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Old 12-16-2012, 09:53 AM   #1
mmouse50
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Southwest Early Bird and MCO

I just flew home yesterday and had purchased EBCI for the return trip - I ended up with A54-A56. Since I was so close to the end of the A's and they were boarding the families (and there were a lot of them) between A and B would I have had any recourse if I had done early bird and received a B and still had to board after all the families that I am assuming hadn't done early bird?
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:33 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by mmouse50 View Post
I just flew home yesterday and had purchased EBCI for the return trip - I ended up with A54-A56. Since I was so close to the end of the A's and they were boarding the families (and there were a lot of them) between A and B would I have had any recourse if I had done early bird and received a B and still had to board after all the families that I am assuming hadn't done early bird?
No, there is no guarantee of an A with early bird. You were still ahead of the position you would have got if you didn't do early bird.
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Old 12-16-2012, 11:24 AM   #3
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yes - I am aware of that but if I have close to 15 or more complete families in front of me - why did I pay for early bird? I realize it is only 10.00 dollars but they didn't have to pay anything to get a better seat than me.
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:10 PM   #4
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yes - I am aware of that but if I have close to 15 or more complete families in front of me - why did I pay for early bird? I realize it is only 10.00 dollars but they didn't have to pay anything to get a better seat than me.
It's the chance you take.

Yes, you can complain to SW, but since there's no guarantee of EBCI getting you a specific boarding position, they don't have to do anything.

ETA: 15 "complete families" would be 60 people (15x4)... that's nearly half the plane.
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Old 12-16-2012, 01:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mmouse50 View Post
yes - I am aware of that but if I have close to 15 or more complete families in front of me - why did I pay for early bird? I realize it is only 10.00 dollars but they didn't have to pay anything to get a better seat than me.
As was said, you are not guaranteed an A boarding pass. You are simply checked in ahead of time. You take that into account when you decide to pay the extra money for Early Bird. If you don't want to risk paying and getting a B, then don't pay. However, it IS possible.
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Old 12-16-2012, 01:29 PM   #6
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'If' there were to be 15 families wanting to board between the A and B groups, the gate agents would most likely suspend family boarding.
Paying for EBCI does not get you an A group boarding spot. It gets you checked in prior to the passengers checking in at the 24 hr window. Now, if you have paid for EBCI, and there are a ton of people boarding in between the two groups? Yes, you might be able to say something.
With SW now raising the price of EBCI, we may see fewer people buying it. I buy it only when I won't be near a computer at the 24 hr window...and that's usually just for my return flight.
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:23 PM   #7
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Don't families board first regardless of their boarding position? In other words, if you received A54, its not because the families had A1-54. Wouldn't it go families, then A1-15(business select) and then 16 on? Also, EBCI is (supposedly) completed in order by which it was purchased. If you bought it with your tickets last summer, you'll likely be in the lower A numbers. If you added it last week, you'd be at the end.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:24 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mmouse50 View Post
I just flew home yesterday and had purchased EBCI for the return trip - I ended up with A54-A56. Since I was so close to the end of the A's and they were boarding the families (and there were a lot of them) between A and B would I have had any recourse if I had done early bird and received a B and still had to board after all the families that I am assuming hadn't done early bird?
What sort of recourse would you expect? You paid to be checked in at 36 hrs and they did that. You got what you paid for so what else would you expect them to offer? EBCI doesn't promise a great seat or A boarding, just a check in at 36 hrs.
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:10 PM   #9
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If you get a B, they still let the families board before you, even if you paid for Early Bird.

Early Bird is not a guarantee of an A pass and should not be expected to work as such. All it does is get you an automatic check-in so you don't have to do it yourself. It's not there to help you get a better seat, it's there so you don't have to do your own check-in.

