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Old 12-17-2012, 03:13 PM   #31
Princess on the Run
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Originally Posted by dudspizza View Post
I totally understand why they have family boarding and I am all for families sitting together. My kids are older than 4, so I can't use that, but that doesn't mean that I don't want to sit with them on a vacation that we get to take 1 time a year. If I pay for EBCI, why should anyone who doesn't pay for it get to board before me? If sitting together is so important, then those passengers would purchase EBCI to ensure they board before family boarding..... that's all I am saying....
Because your $10 did not buy you a better seat (or seats together). It bought you an automatic check in at 36 hrs before your flight and you got that.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:52 PM   #32
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I would love it if they increased the cost of EBCI to like $25 or $50 so fewer people would use it. Someone pays $10 and they think they own the plane. If you really feel you absolutely need to board early and you don't qualify to pre-board, then you'd probably be willing to pay whatever they charge to get a lower boarding position. But because it's cheap, so many people just buy it to have it that eventually it's worthless because just about everyone buys it and they all expect A boarding. Well between preboarders (handicapped, etc) BS, A-listers, and family boarding not everyone is going to get first crack at their seat. So paying $10 extra doesn't promise you a thing other than not having to check yourself in at 24 hr. If 90% of the passengers pay their $10, someone's still going to be unhappy with their boarding position notwithstanding having paid their $10.

I love the idea to limit how many can buy it and increase the price a ton so that only those who REALLY need it buy it. That guarantees those people a little more assurance in where they will end up and also eliminates those who pay for it and end up with C boarding anyway. Win-win.
I don't like the idea of raising the price to $25-$50 or of limiting the number of people who can buy it. It's so nice to enjoy our last full day at WDW without giving a thought to checking in for our flight. At $10 each it's a no-brainer. At $12.50 each, we'll probably still do it. At $25 each, probably not and then we'll be back to watching the clock so we remember to check in 24 hours out.

The only thing EBCI guarantees is the convenience of automatic check-in. DH and I have been in the B group with EBCI. We watched families board ahead of us and we did talk about how we paid extra but would be boarding behind those who did not. But then we figured that without EBCI we would have been even further back in the line so we still got a boarding position benefit in addition to the convenience of automatic check-in.
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:10 PM   #33
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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, 04:12 PM   #34
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Hmmm, should I panic?

I purchased our tickets with "wanna get away" fares and now realize why I haven't been able to click the link for early bird check in. Is this because I am not eligible for it? I assumed since we are a family, we'd get to board between A & B. This might not happen??

We are a family of four (2 adults and 2 kids). My DD10 need to be with one of us, as she has a fear of flights. Will this be a issue? I don't care how the rest of us are split up as long as she has either my husband or myself with her.

Is there anything I can do to easy my mind right now...make a call or something??
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:14 PM   #35
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I purchased our tickets with "wanna get away" fares and now realize why I haven't been able to click the link for early bird check in. Is this because I am not eligible for it? I assumed since we are a family, we'd get to board between A & B. This might not happen??

We are a family of four (2 adults and 2 kids). My DD10 need to be with one of us, as she has a fear of flights. Will this be a issue? I don't care how the rest of us are split up as long as she has either my husband or myself with her.

Is there anything I can do to easy my mind right now...make a call or something??
Family boarding is generally for families with children younger than 5. Not for all families.

You could try buying Early Bird on your ticket and your child's, that would get you a better position than you could get if you did not buy it. If you're good with sitting in the back of the plane there shouldn't be any problem with getting an adult and a child in a seat together with any boarding position you get with early bird.
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:20 PM   #36
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Why not just charge 10 dollars for family boarding? They board between A and B. Those who do not pay board between B and C.
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:25 PM   #37
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I purchased our tickets with "wanna get away" fares and now realize why I haven't been able to click the link for early bird check in. Is this because I am not eligible for it?
EBCI is available to passengers who purchase "wanna get away" fares. Those are the only fares I buy and we've never had a problem purchasing EBCI.

So that we can try to help you, what link are you talking about? And what happens when you click on it? Nothing? Error message?
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:26 PM   #38
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I took a survey after my last flight that asked about a bunch of variations on the early bird concept. One was that you paid an additional fee to get "A" seating above the fee for EB.
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:42 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Princess on the Run View Post
Because your $10 did not buy you a better seat (or seats together). It bought you an automatic check in at 36 hrs before your flight and you got that.
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.


