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Southwest Is Switching to Dynamic Pricing for EarlyBird Check In

A big announcement came out of Southwest earlier this week. They are switching to dynamic pricing for their EarlyBird Check In.

EarlyBird Check In was introduced in 2009 at a price of $10 per one-way flight. This service not only makes it so that Southwest flyers didn’t have to check themselves in for their flights in order to get a boarding order, but actually checks flyers in 36 hours in advance, instead of 24 hours ahead of time. Ultimately, EarlyBird Check In is a way to guarantee a better boarding position on Southwest flights. EarlyBird Check In now costs $15 per flight.

Starting August 29, 2019, Southwest is moving to a dynamic pricing model for EarlyBird Check In. Prices will start at the current $15 per flight price and go up to $25 per flight.

According to Southwest, pricing “will depend on a combination of two factors: length of route and EarlyBird demand on that particular route.” Prices “will not change by day of week or time of day.” But Southwest reserves the right to “update pricing in the future based on route popularity and as the product continues to evolve.”

Overall, this is not a good thing for Southwest fliers as they will, on average, be paying more for the exact same thing they’ve been getting for a flat $15 fee in the past.

Nonetheless, this is the way things are moving with airlines as they try to extract everything they can from customers. At least Southwest has reaffirmed their commitment to keeping checked bags free for at least the foreseeable future!


Are you a fan of Southwest’s EarlyBird Check In?

Comments are Closed.
mpcrider September 29, 2018

What does "dynamic" pricing actually mean? A flight I'm on has EB $25, and it's been that way since I booked. Are the prices sticky-upward, meaning once it hits $25 it won't go back down? What I'm really curious about is does it make sense to keep checking the EB price in the hopes that it'll drop.

plancast August 24, 2018

The pre-boarding group will increase in size. Having early boarding privileges as an A-List Preferred is getting more diminished every year.

AAguy1979 August 24, 2018

This will only lead to even more 'seat saving' on their flights. I'm not personally a huge Southwest fan but, living in Chicago, flights out of MDW are often convenient. On my last trip, we paid for Early Bird and were A 33 and A 34 in boarding. A guy in front of me saved 10 seats. While I was still able to get an OK seat, this defeats the entire purpose of paying for Early Bird. I tweeted Southwest and got the wonderful corporate response "we don't have a firm policy on saving seats". Charging more will only make this worse, devaluing it for the rest of us.

diver858 August 23, 2018

EB is currently a joke on commuter heavy flights, where it is not uncommon to end up in the B boarding group. At what price does EB all but guarantee an A group?

rylan August 23, 2018

Just another way they can increase prices. Might as well just jack it up to $20 across the board instead of giving flyers the bs line of 'dynamic pricing'... which just means for any route where you care about earlybird its going to cost more.