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Family Boarding

deniseTravels
New Arrival

I just flew from RSW to PIT.  I feel that SW needs to charge for family boarding on certain routes.  Florida for sure!   I paid for early board check in and was given B 52-54.   When they started to line us up and grp A went.  Then its time for family boarding.  There was at least 8 families with 2 kids each.  They didnt have to pay any extra and got to board before me who paid.   So by the time i got on the plane they had taken up so many rows.  With 3 + 3 seats in each row.  They need 2+2.  So that left a single seat in all those rows.   We were practically in the back of them plane to find a row with 3 seats.  So what did i pay for?   The kid in front of starts coughing...a deep cough for the whole flight.  No mask and the dad allowed him to jump around for 2 hours.  It needs to just be first come first serve.  Do away with early bird....family boarding.  Its funny how they need extra time to get on but jump right up when its time to get off!

 

7 REPLIES 7

Re: Family Boarding

jksobonya
Rising Star

I normally fly solo and am A-List, and don't have any problems with the family boarding process. Charging for family boarding is an interesting concept though - you can click "Contact Us" below and make the suggestion to Southwest directly. 

 

--Jessica

Re: Family Boarding

floridaguy
Active Member

Searching this blog, I find posts going back 5+ years complaining about who gets to board first, the same issues over and over and over.  Compounding the issue is preboarding.

 

Southwest is a carrier with an open seating policy.  With that said, you have to have your expectations aligned with reality.  If you want a specific seat, there are airlines who do that, but you will pay more to travel.

 

I've often wondered whether Southwest should price the ticket based upon boarding position.  The idea being that A1 pays the highest ticket price, A2 a little less, and so on.  Instead of buying a seat, you buy a boarding position.  If the flight holds 200 people, there are 200 unique prices.

 

Then, it all becomes how much you want to spend.  Of course, it does create a problem for the preboard people who can't be charged a premium to preboard, so I'm wondering how that would work.

Re: Family Boarding

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

What did you pay for?  You paid to be checked in automatically by the system 24 hours prior to departure, that is all you paid for and the system did that.

 

EarlyBird does not have any guarantee of a specific boarding position and the only reference to boarding position is "earlier boarding position" which is true as you were assigned a boarding position before people who did not have A-List or did not purchase EarlyBird.  

 

Yes, Family Boarding creates an opportunity for people with a worse boarding position than you to cut ahead in line.  Could Southwest do away with Family Boarding?  Sure, they could, but I don't imagine that would ever happen.  If you are looking for a specific boarding position you should either get A-List status or purchase upgraded boarding which puts you in A1-15.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Family Boarding

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@TheMiddleSeat wrote:

   Could Southwest do away with Family Boarding?  Sure, they could, but I don't imagine that would ever happen.   

 

Well, if Southwest were to do away with family boarding, it would sure run counter to recent DOT jaw boning

 

"

The Transportation Department on Friday urged airlines to make it easier for families to sit together on planes at no extra charge.

The department said in a notice to airlines that the carriers “should do everything that they can to ensure the ability of a young child” 13 or younger to sit next to an older family member.

 

dot statement

 

Re: Family Boarding

deniseTravels
New Arrival

I did hear about the new TSA rule.  SW needs to charge for seats rather then early bird.  Problem solved.  You are correct it checked me in BUT its to get a chance for a better seat.  Those families didnt pay extra and regardless of when they checked in they go to board before all of grp B that did pay

 

Re: Family Boarding

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@deniseTravels wrote:

I did hear about the new TSA rule.  SW needs to charge for seats rather then early bird.  Problem solved.  You are correct it checked me in BUT its to get a chance for a better seat.  Those families didnt pay extra and regardless of when they checked in they go to board before all of grp B that did pay

 


They have to provide some family boarding option that reasonably gives families a chance to sit together to follow the federal requirements.

 

Even the "pay for a carry on" airlines have to accommodate families in some way without charging extra when they otherwise would charge for seat assignments so Southwest is in the same boat here to provide "free early bird" to families with young children.

If the EBCI isn't working then you should look into the "upgraded boarding" option instead to have a much more favorable position in line.

 

 

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Family Boarding

floridaguy
Active Member

The rule is vague.  If you sell your seats on the plane, and you come along with a child under 13 and there are no seats "together", the what do you do?

 

If you are an airline with assigned seats, you are not going to move a passenger that is already paid for a seat.  If you are Southwest, you are not going to run around asking people who have already occupied a seat to move.  So, either the child sits by him/her self or you tell the purchaser that no seats are available that are "together".  

 

The DOT needs to earn their salary and give a specific recipe for how this is accomplished.  Such crap is like the EPA saying that airlines should do their very best to not produce any hydrocarbons or oxides of nitrogen during flight.