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kiowa
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Southwest increasing boarding fees

Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:17 pm

Southwest is increasing some boarding fees. Interesting because it seems all airlines have some fees.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/f ... 040502002/
 
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fraspotter
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Re: Southwest increasing boarding fees

Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:38 pm

Not the first time they've increased early bird check in fees and probably won't be the last. It's become incredibly popular to the point that if everybody has it then it really isn't that exclusive anymore.
"The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee."

— Gunter's Second Law of Air Travel
 
bob75013
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Re: Southwest increasing boarding fees

Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:08 pm

kiowa wrote:
Southwest is increasing some boarding fees. Interesting because it seems all airlines have some fees.



https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/f ... 040502002/


Of course people can check themselves in and not pay any fee.
 
cledaybuck
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Re: Southwest increasing boarding fees

Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:11 pm

I don't think boarding fees is the right term for this. Early bird check in.
As we celebrate mediocrity, all the boys upstairs want to see, how much you'll pay for what you used to get for free.
 
MO11
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Re: Southwest increasing boarding fees

Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:55 pm

This is an interesting statement:

"Of course, an increase in the price of a product is rarely welcome news, but as EarlyBird increases in popularity, we want to protect the value it offers our customers.''

An increase in demand results in an increase in price. But "protect the value" makes it sound like Southwest wants to detract customers from using this option. Of course, it doesn't.
 
Redwood839
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Re: Southwest increasing boarding fees

Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:57 pm

This shouldn't even really be news. The fact t hat they offer 2 free checked bags is enough to offset whatever this additional cost is for early bird check in.
 
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MalcolmInTheMoM
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Re: Southwest increasing boarding fees

Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:03 pm

It's a very popular feature. Every time I fly Southwest it seems that, no matter how early I check in, they put me in the middle of group B. Smart move by WN.
 
Ufsatp
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Re: Southwest increasing boarding fees

Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:07 pm

Redwood839 wrote:
This shouldn't even really be news. The fact t hat they offer 2 free checked bags is enough to offset whatever this additional cost is for early bird check in.


Only if you plan on checking bags.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Southwest increasing boarding fees

Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:10 pm

MO11 wrote:
An increase in demand results in an increase in price. But "protect the value" makes it sound like Southwest wants to detract customers from using this option. Of course, it doesn't.


I think it's accurate, actually. If Early Bird gets you B30, it doesn't really have much value. By increasing price, they decrease demand, which does protect the value.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
planecane
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Re: Southwest increasing boarding fees

Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:12 pm

I'd prefer if they just charged $15 to get a pre-assigned seat. If half the plane is using early bird why pay $15 when you might not get a much better number than checking in yourself.

Since assigned seats aren't likely on WN for the foreseeable future, maybe the better solution is to charge $20 and only make 45 available per flight. Guarantee A group if you pay.
 
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fraspotter
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Re: Southwest increasing boarding fees

Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:57 pm

I almost always get the EB checkin option when I fly. $15 is nothing when you're already saving $60 by getting 2 free checked bags. The only time in the past 5 years that I didn't jump for EB checkin was this past Sunday when I was on a crazy itinerary going DEN-STL-MCI-ATL-RIC. I changed planes in MCI but I ended up just staying on the plane and switching seats in STL and ATL. I checked in manually exactly (almost to the second) 24 hours before departure and I still got a high B number both out of DEN and MCI. With EB in the past (and getting automatically checked in 36 hours before departure) I've never found my self any later than A35.
"The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee."

— Gunter's Second Law of Air Travel
 
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LotsaRunway
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Re: Southwest increasing boarding fees

Wed Aug 22, 2018 5:23 pm

I have seen people who bought Early Bird end up in the C boarding group and you should have heard the complaining. I think WN A). wants to retain value for those who do buy EB, meaning if they buy, then they are glad they did and thus not in the C group, and B). sees a way to make more money off of it. I'm sure by now, they know which flights usually get the most EB buyers and they will target them so that there will be fewer, EBs, but they will pay more.
 
mil76
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Re: Southwest increasing boarding fees

Wed Aug 22, 2018 5:26 pm

I hope this solves the Family Boarding problem. The value to me for Early Bird is to ensure I board before Family Boarding, especially on high leisure routes like MCO. There's nothing more annoying than paying for Early Bird and getting a low B number, only to have 50 people line up for Family Boarding. I understand that they want to ensure families can sit together, but when B1 can be 110th in line to get on the plane, I don't see the value. Plus, anyone with kids who has flown WN more than once knows not to pay the fee as they are guaranteed to get good seats. I'd rather they cut off the Early Bird at a point where you are ensured you are before family boarding, and after that I'd rather not pay the fee and take my chances.

