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Old 08-20-2013, 09:23 AM   #1
msjprincess
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If you're debating purchasing EBCI

My sister flew from ISP-MCO this morning. They didn't purchase EBCI. She checked in at exactly 24 hours and received B42, B43 and B44. The flight was full. Only 4 people boarded after them because so many families pre-boarded. They had seats all over the plane.

So if sitting together is important you should probably buy EBCI. I know the first couple of years after they started EBCI I had no problem getting an A boarding pass. But now it seems like almost everyone purchases EBCI.
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Old 08-20-2013, 11:12 AM   #2
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We always purchase EBCI when we book our flights. I have noticed our last few flight have even given us as bad as B30. I try to take comfort in knowing that if I had not purchased EBCI I would probably not even be able to sit with DH.
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Old 08-20-2013, 11:35 AM   #3
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I posted in another thread that I am flying tomorrow ISP to MCO. This is the first time I bought The early boarding. I checked in this morning with A18,A19,,A20,A21,A22. I will never fly without it again while my kids are little.
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Old 08-20-2013, 12:03 PM   #4
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I posted in another thread that I am flying tomorrow ISP to MCO. This is the first time I bought The early boarding. I checked in this morning with A18,A19,,A20,A21,A22. I will never fly without it again while my kids are little.
I'm flying out of ISP on Thursday. I didn't purchase EBCI. My kids are a little older so it's not as big a deal if we don't get to sit together. I figure as long as they each have their own carry-on bag with their tablets they won't even notice we're not with them.
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Old 08-20-2013, 03:32 PM   #5
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We rode SW home on Aug 10 from MCO. I didn't purchase EBCI and I checked in at exactly the 24 hr mark and got A50 and A51.
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Old 08-20-2013, 06:45 PM   #6
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Its disturbing that so many people don't get the EBCI. If you MUST sit together than spend the $$$. Otherwise take your chances.
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Old 08-21-2013, 06:14 AM   #7
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I did a little better than my sister. I ended up with A47 for my husband and the rest of us have B6,8,10 and 12. We probably would have A boarding passes if my finger didn't slip off of my mouse for a second.
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Old 08-21-2013, 06:29 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by msjprincess View Post
My sister flew from ISP-MCO this morning. They didn't purchase EBCI. She checked in at exactly 24 hours and received B42, B43 and B44. The flight was full. Only 4 people boarded after them because so many families pre-boarded. They had seats all over the plane.

So if sitting together is important you should probably buy EBCI. I know the first couple of years after they started EBCI I had no problem getting an A boarding pass. But now it seems like almost everyone purchases EBCI.
It wasn't that everyone purchased EBCI that was the problem it would have been all the preboards. Even if everyone bought EBCI you wouldn't have only 4 people after B44. And the fact that she got B42-44 means that everyone didn't buy EBCI just that everyone after her ( a full plane goes to something in the low C's so a good 30+ people) did family or medical preboarding.

Buying EBCI with that many preboards might not even help. AT MOST the first 45 people to EBCI are going to have A passes. AFter that everyone else EBCI or not is after family boarding. And if there are any A listers on the flight the number of A EBCI slots goes down as A listers get the first non-business select A boarding passes.

For example lets say there are 5 A listers on a flight and 50 people have EBCI. That means that there are 10 people with EBCI with B boarding passes. All of family boarding is before them. If there really are that many in family boarding even that might not have you seated together.

Now I fly south west alot (enough to be A list preferred) and I have never seen this happen, that I know of (I never got EBCI before I was A list) so its probably pretty rare that this happens but I know I was on a flight that had something like 20+ medical preboards (10 wheel chairs going on the plane each with at least one family member)
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Old 08-21-2013, 06:37 AM   #9
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When I fly SW now, I pretty much just figure in the cost of EBCI as part of the overall cost of flying with them.
It is annoying that so many people were able to board in the 'family boarding' group. It may be time to stop that practice and level the playing field. SW could charge a family to board early. Otherwise, you get what you get. Yes, my dd is now more than old enough to sit by herself..she's almost 20!!! But here's the thing...I want to sit with her. I want to chat with her and enjoy the flight. I buy EBCI when I fly with her....that way I 'should' be able to sit with her. I find it somewhat unfair that a family with one child under 4 is allowed to board before me. Sure, if they want to allow one parent to board with that one child, that's fine. But then don't allow them to save a ton of seats once on the plane.
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Old 08-21-2013, 06:39 AM   #10
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It wasn't that everyone purchased EBCI that was the problem it would have been all the preboards. Even if everyone bought EBCI you wouldn't have only 4 people after B44. And the fact that she got B42-44 means that everyone didn't buy EBCI just that everyone after her ( a full plane goes to something in the low C's so a good 30+ people) did family or medical preboarding.

