Early Bird Got B-11

Old Mar 18, 18, 1:53 pm
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Early Bird Got B-11

I don't fly LUV all that often, but when I do I pay the extra $15 for "Early Bird" - unless I have a Business Select ticket. In the past, with Early Bird I have always been in the A boarding group, and not toward the back of A. This time, I got B-11. Does that happen often? I assume it is because there are a large number of people who have A list or pay the $15? Among people who pay the $15, how does LUV prioritize boarding positions?

Does LUV still allow passengers to purchase a boarding position in the A1 to A15 positions, at the airport? I seem to recall they used to do that.

If I do that, do I get a refund for the $15 I paid for Early Bird? (I don't really care about that -- its business travel -- just wondering).

Thanks.

Last edited by Chamor; Mar 18, 18 at 2:02 pm
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Old Mar 18, 18, 2:10 pm
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I believe it goes in the order of EBCI purchase date/time for the trip. That said, if the leg you're on is heavily booked as a connection leg for other flights, I think the folks that were checked in at T-36 for their first leg will be assigned their boarding position for the second leg at T-37+, and you'll be after them regardless of when you purchased your EBCI.
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Old Mar 18, 18, 2:18 pm
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My data point: A group of us were going to DCA. We all bought tickets with Early Bird on the same day about 3 months out. We compared our boarding numbers at the airport and they were sequential and low (A 20, A 21, etc). It tells me that early bird works best if you are buying the tickets early and the flight isn't half full coming from somewhere else. It might not make money sense to purchase early bird too close to actual flight date.
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Old Mar 18, 18, 2:20 pm
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I had a flight last month where i only checked in 5 minutes late and 80% of the passengers were in front of me. That incident turned me off of buying EB.

I only consider EBCI if I know ahead of time I won't be able to check in at T24 (which is rare). But if I may not be able to check in I'll probably just go AA where I don't need to worry about it.

As a strictly leisure traveler I wish WN would go back to issuing the plastic boarding cards at the gate. I was never outside of top ten when they did that
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Old Mar 18, 18, 2:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Lost View Post
As a strictly leisure traveler I wish WN would go back to issuing the plastic boarding cards at the gate. I was never outside of top ten when they did that
Those are now going for $50 on eBay.
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Old Mar 18, 18, 2:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Lost View Post
I had a flight last month where i only checked in 5 minutes late and 80% of the passengers were in front of me. That incident turned me off of buying EB.
That is an interesting perspective. That sort of event would actually make me MORE inclined to buy EBCI.

I find $15 a low price to pay for not having to check in at EXACTLY T-24. And especially when its business travel, so not even my $15!

This is the first time I have been in the B group when buying EBCI. More typically its something like A 30.

My bad luck too -- its on a long flight.
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Old Mar 18, 18, 2:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Chamor View Post
That is an interesting perspective. That sort of event would actually make me MORE inclined to buy EBCI.

I find $15 a low price to pay for not having to check in at EXACTLY T-24. And especially when its business travel, so not even my $15!

This is the first time I have been in the B group when buying EBCI. More typically its something like A 30.

My bad luck too -- its on a long flight.
If I fork over extra cash for a better boarding position I want to be at least in the first half of boarding positions. But that's part of the point. AA and WN are competitive on my routes, so a lot of times it's the same price before I pay for EB.

Originally Posted by LegalTender View Post
Those are now going for $50 on eBay.
Hmmm... I'd love to get a hold of one of the ones used in California airports. Shaped like the state outline

Last edited by Lost; Mar 18, 18 at 2:48 pm
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Old Mar 18, 18, 3:08 pm
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Originally Posted by synergistic View Post
I believe it goes in the order of EBCI purchase date/time for the trip. That said, if the leg you're on is heavily booked as a connection leg for other flights, I think the folks that were checked in at T-36 for their first leg will be assigned their boarding position for the second leg at T-37+, and you'll be after them regardless of when you purchased your EBCI.
Yes, EBCI position is based on the timestamp of EBCI purchase, by flight. No, connecting passengers who also bought EBCI do not have an advantage. All passengers who have EBCI for any particular flight are ranked by timestamp at t-36.

