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Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 4:32 pm
by planecane
Whenever I check in for a WN flight, I try to check in as close to the 24 hour window as possible. Before the check-in time comes, I put by record locator and name into the form and to a test to make sure I don't have any typos.

I hit the check in button after by laptop and cell phone show the time being 24 hours before. For the past several flights, it always says that I'm not eligible for check in and I have to make several more attempts. It usually finally lets me check in 8-10 seconds after the time changes on my devices. Since my cell phone uses cell network time and my laptop uses time.gov, they both can't be 8 seconds off of the precise time.

It makes me suspect that they give a "penalty" for attempting early check in and that my test for typos triggers the penalty. Does anybody know if something like this exists or are their servers on some innacurate time reference?

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:21 pm
by adamblang
Why would they arbitrarily and secretly punish their customers? There's no benefit to be had from doing so so no reason for them to spend developer time building such a thing.

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:22 pm
by stlgph
You're balking about 8-10 seconds for a feature to be updated and cycle through an entire network?

Really?

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:34 pm
by airzona11
planecane wrote:
Whenever I check in for a WN flight, I try to check in as close to the 24 hour window as possible. Before the check-in time comes, I put by record locator and name into the form and to a test to make sure I don't have any typos.

I hit the check in button after by laptop and cell phone show the time being 24 hours before. For the past several flights, it always says that I'm not eligible for check in and I have to make several more attempts. It usually finally lets me check in 8-10 seconds after the time changes on my devices. Since my cell phone uses cell network time and my laptop uses time.gov, they both can't be 8 seconds off of the precise time.

It makes me suspect that they give a "penalty" for attempting early check in and that my test for typos triggers the penalty. Does anybody know if something like this exists or are their servers on some innacurate time reference?


Sounds like both of your laptop and cell phone are using a time that WN doesn't use. There is nothing inaccurate. There is the time to ping the server and route the data, sound like you are checking in right on time.

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:37 pm
by OneSexyL1011
its 8-10 seconds.

Come on.

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:40 pm
by sw733
I think the most important thing to ask yourself is this - what benefit would Southwest get from penalizing someone? There is not a single one.

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:40 pm
by RollerRB211
OneSexyL1011 wrote:
its 8-10 seconds.

Come on.


If WN had assigned seating then no one would care. Since check-in time if important, they should use a system that is on time.

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:43 pm
by LAXBUR
This is hysterical.

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:49 pm
by planecane
RollerRB211 wrote:
OneSexyL1011 wrote:
its 8-10 seconds.

Come on.


If WN had assigned seating then no one would care. Since check-in time if important, they should use a system that is on time.

Exactly. On some flights it is important to get a decent boarding position. If trying to check in as close as possible to 24 hours in advance, it would be nice to know the official Southwest time. The time to get the error message and clear it and try again could let a bunch of people check in ahead of you.

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:53 pm
by Cubsrule
planecane wrote:
RollerRB211 wrote:
OneSexyL1011 wrote:
its 8-10 seconds.

Come on.


If WN had assigned seating then no one would care. Since check-in time if important, they should use a system that is on time.

Exactly. On some flights it is important to get a decent boarding position. If trying to check in as close as possible to 24 hours in advance, it would be nice to know the official Southwest time. The time to get the error message and clear it and try again could let a bunch of people check in ahead of you.


WN has been a little behind cell phone/time.gov time for as long as I can remember. First world problems.

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:58 pm
by smflyer
WN's system can't schedule flights for red-eyes, you think that system has the brains to penalize people trying to check in 2 mins early?

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:02 pm
by TVNWZ
There are many variables going on here. Your connect type, speed, routing on your carrier. WNs system speed, routing, traffic to their server. Any of these can lag a little. My son refreshes his app around the 24 hour mark and as soon as it hits you can check in now he sends the form. He usually scores an A.

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:19 pm
by airliner371
Perhaps you need to update your screen at the time of check-in and then enter your credentials? It sounds like when you are currently entering your credentials your flight isn't available for check-in - wait until you can check-in and then open the page. 5 minutes doesn't make that great of a difference, let alone a few seconds.

I'll tell you, the difference between checking-in at exactly 24 hours and 5 minutes later is not great in my experience. I use to be as timely as you but frankly I really just saw that not very many people care to check-in at exactly 24 hours - especially on morning and evening flights. The "rush" is artificial.

