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Boarding Improvments for friends and families

New Arrival

I have never had a problem with Southwest's unique boarding method, but it unnecessarailyy complicates travel for family and friends who are often unable to board together. Soutwest does not allow people traveling together but with separate confimation numbers ( e.g., those on companion fares, people flying on Rapid Rewards points, and friends) to board together. This, for instance, often leaves me and my wife forced to board separately.

 

This is unacceptable. Southwest should not be in the business of separating loved ones and friends, especially those passengers who are being provided a perk (such as companion fare and reward travelers). It also creates uncomfortable situations on the plane, when a first-boarding passenger saves seats and shoos away passengers who board before their travelling companions.

 

The solution to this problem seems simple. Why not allow passengers to go online and link up to four (2? 6?) confirmation numbers that will be assigned boarding positions as a group? This would allow anybody with a different confirmation number to board with a family member or friend with whom they are traveling.

 

C'mon Southwest! You can improve your boarding procedures!

13 REPLIES 13

Re: Boarding Improvments for friends and families

Active Member
Solution

@Merk,

 

Have you considered grouping the folks with the person in the last boarding position?

 

Let's say you have a family: Bob, Mary, Timmy and Sarah. Mary is A-List, so she got a A5 position, but her family, Bob, Timmy and Sarah all have B boarding passes (they were quick to check-in 24 hour before their flight). Perhaps Mary could forfeit her A position and join her family in line and let the others go ahead?

 

I doubt any passengers in the boarding area would have an issue with you cutting back in the line as opposed to up in the line.

 

Has anyone else tried this approach?

Re: Boarding Improvments for friends and families

Active Member

This solution is not really acceptable because boarding in the last spot likely means separate seating anyway.

 

i like the idea that all reservations on a single record locator automatically  get consecutive boarding positions

Re: Boarding Improvments for friends and families

Active Member

@BullsFan,

 

What about the situation where one pax is A-list and the other is not?

 

 

Re: Boarding Improvments for friends and families

Active Member

I worked pretty hard to get my A list and it would make a lot of sense to reward me with this perk!  Meanwhile, the companion pass booking process  ALWAYS creates a separate RL for the companion - so I guess the system would need to link them for check in- nice addition to the thought process !

Re: Boarding Improvments for friends and families

New Arrival

There should be a more automated way for family members to travel together.  I think the suggested method of being able to link up to 4 confimation numbers together so when the main person checks-in then all other members get a consecutive sequence of boarding numbers.  Now if that main person is an A-List member but the others are not, then the main person's A-List status is ignored. 

"Not all those who wander are lost" J.R.R. Tolkien

Re: Boarding Improvments for friends and families

New Arrival

I guess I don't really understand the concern here. If you each check in and the "last" boarding position is B15 then you board there. This is what SW sugegsts at the gate.

If the airline were to group you I would assume that is what they would do anyway (make the other travelers B16, 17, etc.). If you want to sit together, check in together. If you are a family with young kids and need to, you can board with family boarding.

Re: Boarding Improvments for friends and families

Top Contributor

Checking in together doesn't necessarily mean consecutive boarding positions. And Family Boarding is technically limited to one child under 6 and one parent. A 7 year old cannot board by themselves. An A-Lister essentially loses his A-List boarding benefit when he/she travels with family.

Re: Boarding Improvments for friends and families

New Arrival

Excellent idea

Re: Boarding Improvments for friends and families

Rising Star

Hi 

 

Everyone can travel together.  If you have 4 people in a group (A31, A59, B12, B30)  you can all stay together and board @ B30.  Just a suggestion.