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Thread: Southwest boarding

  1. #1
    Senior Member MrFredricksen's Avatar
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    Southwest boarding

    Me, DW, DS16 and DD13. DD is a bit of a nervous flyer. We booked on Southwest. Should we pay the $15 to get earlier boarding so she at least sits with either me or my wife?
    Should I get it for all 4 of us? Just DW and DD? Or even just DW to go in and snag two seat together?
    Or is there really no need? We plan on checking as close to 24 hours in advance as we can. Is there really a risk that our boarding group would have us so late that there won't be at least 2 seat together somewhere?
    A cold and rainy day at WDW is still better than a day at work.

  2. #2
    Senior Member pixarprincess's Avatar
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    In my previous experience if you can check in right at the 24hr mark or very close to you should be fine finding 2 seats together. Especially if one of you will sit in the middle. You really only run the risk of not finding seats together if you are all later in group C. Even then I would think someone would likely switch with you if you explained your situation.

  3. #3
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    I agree with pixarprincess. Also, if you get a really awful boarding group (like late in Group C), you could always pay to upgrade after you've checked in, even on the day of travel. And even then, I'd probably only upgrade one person, and have them save the other seat (or seats, depending on how comfortable they are with trying to reserve all 4).

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    A little different perspective here... I always buy the early bird for the flight home because I don't want to be forced to be sitting at a computer/tablet/phone at the 24 hour mark while we're at Disney. By paying the extra $15 we can check in any time it's convenient after the 24 hr mark without any anxiety about seating.

  5. #5
    Senior Member MrFredricksen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by capeokw56 View Post
    A little different perspective here... I always buy the early bird for the flight home because I don't want to be forced to be sitting at a computer/tablet/phone at the 24 hour mark while we're at Disney. By paying the extra $15 we can check in any time it's convenient after the 24 hr mark without any anxiety about seating.
    I was thinking that as well....but can't I check in on my phone with their app? We will be in Universal that day so I would want good wifi.
    A cold and rainy day at WDW is still better than a day at work.

  6. #6
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    You can check in with the app. You can also set it up to send you a push notification at the 24-hour mark as a reminder to check in, so you don't get distracted and forget.

  7. #7
    he's right
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    You're on vacation. Buy it and forget about it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ChristineOH's Avatar
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    We always buy it. If my kids were willing to sit alone, I may not, but it's our vacation and I don't want to worry about it.

    It really is up to your personal preference and comfort level, because I would guess most of the time, you would be fine without it. If you get B group, you certainly will get to sit at least two together. There are three boardings. Seats are in groups of three. If every single person in A group sat alone in a row, there would still be two seats available in every row. (I believe there are less than 30 rows, but it's close enough.) It's not till mid C group that you might have problems. Though we have gotten B group more than once even with paying for EBCI, so I'm not sure if checking in right at 24 hours will always keep you out of C.

    As as someone who buys it, I find it really annoying when one person buys it and tries to save seats for traveling companions. Either buy it or don't.
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  9. #9
    the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts for him DopeyRunr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristineOH View Post
    As as someone who buys it, I find it really annoying when one person buys it and tries to save seats for traveling companions. Either buy it or don't.
    I agree with this. Especially if you're talking about a "nervous flyer," how would she feel having to defend saving seats against another passenger who rightfully tries to claim those unoccupied seats?
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  10. #10
    Member Winky22's Avatar
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    If you buy the early bird boarding, you are automatically checked in at the 36 hour mark. If you don't buy it you have to check in starting at the 24 hour mark. The earlier check in gets you a better chance to board the plane earlier than someone who did not buy early bird which means you have a better chance for a preferred seat that you want. At the 24 hour mark you can print your boarding pass at home or wait till you get to airport. We always use it.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Micah008's Avatar
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    Lately we have been buying it, but only for the flight home. When flying down to MCO we just make sure to check in at exactly the 24 hour mark (to the second), and that has worked for us. For the flight home we used to make sure we did the same thing... but you never know where you will be exactly, and I hated taking time out of the trip to make sure we did it at the right time, especially time in a park. For us its worth the cost to not worry about it on the last day of your vacation.

    If you do decide to not have everyone buy it, at least do the 2 people that really need/want to sit together... and not just 1, and not try to save seats for the others.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Disneyfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DopeyRunr View Post
    I agree with this. Especially if you're talking about a "nervous flyer," how would she feel having to defend saving seats against another passenger who rightfully tries to claim those unoccupied seats?
    I also agree with Christine.
    Quote Originally Posted by bnoble View Post
    You're on vacation. Buy it and forget about it.
    Same. On a flight at Christmas, I was a cheapskate and did not buy it for us. I worried for weeks before the flight that we would not be able to sit together. It worked out, but why stress about it?

  13. #13
    Senior Member beachta1's Avatar
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    Has anyone here checked in right t 24 hours and got a C boarding assignment?

    Before I had A-list, I never was assigned C. Sometimes I was lucky and got A but mostly B. Never C if I did it right away. I always assumed the C group is the people who forgot to check in or didn't know they had to...
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by beachta1 View Post
    Has anyone here checked in right t 24 hours and got a C boarding assignment?

    Before I had A-list, I never was assigned C. Sometimes I was lucky and got A but mostly B. Never C if I did it right away. I always assumed the C group is the people who forgot to check in or didn't know they had to...
    Same here. I've never checked in at 24 hours and gotten below B.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Anne's Avatar
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    One time I got B when we purchased Early Bird, and kids were young enough we were still eligible for family boarding so it was a total waste. Annoying but not a big deal, we could still all sit together. My mom has gotten early C once checking in at 24 hrs. It's rare, but on a flight full of kids there can be a lot of people who purchase EB and people doing family boarding so I just purchase EB so I don't have one more thing to worry about.

  16. #16
    Senior Member pixarprincess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beachta1 View Post
    Has anyone here checked in right t 24 hours and got a C boarding assignment?

    Before I had A-list, I never was assigned C. Sometimes I was lucky and got A but mostly B. Never C if I did it right away. I always assumed the C group is the people who forgot to check in or didn't know they had to...
    I think this depends on how many people you have that do purchase the priority checkin. That is if more people than there are "A" seats buy it they will move into B. There is no way to know that of course.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Micah008's Avatar
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    I think the worst we ever got was somewhere around B30 checking in right at the 24-hour mark.


    One other thing to consider about Early Bird is that it matters when you make the purchase. The sooner you buy Early Bird the better seating position you will get... and if you wait until 48-hours before the flight and buy it you will end up just before the people that check in at 24-hours.
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  18. #18
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    I had two recent trips: Seattle and Phoenix and I did EB check in for both. One leg of the Seattle trip (both ways) I had a B and and A; both ways on the non stop Phoenix trip I had B boarding. Both were packed flights, so that factors in as well. I guess most SW flights are packed, at least in my experience. I too would buy the EB if I were you. :)

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