Friday, July 25, 2014
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Southwest adds a $10 fee for early checkin

Southwest has made a meal of other airlines' fees. using them as a key component of its marketing to tell customers the carrier isn't like the other guys. But financial pressure is forcing Southwest to find extra revenue and today it announced a fee that bears some similarity to others airlines' charges. For $10 you can be an "early bird," automatically checked in on a Southwest flight ahead of the usual 24-hour period.

Southwest adds a $10 fee for early checkin

Southwest has made a meal of other airlines' fees. using them as a key component of its marketing to tell customers the carrier isn't like the other guys. But financial pressure is forcing Southwest to find extra revenue and today it announced a fee that bears some similarity to others airlines' charges. For $10 you can be an "early bird," automatically checked in on a Southwest flight ahead of the usual 24-hour period.

By being in this new, more privileged boarding group, customers have  better shot at sitting where they want in a Southwest cabin where all seats are unreserved. This doesn't seem a lot different than other carriers charging something -- usually more than $10 -- to reserve certain seats on their planes. One news story has popped up on Southwest's move, and here's more information from its Web site.  

Tom Belden
About this blog
Tom Belden has been reporting about Philadelphia International Airport and other air travel subjects for more than 20 years, writing columns for The Inquirer's Travel and Business sections. His reporting (with colleague Craig McCoy) on baggage handling problems in Philadelphia have been credited with helping to improve the system. His previous blog was called Road Warrior. He can reached at tbelden@phillynews.com. Reach Tom at tbelden@phillynews.com.

Tom Belden
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