Boardfirst any eperiences


#1

Hi,
My first post here! Not sure if this is the right place to be posting this . If i am wrong PLEASE let me know where to post this.

Flying SWA from BDL to LAS round trip in OCT and used Boardfirst.com to book/secure an “A” seat. FWIW going solo.

Any experiences with this service good or bad??
Any info would be appreciated.

THANKS in Advance
John


#2

Welcome aboard.
I know Southwest doesn’t like it. I also don’t like it. I put it in the same category as Ticketmaster - they charge you for something that you shouldn’t be charged for. (For those not familiar with them, Ticketmaster charges extra you for using your own ink to print out a ticket but doesn’t charge extra for mailing a ticket)

With the ability to check in online - including via phone internet - I don’t see any reason to pay extra. If you check in via phone, you can print out your boarding pass at a kiosk at the airport.


#3

If you’re too busy, too lazy or too “whatever-ya-got-goin’-on” to do it yourself, and don’t mind tipping someone else to do it for you, then more power to ya!

If - God forbid - I should have to book a 6:00 AM flight on such an airline, I wouldn’t wanna have to wake up that early two days in a row to ensure I got a good seat! I value my sleep a lot more than I value $5.00, so I’d probably use such a service.

I guess that’s why I’m a big fan of assigned seating. I typically know well in advance when I’m gonna travel, so I know what seat(s) I’m gonna get before I even buy the ticket.

But like Dami says, what they’re doin’ ain’t much, really. They’ve got a computer doin’ all the work for 'em, so every $5.00 is just biscuits and gravy for boardfirst! Think about it: Southwest has 3,300 flights a day. If just one person per flight uses the service, then that’s $16,500 a day… just for having a computer turned on :unamused:

I’d like to see some smart-ass programmer(s) do the same thing for free with optional donations and put boardfirst outta bidness! :smiling_imp:

Mark…??? Daniel…???


#4

The dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of!!!


#5

I gotta disagree with you there! I wish I had programming skills like that and thought of it first.


#6

Needle…

You would be surprised how many people either do NOT know or do NOT take advantage of the online check-in on any airline, not just Southwest. Took SWA last week for an inventory, checked in 18 hours before (6AM flight) and I found out that I was number 4 to check in.

Personally, if you get off your rear and just remember to do it within the first few hours it is available, you have a pretty good chance of getting the Group A. No need to pay for it.


#7

It ain’t good 'nuff to be number 4! I gotta be NUMBER ONE! Numero UNO! 2nd best is 2nd class!

But seriously, that’s good to know. I still wouldn’t be able to sleep thinkin’ about it though :unamused:


#8

My experience is that if you check in, like Pika’s experience, within the first 24-20 hours or so of flight time, you will get a low number.

Now, I need to change my name because I will never ever be able to get the coveted number 1! My flights recently have been with and in the future will be with my girlfriend. Her last name begins with M. Guess what? Southwest alphabetizes the checking ins so she will always be one number lower than me. Of course, she is number one in my life so it’s only appropriate that she gets the number 1 boarding spot!


#9

Ahhh…how sweet…

BARF!!!


#10

Thanks for the replies…Keep them coming!


#11

I run the other major checkin site (checkinsooner.com). We have a lot of people that use our site for the 24 hour checkin, with lots of good experiences every day. My rough gess is that between CheckinSooner.com and boardfirst.com we are processing several hundered checkins every day, with a lot of happy people they did not have to get up at 6am the morning before.

For what it is worth, the 24 hour checkin is not as trivial as you would think. There are all kinds of ticket types - one way, round trip, 2 connections, etc, and they all have to have different handling. Plus I am doing checkins and seat polling on other airlines, that all have special quirks.

Current management at Southwest does not realize what they are doing when they say they don’t like a checkin site. They might as well tell bag porters at airports they don’t like them because when you use a bag porter they get access to your confirmation number and could misuse it. Yet every day people use services around travel, such as travel agents and bag porters. It is a valuable service, and I have a lot of people telling me that on a daily basis. www.checkinsooner.com


#12

You should pay a visit to http://www.spellcheck.net


#13

I don’t know you, neville, so don’t take this personally. What you and boardfirst are running are no different than that piece of crap called ticketmaster. I have never believed in charging the public for something that shouldn’t cost extra.

What makes you think you are smarter than the management of Southwest? They are looking out for their customers while all you are doing is ripping them off.


#14

Ticketmaster holds a monopoly on event ticket purchasing. If you want a seat to a gig, then your choices are Ticketmaster or staying home. These check-in sites provide a service to their customers that their customers do not have to use. There is nothing requiring anyone to use their services. If someone willfully decides to pay someone to do a service for them, then they are not getting ripped-off! If you don’t like the service that they provide, then don’t use them.

It’s more like pizza delivery. You don’t HAVE to have your pizza delivered, but it’s an option that you can take or leave. If you take that option, then it’s gonna cost you a little extra. If you don’t want your pizza delivered, you can go pick it up yourself and save the two bits.


#15

Boardfirst implies that if you don’t check in exactly 24 hours ahead of time, you will get something besides an A group boarding pass.
Ditto for checkinsooner.

