Want to snag a window seat? Pay an extra $40 when you fly on Southwest and you can be part of the elite group of 15 people that gets to board the plane first.
Announced last week, the new fee allows gate attendants to sell unsold spots in a flight's coveted "A1-A15" boarding group. Since Southwest doesn't have assigned seating, boarding first pretty much assures you a prime seat.
Previously, the first 15 boarding spots were reserved only for customers paying Business Select fares, which typically cost hundreds of dollars more than the cheapest fares. Travelers can also pay a $10 "Early Bird" check-in fee to bump up their boarding position, but that fee does not guarantee you'll be among the first people to board.
Southwest says the new fee tested well with customers during trials.
What other consumer fees drive you crazy? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; you may be featured in an upcoming story.
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