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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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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, 06:27 PM   #8
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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.
No, families are now between A and B.

Supposedly fare plays a part in the order of EBCI's.
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:37 PM   #9
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No, families are now between A and B.

Supposedly fare plays a part in the order of EBCI's.
WN's rule for family boarding is one family member may board with one child age 4 or younger between the A and B group, not the whole family. Is this enforced? I don't know; I haven't flown WN in several years.
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:39 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by nkereina View Post
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.
Families - one adult with each child 4 and under board between the A and B groups unless they have an A boarding pass.

EBCI - the way it was explained to me is:
Business Select gets A1-A16, A listers (frequent fliers) get first priority after that, then Anytime Fares by EBCI purchase date at T36, then Wanna Get Away fares by EBCI purchase date at T36.

There is no guarantee of an A boarding position with EBCI; you are simply checked in automaticly and at T36 vs T24.
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:47 PM   #11
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No, families are now between A and B.

Supposedly fare plays a part in the order of EBCI's.
Then that makes sense. Yes, I have heard fare as well with the "Wanna Get Away" fares being last in the pecking order. But, when it's the same fares, time of purchase factors in from what I have read.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:03 PM   #12
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WN's rule for family boarding is one family member may board with one child age 4 or younger between the A and B group, not the whole family. Is this enforced? I don't know; I haven't flown WN in several years.
I think it is up to the gate agent. I have usually seen both parents and all children in the family board. I can't say I've ever heard "one parent, one child". I have heard them say no grandparents, aunts, etc. Not that it really matters because SW doesn't seem to enforce no seat saving.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:32 PM   #13
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Not trying to confrontational but the families trying to board our plane went from the check in podium all the way out to the lobby area (past the entire waiting area) it was entire families - one small one with both parents along with others that were way over 5 - I was just wondering what could be done - I realize that I am not guaranteed anything but I just figured that because I paid the ebci and have children over the cut off age that we may not be sitting together even if southwest checks us in esrly
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:21 PM   #14
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Not trying to confrontational but the families trying to board our plane went from the check in podium all the way out to the lobby area (past the entire waiting area) it was entire families - one small one with both parents along with others that were way over 5 - I was just wondering what could be done - I realize that I am not guaranteed anything but I just figured that because I paid the ebci and have children over the cut off age that we may not be sitting together even if southwest checks us in esrly
I think what we're trying to tell you is you can complain. What's the worst that can happen? BUT, we don't expect you to get anything.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:10 PM   #15
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Not trying to confrontational but the families trying to board our plane went from the check in podium all the way out to the lobby area (past the entire waiting area) it was entire families - one small one with both parents along with others that were way over 5 - I was just wondering what could be done - I realize that I am not guaranteed anything but I just figured that because I paid the ebci and have children over the cut off age that we may not be sitting together even if southwest checks us in esrly
They allowed a line like that to form even before A had boarded? That's pretty unusual. When I've flown SW in the last couple years, they will sternly tell people to sit back down until it's their time, if they try to form a line other than the line at the poles.

And since you did board before those people, you *probably* have no true idea what happened with them after you got on board.
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