Southwest to Charge Early Boarding Fee

by Nate Wooley | January 22, 2013 9:46 am

Southwest LUV[1]Discount air carrier Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV[2]) is going to begin offering its customers a chance to board first — for a fee.

The airline announced Monday that passengers can guarantee that they are among the first 15 people to board a flight by paying a $40 fee. Southwest already charges a $15 Early Bird Check-In fee for those who want to improve their boarding position.

Passengers may purchase the service at the gate. The flights must have room available and the purchase can be made with at least 45 minutes to go before flight time.

Fees now account for between 10% and 30% of major airlines’ revenue, according to the Los Angeles Times[3]; in 2012, they brought in more than $36 billion in fees.

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