Chicago Sun-Times
With Lori Rackl

Southwest's new $10 early boarding fee - will you pay it?

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You gotta give airlines credit. They can get pretty creative when it comes to squeezing a few extra bucks out of us flyers.

Southwest Airlines recently unveiled its newest product, EarlyBird Check-in, which gives customers the option to score an early boarding position by adding an additional $10 to the price of a one-way fare. The low-cost service automatically reserves a boarding position for customers prior to general check-in, allowing EarlyBird Customers to begin boarding the plane after Southwest's Business Select and Rapid Rewards A-List Customers. EarlyBird Check-in became available last week.

(Customers can purchase EarlyBird Check-in through a link in the Travel Tools section of They also can select EarlyBird Check-in from their confirmation page online and from their confirmation e-mail. EarlyBird Check-in can be purchased up to 25 hours prior to the scheduled departure time of the customer's flight.)

What do you think? Would you pay an extra $10 to board early? Let me know your thoughts....

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Absolutely will pay it. I love it! Since it started we've gotten nice low A positions on full planes. Okay, so handicapped, young children and business class get on first, but then us! No more getting there as early as possible, or waiting up to print your boarding pass at exactly 24 hours before --wow, best $10 ever! We like two aisle seats adjacent and always get it fairly near the front. Southwest rocks.

Nobody does Early Boarding quite like Thromby Air...


Robert E. Coli
CEO Thromby Air - Lowest of the Low

I might pay to reserve a seat, but not to board early. I'd prefer to be the last one on, and the first one off!

I think it is a good idea. I won't use it though. I just print up my boarding pass 24 hours early and get an early problem! Have always preferred Southwest's style of boarding. It is quicker for sure. The only thing I don't like about flying are the fat people. Fat people should have to buy two seats.

HA!!! What a great idea, if it works. We stopped flying Southwest years ago due to their boarding policies. Here is an example why:
We arrived at Midway very early and got a low numbered boarding card, maybe 10 & 11. The gate agent announced that people with mobility problems and families with small children could board early. Then she called numbers, although there was no need to because few of us were left outside the plane!!! So here we were a normal middle aged couple who played by the rules not being able to even sit together!!! Why bother getting there early to get a low boarding card number?!?!! Now that I think about it, why pay a fee for a low number?!?!?!! Maybe we need to "rent" some kids...

what about people who board early due to physical impairments? will they have to pay this fee too? people with small children?

I would absolutely pay it. I hate the current boarding system. But, then I would likely forget to log in and board early anyway - like I normally do.

I think its absurd. There's no point in charging an extra $10. What's next? Charging $10 more so that we can BOARD the plane? But it is what it is, you know, they charge and we fly. There's not much we can do.

Why don't they just go to having seat assignments. This is a crazy idea..........

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This page contains a single entry by Lori Rackl published on September 8, 2009 11:56 AM.

Long layovers in airports: Should I stay or should I go? was the previous entry in this blog.

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