no "early bird" etc.

I know how it works for the first flight but my question is: does it carry over to any connecting flights or are you at the mercy of how soon you can get to that connecting flight gate?

Thanks very much.
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Jul 24th, 2014, 06:40 AM
  #2
 
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It carries over to connecting flights assuming you get to the gate before they begin boarding. I really like the early bird option and utilize it alot.
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Jul 24th, 2014, 06:51 AM
  #3
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Exactly the information I was looking for, Tchoiniere and thank you very much for responding.
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Jul 24th, 2014, 08:58 AM
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Did anyone see the story about the guy that was allowed to board early but his 2 kids were not? Once he was on the plane he tweeted about it. He was dragged off the plane and had to delete the tweet before he and the kids were the last ones on.
He says that SWA has lost a loyal customer.
The gate agent now controls who gets on the plane and when not the TSA.
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Jul 24th, 2014, 09:03 AM
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tom-I read that article. The guy had priority boarding I think as an A list member. Obviously his kids wouldn't have that status but he wanted them to be able to board when he did. Now I agree that Southwest handled it poorly and obviously shouldn't have taken him and his kids off the plane. I'd be furious, too.

But, why couldn't he just board with his kids? I certainly would never expect my kids to be able to board ahead of time with me unless that was their boarding number. Seems like he wanted some extra special treatment. Again, Southwest did handle it in a terrible manner. Not sure what that has to do with the TSA.
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Jul 24th, 2014, 09:17 AM
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You don't threaten an A-list passenger with arrest and drag him off the plane just for tweeting.
I did have a bad flight once where a disabled passenger was in the aisle seat and was loaded on at least 10 minutes before I got to my window seat. The woman in the long dress did not say a word during the whole flight and I had to climb over her again at the end of the flight. Luckily, I did not have to use the restroom during the flight.
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Jul 24th, 2014, 09:33 AM
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Exactly what was the purpose of "tweeting about it?"
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Jul 24th, 2014, 09:56 AM
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Both the A-list passenger and the gate agent were angry. He tweeted something to the effect that "The customer is always right" We'll never know because the gate agent had to watch him delete the Tweet in exchange for letting him back on the plane with his kids and not being arrested.
I like the system where they load the rows at the back of the plane first and the First Class last right before closing the door.
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Jul 24th, 2014, 10:57 AM
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Just another example of an "entitled" person. If he wanted his kids to board in the "A" group, he should have paid for the Early Bird Boarding. If he had a problem with the gate agent, he should have taken it up with Southwest Airlines, not social media.
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Jul 24th, 2014, 11:15 AM
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Keep in mind that Early Bird doesn't always guarantee you really "good seats" which of course varies by passenger.

The seat are 1st taken by through passengers. Then the new passengers get on and the boarding #/positions goes thru various levles: Business Select, A+ Preferred, A List Preferred all get higher boarding #'s. Then Early Bird #'s get assigned positions. And the sooner you pay for early bird, the better your spot in the assignment line.

I fly on SW almost monthly and unless I absolutely can't check in within 20 -24 hours, I never use Early Bird. We have always managed to get decent seats.

I used it last week when I was in Canada, in transit to Boston for a SW flight home. I would have not been able to check in until several hours past the initial check in time. I got A30. I was still able to get my preferred seat.
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Jul 24th, 2014, 01:32 PM
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Tom-I did agree that SW shouldn't have dragged him off the plane for tweeting. Main reason was because he tweeted the agent's name. Probably not a smart thing to do on the part of the passenger but it was a overreaction by SW.

However my assertion was that he created the whole situation by demanding his kids board with him instead of him just getting in line with his kids at their designated number.
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Jul 24th, 2014, 02:03 PM
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Families with kids get to board after group A but before group B, even for the entitled.

Dukey, if you have early bird you can print out your two boarding passes each with a boarding number anytime after 36 hours before the flight. These boarding numbers will not usually be exactly the same because it depends on the factors listed by Debit above.
I always get it because I like to sit on the aisle in one of the first few rows and I don't have to remember to check in at 24 hours.
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Jul 24th, 2014, 02:10 PM
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I might also add, that getting a low B number isn't all bad. Since all the families with kids have boarded, I can chose not to sit near them (I did that enough when I had to with my own kids! LOL!)
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Jul 24th, 2014, 02:43 PM
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As several of you have pointed out: the term "decent" is subjective.

The Tweet thing is so unbelievable; why not just grab a megaphone and shout it to everybody as if that is going to rectify anything.
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Jul 24th, 2014, 02:56 PM
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Since they've offered Early Bird, if you don't have it and check in exactly 24 hrs ahead, you'll probably get a B group. Yes decent is a relative term and it also depends where your flight is coming from and heading. Often the plane is already half full of ongoing passengers when you board. I see that often.
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Jul 24th, 2014, 02:58 PM
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I liked it better when families with small children got to board first for that very reason, Deb!!

>the company compensated him with a $50 travel voucher, he says. But he wants more.<

This is what confuses me.........SW compensated him, but he wants a public apology for publically humiliating the gate agent? Quite honestly, in her place, I'm not sure I'd be very willing to give a passenger I perceived as hostile MY last name either. He had her first name and last initial, the gate number and the flight number~all the information he needed to file a complaint with her employer. I'm not excusing her behavior if she was rude, but I think his behavior is awful.
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Jul 24th, 2014, 04:54 PM
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It was smart of Southwest to make him delete the tweet. Too bad that didn't also prevent the Today Show, CNN, Facebook, and who knows who else from broadcasting that tweet.

I don't know about Southwest, but with United, USAir, and American, when one of us has priority seating, the companion is included ( although admittedly that may not be for two.
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Jul 24th, 2014, 06:29 PM
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I fly SW a few times a year and have never encountered a plane half full on boarding. Not saying it doesn't happen, but rare.
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Jul 24th, 2014, 09:51 PM
  #20
 
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The later in the day that you board a SW flight, the greater the chances that there are lots of through passengers, add in all the groups I listed ahead of the average flyer, and a half full plane isn't unusual,especially of you are mid B boarding assignment.
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