Southwest has been an affordable airline overall. It also has many offers that run all around the year, but most people find it difficult to get into the first boarding group. Therefore, Southwest early bird check in is available as an optional feature that the airline provides to its flyers. The passengers who purchase the early bird check automatically check in and get the boarding number immediately. This enables them to board the plane on priority and select the seats according to their preference.
So, if you are planning to fly on Southwest, then this blog is for you. Flyersdesk will explain the concept of Early Bird check-in and how to purchase it.
How Does Southwest Early Bird Check-In Southwest Work?
Southwest Airlines has a unique boarding procedure that is different from all other major airlines. The airline does not allow passengers to reserve their seats in advance. Instead, you are placed into groups A, B, and C.
Further, the passenger is designated a number with the boarding group that states the position of the flyer in the line. This means if you have A1 on your boarding pass, you will the first person to board the plane and select your seat freely.
That is the reason most passengers opt to check in as early as possible. Early bird check-in at Southwest allows the passengers to get in the first batch and get t board early.
Most of the passengers try to get into boarding groups A and B as they are the only groups that get to select seats according to their preferences. After that group, C can only have seats that are left, which are mostly middle seats and the seats near the washroom.
How To Know If You Need Early Bird Check-In?
If you are not someone who is stubborn about their seats, then Southwest early bird check in is not a necessity for you. But on the other hand, you are someone who wants to sit in the window or aisle seat, then this may be a great option.
When You Don’t Need?
- If you already have a business elect flight ticket.
- You have A list status or A list preferred status.
- If you boarding with a family having children 6 years or younger.
- When you have opted for special assistance services such as wheelchair assistance and other disability assistance.
- If someone is traveling under the southwest Unaccompanied minor policy.
When You Need?
- You are unable to check in 24 hours before the scheduled departure and want to have a preferred seat.
- In case you forgot to check in 24 hours before and want to have a seat of your choice.
- Passengers who are willing to sit at the front of the aircraft to avoid turbulence.
- Exit row seats, window seats, or Aisle seats are your only preference,
- Passengers who are not traveling with family and children.
How To Purchase Early Bird Check In?
We have here two scenarios for purchasing southwest early bird check in.
For passengers booking New Flight
Passengers can buy Southwest early bird check-in through the official website. After completing the booking process, you will have the option to add extra services and add-ons to your booking. The page will then redirect you to mention the passenger details. Before mentioning the details, you will get an option for early bird check-in. Click on it and proceed to make the payment for your booking and the early bird check-in.
Add It To An Existing Flight
Visit the official website of southwest airlines and log in to your account, and head to my trips section. Mention your details and check for the flight you are willing to add the service too. Further, locate the “add early bird check-in” option and complete the process by making payment.
How Much Does Early Bird Check-In Cost?
You can buy Southwest Early Bird Check-In either when you first make your flight reservation OR buy it later, up to 36 hours prior to a flight’s scheduled departure time.
The pricing is dependent on the route you are traveling to. However, the cost of early Southwest Bird Check In ranges from $15 to $25 for one way. There are no round-trip packages for Early bird check-in. The pricing is also reliable on the current demand.
There are two ways that you can use to purchase the early bird check in. First, when you make the booking hand-to-hand, you can add the early bird check in. Another method is adding it after the completion of booking through the sSouthwest Airlines Manage booking section.
Is Early Bird Check In Fees Refundable?
Southwest Airlines do not refund the early bird check-in fee. So if you cancel your flight, the $15 amount you have given for early bird check-in is not refunded.
However, if you need to change your Southwest flight booking, then consider yourself lucky. The early bird check-in will automatically apply to your next flight booking. This will ensure there is no loss of money to the passenger.
But in case southwest airlines cancels the flight, then you are eligible to claim a $15 refund.
Whether Choosing Early Bird Check-In is a Good Option?
The worth of Southwest Early Bird check in totally depends on your experience. If you are willing to give yourself the trouble and stress of the 24-hour check-in procedure, then the early bird check-in is a total waste for you. But if you are someone crazy about window seats or aisle seats, then it can be a great deal for you to have early bird access.
So the worth of this scheme depends on how you see it. Some passengers are fine with having their boarding group as C as they don’t stress about the seats.
Other Ways To Board Early
Other than the Early bird check-in, there is a list of other methods flyers can opt to board the flight earlier than most passengers.
Travel on a business select ticket: If you are willing to travel through the business select, you must be aware that the ticket price is quite expensive. But this will give you a very high probability of boarding before most passengers. Through this, you can even earn rapid rewards.
Opt for Upgraded Boarding: If you want to be in the first boarding group and don’t want to spend a lot of money on business, select tickets. You can go for the upgraded boarding option, which will cost you $30 to $59 each way. Obviously, if you are purchasing upgraded boarding, make sure to buy a spot in A1 to A15.
Apply for a Southwest credit card: There are majorly two cards that can give you the benefit of priority boarding. The first one is a priority credit card with an annual fee of $149. Then comes the performance business credit card having an annual fee of $199. With these cards, you can get a maximum of 4 priority boardings each year.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does the early bird check-in work with Southwest?
EarlyBird Check-In, which is brand-new for 2022, is free with the purchase of an Anytime fare. Anytime fare buyers will automatically check in to their flight 36 hours before the planned departure, which is 12 hours earlier than our standard 24-hour check-in.
How early can you check in with early bird Southwest?
36 hours prior to your flight’s departure, if you purchase EarlyBird Check-In, we’ll immediately check you in and reserve your boarding place. This is prior to the start of our standard 24-hour check-in.
Do I still have to check in with early bird check-in?
Beginning 36 hours prior to departure, passengers who have booked EarlyBird Check-In are automatically checked in for their flight. If a passenger buys EarlyBird, they are NOT required to self-check in at 24 hours.
What is the benefit of early bird check-in?
EarlyBird Check-In serves two obvious purposes. First, it takes out the human element of being too busy or forgetting to check in exactly 24 hours before your first flight. Second, it scores you a boarding assignment that should be better than those still available 24 hours before departure.