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:21 pm
by chrisair
No. There's typically a lag of 10 seconds between the actual time and when checkin opens. The hamster in the check in system takes that time to get up to speed.

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:27 pm
by klakzky123
Check in (on most ticketed reservation systems) involves a handoff of control of the booking from the reservation system to a departure control system. There's a lag built into that handoff and an additional lag in actually connecting to the DCS to check in. The whole thing isn't seamless.

Now some reservation systems have no concept of a DCS and are able to directly manage check in. So those systems tend to be far more flexible and don't have a lot of the technology challenges of a DCS. In those cases, you can probably hit their system with a check in request at 24 hours and be fine. But that's a little unreasonable with legacy reservation systems. There are too many hurdles to get the system to actually sync at exactly 24 hours. The fact that they're as quick as they are is impressive as is. There's a lot of legacy technology behind the scenes that can degrade performance.

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:28 pm
by Veigar
I've been an hour late to check-in and still scored A-list.. And this was LAX-LAS, not exactly a low demand route..

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:32 pm
by johns624
planecane wrote:

Exactly. On some flights it is important to get a decent boarding position. If trying to check in as close as possible to 24 hours in advance, it would be nice to know the official Southwest time. The time to get the error message and clear it and try again could let a bunch of people check in ahead of you.
The problem is that you are judging everyone else by your own anal-ness. The vast majority of flyers don't sit there waiting to check in exactly 24 hours prior to the flight.

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:33 pm
by MrBretz
Planecane, you and members of my family, seem to have some very minor OCPD traits. It isn’t a big deal. Some members of my family say I have this trait. You and I can both agree that they are wrong.

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:34 pm
by RobertPhoenix
airzona11 wrote:

Sounds like both of your laptop and cell phone are using a time that WN doesn't use. There is nothing inaccurate. There is the time to ping the server and route the data, sound like you are checking in right on time.


The laptop may not be synched to a time source, but I would suppose that a cell phone is and you might expect it would be a tiny bit behind. I can't imagine that WN isn't synched to a reference time source.

Just checked my watch and it is almost a second ahead of my computer (But I don't know if the threatened shutdown of the radio time source due to budget cuts actually happened)

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:35 pm
by cledaybuck
I doubt they have a penalty. It's not Jeopardy!

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:41 pm
by clickhappy
If it’s that important buy early bird - it will check you in at +36 hours.

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:42 pm
by Spiderguy252
planecane wrote:
If trying to check in as close as possible to 24 hours in advance, it would be nice to know the official Southwest time. The time to get the error message and clear it and try again could let a bunch of people check in ahead of you.


It's a flight. Not a Harry Potter book release in 2007. Bet you'll still be first 8 seconds later.

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:52 pm
by zakuivcustom
While we're at this - try checking in right on the second on other airlines website (i.e. US3), and chances are, it will display some error saying that "you're not within the check-in period yet" (something along that line).

Plus if you're THAT worry, just get early bird check-in.

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:02 pm
by Jetty
I nominate this thread to win the nuttiest thread of 2019 award! :eyepopping:

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:10 pm
by johns624
Jetty wrote:
I nominate this thread to win the nuttiest thread of 2019 award! :eyepopping:
It's still early. I have faith in our fellow a-nutters that this thread will be surpassed several times.

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:14 pm
by aeropix
sw733 wrote:
I think the most important thing to ask yourself is this - what benefit would Southwest get from penalizing someone? There is not a single one.


Yes, they may have that kind of refresh time to prevent robo-check in by non humans, thus making the system more equitable to all passengers. If I recall there was some kerfuffle years back where a web-based check in service was selling robotic checkin for a fee, and this delay can put the kibosh on that kind of activity.

Southwest and the passenger both benefit by this type of delay

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:25 pm
by mga707
airliner371 wrote:
Perhaps you need to update your screen at the time of check-in and then enter your credentials? It sounds like when you are currently entering your credentials your flight isn't available for check-in - wait until you can check-in and then open the page. 5 minutes doesn't make that great of a difference, let alone a few seconds.

I'll tell you, the difference between checking-in at exactly 24 hours and 5 minutes later is not great in my experience. I use to be as timely as you but frankly I really just saw that not very many people care to check-in at exactly 24 hours - especially on morning and evening flights. The "rush" is artificial.