Buying EBCI with that many preboards might not even help. AT MOST the first 45 people to EBCI are going to have A passes. AFter that everyone else EBCI or not is after family boarding. And if there are any A listers on the flight the number of A EBCI slots goes down as A listers get the first non-business select A boarding passes.

For example lets say there are 5 A listers on a flight and 50 people have EBCI. That means that there are 10 people with EBCI with B boarding passes. All of family boarding is before them. If there really are that many in family boarding even that might not have you seated together.

Now I fly south west alot (enough to be A list preferred) and I have never seen this happen, that I know of (I never got EBCI before I was A list) so its probably pretty rare that this happens but I know I was on a flight that had something like 20+ medical preboards (10 wheel chairs going on the plane each with at least one family member)
I'm not saying it definitely would have helped. But since she bought the tickets the day they went on sale she probably would have been in the A group.
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Old 08-21-2013, 06:44 AM   #11
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When I fly SW now, I pretty much just figure in the cost of EBCI as part of the overall cost of flying with them.
It is annoying that so many people were able to board in the 'family boarding' group. It may be time to stop that practice and level the playing field. SW could charge a family to board early. Otherwise, you get what you get. Yes, my dd is now more than old enough to sit by herself..she's almost 20!!! But here's the thing...I want to sit with her. I want to chat with her and enjoy the flight. I buy EBCI when I fly with her....that way I 'should' be able to sit with her. I find it somewhat unfair that a family with one child under 4 is allowed to board before me. Sure, if they want to allow one parent to board with that one child, that's fine. But then don't allow them to save a ton of seats once on the plane.
I agree, especially on a flight to MCO where almost everyone is a family with kids. If they are going to do it they should let one parent board with the child.
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Old 08-21-2013, 06:57 AM   #12
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My DS flew out of ISP to MCO earlier this month. He was with a group of 6 and they all had their own reservations. It was a 6:50 pm flight on a Friday. He chose not to get EBCI. I checked him in at exactly the 24 hour mark and he got B13. The rest of his group was in B30-40.

They had a 3:20 pm departure on a Wednesday. Again I checked him in at exactly 24 hours. He got B3. The others were a little bit further back.

On both flights, he said he just went to the back of the plane and was able to get 6 seats for them together. I guess no one else goes to the back of the plane until absolutely necessary. So it worked out for them.
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Old 08-21-2013, 07:47 AM   #13
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I personally think thy should move family boarding to after ebci. I'm sure there is a way to note it on the manifest. Everyone who does ebci goes before family boarding regardless or what slot they are given. The last ebci is b25 then family boarding is after that. Also limited to one parent per child and no saving seats.
Although sw has this mythology that they are cheap and family friendly which they are just not. Even favoring one piece of checke luggage per person, I find fares much cheaper using legacy carriers or frontier or JetBlue all of which allow me to select a seat. Even factoring seat selection it is often about the same as some sw fares and I know where my family is and can check to make sure they don't get shuffled around. If they do, I can rearrange then as I want.
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:44 AM   #14
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ECBI was useful when it was first introduced, today not so much.

When I have a B group boarding pass, I like that infants and young children board before I do. That way I can easily avoid those that are OOC (out of control)!

Gracie - FYI - Any passenger is allowed to sit in any unoccupied seat, there is NO saving of seats. Family boarding is for ONE adult for each child under four years old.

I have heard that family boarding is sometimes cancelled by the gate agent due to the large number of families flying out of MCO.
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:59 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by MAYNARDS99 View Post
ECBI was useful when it was first introduced, today not so much.

When I have a B group boarding pass, I like that infants and young children board before I do. That way I can easily avoid those that are OOC (out of control)!

Gracie - FYI - Any passenger is allowed to sit in any unoccupied seat, there is NO saving of seats. Family boarding is for ONE adult for each child under four years old.

I have heard that family boarding is sometimes cancelled by the gate agent due to the large number of families flying out of MCO.

I have never heard them announce that or seen it enforced.
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