Southwest boarding advice

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by ccw, Nov 19, 2012.

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  1. ccw

    ccw Disney diva!

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    Flight to MCO for Thanksgiving is sold out so, for a family of 2 adults and 2 children (1 yr old and 5 yr old) would it be smart to pay for Early Bird check in or is there a chance during Family Boarding that 4 people in a family (really just 3 seats since one traveler is a baby) could have seats together? Would everyone need to buy EB check in?

    Thanks! Our family does not fly SWA very often and I am trying to help my son and his family figure out what to do! Any tips would be appreciated! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
     
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  3. jcieutat

    jcieutat Mouseketeer

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    You will be allowed to board between the A and B groups since you are traveling with an infant. Make sure they know just before boarding that you are traveling with an infant or they might miss it.
     
  4. lost*in*cyberspace

    lost*in*cyberspace DIS Veteran

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    This is incorrect.

    Family boarding on WN is for one adult and one child age 4 or under. It is possible it will not even be offered on a flight to Orlando. This is a time when you should opt for EBCI. Seating on WN is three across, so with a lap baby, you should be able to get three seats together.
     
  5. denman007

    denman007 <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/" targ

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    Just back using SW round trip for party of 9.

    I used early bird on the way down but I didn't purchase it until 4 days prior to the flight and we got B11 to B20 or so. There were still about 8 rows left on each side when we boarded so we sat 3,3,3.

    They did board after the A group families with children under 4.

    On the way back we skipped the earlybird and checked in about 23 1/2 hours and got C9 to C17. Only 1 fully open row in the back so we sat 3,2,2,1,1.

    On the way back there were 8 wheels chairs and about 15 families with children under 4. Not many C peeps boarding.

    Wasn't worth $90 for me. Like the other poster said, I think you could board after A group. Call to verify.
     
  6. LilyWDW

    LilyWDW Going to My Happy Place

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    This. We have had reports where they have decided not to do any Family Boarding. We have also had reports where they did boarding but were very strict with the 1 adult and the child age 4 or under.

    Decisions on if they do Family Boarding and who may board is done at the gate. There is no way for the phone agent to be able to tell a passenger for sure what will happen on the day of the flight.
     
  7. denman007

    denman007 <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/" targ

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    In that case I would base my decision (to use EB) on when I could check in and how soon to the fly date. If I knew I could check in right at 24 hours, I would skip EB.

    There is also the chance that nice folks could switch seats to allow your family to sit a row. We had several people give up their seat for others.

    I did hear LOTS of people complaining how they booked using early bird and got terrible boarding numbers B30+.
     
  8. francie57

    francie57 DIS Veteran

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    We have done the EBCI on all the flights we have taken SW and have always been in the high As. We also purchased the EBCI on the day the flights opened so not sure if that makes a difference. On the few flights we have taken to MCO there were people asking about the family boarding and were told there would be none since basically everyone on the plane was a family. For me the EBCI is a no brainer since I don't want to have to be on the computer at 24 hrs. before my flight - either way.
     
  9. Shelly F - Ohio

    Shelly F - Ohio Disney Extraordinaire

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    OP you can purchase EBCI for just one of the adults. Have that adult board with the infant. Then that person can save seats for the other two seat.
     
  10. Princess on the Run

    Princess on the Run Sprinkling Pixie Dust!!!

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    I never purchase EBCI for any reason as I feel it is a waste of money.
     
  11. lost*in*cyberspace

    lost*in*cyberspace DIS Veteran

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    I agree this is usually true. However, if you are flying during one of the busiest times of the year with young children, I think it would help relieve some travel stress purchasing EBCI for at least one adult in the OP's family.
     
  12. Princess on the Run

    Princess on the Run Sprinkling Pixie Dust!!!

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    You better be careful, the transportation hall monitors are going to be all over you if you even THINK about suggesting someone save seats. :rotfl2: ;) :p :duck:
     
  13. jdb in AZ

    jdb in AZ It could end up curdled

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    When we boarded a SWA flight from San Antonio to Orlando last month, a group of 5 adults and three kids (only one looked 4 yrs old, but I suspect even she was older) did the family boarding thing. i wasn't the only passenger perturbed at that, but didn't figure it was worth making a stink about it.
     
  14. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    :thumbsup2


    I think the people recommending seat-saving would feel different about it if *they* got on board a flight with their family members, only to find umpteen people saving seats for their families. If we put ourselves into that position, we wouldn't recommend it for others as often.
     
  15. Princess on the Run

    Princess on the Run Sprinkling Pixie Dust!!!

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    Not really. If I need a whole row because I want to sit with my kids, I would pass by a row with someone sitting in it whether or not they were saving the other seats. If I need a whole row, I will keep moving back until I find an empty one. The person in row 7 saving the other 2 seats has no effect on me because I can't use them in that situation anyway.
     
  16. SarahKate

    SarahKate DIS Veteran

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    When we went from STL to MCO last month I purchased an EB for me to save seats for my other two family members. I didn't see anything on their site that said you couldn't do it and there is the fact that they allow you to buy just one EB even though there is more than one ticket on the reservation.

    For the return flight I paid for EB for all three of us so I wouldn't have to check us in from the parks on our last day. When getting ready to board the staff said that if someone had an EB they couldn't save seats and would have to board with the rest of the party.

    I am fine with however SW wants to manage this but it seems like they need to require us to buy EB for each person in the party.

    Also, family boarding was handled differently between different flights.
     
  17. goofy4tink

    goofy4tink No tags...not needed! Transportation moderator Moderator

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    Okay....SW says nothing about saving seats. Well, not until they come on the PA to tell you that it is a full flight, with no empty seats. Then, you see people scrambling to sit next to family members when they had been trying to save that middle seat, that would allow them more room.
    If you want to pay for one person to have EBCI, fine go for it. But, good manners should prohibit you from trying to save more than the other two seats in your row. You shouldn't feel free to take a bunch of coats and try to save 5 or 6 seats!!!

    Do I pay for EBCI? Usually not for my flight to my destination. But, I do tend to pay for it for my departure flights. That way I don't have to worry about checking in at the 24 hr window...hate having to do that at WDW. I pay for EBCI merely as a convenience, not for a better boarding group.
     
  18. lost*in*cyberspace

    lost*in*cyberspace DIS Veteran

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    I'm not too concerned.

    WN has no official seat saving policy. This has been discussed here many, many times.

    Just a disclaimer; I have not flown WN for years and have zero stake in this issue. I will add that if I saw someone sitting in an otherwise empty row of seats with a lap baby I would walk on by.
     
  19. Danibelle

    Danibelle DIS Veteran

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    :thumbsup2
     
  20. Princess on the Run

    Princess on the Run Sprinkling Pixie Dust!!!

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    Which is why I said it.

    I find it hilarious how much drama there is over this issue. I fly SWA all the time and never knew it was so scandalous until DIS.
     
  21. goofy4tink

    goofy4tink No tags...not needed! Transportation moderator Moderator

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    No drama, no scandalous behavior...it is what it is.
     
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