Southwest Airlines Raises Prices for Early Check-In and Upgraded Boarding

by Alice

Southwest Airlines has hiked the prices for its early check-in and upgraded boarding services, making it more expensive for passengers to secure their preferred seats.

Effective immediately, the airline will charge passengers between $15 to $99 each way for EarlyBird Check-in and $30 to $149 per segment for Upgraded Boarding. These prices vary based on flight length and demand, confirmed by a Southwest representative to Travel + Leisure.


The new rates mark a significant increase from the previous costs, which ranged from $15 to $25 for early check-in and $30 to $80 for upgraded boarding, as reported by airline site One Mile at a Time.


A spokesperson for Southwest explained that the decision to raise prices aligns with the airline’s routine assessment of ancillary product pricing, considering market trends and customer preferences.


Southwest began limiting the availability of the popular EarlyBird Check-In feature last year, as part of its efforts to modernize the customer experience. This policy included restricting the number of EarlyBird Check-In spots available for purchase on specific flights, routes, or days.

For passengers who opt for Upgraded Boarding, introduced by Southwest in 2022, the service allows them to enhance their boarding position when checking in. Those who utilize this feature receive a boarding assignment position ranging from A1 to A15, granting them priority boarding and first access to desired seats and overhead bin space.

The decision to adjust pricing coincides with Southwest’s flights becoming accessible on Google Flights, although bookings must still be made through the airline’s website.

CEO Bob Jordan hinted at potential changes to Southwest’s open seating policy, stating that the carrier was exploring new initiatives regarding seat allocation and boarding procedures.



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