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January 22, 2013

Want to board a Southwest flight first? $40, please.

On Monday, Southwest Airlines announced a new fee for passengers who want to be in the premium "A" boarding group.

If a customer wants to be among the first to board, the customer can pay $40 at the gate to be in the early boarding position. The catch is this new boarding option will only be offered at the gate on the day of travel, about 45 minutes before the flight, and will only be available if the spots in the "A" group are available.

Southwest already allows passengers to pay $10 for Early Bird Check-In, which in most cases, places the passenger in the "A" Group and Business Fare customers already receive priority boarding.

The Dallas-based carrier said it tested the new $40 fee in San Diego last month and is now rolling it out at all of its airports.

"Offering customers the option to improve their boarding position on day of travel is one more way we can offer the travel experience that best fits their needs," said Southwest vice president of marketing Kevin Krone.

-Andrea Ahles


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