It’s Saturday morning at 6:00 am. Why am I up so early on the weekend? It’s a travel day tomorrow, and I want to check-in at Southwest at exactly the 24 hour pre-flight mark. My goal is an A. It’s always an A.
I love Southwest, but over the past few years I have begun to equate their 24 hour early check-in to the Ticketmaster “presale” hoax. You know what I am referring to. You’re all excited to see your favorite band or artist, AND you have the magic presale code that you’re sure only 12 other lucky people have.
You take an early lunch so you can be the first in line online. You even open multiple browser windows so that you can increase your chances of getting that front row center seat. Ding! The clock rolls to the top of the hour, and you log-in thru all 13 of the windows you have opened. You’re IN! You select two seats and hit the find “best available” button and the machine searches. Bingo, your seats are ready. Woohoo!!! Your heart is racing with excitement . . . then, wait, what, huh, zoinks!? Front row, yes, but front row of the upper balcony.
How did that happen you think? So does this mean that all those other people that are going to the normal online sale tomorrow are out of luck? I mean if you got upper balcony, and you’re in the presale, then surely there will be no seats left for those who weren’t as blessed to have the Golden Presale Code.
Not exactly! And believe me, we have all been there. You get a call from your friend Joe the next day after he went through the “normal” online sale only to discover he got a 4th row center seat on the floor. Wha Wha Wha!!!
I don’t have the answer by any means, but I do know there is a scam or two built into the system. One of them is glaringly obvious if you just do a little digging. Ticketmaster is the super-secret owner or somehow related to many of the “secondary” ticket sales companies online that sell the tickets for 2, 3, or 4 times their face value. So they block out large sections of premium seating from the “presale” for the actual online sale for these secondary companies. Look it up. It’s true
But I digress — back to Southwest and their cattle-call approach. So I logged in. I even paid the $25 early-bird fee to ensure that I would get a better boarding number (Sucker! I know!) And sure enough. I got in the first 15 seconds that check-in was available. Still a B. Which is cool. But how, oh how, does one ever get to be an A?
I know the answer. Why not just either do assigned seating or stick to a true cattle call. The blending of the two seems to muck up the waters. But wait, let me adjust this hat I am wearing so the business side is showing. Brilliant work Southwest! You just got $25 for a seat I probably would have already gotten had I just logged in at the very same time and went through the normal process.
Bags fly free. Pride takes a $25 hit.
Hope you all have a great week ahead.