As for ticketmaster: I refuse to use them, even if it’s an event I really want to see. It’s bull to have to PAY to print a ticket using my ink and my printer. It’s a ripoff to have a fee of as much as 40% for a $10 ticket.

IF MORE PEOPLE did what I do with ripoff, er, ticketmaster, they would go out of business or at least reduce their absurd fees.


#16

Damiross, first of all dont worry, I dont take it personally. Six months ago a comment like yours would have really bothered me, now I just use these as opportunities to educate.

Checkinsooner is doing is nothing more than offering a service site for travelers. The service is offered and available if you want to use it. If not, no problem that is YOUR choice. Not my choice, not Southwests choice. We all use many services every day. No one has ever made a claim you have to use checkinsooner / boardfirst to do something you cant do for yourself.

In an airport context a if you have 3 heavy bags a bag porter will gladly take them and check you in curbside for a fee of $6 or so. May people happily tip a little extra for good service. Why are there not scores of people at the curbs pointing at bag porters and calling them nasty names for helping people carry their bags? Why dont you point at the people paying the $6 and heap contempt on them for paying someone for something they can and should do on their own?

My travel agent (Ovation travel) is one of the largest travel agencies around I do not have to use their site I am more than capable is more than capable of buying a ticket direct from aa.com. Yet I and thousands of people like me use Ovation travel or Expedia or some other travel agency every day, because we value the site, service, customer support whatever. Does Southwest bar a travel agent from purchasing a ticket for/on behalf of a traveler? No way. They dont pay expedia like AA and United pay Expedia for every ticket they sell, but they do not prevent a travel agency like Ovation from purchasing a ticket for me. If they were serious about 3rd parties not having access to travelers information they should bar bag porters at the airport and bar travel agencies from calling them on the phone. An unscrupulous bag porter is a whole lot more dangerous than me. Is Southwest going to bar them? I dont think so.

In a non-airport context we use services all the time. This message I am writing on a Windows PC. I could use linux / firefox and write a message for free, but I choose to use the Microsoft product and pay Microsoft a licensing fee for running the software on my computer. If it was up to your line of thinking, Microsoft is no different than Ticketmaster and people who use their products are supporting a company that is trying to rip you off.

What is the criteria where you see a valid service need being met by bag porters, Expedia, and Microsoft, but for checkinsooner/boardfirst it is somehow wrong?

The other point I want to strongly address is the comment What makes you think you are smarter than the management of Southwest? They are looking out for their customers while all you are doing is ripping them off. Let me say this very loudly ***** SOUTHWEST IS NOT LOOKING OUT FOR THEIR CUSTOMERS *** **I agree there is risk in having 3rd parties have access to information, be that information confirmation numbers or email addresses. But there are situations where I accept and know the risk and use the service anyways. Southwest is not my daddy and they cant tell me who I can / can not communicate with. Again, bag porters and travel agents come to mind here. They have access to lots more data than I do and if they abuse that access it would hurt. Given that element of risk always exists, I contacted management of Southwest back in January, explaining what I was doing and asking to work with them to come up with a framework where we can securely store and transmit data between each other. They want nothing to do with that idea and refused me. If they were looking out for their customers they would talk to me and also bar bag porters / travel agents. The Internet is global, so if I shut down and boardfirst shuts down the need will be met from somewhere. Think Chinese / former USSR websites that ask for customers data in response for a service. Some of those could be valid, some could be fraud sites. How will southwest customers be served if there are early checkin sites being run out of Tajikistan? I am giving Southwest an opportunity to make airline travel safer and more convenient for everyone, and on this point they are not part of the solution.


#17

This is a bit extreme within your context or any other. Personally, I have never been treated so well as a customer under any circumstances then I have by SWA. I deal with professionals such as attorneys, accountants, realtors and even a doctor (and their staffs) who don’t have the caring, customer service skills and positive attitude of the average SWA employee.


#18

I agree with some of what you say (e.g. porters) and disagree with a lot (e.g. how does checkinsooner contribute to the safety of travel?).

In any case, I won’t use a service like this because (1) $5 would buy me a drink on the plane with change left over; (2) I’m cheap; (3) Why should I pay for something that I can do myself? By the way, point (3) is the exact reason why I don’t use travel agencies or financial planners. Their main interest is making money while mine is saving money or getting a better return on my investment respectively.


#19

wazzu90, I hear you. The average Southwest employee is a very good to me. The answer the phone quickly and they provide me with a good service. That is a reason I fly on Southwest 2-3 times per week and pay upwards of $20,000 per year to do so. However, on this point, their management is not looking out for me, or said another way their management is looking out for me by acting as if they were my father and I am a dumb kid. My point about fraud web sites in Tajikistan is real. All the legislation in the world is not going to do a damn thing there. Here I am, offering to work with them asking them what I need to do to make a site they are comfortable with, and they just don’t want to be part of the solution. That is very frustrating to me.

damiross, I hear you and I know you are not going to be using any service like this. But I am sure that just because you don’t personally use travel agencies, financial planners, etc. that does not mean you would deny the right and opportunity for other people to use those services as they see fit, would you?


#20

I wouldn’t deny others, of course, but I also wouldn’t encourage them. Instead, I’d encourage them to do the research themselves if they are capable of it. After all, who is more concerned with my money - someone earning a living off of it or myself?