What is Early Bird Check-in at Southwest Airlines?

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What is Early Bird Check-in at Southwest Airlines

EarlyBird Check-in is a priority check-in offered by Southwest Airlines that allows passengers to automatically check-in and book a boarding position within the airline’s automated check-in window. The main aim of the service is to guarantee passengers that they will be among the first passengers to board the plane for a fee. 

Depending on your route and fare type, the service costs range from $15 to $25 per passenger per flight. However, even if you pay for your check-in, you might not be the first to board the plane. The airline offers the first 15 boarding passes to passengers with Business Class Seats. Also, Round-trip ticket holders must buy this add-on separately for each leg of the journey.

How Does it Work? Process for EarlyBird Check-in

Process for Early Bird check in at Southwest Airlines

Regarding the service, EarlyBird’s work is quite impressive. Want to know how? Stay Tuned! As we know, Southwest’s boarding procedure varies from that of other major airlines; rather than reserving a specific seat when booking a flight, it places you into one of three boarding groups: A, B, or C. 

The process typically opens 36 hours before the flight’s scheduled departure time. So, your assigned number within the boarding group will inform you of your place in the line. Passengers often seek to get in groups A or B to get better seats and extra legroom and stay connected to their travel partners. 

EarlyBird passengers will board the plane on the day of the flight according to their assigned boarding position. They will be privileged to be among the first to board, giving them a better chance to secure their selected seat and overhead bin space.

You can purchase the service online, through the Southwest Airlines mobile app, or by contacting Southwest’s Customer Relations Department. So, try checking in 24 hours before your flight, as the earlier you check-in, the better your boarding spot will be. 

Tips to Get Free EarlyBird Check-in

If you don’t want to purchase EarlyBird Check-in but wanna board early, you are reading the perfect article. Below, we have some ways: 

Go for a Business Class Ticket

Do you know that Business Class Passengers get the opportunity to have priority boarding and boarding in the A1-A15 group? If your ticket falls under four fare types: Business Select, Anytime, Wanna Get Away Plus, or Wanna Get Away, congratulations, you can enjoy the perks of EarlyBird without even purchasing it. However, business tickets are the most expensive but include additional amenities such as a full refund up to 10 minutes before departure, a free drink, priority lane access, and standby. 

Purchase an Anytime Fare

Southwest Airlines now includes complimentary EarlyBird Check-In with Anytime fares, as long as the ticket is booked at least 24 hours prior to departure. Anytime fare allows more flexible refund options like a full refund up to 10 minutes before takeoff; a high Rapid Rewards earn rate, same-day changes, and many more. Passengers purchasing their tickets 36 hours before departure will be automatically checked in to their flight 24 and 36 hours prior to their scheduled flight. While boarding is underway, passengers may still need to claim their desired spot in line. 

Upgrade Your Boarding or Rebook 

To enjoy the benefits of EarlyBird, you can also prefer purchasing upgraded boarding. Even if it is less expensive than a business select ticket, you can buy a spot in the A1-A15 boarding group for just $30 to $80 each way. To proceed for the same, you can visit the gate or the ticket counter on the day of departure, or you can also opt for the online method from Southwest’s website.

Who needs it most: EarlyBird Check-in

In case you don’t follow the above-mentioned methods for check-in, you can purchase EarlyBird for the following reasons:

  • If you travel frequently with Southwest, EarlyBird Check-in can not only be your time-saver but also offer a hassle-free journey in the long run.
  • Business travelers should use EarlyBird check-in to get a seat quickly and efficiently, allowing them to focus on work or prepare for the trip. 
  • Passengers with tight connections can purchase EarlyBird to board quickly and make connections with ease.
  • Those who want a specific seat or want to sit with their group can prefer EarlyBird, which can increase their chances of getting that seat.
  • If you have a lot of carry-on luggage or need overhead bin space, EarlyBird can help you secure a spot near the front of the plane.
  • Travelers with mobility issues might need extra time to board; early check-in can help you get settled before the crowds.
  • If you don’t want to wait in line to check in or board, EarlyBird can help you skip the queue effortlessly.

Southwest Airlines values your convenience and wants you to make the most of your travel experience. Therefore, it offers an EarlyBird check-in service to enhance your travel experience. 

Travelers Who Don’t Need EarlyBird Check-in

EarlyBird Check-in is not for everyone; if you match the following points, consider not to purchase it:

  1. Infrequent Travelers: If you have occasional travel plans, you might not mind waiting in line or checking in at the airport.
  1. Flexible Seat Selection: If any particular seat doesn’t really bother you or you don’t mind sitting in a middle seat, EarlyBird Check-in may not be necessary.
  1. Tight Budget: Travelers with a limited budget should not opt for EarlyBird as it can be pretty expensive.
  1. No Overhead Bin Space Needs: Traveling with a small carry-on? If so, you may not need to bring an early check-in to secure overhead bin space.
  1. No Specific Seat Preferences:  If you don’t have any favorable seat or don’t mind where you sit, EarlyBird Check-in may not be necessary.
  1. Relaxed Checked-in Experience: EarlyBird check-in is not for you if you have enough time and can wait to check-in.
  1. Airport Check-in Experience: EarlyBird Check-in is not for passengers who prefer to check in at the airport or use a self-service kiosk.
  1. No Mobility Issues: Travelers who don’t have mobility issues and need extra time to board should not purchase early check-in.
  1. Traveling during Off-season: If you are not traveling during peak times or holidays, airport lines may be less crowded, making EarlyBird Check-in less necessary.

Mediums to Purchase EarlyBird Check-in

There are various ways to purchase EarlyBird Check-In; kindly go for the one that suits you the best:

  • During the initial booking online
  • Through the Southwest Airlines mobile app
  • By contacting Southwest’s Customer Relations department
  • During online check-in (if available)
  • Through a travel agent (if booking through an agency)
  • By adding it to an existing reservation online
  • Through Southwest’s online travel portal
  • Using the mobile check-in feature
  • During booking through Southwest’s website or mobile app

Final Thoughts!

After all this, EarlyBird Check-in is a convenient service Southwest Airlines offers to its passengers to check in and secure a boarding position automatically. This service is meant for passengers who prioritize convenience, specific seat preferences, etc. While it may not be necessary for all travelers, it can enhance the travel experience for those who value efficiency and comfort. By understanding all the aspects of the service, travelers can make necessary decisions and enjoy a smoother journey with Southwest Airlines.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is EarlyBird Check-in?

EarlyBird Check-in is easy and automatic, providing customers with the convenience and comfort of checking in 24 hours before departure.

What are the benefits of EarlyBird Check-in?

If you are an EarlyBird Check-in customer, you will benefit from an earlier boarding position, a better opportunity to select your seat, and easy access to overhead bin storage.

How can one purchase EaryBird Check-in?

There are various ways to purchase EarlyBird Check-in, such as during booking through Southwest’s website or mobile app, through a travel agent, and many more.

Who should avoid purchasing this check-in service?

Infrequent flyers, passengers without mobility issues, and off-season travelers should not consider purchasing early check-in.

How much does EarlyBird Check-in cost?

The cost of this service ranges from $15 to $25 per person each way, but remember that charges may change at any time.

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