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Old 06-21-2012, 09:01 AM
 
1,176 posts, read 2,761,530 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtandc View Post
Yep or you can just buy a business select ticket instead of a web only ticket and you will pretty much be the first one on the plane 99% of the time
I would say that checking in online right at 24 hours increases your chances of being in the first group, but no guarantee (and Group A includes many people). I've only gotten emergency row seats when paying the $10 fee for "early bird check-in," and even then been as high a 25-30 in Group A. The so-called business class on Southwest (same seats as everyone else) costs quite a bit more (could be 2-3 times the lowest fare), so that could well change OP's calculations. Where you'd end up with a regular fare in terms of the group is somewhat the luck of the draw-- how crowded the flight is, affecting how many others check in early. Your call.

OP: How can others decide? You say 4-hour flight. Same amount fo either airline (i.e.,no stops)? How much of a difference the miles and cost difference make is individual. What's critical to one is much less so than for another.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Colorado
4,308 posts, read 11,809,789 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samoi137 View Post
I would say that checking in online right at 24 hours increases your chances of being in the first group, but no guarantee (and Group A includes many people). I've only gotten emergency row seats when paying the $10 fee for "early bird check-in," and even then been as high a 25-30 in Group A. The so-called business class on Southwest (same seats as everyone else) costs quite a bit more (could be 2-3 times the lowest fare), so that could well change OP's calculations. Where you'd end up with a regular fare in terms of the group is somewhat the luck of the draw-- how crowded the flight is, affecting how many others check in early. Your call.

OP: How can others decide? You say 4-hour flight. Same amount fo either airline (i.e.,no stops)? How much of a difference the miles and cost difference make is individual. What's critical to one is much less so than for another.
I wasn't asking for people to decide, I was asking for other people's experiences/advice/suggestions. As I stated, I haven't flown into Atlanta before so other people's knowledge of the airlines and airport in question is always helpful in making a decision for myself.
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Limbo
6,475 posts, read 6,188,890 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chilaili View Post
- Southwest is cheaper and doesn't charge for checked bags BUT you can't pick your own seat and it's a 4-hour flight
- United is $17 more, charges $25 per bag BUT I get to pick my own seat and it will add to my mileage account

I've never flown to Atlanta so no clue about how good these airlines handle that particular airport. Any thoughts?
I'd say Southwest and United will be similar experiences at Hartsfield-Jackson. Delta is the big fish in town and has the most gates spread out over a large area. The smaller operations of the other airlines may be positive in that your bag is less likely to plunge into the dark abyss that is the airport.
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