Southwest Airlines Increases Early Boarding Fees

Southwest Airlines (WN) passengers seeking their preferred seat will now pay extra. The world's largest low-cost carrier raised its 'Upgraded Boarding' add-on to $80 per flight

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Southwest boards flights without assigned seating, so customers without a reservation must line up swiftly for the best window seat

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before the fight. Those who pay for premium boarding can get the greatest and earliest access to the front of the plane and extra overhead locker space

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Before the announcement, 'upgrade' travelers could spend $60 each segment for the nicest seat on the plane. Price varies by flight duration

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European low-cost carriers like Ryanair and easyJet similarly eliminated assigned seats a decade ago to speed up boarding. Southwest continues these methods

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Southwest allows travelers to check in two bags for free, cutting boarding times by eliminating the need to put baggage in the overhead compartments

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Southwest has open seats, another unique habit. Customers board in order of their A, B, or C boarding number. Early boarding numbers allow passengers to choose

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Southwest's system is a great way to encourage early arrivals because getting on the plane first is a true reward (unlike other airlines, where you have to wait for others to board).

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Multiple US credit cards offer 'Upgraded Boarding,' but it's unclear if consumers will pay $80 to board first or if it will be considered unneeded given the cost of living crisis.

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