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A-List preferred traaveling with minor

New Arrival

As an A-List preferred member who always gets pre-assigned seating A-16 or A-17 and who has qualified for multiple years, I was recently traveling with my daughter who is a minor and was assigned B-57. When we approached boarding in the A-List I was stopped by the gate agent and told we needed to board with family boarding. I have travelled SW for atleast 15 years and this never happened. 

I believe the gate agent was misinformed as I read that when two people are travelling together (especially a minor) you can board with the lower ticketed passenger. Also, I would assume SW would want to take care of their preferred travelers and allow them to board rather than having to wait until ALL A-List members had boarded. 



Re: A-List preferred traaveling with minor

Top Contributor

Unfortunately, you're mistaken.


On Southwest, A-List benefits are granted only to the person who earns them, not any traveling companions. And in the case of an A-Lister traveling with a minor who cannot board by themselves, the A-Lister actually must give up their boarding benefit and board with the minor in either the minor's assigned position or during Family Boarding (if the child qualifies by being age 6 or under), whichever is first.


As your prior experience suggests, many OPS agents do not enforce this rule. But regardless, the official Southwest policy is that any group wanting to board together -- including A-Listers -- should board together at the later position. 


From the FAQ:


Can groups assigned to different boarding positions board together?

Yes. However, in order to maintain the integrity of the boarding process, we ask that earlier boarding positions board with the later positions. For example, if a passenger is assigned position A16 and wants to board with a passenger assigned position A45, the passenger holding the A16 boarding pass should board with the A45 passenger.


Re: A-List preferred traaveling with minor

New Arrival

The answer is how I have always understood it to be and I wish more gate agents would hold people accountable to this policy. Kudos to this one who did. 

Re: A-List preferred traaveling with minor

New Arrival

Thanks for this.  Most of the time, the agent let's one of my kids board with me, being A-List Preferred.  Occasionally, I get an agent who actually enforces the policy.  It's so rare that you get "an enforcer" that you think they are the ones who don't know the policy.  Frankly, I think that by the time one earns A-List Preferred - or even A-List - they ought to allow this as a benefit, but it is good to see the actual policy.  Now that my kids are 15 and 17, it's not too easy to justify one of them "needing to" board with me.