I always go for the lowest price, and would not pay more to board early.
Fitness Minutes: (89,181)
11,885 4/3/14 9:04 A
If you can afford it why not? I am a poor traveller and fly Southwest to visit my Grandkids. I check in for a boarding pass at exactly 24 hours ahead and usually get a pass where I can sit where I want. They only have one "class" of travel so it doesn't matter.
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
2,569 4/3/14 8:40 A
Right, forgot about extra leg room. My rule of thumb is if the cost of the upgrade is less than $10/hour of flight time (a $50 upgrade for a 5 hour flight = totally worth it), the extra leg room is definitely worth it.
I am traveling with my husband and we do have assigned seating. We are in economy but in the first couple of rows back from economy plus. We are both doing carry-on and we have very small bags that are actually a little smaller that the airlines regulations. My concern is not getting space in the overhead bins.
Fitness Minutes: (222,560)
21,771 4/2/14 4:28 P
If you're a single traveler, I don't think paying the extra fee is worth it. Do you fly Southwest ?
I've found that as long as you don't mind sitting in the middle, a person can find a seat near the front when traveling with Southwest. Many people who pay extra to board early might want an aisle or window seat.
Some airlines allow you to pick your seat, even in economy if you buy your ticket online early enough. Personally ? I think the early boarding fee is just another way for the airlines to squeeze more money of the passengers.
Of course, some people don't mind paying extra fee if they think it saves them time. A lot of people consider flying to be a real hassle and it can be if you're not used to it.
When you fly with an elderly passenger. That requires a wheelchair or an airport provided wheelchair. The elderly passenger gets priority seating and so do you as their travel companion.
You have to look the other way because you will get nasty looks from the other passengers.
Edited by: MANDIETERRIER1 at: 4/2/2014 (15:29)
Fitness Minutes: (83,576)
1,814 4/2/14 3:03 P
No, it's not worth it. People scramble to be the first boarded because they want to take up all the overhead space. Here's a tip. YOUR seat entitles you to the overhead space above it. No room, take the bags down and tell the flight attendant to deal with it. Sadly, people take up the space in the front seats and you are left to find space. If you have a connecting flight it's a shame that you have to wait for everyone to deplane so you can make your way back to your bags, possibly causing you to miss a connecting flight..
Again, your seat, your space.
The priority lane surcharge gets you to a different line BEFORE security. After paying this, you can still find yourself at the back of a long line for security. Get to the airport early and there is no issue.
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
2,569 4/2/14 3:02 P
If you're traveling alone and you're not carrying on a big bag, it makes zero sense.
If you're traveling with someone and there's no assigned seating, maybe.
If you do have a big carry on, just make sure you're at the front of your boarding group. The planes board by row number so if you're at the front of your group, you'll find a space for your bag.
Also, be *absolutely* sure that your bag will fit in the bin before you go. Airlines are starting to charge for gate checking bags that don't fit in the overhead.
DH & I went on vacation right before Christmas and did not pay the extra, for early boarding. We had assigned seats anyway-- like the pp said, it seemed silly to pay extra money just to sit on the plane longer, when meanwhile we were watching a ball game on tv in the airport gate area. It might have made more sense back when they weren't enforcing the number of carry-ons people took on the plane.... so if you got on the plane earlier, you'd know there would be space in the overhead bin for your carry-on. DH had a laptop bag that he put in the bin, but my backpack wasn't very full & fit under the seat. And they've cracked down on people loaded down like pack mules, trying to carry a bunch of bags onto the plane.
I had it done for me once on Southwest (business travel) and honestly, no. My dad came with me, and I checked him in ASAP when you could, and he wasn't that far behind me. I would only pay if it were a time that would be hard for me to get a good boarding number.
When you have an assigned seat, I never would. You sit long enough as it is - why would I want to add an extra 15-20 minutes. Plus, I check a bag instead of trying to cheat with a "carry on" that barely fits in the overhead bin. I've rarely had to wait more than 10 minutes to pick up my bag and that way, I can pack more freely. The only time that I think it would be helpful was if I was flying with an elderly person that needed extra help.
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