Question re early bird vs 24 hours check-in

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Old Sep 13, 17, 8:40 pm
  #1
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Question Question re early bird vs 24 hours check-in

Am starting to explore the wonderful world of Southwest as I see the other US airlines deteriorate. Sorry if this has already been asked and answered. I did a quick search and couldn't find the information:

If I do early bird check-in, might I still get a better boarding number if I check in at 24 hours? I realize I'd then in effect waste my payment for the early-bird, but is the system set up such that I could get a better number at 24 hours? Thanks for any help.
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Old Sep 13, 17, 8:50 pm
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Originally Posted by Thunderroad View Post
If I do early bird check-in, might I still get a better boarding number if I check in at 24 hours?
Unlikely and unforeseeable, but technically yes.

No absolutes.
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Old Sep 13, 17, 9:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Thunderroad View Post
Am starting to explore the wonderful world of Southwest as I see the other US airlines deteriorate. Sorry if this has already been asked and answered. I did a quick search and couldn't find the information:

If I do early bird check-in, might I still get a better boarding number if I check in at 24 hours? I realize I'd then in effect waste my payment for the early-bird, but is the system set up such that I could get a better number at 24 hours? Thanks for any help.
If I'm remembering this correctly you would have to get unchecked in first. Once EBCI checks you in, you'll just keep pulling up the same BP that you already had when you try to check in again.

If you uncheckin then the odds are you'll get a worse boarding number. You could get a better one but to me it wouldn't be worth the risk.

If you are already willing to risk the EBCI fee, then why pay it in the first place? Just check in at T-24 and pay for BS boarding at the gate if it's available and you don't like your original boarding number.
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Old Sep 13, 17, 9:43 pm
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Outside one of the few known flukes or risky tactics, for plain ol reservations the boarding positions are doled out in this order:

Business Select
A List Preferred Members
A List Members
EBCI Purchasers

THEN:

Everyone else that is left fighting for check in at the T-24 mark

So chances are slim to none that you will get a better check in at T-24 than you will with EBCI.

Only BS and T-24 checkins are dependent on chronological check in time...A, A+, and EBCI are pre assigned through WN's mystery algorithms.
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Old Sep 13, 17, 10:04 pm
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Thanks for all of the useful info, folks!
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Old Sep 13, 17, 10:35 pm
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Originally Posted by PAX62 View Post
Outside one of the few known flukes or risky tactics, for plain ol reservations the boarding positions are doled out in this order:

Business Select
A List Preferred Members
A List Members
EBCI Purchasers

THEN:

Everyone else that is left fighting for check in at the T-24 mark

So chances are slim to none that you will get a better check in at T-24 than you will with EBCI.

Only BS and T-24 checkins are dependent on chronological check in time...A, A+, and EBCI are pre assigned through WN's mystery algorithms.
Southwest reissues the positions of passengers who are checked in but then cancel or change their flight. This means that it's possible to check in manually and receive a better position than you would have if you had purchased EBCI. While unpredictable, this is less infrequent than you might think.

A-Listers are assigned positions via an unknown system (with + coming first), but EBCI positions are assigned based on the order purchased (with Anytime coming first).

That list should also mention Preboarders (a sometimes significant number of passengers) and Family Boarding (following group A, a sometimes significant number of passengers that often divides the EBCI group).
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Old Sep 13, 17, 11:36 pm
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Originally Posted by ursine1 View Post
Southwest reissues the positions of passengers who are checked in but then cancel or change their flight. This means that it's possible to check in manually and receive a better position than you would have if you had purchased EBCI. While unpredictable, this is less infrequent than you might think.
l
Yes, but that is one of the flukes that you can not possibly count on in boarding strategy and the value of EBCI or not and your best shot at a desirable position. Frequent...yes...if you rely on that as the OP was asking...good luck.
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