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Southwest Is Switching to Dynamic Pricing for EarlyBird Check In

Aug. 17, 2018
3 min read
Southwest Is Switching to Dynamic Pricing for EarlyBird Check In
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If you're not a fan of checking in for your Southwest flight right at 24 hours prior to departure, Southwest offers a service called EarlyBird Check In that automatically checks you into your flight at 36 hours to departure. This ensures that you get the best possible boarding position — meaning a better seat selection — without the hassle of battling other travelers right at the start of the 24-hour check-in window.

Originally introduced in 2009 at $10 each way, EarlyBird Check In now costs $15 each way. But that flat pricing model is being eliminated in under two weeks. In a Southwest memo leaked to The Points Guy, we find that Southwest is moving to a dynamic pricing model for this service. Starting August 29, prices will range from the current $15 up to as much as $25 each way.

The pricing "will depend on a combination of two factors: length of route and EarlyBird demand on that particular route." Prices will remain the same on any given route and "will not change by day of week or time of day." Although, Southwest notes that it may "update pricing in the future based on route popularity and as the product continues to evolve."

The good news in this announcement is that Southwest confirmed again its policy of not charging checked baggage fees for the first two bags:

Unlike our competitors, we provide our Customers the ability to choose products they are willing to pay for—like EarlyBird—instead of punitively charging a fee to check their first or second bag or change their reservation. Those fees don’t fly on Southwest Airlines, and we have no plans to change that.

What does this mean for Southwest flyers? If you're a fan of EarlyBird Check In, you're going to want to lock in the $15 each way price now before the change goes into effect on August 29. Since boarding positions are based on the purchase date/time, it makes sense to purchase this service as soon as you could — so don't wait until August 28 to make the purchase. If you're interested in doing so, head to this Southwest page to purchase the service.

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Featured image by Alberto Riva

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