Connecting passengers who did not buy EBCI do have an advantage over local passengers who also did not buy EBCI because their t-24 check in will happen earlier than the local passengers.

The best way to get a low A position with EBCI is to book well in advance.

Note that if you change a reservation that has EBCI associated to a new flight, the timestamp for EBCI becomes the timestamp of the change to the new flight.

Flight changes can sometimes cause EBCI to drop off (it's supposed to be retained as long as the confirmation number is) and glitches happen.

EBCI is non-refundable unless 1) you don't actually receive it (check your boarding pass for the indicator), or 2) Southwest cancels or changes the flight.
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Old Mar 18, 18, 3:11 pm
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Originally Posted by bitterproffit View Post
My data point: A group of us were going to DCA. We all bought tickets with Early Bird on the same day about 3 months out. We compared our boarding numbers at the airport and they were sequential and low (A 20, A 21, etc). It tells me that early bird works best if you are buying the tickets early and the flight isn't half full coming from somewhere else. It might not make money sense to purchase early bird too close to actual flight date.
The continuing or connecting flight load has no effect on EBCI position, although it can be argued that lots of thru passengers does devalue the benefit.
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Old Mar 18, 18, 3:14 pm
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Originally Posted by ursine1 View Post
The continuing or connecting flight load has no effect on EBCI position, although it can be argued that lots of thru passengers does devalue the benefit.
Correct, that point hit me after I made the post.
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Old Mar 18, 18, 3:14 pm
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Originally Posted by Lost View Post
I had a flight last month where i only checked in 5 minutes late and 80% of the passengers were in front of me. That incident turned me off of buying EB.
If you've bought EBCI, it doesn't matter what time you check in, your position has already been reserved.
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Old Mar 18, 18, 3:16 pm
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Thanks. The irony, for me, is I bought this ticket further in advance than I usually do. Around 2 weeks ago. I know many people buy further in advance, of course. Just out of interest, do you have any sense of how rare the result I have occurs -- buying EBCI and getting position B-11?

I have done this about a dozen times in the past, and always got middle of the A group, or thereabout. Maybe I have just been lucky?

What is your guess, on a fairly full 5 hour long flight, whether I can get an aisle seat with position B 11? I am guessing I still have a decent chance of getting SOME aisle seat?
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Old Mar 18, 18, 3:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Chamor View Post

What is your guess, on a fairly full 5 hour long flight, whether I can get an aisle seat with position B 11? I am guessing I still have a decent chance of getting SOME aisle seat?
100%. And as an added bonus, since you will be boarding after family boarding, you can make sure you pick a seat away from those screaming kids that like to kick the back of the seat.
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Old Mar 18, 18, 4:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Chamor View Post
Thanks. The irony, for me, is I bought this ticket further in advance than I usually do. Around 2 weeks ago. I know many people buy further in advance, of course. Just out of interest, do you have any sense of how rare the result I have occurs -- buying EBCI and getting position B-11?

I have done this about a dozen times in the past, and always got middle of the A group, or thereabout. Maybe I have just been lucky?

What is your guess, on a fairly full 5 hour long flight, whether I can get an aisle seat with position B 11? I am guessing I still have a decent chance of getting SOME aisle seat?
Two weeks before a flight is not very far out to be buying EBCI.

As for an aisle seat, do the math. How many aisle seats on a plane (depends on whether it is a 700 or 800) and what is your boarding position? Highly likely you can get an aisle seat, even with pre-boarders, A-listers at the end of the A group and families boarding ahead of you at B-11. Not everybody prefers an aisle seat.

I wouldn't have the slightest worry if I were you.

Let us know how it works out.
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Old Mar 18, 18, 4:40 pm
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Originally Posted by ursine1 View Post
No, connecting passengers who also bought EBCI do not have an advantage. All passengers who have EBCI for any particular flight are ranked by timestamp at t-36.
If the OP was flying BBB-CCC for example, and lot of folks were flying (any airport)-BBB-CCC, wouldn't all EBCI purchasers who flew into BBB have an advantage over all EBCI purchasers who just flew BBB-CCC, as their T-36 was earlier?
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