Agree with the above. Pre-'Early Bird' it used to be matter much more than it does now.

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:26 pm
by Brickell305
:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: @ this entire thread.

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:27 pm
by Jshank83
For me it used to let me check in as soon as the time changed on my phone but I’ve had a lag the last couple years, as others mentioned.

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:00 pm
by 32andBelow
You can’t check in usually till the flight is initialized. The flight is initialized 24 hours out. So if that process is still going then no check in.

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:07 pm
by TWA772LR
Southwest uses "Herb Time" (Central Time) for literally everything. But 24 hours is 24 hours regardless of time zone.

I could also be the system is a bit overloaded because all Southwest flights are scheduled for times ending in 0 or 5 so you're also in with everyone checking in for their flight at the same time as yours. Early Bird also checks in automatically at 24 hours so you're up against that too.

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:35 pm
by A320FlyGuy
This is truly the most idiotic post of the quarter....people complain about a lot in today’s world of commercial aviation but bitching about 8-10 seconds? Please. There is more than enough wrong with the world today without complaining about a 10 second delay.

This is almost as laughable as the Korean Air executive who freaked out over peanut placement.

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:36 pm
by barney captain
Exactly. On some flights it is important to get a decent boarding position. If trying to check in as close as possible to 24 hours in advance, it would be nice to know the official Southwest time. The time to get the error message and clear it and try again could let a bunch of people check in ahead of you.


Plane -

I'm sure you're aware of EarlyBird check-in, maybe a good option for you on those more important flights. It will actually get you a boarding position 36 hours ahead of the flight - 12 hours before anyone else. It usually runs $15-$25. You still can't check-in and see your boarding position until 24 hrs prior, but your number is reserved. I did it recently coming back from HNL on a completely full flight - we got A29-30 - well worth the $25.

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:37 pm
by fraspotter
It's 8-10 seconds. It's not like you're trying to compete against the early bird check in people as they were already checked in by the computer 36 hours before departure instead of 24. This is a good number of the passengers that pay the extra fee. Then the Business Select people get positions A1-A15. 8-10 seconds means absolutely nothing at this point. There's no WN conspiracy to "penalize" their own customers.

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:45 pm
by PSAatSAN4Ever
First, there are the "Early Bird" Check-ins that are done by the computer at the precise moment they are instructed. There's a significant chunk of passengers.

Then of course, there's "Business Select", which go to the head of the line.

I hate to call it the "crippled and lame at a Papal mass" section, but my last flight there were easily more than a dozen. They go first as well.

I understand the desire to have a good boarding position, but truthfully, the days of being that quick are over.

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:13 pm
by OccupiedLav
Is it really that important to be in the first 20 or so boarding positions? Not faulting you for wanting to be one of the first on, but I don't think an 8 to 10 second lag is going to really save you that much time getting off the plane or prevent you from getting a decent seat.

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:30 pm
by acjbbj
LMFAO at this whole thread... some people don't know how to think...

Posts must abide by Hanlon's Razor: "Never attribute to malice which is adequately explained by stupidity."

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:38 pm
by joeblow10
Meh - certainly doesn’t “intentionally” penalize you, but in the 2-3 extra seconds it takes for you to get the error message and reclick check in, a surprising amount of folks do check in.

Anecdotal... but last year my coworker and I both checked in right at T-24, I got the “too early” message as I tried to get checked in about a second or two before he did. He got B-4, I was like B-9.

They aren’t intentionally penalizing you - but now you’re behind the 5-10 folks who are also sitting there waiting to pounce at a seconds notice

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:57 pm
by AEROFAN
Jetty wrote:
I nominate this thread to win the nuttiest thread of 2019 award! :eyepopping:


:checkmark: :checkmark: :checkmark: You've got my vote

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:34 am
by mcg
I've got a trip coming up that involves a WN flight to San Antonio to see a concert. When I bought the concert tickets on Ticketmaster the ticket selling web page opened at least 30 seconds late. Now I learn the WN check in page will be 8-10 seconds late. Am I getting screwed twice?

Re: Does WN system penalize for early check-in attempt?

Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:59 pm
by ytib
8 seconds is extremely important if you are a professional bull rider and can make a huge difference.