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Disabled people cheating to board early. – PROBLEM SOLVED!

New Arrival

I fly a lot. Every week. I usually have boarding pass A1 or A2. I always buy business select tickets, meaning I pay a fortune for my tickets. I’m 6’6’’ and it’s very important that I sit in a seat with leg room. So I always try to get a first row seat as they offer the most leg room. I hate the exit row because it takes a long time to get off the plane. Being that I travel for business so often I schedule flights just a little ahead of my meetings. This means I need to get off the plane quickly.

 

So now that I have set the stage, allow me to explain my frustration. The amount of people faking disabilities is ridiculous. Some flights I see 15 people pre-boarding with fake disabilities. Of course, some are legit. I see a lot of seniors and Veterans, and I am glad to allow them to sit first. But the fake people are so frustrating. I usually fly out of SMF which is a tiny airport, I have seen people park next to me and walk, if not run, to the ticket counter. Then magically lose the use of their legs. I realize SW can’t contol this. The FAA requires them to board the frauds early. But there is a way around this.

 

The solution:

 

  1. First off, I am a Global First customer with United. But they don’t fly a lot out of my tiny airport so I use SW more and more. Anyway, United has these people board between boarding groups 1 and 2.

 

  1. Even if they don’t choose to do this, the simple solution is not allow any pre-board people to sit in the first few rows (maybe 3?). Problem solved!

 

I have seen so many post on this problem. When will SW address this growing problem? I realize in the grand scheme of things this is not the biggest problem in the world. But when you have multiple flights a week for year and years, it’s starts to become important. Saving time at the airport equals more time at home with my wife and kids.

20 REPLIES 20
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Re: Disabled people cheating to board early. – PROBLEM SOLVED!

New Arrival

You ought to look up invisible disabilities. Educate yourself before you judge based off appearances.  Just because someone doesn't appear to be disabled, doesn't mean they aren't. Many people have heart and lung problems, inner physical disabilities that they struggle with.  I, myself, have Pulmonary Fibrosis and already struggle with breathing problems. The struggle is even harder when people judge, with their looks and stares.   Although I look like a young, healthy individual, I have a diminished lung capacity.  So don't get mad or frustrated. Be more compassionate towards others. #invisibledisabilities #pulmonaryfibrosis

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Re: Disabled people cheating to board early. – PROBLEM SOLVED!

New Arrival

I understand YOUR frustration with people not always seeing the invisable disabled, as I too have invisable disabilities, BUT it is truly a LARGE PROBLEM with non-disabled people pretending to be disabled just to board early.....if you travel often you would see this happen way too many times, it has become an epidemic in America to "pretend" and abuse the rights of the disabled....just go to a parking lot and observe how many people park in "disabled" parking spots and walk into the store with NO aparent problems and laugh and giggle on their way there....YES there are those of us with the invisables BUT really it's not the case for so many....they are just faking to serve themselves and this is what I believe the previous poster is talking about, I don't think he is being blind to people with our types of disabilities, he is just observing what I too see way to often.

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Re: Disabled people cheating to board early. – PROBLEM SOLVED!

New Arrival

i fully understand what you are saying.. I would also say tho that on my flights I usually see 12-18 people in wheel chairs get early boarding and then when we land 95% of them miraculously bolt off the plane when landing!!! This is obviously people gaming the system and yes I DO get mad... I have NO issue with people both old or young who need this extra time whether seen or unseen. It's not fair or ethical for them to do that..

/jc

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Re: Disabled people cheating to board early. – PROBLEM SOLVED!

Active Member

Good post!  My wife is hearing-impaired (85-90% loss).  She doesn't appear disabled, but needs to be able to get a notification from the gate agent and to inform the flight attendant of her condition and location.  SW does a better job than United when on a recent UA flight the gate agent informed to "listen for the preboarding announcement" so she could board early.  REALLY United?  Then they met her at the destination with a wheel chair!  Unbelievable on both counts!

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Re: Disabled people cheating to board early. – PROBLEM SOLVED!

New Arrival

My solution to this problem.  All pre-boarders must sit in the rear of the plane, preferrably the last 5 rows.  This is to better "serve" them.

 

There are 2 bathrooms

There are 2 attendants

They will have extra time to deplane without disturbing other passengers.

 

This is a HUGE problem that we commuters see on every flight.  Southwest needs to take action or the A-listers are also going to start carrying canes and everyone will be a pre-boarder.

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Re: Disabled people cheating to board early. – PROBLEM SOLVED!

Active Member

This would absolutely solve the problem!

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Re: Disabled people cheating to board early. – PROBLEM SOLVED!

Top Contributor

@hockeydiva wrote:

This would absolutely solve the problem!


If only it were possible. But it's not. Because -- as has been mentioned many, many times now -- Southwest cannot -- in an "open seating" system -- specify which seats pre-boarders can or can't use. To do so would be a violation of the Air Carrier Access Act.

 

The only "solution," sadly, is assigned seating.

 

 

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Re: Disabled people cheating to board early. – PROBLEM SOLVED!

New Arrival

But they do already resitrict seating for pre-boarders.  Pre-boarders cannot sit in exit rows.  If they can say that then they can say they must sit in the back of the plane to be near available resources.  This is not in violation of anything from Southwest's perspective because it is the flyer's choice to pre-board.  No one is making them go early and they have a normal boarding assignment which they are granted all rights to them to choose any seat they wish.

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Re: Disabled people cheating to board early. – PROBLEM SOLVED!

Top Contributor

The exit row restriction is an FAA requirement. The ACAA specifically allows this restriction, only.