So either cut off Early Bird so everyone who paid gets an A number, or hold off Family Boarding until the Early Birds are on the plane. If 70 people paid for Early Bird, Family Boarding goes after B30.
 
flyguy84
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Re: Southwest increasing boarding fees

Wed Aug 22, 2018 5:26 pm

fraspotter wrote:
I almost always get the EB checkin option when I fly. $15 is nothing when you're already saving $60 by getting 2 free checked bags. The only time in the past 5 years that I didn't jump for EB checkin was this past Sunday when I was on a crazy itinerary going DEN-STL-MCI-ATL-RIC. I changed planes in MCI but I ended up just staying on the plane and switching seats in STL and ATL. I checked in manually exactly (almost to the second) 24 hours before departure and I still got a high B number both out of DEN and MCI. With EB in the past (and getting automatically checked in 36 hours before departure) I've never found my self any later than A35.

I guess if you check bags. However, a majority of people don’t check two bags or even one. So it’s really not the value proposition many make it out to be.
SFO
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 14627
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: Southwest increasing boarding fees

Wed Aug 22, 2018 5:40 pm

flyguy84 wrote:
fraspotter wrote:
I almost always get the EB checkin option when I fly. $15 is nothing when you're already saving $60 by getting 2 free checked bags. The only time in the past 5 years that I didn't jump for EB checkin was this past Sunday when I was on a crazy itinerary going DEN-STL-MCI-ATL-RIC. I changed planes in MCI but I ended up just staying on the plane and switching seats in STL and ATL. I checked in manually exactly (almost to the second) 24 hours before departure and I still got a high B number both out of DEN and MCI. With EB in the past (and getting automatically checked in 36 hours before departure) I've never found my self any later than A35.

I guess if you check bags. However, a majority of people don’t check two bags or even one. So it’s really not the value proposition many make it out to be.


I suspect that a majority of people who buy EB, who tend to be larger family groups, do check bags. Most single travelers on WN are either folks with status who don't need EB or people who don't care about their seat very much.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
airbazar
Posts: 10197
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Re: Southwest increasing boarding fees

Wed Aug 22, 2018 5:52 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
I suspect that a majority of people who buy EB, who tend to be larger family groups, do check bags. Most single travelers on WN are either folks with status who don't need EB or people who don't care about their seat very much.

Families with kids 6 years and younger get to board right after the A group so this EB fee is not for them. I stopped flying WN as a family when my son turned 7. When I fly alone i don't care where I sit but when I fly with my family I want us to sit together so I take my business where I can have a reserved seat. I really don't understand who pays for this EB fee when the average WN route is only 2 hours.
 
MrBretz
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Re: Southwest increasing boarding fees

Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:00 pm

I never knew about their savings seat policy. I wonder if they will make modifications for Hawaii when families travel and want to sit together. Personally, even though I check in early, I always get a B boarding. And generally, since my longest flight on Southwest has been in the 2 hour range max, I don’t care too much where I sit. But to Hawaii, I would gladly pay to pick my seat. That’s a 5 to 6 hour flight.
 
bomber996
Posts: 522
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Re: Southwest increasing boarding fees

Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:09 pm

bob75013 wrote:
kiowa wrote:
Southwest is increasing some boarding fees. Interesting because it seems all airlines have some fees.



https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/f ... 040502002/


Of course people can check themselves in and not pay any fee.


People who buy EB are placed before those who check in manually. They are checked in 36 hours prior to departure vs the normal 24 hour window.

Beyond that there is a hierarchy to how they assign spots before that if you do a little searching.

"Customers who have purchased Anytime Fares will receive priority over Customer’s who purchase Early Bird with other fare types. Boarding positions are assigned based on the time stamp of the EarlyBird Check-In purchase relative to passengers within the same fare class."

https://www.southwest.com/html/customer ... SITESEARCH

Peace :box:
"We've recently upped our standards, so up yours." - Federal Aviation Administration
 
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fraspotter
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Re: Southwest increasing boarding fees

Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:44 pm

post deleted
"The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee."

— Gunter's Second Law of Air Travel
 
kiowa
Topic Author
Posts: 778
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Re: Southwest increasing boarding fees

Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:39 pm

Now an article on how to avoid various airline fees. compliments of Fox news.

http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2018/08/2 ... -them.html
 
danj555
Posts: 226
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Re: Southwest increasing boarding fees

Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:37 pm

Does anybody know if the boarding process on Southwest is noticeably shorter than other airlines?

It stands to reason that letting people go wherever they want without restrictions should produces lower times.
 
Chemist
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Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 4:46 am

Re: Southwest increasing boarding fees

Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:00 am

danj555 wrote:
Does anybody know if the boarding process on Southwest is noticeably shorter than other airlines?

It stands to reason that letting people go wherever they want without restrictions should produces lower times.


Not sure, but I have read that random boarding is faster than rear-first or window-center-aisle.
I have personally timed a WN 737-700 (143 pax) unload and reload (nearly full) at BUR, which uses front and rear exits for boarding, in 23 minutes - gate arrival to pushback.
 
ChrisKen
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Re: Southwest increasing boarding fees

Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:59 am

danj555 wrote:
Does anybody know if the boarding process on Southwest is noticeably shorter than other airlines?

It stands to reason that letting people go wherever they want without restrictions should produces lower times.


I doubt it, it usually ends up as the self entitled, disordered scrum you see at most boarding gates in the US (and other places in the world before I suffer from anet lore). The fact they're usually amazed that EasyJet can schedule (and complete) turns for 20 mins & Ryanair 25mins speaks volumes.

