Southwest Raises Early Bird Check-In Fee

Photo: Michael Gray

Passengers trying to get the first choice of seats on Southwest Airlines flights will now have to pay a little more.

Last month, Southwest quietly raised the fee for its Early Bird Check-In program from $12.50 to $15 per person, per trip.

The program allows guests to ditch the rush of checking-in 24-hours before departure to ensure they have a pick of seats onboard, and guarantees fliers an earlier boarding group (though, Southwest A-List Preferred or A-List status guests will still board before Early Birds).

In 2015 alone, the Early Bird program fees brought in $280 million for Southwest, reports the Arizona Republic. The program originally debuted in 2009, costing $10.

Southwest has said the increase is a result of it wanting to uphold the quality of its offerings.

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