Southwest Airlines Increasing Early Bird Check-In Fees

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Southwest Airlines, the airline that doesn’t charge fees for checked bags, is going to be raising their fees sightly for their early-bird check-in service. For more information about Early Bird Check-In, check out the frequently asked questions here.

Southwest Airlines

Per Southwest,

This isn’t NUTS, it’s EarlyBird Check-In! At Southwest, we love our Employees and our Customers and we want you to have the best travel experience possible. Sometimes that means we have to make slight price adjustments to a very popular product so Customer Experience remains unparalleled.

So for the EarlyBird Check-In option, we’re making a change to protect the value of the service.  On Monday Mar. 14 the price of EarlyBird Check-In will increase ever so slightly from $12.50 to $15.00 one-way per passenger.

As a reminder, here’s what Early Bird Check-In Gets You:

What do I get?

  • AUTOMATIC CHECK-IN: Whether you choose to print your boarding pass the day before or just hours before the flight, your confirmed boarding position will be ready and waiting for you. Now you can print your boarding pass as your schedule allows.
  • BETTER BOARDING POSITION: We’ll automatically check you in and assign your boarding position within 36 hours of your flight’s departure – that’s 12 hours before general boarding positions become available. While EarlyBird Check-In doesn’t guarantee an A boarding position, it improves your seat selection options to help you get your favorite seat.
  • EARLIER ACCESS TO OVERHEAD BINS: Got bags? We’ve got room. By boarding earlier you’ll get your pick of available overhead bin space.

Bottom Line

The fee isn’t being increased that much, but for those who do take part in the Early Bird check-in option, you may notice an increase the next time you plan to check-in.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed.

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  1. I’m not sure how a “service” that requires no human intervention has to be priced higher to maintain quality. Why don’t they just shut up and say nothing. It’s clearly a money grab and price goes up because they can get away with, not because their cost of providing it has gone up.

  2. Gee… A 20% increase seems more than a “slight price adjustment”.
    Southwest needs to make it transferable. For example: If a person sees a lower fare for a reservation and re-books to get the lower fare, the EarlyBird Check-In that was purchased is forfeited. How transparent is that?

  3. It IS transferrable as long as you don’t cancel the flight. It’s tied to the confirmation number. If you just click “change” and select a different flight under the same itinerary, it will retain it.

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