Southwest Airways simply does issues totally different – in good methods and unhealthy. On the plus facet, you continue to get two checked luggage free on each flight. However you will not discover its fares on Google Flights (or any web site aside from Southwest.com, for that matter). And few issues irk vacationers greater than Southwest’s generally unruly boarding course of.
With no seat assignments, it is a first-come, first-served seating mannequin with boarding in a number of totally different teams. The later you verify in, the later you board the aircraft … and the larger your odds of getting caught in the back of the aircraft or in a center seat. Now, you possibly can pay a bit extra to make sure you get the perfect seat on the aircraft.
This week, Southwest rolled out a brand new Upgraded Boarding price. Beginning 24 hours earlier than your flight, now you can pay an additional $30 (or maybe a bit extra) per section for a assured spot in Southwest’s A1-A15 boarding group, making you one of many first 15 flyers on the aircraft.
That ought to make it a cinch to board the aircraft first, snag a window or aisle seat up entrance, and ensure there is a spot to your carry-on bag within the overhead bin. Southwest says you possibly can add Upgraded Boarding to your flight up till half-hour earlier than scheduled departure.
Southwest’s top-of-the-line Enterprise Choose fares – which generally price an additional $120 every approach from the bottom Wanna Get Away fare – already embody a assured A1-A15 boarding place amongst different perks, making this a less expensive different. With an annual price of $149, the Southwest Speedy Rewards® Precedence Credit score Card additionally contains 4 upgraded boarding passes per yr.
Southwest beforehand supplied this early boarding choice on the gate, however now the Dallas-based airline is bringing it on-line. That ought to make it simpler each for on a regular basis flyers in addition to top-tier Southwest credit score cardholders to get an upgraded boarding place.
With a spot among the many first 15 passengers among the many aircraft, this Upgraded Boarding choice is a step above Southwest’s long-standing Early Chook Test-In price. Although cheaper at $15 to $25 per particular person, that Early Chook choice does not assure a boarding place – it merely automates the check-in course of to get you nearer to the entrance of the road. Whether or not that will get you an A16 boarding spot or a B30 spot is anybody’s guess.
It is the most recent in a slew of modifications at Southwest this yr. This spring, the airline launched its new Wanna Get Away Plus fares, charging $30 extra every approach for perks like a one-time switch of those self same Southwest flight credit and free same-day modifications with no fare variations. And simply final month, the airline introduced that Southwest journey credit at the moment are good for all times.
Southwest has began promoting upgraded boarding positions for all their flights, giving vacationers an choice to pay for a assured spot among the many first 15 passengers to get on the aircraft. That choice opens with check-in beginning 24 hours earlier than departure.
At $30 per section (or maybe a bit extra, relying on the flight), it is not precisely low cost. However if you happen to’re involved about getting your favourite seat within the mad sprint that’s boarding a Southwest aircraft, it might simply be price it.