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Southwest Airlines Sued Over The “Early Bird Check-In” Program

November 24, 2014 - Robert Zammetti went online to Southwest's website to book a roundtrip flight between San Diego and Detroit. At the point of purchasing his ticket online he was offered and selected an add-on, the “Early Bird Check-in” for an additional $25.00 fee. 

Zammetti was under the impression by purchasing this add-on he would receive priority boarding at the gate. Meaning when the agent called for boarding he would be one of the first to board the aircraft. 

On the day of his flight, Zammetti went through the normal passenger screening process and then went to his boarding gate. He took a seat and waited for the agent to call for boarding. At the time of boarding, Zammetti noticed other passengers were allowed to board before him. 


Zammetti had inquired if those passengers that boarded before him had purchased the “Early Bird Check-in” addon. To his surprise he leaned that those passengers had purchased either the “Anytime” or “Wanna Get Away” tickets which do not offer early boarding (priority boarding). 

"When you pay a $25 fee to board a flight, especially one without assigned seats, ahead of other passengers, you might be ticked off to arrive at the gate and find out that not only aren’t you in the highest-priority boarding group, but that some of the people in front of you didn’t pay any additional money for their place in line. 

As a result, Zammetti along with several other passengers (know and unknown) have filed a class action lawsuit (Case 8:14-cv-01792-CJC-AN) in the United States District Court Central District Of California against Southwest Airlines.

In their suit, Zammetti and others alleged Southwest Airlines intentional misrepresented the "Early Bird Check-in" program, the program is deceptive, and misleading and Southwest Airlines breached their contract when the airline did not offer or provide Zammetti early boarding.



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