Southwest Limiting EarlyBird Check-In Feature
Southwest Airlines is making changes to boarding system by limiting the opportunity to pay an extra fee to jump ahead and grab some of the best seats.
Southwest Airlines uses an open seating model, which means there are no assigned seats. Instead, passengers are assigned a boarding group (A, B, or C) and position (1-60+) when they check in. The group and position determine the boarding order.
But Southwest also has an EarlyBird Check-In option giving you the convenience of automatic check-in before the traditional 24-hour check-in, depending on availability. As an EarlyBird Check-In Customer, you’ll have the benefit of an earlier boarding position, a better opportunity to select your preferred available seat, and earlier access to overhead bin storage for your carryon luggage.
The airline said this week that it is adding some limitations to this option, as reported by AP. Southwest is “limiting the number of spots available for purchase on certain flights, routes, or days, as we work on product enhancements.” As a result, the airline said in a statement, the service “is unavailable for some customers looking to purchase it.”
EarlyBird Check-In pricing starts at $15. But the cost may vary based on the popularity and length of each (one-way) flight.
If you have noticed the option not being available recently, it is because the limits on EarlyBird took effect August 15. It’s not clear how many spots are cut and how many flights are affected.