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Old 07-29-2013, 08:45 AM   #1
Greenfield1984
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SW EBCI or family boarding?

Hello,

I've never flown SW before but am considering it for our upcoming trip in October. We are a family of 5, DH, myself, DD6, DD2 and DD1. DD1 will be a lap baby. So basically we will need 2 sets of 2 seats next to each other (one for myself, DD1 and DD6, and one for DH and DD2). Ideally I would want DH and DD2 right behind the rest of us so that if DD2 accidentally kicks a seat, she's kicking ours, but if we end up on opposite ends of the plane that's fine too.

So having never flown SW before I'm just not sure if I need to buy the ebci or not. I will be able to check in at the 24 hour mark. Also, I imagine we qualify for family boarding... so what are the odds of our getting the 2 sets of 2 seats without paying for EBCI? I'll pay for it if it's necessary but it would be nice to not have to pay an extra $100ish if we don't have to.

We are flying a direct flight from Rochester to MCO if that makes any difference...

Thanks!
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:54 AM   #2
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Given that each "set" that needs two seats together has a child that qualifies for family boarding (at least I think the lap baby still qualifies, I believe I have seen lap children using family boarding before) I wouldn't bother EBCI.
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:13 AM   #3
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MCO has so many young families on flights that they often don't do family boarding because half the passengers on board would qualify for it.
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdb in AZ View Post
MCO has so many young families on flights that they often don't do family boarding because half the passengers on board would qualify for it.
While it is true that gate agents can suspend family boarding if there are too many families to make it practical, it is an overstatement to say that it happens "often."

I would not rely on family boarding being available and skip the check in at the 24-hour mark, as that could get you stuck late in the boarding process. But IMO you should be fine without EBCI in your situation as long as you do the check in at 24 hours.
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Old 07-29-2013, 12:45 PM   #5
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We fly Southwest 2-3 times a year to Orlando and we have never once been on a flight where they suspended family boarding. I know it can happen, but we have never experienced it. The few times I have heard about it, is on "charter" type flights on Southwest.

I agree with PP's....check in at 24 hours and then use family boarding if you don't get A boarding passes and you will be fine without EBCI. We have never used it and have always gotten together as a family.
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Old 07-29-2013, 12:59 PM   #6
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I've never seen it totally suspended either. I have seen them restrict it to parents and siblings only. Not grandparents, aunts, etc. In fact, they threw a couple grandparents out of the line on my last flight when they tried to board with the family during family boarding.
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:04 PM   #7
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I have seen family boarding limited to those using car seats. Everyone else had to board in their slot. BUT, that was only one time. There were about 35 people that wanted to do family boarding and the gate agent suspended it due to the number of people.
Your entire family 'should' be able to do family boarding together. There are two kids that are the right age foe family boarding, so that would be one parent per under age 4 child. I doubt that they are going to make the 6 y/o board alone!! So you'll all board together, in between the A and B groups.
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:32 PM   #8
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Even B boarding passes should get you two sets of 2 seats together.
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jestocost View Post
While it is true that gate agents can suspend family boarding if there are too many families to make it practical, it is an overstatement to say that it happens "often."

I would not rely on family boarding being available and skip the check in at the 24-hour mark, as that could get you stuck late in the boarding process. But IMO you should be fine without EBCI in your situation as long as you do the check in at 24 hours.
IF it happens to the poster on here then it's going to be ugly. Too many small kids

Personally I would do EBCI for the flight home. People tend to forget to check in right at 24 hours when running around Disney!
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:21 PM   #10
Greenfield1984
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Thank you all for your input on this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeCountyCommuter View Post
IF it happens to the poster on here then it's going to be ugly. Too many small kids

Personally I would do EBCI for the flight home. People tend to forget to check in right at 24 hours when running around Disney!
I was actually thinking of doing that just in case I forget to check in while we're running around the parks. Good idea
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September 2015???
October 2013: CSR with DD6, DD2, DD1, DMIL and DFIL!
November 2012: AoA with DD5, DD1 and DD2months!
October 2011: ASMo with DD4 and DD7months
October 2009: POP with DD2
February 2009: AKL with DD 18mos
April 2007: ASMo HONEYMOON!
December 2005: Off site - Big Family Vacation
August 2000
Summer 1991
Fav rides:Carousel of Progress, Figment, Tower of Terror, Timekeeper (RIP), Nemo Musical
Fav Park: EPCOT
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeCountyCommuter View Post
IF it happens to the poster on here then it's going to be ugly. Too many small kids

Personally I would do EBCI for the flight home. People tend to forget to check in right at 24 hours when running around Disney!
I agree with both points. We can all guess and say the OP should be fine. However none of us can guarantee it. There is a bit of a risk not using EBCI. Only the OP can say if saving the money is worth a bit of risk.

But I think using EBCI just for the hassle of not having to remember to check in would be worth the cost.
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