Friday, March 26, 2010

Check-in in

I’ve got my phone set to alert me 5 minutes before 24 hours prior to my plane’s departure tomorrow. And I’ve got my QBX97Q number here in front of me, ready to be typed in at warp speed. Did you get all that?

I bet you did, because I know I’m not the only one who’s anal about printing out airline boarding passes, at the exact minute they’re available. Especially if you’re flying Southwest.

If you forget, and sit down to print them out a few hours later, you end up with “C” boarding passes, and run the risk of getting elbowed by some crazy woman with a giant carry on to get the two remaining seats that are together. It can be brutal.

And though I try not to get worked up and competitive in these situations, I can almost feel my blood pressure rising when someone tries to edge in on the boarding line. Especially if I’m holding a “C” pass. “Be the Buddha, be the Buddha,” I repeat to myself, but, well, it’s just not fair!

What really sucks this time around is that it’s the first time I’ve flown with Southwest Airlines since they instituted their “Earlybird Check-in” where they so kindly offer to check in for you for “Only $10 one way.” Yes, they now offer automatic check-in, “a more convenient way to travel” that will get you on board sooner with better boarding position and earlier acces to overhead bins.


Ten dollars one way, each way, for each ticket? If you’re a family of five, all traveling together, that’s and extra $100 bucks round trip. What a rip!

I’m a Southwest fan, I truly am. I like their low fares and corny humor and cheery colors and first-come-first-serve attitude, but this new check-in option is so, so anti all that. I’m disappointed, but determined NOT to participate. I’m already prepared to get a “B” pass when I check in, even though it will be the very minute check-in is available.

I’ve got 8 minutes to go….

Now 2…

HA! Sweet success. We’re still in the “A” group, position 30 and 31, but still in that coveted A grouping.

I guess I’m not the only one who’s not up for participating in their evil elitist scheme. Apparently I’m just one of many people who are okay with being “customers in the general boarding group.” Yeah for us.

Plus I just saved $20, which works out to be precisely 2 drinks each.

Now we just have to hope that there are no other, pay-for-service surprises.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Where ya going? If I'm not flying with the kids, I try to board as late as possible. BUT the worst part is finding adequate space in the overhead bins for carry on bags. Gotta love southwest for keeping the checked bags free, though! I don't care when or where I sit when I travel alone, although there has never once been a time (since kids) when it was just Bill and me. I guess it would be more fun to sit together, even though he falls asleep as soon as the door latches and I just want to read.

But wait - won't you have a squirmy baby with you - you can TOTALLY preboard!


Pat said...

You go girl! I am really impressed. The best I ever did was the front of the B group.

Snappy Di said...

Wow... not sure how I lost track of your blog but noticed your link on another blogger's page today. Glad I found you again!

The Blue Ridge Gal

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Welcome back, Di.

And no, no baby, just me and T. Hopefully he won't be too squirmy.


XUP said...

I do the same thing. I sit at my computer and print off those suckers the second they're available. It's astonishing how many ways the airlines can find to charge you more and more, isn't it? Here they want $30 each way to choose your seats ahead of time.

Me, You, or Ellie said...

I've not flown since before 9/11. Believe that? It's not by design; it's by chance. We've been in the Westy, driving instead.

Way back then, in January 2001, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, there were no such thing as pre-printed boarding passes, so I have no idea of what you speak.

But I am proud you're an A.


KathyR said...

I just can't deal with Southwest and the unreserved seat thing any more. Maybe it's a sign of my grouchy old age, but I just do not get the whole lining up to get on the plane thing. I won't do it, I tell you!