The fee has increased to $12.50 each one-way but I still say it is worth it. Unless you (or the grandparents) have the ability to access their booking AT
PRECISELY the 24 OLCI mark they'll likely lose any real chance of a "A" boarding #. It also helps when someone doesn't have computer access knowing your boarding zone will be assigned at the 36 hour mark and that # will be held for you at any point thereafter when you have the ability to check-in. Also, if need be, you can print your boarding pass at the airport kiosk.
On my most recent WN
flights purchasing EB
I got A28 and A30 respectively, and while it cost a heck of a lot more, the one Business Select fare I had to purchase got me A1.
Keep in mind in all cases, pre-boards and thru-passengers do get to board prior to locals so it is rare you step on the plane and it is empty. In my A1 case, I boarded and about 25 people were already on the plane but still a bunch of seats to select so no issue. Oddly, in selecting a seat more up front, rows 9 and 10, no one ended up in the center seat so nice room for just 2 of us at the window and aisle. A F/A suggested always to pick seats up front as people straggle to the back and rarely go back up front looking for a better seat. The last 2 rows end up crammed.
watch what you want. you may get it.