Personally, i think non-assigned seating on a 737 probably takes longer. You'll end up with people walking down and more importantly back up the aisle searching for a seat or suitable group of seats, the fuller the flight, the longer that takes. Tack on the inevitable musical chairs to house that family or two that ended up boarding last.
Much easier to assign and board in 2 or 3 groups in my experience, of course this depends entirely on the cargo playing by the rules for the good of the whole flight rather than themselves. Which you regularly see in Japan, boarding a full domestic 777/747 takes less than 15 mins.
 
KentB27
Posts: 476
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:20 pm

Re: Southwest increasing boarding fees

Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:23 pm

This doesn't surprise me at all. Lots of people buy early bird check in because they don't want to get stuck with a shitty seat. Of course since WN doesn't limit the amount of early bird check ins available for each flight, it's a pretty worthless gimmick. On top of that I'm pretty sure that anyone with A-list status gets to board before those that have purchased early bird check in and there are a lot of people who have A-list status on WN. If too many people are buying early bird check in then it's too cheap. On a slightly related note I would happily pay extra for an assigned seat on WN. I know, never gonna happen.
 
kabq737
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Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 3:06 am

Re: Southwest increasing boarding fees

Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:07 pm

Redwood839 wrote:
This shouldn't even really be news. The fact t hat they offer 2 free checked bags is enough to offset whatever this additional cost is for early bird check in.


That’s not always true. In fact I’ve found recently it’s rarely true. Although I’m sure this partly has to do with the city pairs I fly.
Been on: 320, 321, 333, 733, 73G, 738, 739, 744, 752, 763, 764, 772, 789, C208, CR7, CR9, BE20, MD83, MD88, MD90, E70, E75, E90, TRIM
Flown: SEEKER, C150M C172N, C172R, C172S, C182RG, DA40, PA-46
 
aklrno
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:18 pm

Re: Southwest increasing boarding fees

Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:48 am

ChrisKen wrote:
danj555 wrote:
Does anybody know if the boarding process on Southwest is noticeably shorter than other airlines?

It stands to reason that letting people go wherever they want without restrictions should produces lower times.


I doubt it, it usually ends up as the self entitled, disordered scrum you see at most boarding gates in the US (and other places in the world before I suffer from anet lore). The fact they're usually amazed that EasyJet can schedule (and complete) turns for 20 mins & Ryanair 25mins speaks volumes.

Personally, i think non-assigned seating on a 737 probably takes longer. You'll end up with people walking down and more importantly back up the aisle searching for a seat or suitable group of seats, the fuller the flight, the longer that takes. Tack on the inevitable musical chairs to house that family or two that ended up boarding last.
Much easier to assign and board in 2 or 3 groups in my experience, of course this depends entirely on the cargo playing by the rules for the good of the whole flight rather than themselves. Which you regularly see in Japan, boarding a full domestic 777/747 takes less than 15 mins.

Judging from this post I assume you haven’t been on a southwest flight this decade. It is by far the most orderly boarding process of any airline I have been on. I have never seen anyone going in reverse toward the front of the plane except for a row or two to get to an empty bin. Families with children go between groups A and B so they can usually find the seats they need.
 
tomaheath
Posts: 631
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:58 pm

Re: Southwest increasing boarding fees

Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:47 am

I agree that the boarding process seems to work well. A lot of times people already sitting down will tell me I can sit in “there” row.
 
jetblueguy22
Posts: 3501
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:26 am

Re: Southwest increasing boarding fees

Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:59 pm

aklrno wrote:
ChrisKen wrote:
danj555 wrote:
Does anybody know if the boarding process on Southwest is noticeably shorter than other airlines?

It stands to reason that letting people go wherever they want without restrictions should produces lower times.


I doubt it, it usually ends up as the self entitled, disordered scrum you see at most boarding gates in the US (and other places in the world before I suffer from anet lore). The fact they're usually amazed that EasyJet can schedule (and complete) turns for 20 mins & Ryanair 25mins speaks volumes.

Personally, i think non-assigned seating on a 737 probably takes longer. You'll end up with people walking down and more importantly back up the aisle searching for a seat or suitable group of seats, the fuller the flight, the longer that takes. Tack on the inevitable musical chairs to house that family or two that ended up boarding last.
Much easier to assign and board in 2 or 3 groups in my experience, of course this depends entirely on the cargo playing by the rules for the good of the whole flight rather than themselves. Which you regularly see in Japan, boarding a full domestic 777/747 takes less than 15 mins.

Judging from this post I assume you haven’t been on a southwest flight this decade. It is by far the most orderly boarding process of any airline I have been on. I have never seen anyone going in reverse toward the front of the plane except for a row or two to get to an empty bin. Families with children go between groups A and B so they can usually find the seats they need.

Have to agree with him... Just did 4 flights with WN a few weeks ago and on every flight there were people having to go back up for seats.

Do I still think it’s better than other boarding processes? Absolutely. But it’s not as perfect as WN fans like to claim.
Look at sweatpants guy. This is a 90 million dollar aircraft, not a Tallahassee strip club

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