Quote:
Originally Posted by moopdog View Post
I purchased our tickets with "wanna get away" fares and now realize why I haven't been able to click the link for early bird check in. Is this because I am not eligible for it? I assumed since we are a family, we'd get to board between A & B. This might not happen??

We are a family of four (2 adults and 2 kids). My DD10 need to be with one of us, as she has a fear of flights. Will this be a issue? I don't care how the rest of us are split up as long as she has either my husband or myself with her.

Is there anything I can do to easy my mind right now...make a call or something??
You should be able to go into your flight itinerary and check off EBCI. Best to do it for all the family.
Those flying with kids 4 and under are eligible for 'family boarding'. You should be just fine finding two seats together.


In all reality, EBCI has created a monster. There are about 60 slots in the A group, and the first 15 are taken up by business select and full fare passengers. So the lowest number you are going to get is A16. If there are 70 passengers that have all bought EBCI, then some of them are going to be stuck in the B group...maybe about 20 of them. And if there are many doing the family boarding, they are going to be pushed further back. SW tells us that by buying EBCI, you get better access to the overhead bins. Well, that may not be true if there are a lot of families boarding prior to the B group.
I still think that everyone in the party needs to buy EBCI...even if you have a child 4 or under. That way, if there are a lot of other families boarding at the same time, the gate attendants can make a judgement call and allow one parent for each child 4 and under. Then, the parent with the kids that don't get to preboard are now all together since they have EBCI passes.

I actually wish that SW would take away the family boarding thing. It really serves no purpose. Now, if they want to offer family boarding for a fee?? Sure, that's fine. But I really resent it when I see a family of 5 or 6 being allowed to board all together, with one child under 4, and then start saving seats for others in their party who are boarding later. And yes, I've seen it happen on more than one occasion. Drives me nuts. I have no issue with saving one, or maybe two seats, as long as its in the same row. But some people get carried away with it, and take up 4 or 5 rows!!! And the FAs don't do much about it..other than to announce it's a full flight and there will be no empty seats, so please remove all jackets and coats from empty seats.
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:18 PM   #40
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Quote:
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.


Quote:
In all reality, EBCI has created a monster.
Could not agree more!
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:59 PM   #41
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Why doesn't SW just have people pick their seats when they purchase tickets like every other airline? There we go...eliminates the argument of who boards when because everyone will know exactly where they are going to sit before they even step on the plane.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:10 PM   #42
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I've flown SW for years, granted I don't find their prices all that competitive anymore and lack of in flight amenities is only saved by their no bag charge for 2pc per paying passenger. I've never paid for ECBI. my DD is currently 2.5. She's been flying with me and DH since shortly after birth cross country. We always do family boarding after the A group but I frequently get in the As with online checkin. Either way, I've never had a problem getting a seat together and find most rather avoid us and even had a couple times where single fliers have moved out of a 3 row seat so we could all be together and not have my DD crawl all over them to get to her dad or the potty. I guess I just find all the loose policies with ECBI not worth the cost.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:15 PM   #43
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I've flown SW for years, granted I don't find their prices all that competitive anymore and lack of in flight amenities is only saved by their no bag charge for 2pc per paying passenger. I've never paid for ECBI. my DD is currently 2.5. She's been flying with me and DH since shortly after birth cross country. We always do family boarding after the A group but I frequently get in the As with online checkin. Either way, I've never had a problem getting a seat together and find most rather avoid us and even had a couple times where single fliers have moved out of a 3 row seat so we could all be together and not have my DD crawl all over them to get to her dad or the potty. I guess I just find all the loose policies with ECBI not worth the cost.
Same here.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:33 PM   #44
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With family boarding, is that something you select with your ticket beforehand or something you just line up for at the gate?

My sister is handicapped with a 4 year old son, so I want to make sure to do my research to give them the best chance of sitting together. The DH is A list, and my other sis and I can fend for ourselves. But we wanna make sure the nephew isnt trying to get out of his sit to get near his mum.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:45 PM   #45
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With family boarding, is that something you select with your ticket beforehand or something you just line up for at the gate?

My sister is handicapped with a 4 year old son, so I want to make sure to do my research to give them the best chance of sitting together. The DH is A list, and my other sis and I can fend for ourselves. But we wanna make sure the nephew isnt trying to get out of his sit to get near his mum.
You line up when family boarding is called.

Depending on your sister's disability, she may be eligible for pre boarding.

So much angst all the time over Southwest's crazy unassigned seat policy! It seems a simple solution for those who agonize so much over seats is to fly a different airline. I do.
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