Southwest Early Bird Boarding

Old May 18th, 2014, 06:27 AM
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cd
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Southwest Early Bird Boarding

We just received a message from Southwest asking if we wanted to buy Early Bird Boarding for 12:50pp one way. Is this necessary? What does it really give us? Do you purchase this?
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Old May 18th, 2014, 06:42 AM
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Necessary? No. If you are really picky about where you sit, and not able to check in exactly 24hr. before your flight, them maybe.

~Liz
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Old May 18th, 2014, 06:49 AM
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We prefer isle seats across from one another but we change planes once would that guarantee us preferred seating on the next plane that we transfer to?
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Old May 18th, 2014, 07:02 AM
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It would not guarantee your seats on the second flight. (Think about why - there might be people already on your second flight, and one of those people might be in your chosen seat. Or two flights might have people on them both changing to your flight - what if two of you had the same seat on the first flight?).
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Old May 18th, 2014, 07:12 AM
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SW boarding passes are not about specific seats, they are about the order you board the plane. I believe the check-in would be for both segments. Maybe your questions are answered here:
http://www.southwest.com/html/custom...lybird_checkin
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Old May 18th, 2014, 07:16 AM
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True, but even if you have preferred boarding for the second flight, unless the flight is originating at your transfer destination, there will already be people on the plane.
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Old May 18th, 2014, 07:39 AM
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Thanks for the link elberko. It does not answer the question about the 2nd plane. As far as I can see this purchase would not benefit us. The 2nd plane probably would have people on it so we probably have to settle for what is available anyway.
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Old May 18th, 2014, 07:40 AM
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So long as you are sure to check-in 24 hours before departure, you should be good. We do it that way, and it seems any A seat will get us two aisle seats.
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Old May 18th, 2014, 08:01 AM
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We've checked in (3 of us, computerized clocks) on the exact 24 hour time on 3 RT flights lately, and gotten B (one of us got A58 on one leg on one flight); those A1-15 spots are saved for those who pay (even more $$ than early bird). Sad, because I though SW was the last of the semi-egalitarian options.
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Old May 18th, 2014, 08:03 AM
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It seems like Early Bird only helps with the first plane anyway. It does not help at all with that plane transfer. Right?
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Old May 18th, 2014, 08:15 AM
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Why wouldn't it help? If there ARE people on the plane already, wouldn't it still help to be earlier in the line to board?
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Old May 18th, 2014, 08:26 AM
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The Early Bird DOES help with the plane transfer, especially if you are unable to check in exactly 24 hours in advance of your initial flight.

Let's say you both buy the Early Bird and get A26 and A27 for flight #1 and A37 and A38 for flight #2.

For flight #1, you will be the 26th and 27th people to board. You will almost surely be able to get two aisle seats across from each other as you prefer. Then, for flight #2, you will be the 37th and 38th people to board, but there will be some passengers still on board from the first leg of this flight and they will already be in the seats they want. Nevertheless, with an "A" boarding for the 2nd flight, you have a fair chance of getting aisle seats across from each other and a very good chance of getting aisle seats near each other.

I fly SWA pretty often and I seldom see more than 20- 25 people who remain onboard for the 2nd leg, so your chances of getting what you want with an "A" boarding, particularly a low "A" boarding purchased with Early Bird, are good. Also, it seems that most of those that stay onboard are looking for seats in the exit rows (more legroom) and close to the front of the plane (quick exit). If you are willing to sit in the rear of the plane, your chances of getting the aisle seats you want increase.

Personally, I never purchase Early Bird and, because I can almost always check-in online exactly 24 hours in advance, I generally get an "A" or very low "B" number which allows me to get an aisle seat.
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Old May 18th, 2014, 08:28 AM
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There are not always people on the second plane. It does get you an earlier boarding number on the second plane than if you check in 24 hours exactly. There can already be people on the first plane, anyway.

Even a B boarding pass gives you a lot of choice.
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Old May 18th, 2014, 08:35 AM
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OK, I can check in 24hrs in advance on the initial flight, no problem with that, so if I get an "A" boarding on the initial flight, will I also have an "A" boarding on the transfer automatically?

Thanks for everyone's help.
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Old May 18th, 2014, 08:43 AM
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It gets confusing, but everyone getting to your "B" airport for your second flight can check in 24hrs. before THEIR first flight, which may be earlier or later than your flight.
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Old May 18th, 2014, 09:20 AM
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It is confusing, makes me wonder who thought of this and if it's working for them. If I thought it would help me on the transfer, I would go ahead and do it because that's a longer flight, the initial one is only an hour.
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Old May 18th, 2014, 10:15 AM
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It does not transfer automatically but the boarding numbers are generally very similar. We always do the early bird because I would rather not remember to go online at exactly 24 hours and in twenty or so sets of flights we have always been at essentially the same number on each leg.

If you can check in pretty close to 24 hours and are not hugely concerned about where you sit, I would not bother.
It is c group the usually get middle seats.

It is also the case that the cheaper fares "wanna get away" give you less priority than the regular fares.
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Old May 18th, 2014, 10:23 AM
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So jubilada, if I go ahead and purchase, I no longer have to check in 24hr ahead of time, I'm already checked in now?
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Old May 18th, 2014, 10:52 AM
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If you purchase the early bird they will check you in at 36 hours. You can then print out your boarding passes for both legs anytime from home or at the airport .
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Old May 18th, 2014, 10:53 AM
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Just to clarify, you will not be checked in now.
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