SWA runs their boarding the same way in all airports, they don't make concessions for Orlando flights even though they tend to have more families with little kids. about the only thing I've seen them do when they have a huge family boarding line is restrict the family boarding to the eligible child and one adult (in essence, ensuring the kid will sit with a parent or other adult, but not allowing the entire family to board with one eligible child.)
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:18 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by goofy4tink
Actually, it sort of does more than get you checked in at the 36 hr window....
What is EarlyBird Check-In?
EarlyBird Check-InSM is a low-cost option giving you the convenience of automatic check-in before our traditional 24-hour check-in. You’ll have the benefit of an early assigned boarding position, allowing you to board earlier. As an EarlyBird Check-In Customer, you will have a better opportunity to select your preferred seat and have earlier access to overhead bin storage for your carryon luggage. This affordable option automatically reserves for you the next best boarding position then available.

So, SW tells you that your EBCI payment is getting you an earlier boarding spot.
That's not all that different than what I said. All of the people who bought EBCI did get all of this whether or not they allow families, handicapped people or A-listers to "cut" in line. Without EBCI they might have been C instead of B (and had even less overhead bin room left). So many people get angry with family boarding but you never hear the BS and A-listers complaining about pre-boarders who don't have to pay the BS fare or buy EBCI to get on first. At least I don't hear it. But for some reason people want to think EBCI is some kind of magic golden ticket.


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In all reality, EBCI has created a monster.
Could not agree more!
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:04 PM   #11
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Last time we flew DD had just turned 5. Since SW policy says preboarding is for 4 and under we got in line with the B group. A mom dad and 2 preteens got in the family line and they went right in. It was so frustrating!
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:21 AM   #12
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Last time we flew DD had just turned 5. Since SW policy says preboarding is for 4 and under we got in line with the B group. A mom dad and 2 preteens got in the family line and they went right in. It was so frustrating!
I have seen this so many times. I think enforcing the rules would help alleviate most of the problems.
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Old 12-31-2012, 01:23 PM   #13
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Oh-oh.....after reading this thread, i am getting all panicky!!!! We are flying SW in a few weeks for the 1st time.....how the heck do we manage this whole crazy boarding process. We have 7 seats - all wanna get away fares - yes we bought a ticket for the 2 month old. 2 strollers to be gate checked as well as using 2 car seats on the flight itself. See sig for ages of our kids. Am i understanding this correctly - that we may not all be able to board together?? They would not seriously expect us to have our 6/9/11 year olds stand there without us? Or that we wouldn't be sitting together on board???

Ok SW experts - help a newbie out here. What should our plan be?? We are doing Buffalo-MCO and then the return 2 weeks later.
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Old 12-31-2012, 01:30 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by 5mouseketeersforus View Post
Oh-oh.....after reading this thread, i am getting all panicky!!!! We are flying SW in a few weeks for the 1st time.....how the heck do we manage this whole crazy boarding process. We have 7 seats - all wanna get away fares - yes we bought a ticket for the 2 month old. 2 strollers to be gate checked as well as using 2 car seats on the flight itself. See sig for ages of our kids. Am i understanding this correctly - that we may not all be able to board together?? They would not seriously expect us to have our 6/9/11 year olds stand there without us? Or that we wouldn't be sitting together on board???

Ok SW experts - help a newbie out here. What should our plan be?? We are doing Buffalo-MCO and then the return 2 weeks later.
I'm not a SW expert, but...

1) Check with SW and make sure all the tickets are linked on one reservation.
2) Sign up for EBCI for everyone. That will be $87.50 each direction (that's assuming the new rate of $12.50/passenger).
3) Sometime after 24 hours from departure, print your boarding pass. It will show your boarding assignment.
3A) *IF* the numbers are not sequential, when you get to the airport, you can let the people separating you go ahead of you in line.
3B) *IF* you happen to get 'B' boarding numbers, check with the gate agent and see if family boarding is available. If so, one adult goes on with the two year old and the car seats during family boarding.
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Old 12-31-2012, 01:36 PM   #15
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Thanks sam_gordon.

So frustrating to have to shell out another $175 just to be able to sit WITH my kids! Seems ridiculous to me.....if they were teenagers, ok no prob i get it; but they are young kids
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