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Old Sep 2, 09, 4:46 am   #1
 
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EarlyBird Check-in: A Convenient Way to Travel...

... so says the Southwest Blog. $10 one-way will now automatically grab you a boarding number at T-24, after Business Select and A-list.

http://www.blogsouthwest.com/blog/ea...ent-way-travel
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Old Sep 2, 09, 5:00 am   #2
 
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I'm trying to decide if this violates "fees don't fly with us." Wasn't Southwest toting awhile back how one of the fees they didn't have was a seat selection fee?
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Old Sep 2, 09, 5:50 am   #3
 
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This is "pay-for-A". It's not a seat selection fee as you're still not guaranteed a particular seat. Rather, it's an optional convenience charge to remove the OLCI hassle. Customers are basically purchasing a feature of A-List status ("We'll automatically check you in and assign your boarding position within 36 hours of your flight's departure - that's 12 hours before general boarding positions become available."). I wonder if A-List status itself, or perhaps an EarlyBird subscription, will be available for purchase soon.

I can't say I'm personally thrilled about this, but WN knows this is something Customers want. In hindsight, I'm surprised it took this long for them to offer this.
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Old Sep 2, 09, 6:03 am   #4
 
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The way enforcement of these things tend to go, what happens the first time a single person in a family/group buys this, then
  1. takes the rest with them OR
  2. saves seats while the rest board in B or C?

My wife already jokingly said for me to buy it just for me when we go on our cruise (making T-24 difficult), then when I get on just to save a seat. She knows I wouldn't do that, hence the joke. How many people WOULD though...?

Last edited by HtomSirveaux; Sep 2, 09 at 6:09 am..
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Old Sep 2, 09, 6:08 am   #5
 
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This is something WN should advertise heavily at MCO and to folks traveling to MCO. I remember having no shortage of difficulty trying to OLCI while riding Pirates of the Caribbean last year. EarlyBird would have come in handy then.
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Old Sep 2, 09, 6:15 am   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HtomSirveaux View Post
The way enforcement of these things tend to go, what happens the first time a single person in a family/group buys this, then
  1. takes the rest with them OR
  2. saves seats while the rest board in B or C?
Great question. WN will now have three groups of Customers who have paid for earlier boarding either directly (Business Select/EarlyBird) or indirectly (A-List). This makes boarding position enforcement even more important.
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Old Sep 2, 09, 6:17 am   #7
 
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Can't pay with TTF either...? I have $12 in TTF that's going to expire in November, and a flight next week. So much for that idea...dumb.
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Old Sep 2, 09, 6:36 am   #8
 
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EarlyBird is non-refundable - http://www.southwest.com/flight/earl...irdCheckInFAQs

BTW, the word "fee" does not appear anywhere on the EarlyBird Check-in pages.
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Old Sep 2, 09, 6:37 am   #9
 
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How are EarlyBird check-ins ordered?
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Old Sep 2, 09, 6:42 am   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curbcrusher View Post
How are EarlyBird check-ins ordered?
Travel Tools page

EarlyBird Checkin (5th item)
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Old Sep 2, 09, 6:52 am   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curbcrusher View Post
How are EarlyBird check-ins ordered?
I have a question in to answer this, Crusher.
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Old Sep 2, 09, 6:55 am   #12
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Originally Posted by irabk View Post
Travel Tools page

EarlyBird Checkin (5th item)
irabk, I think Crusher meant if you have 10 people who bought Early Bird, who gets the lowest BP number. I just got the answer, they are assigned by purchase time. The first person to buy Early Bord gets the lowest BP
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Old Sep 2, 09, 7:01 am   #13
 
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Originally Posted by SWABrian View Post
irabk, I think Crusher meant if you have 10 people who bought Early Bird, who gets the lowest BP number. I just got the answer, they are assigned by purchase time. The first person to buy Early Bird gets the lowest BP
Thanks, SWABrian! This is a question better suited for a number of other threads, but I wonder if A-List ordering is also that simple.
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Old Sep 2, 09, 7:11 am   #14
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Originally Posted by curbcrusher View Post
Thanks, SWABrian! This is a question better suited for a number of other threads, but I wonder if A-List ordering is also that simple.
I still haven't been inducted into the royal and ancient order of the A-List, so I am like Bob Seegar: "how it works I sat and wondered. Started humming a song from 1962, ain't it funny how the A-List moves."
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Old Sep 2, 09, 7:49 am   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curbcrusher View Post
This is "pay-for-A". It's not a seat selection fee as you're still not guaranteed a particular seat. Rather, it's an optional convenience charge to remove the OLCI hassle. Customers are basically purchasing a feature of A-List status ("We'll automatically check you in and assign your boarding position within 36 hours of your flight's departure - that's 12 hours before general boarding positions become available."). I wonder if A-List status itself, or perhaps an EarlyBird subscription, will be available for purchase soon.

I can't say I'm personally thrilled about this, but WN knows this is something Customers want. In hindsight, I'm surprised it took this long for them to offer this.
Nice try. The reason most passengers check in 24 hours in advance is to get an A BP with a low sequence number. A low sequence number offers the passenger a higher probability of selecting a preferred seat. The only reason a passenger would pay the $10 charge is to give them a higher probability of selecting a seat of their choice. Remove seat selection from the equation and there is no reason to check in 24 hours in advance instead of 12 hours in advance. I'll concede passengers who wait until they arrive at the airport may have "issues" if the plane is overbooked.

I understand why WN is doing this but it is no different then some of the junk fees other airlines are charging.

I see problems. A family of 6 decides to pay one fee and have 1 passenger try and hold 6 seats.

I think WN should also go the other direction and only offer BPs 12 hours before the flight for passengers in the lower fare buckets (or maybe just DING).
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