Last updated: 12:09 PM ET, Thu April 14 2016

Southwest Airlines Raises EarlyBird Check-In Fees

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | April 14, 2016

Southwest Airlines Raises EarlyBird Check-In Fees

Photo courtesy of Southwest Airlines

The EarlyBird Check-In feature offered by Southwest Airlines has become popular with travelers, but the company has increased the price of the option by 20 percent.

According to, Southwest Airlines has increased the cost of the EarlyBird Check-In feature from $12.50 to $15 for a one-way trip. When the program was originally introduced, Southwest charged only $10.

READ MORE: Southwest Airlines Adding 7 New Nonstop Routes

In a statement, Southwest officials said, “Every few years, we review the price of our services in order to align with market and operational conditions as well as uphold the quality of our offerings.”

Southwest Airlines has an open seating policy which puts passengers into boarding groups — A, B or C — instead of assigning specific seats. Using the EarlyBird Check-In feature, passengers can start checking in up to 24 hours ahead of their flight’s scheduled departure.

The earlier customers check in, the better the chance that they’ll be assigned to Group A and get first selection of their seats on the plane, making the EarlyBird Check-In feature extremely valuable to frequent fliers.

READ MORE: Southwest Airlines Founder Speaks Out Against New Regulations

While the price increase is bad news for travelers, Southwest Airlines is still the only major U.S. carrier that doesn’t charge additional fees for the first two checked bags.


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