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Re: Military Boarding Policy

New Arrival

I understand and appreciate the kind gesture of early boarding for active duty military. As stated by many on this thread, mostnservice members refrain from wearing uniforms when traveling commercial. Today,  I was told by the gate agent (with an added eye roll) that I had to be in uniform as I stood in line with the family boarders in preparation for boarding the aircraft. On my previous flight, the gate agent accepted my ID card as verification of military status. So, I went ahead and paid $30 for early boarding since this policy seems to varies by gate agent. I can only assume that some gate agents have served in the military and have an appreciation for those who currently serve and sacrifice more than other agents. Please  consider a policy change that allows active duty military to board early with valid ID regardless of attire. 

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Re: Military Boarding Policy

New Arrival

 

Military at BWI

 

I got to the airport 3 hours early and observed three departing Southwest Airlines flights call for only military in uniform and 0 service members were in uniform.  However, many service members were boarding these flights and I that a lot of them traveling were traveling on orders.  I recalled that other airlines asked the military to board early with no excuses such as been in uniform. In my opinion, this is a poor excuse since a smaller number of them traveled uniform and not all military on official travel will be uniform when traveling. However, the other airlines do n’t use this an excuse. This airline is only pretending to be nice to the military.  

 

Southwest needs to update their military boarding policy if they sincerely support the military.

 

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Re: Military Boarding Policy

New Arrival

I have this same issue this AM in Charlotte. If we get technical appropriate civilian attire is an authorized part of uniform.

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Re: Military Boarding Policy

New Arrival

Do other airlines have open seating like Southwest?  Probably not.  Boarding early is a far bigger deal on Southwest than on an airline that has assigned seating.

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Re: Military Boarding Policy

New Arrival

Thank you for this post as active duty Coast Guard I experienced being turned away with military Id and official orders,  very disappointing treatment of service members. 

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Re: Military Boarding Policy

New Arrival

I was just VERY rudely turned away at Reagan in DC because I was not in uniform. I am an intelligence officer and it is not smart to travel in uniform as you make yourself a target. This is the only airport I have experienced this disparity. All other SW airports allow me as an active duty service member to pre-board without being in uniform which I very much appreciate. SW needs do standardize this. 

 

MAJ S

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Re: Military Boarding Policy

Top Contributor

@voltron wrote:

I was just VERY rudely turned away at Reagan in DC because I was not in uniform. I am an intelligence officer and it is not smart to travel in uniform as you make yourself a target. This is the only airport I have experienced this disparity. All other SW airports allow me as an active duty service member to pre-board without being in uniform which I very much appreciate. SW needs do standardize this. 

 

MAJ S


 

While I disagree with the official policy and it's uneven implementation, technically military do not preboard, they board between the A and B groups. You've been apparently very lucky.

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Re: Military Boarding Policy

Active Member

I am retired military. I did not expect special treatment nor did I accept it. I appreciate that SWA has military discounts for active duty when calling to make reservations, especially when they are short-notice. If you are travelling on the government dime you do not rate special perks. We serve this nation - just sign up 24 hours prior and you will get your nice seat.  You get to keep your miles even though you did not pay for the ticket. I am disappointed that some here feel that they should board prior to families with small children or anyone else. 

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Re: Military Boarding Policy

New Arrival

There is no problem accepting preferential treatment if it is offered. However, there should never be the expectation of it. Policies and their subsequent enforcement vary from one place to another. It happens. The military is the same way. 

Re: Military Boarding Policy

New Arrival

Just happened to me. I fly at least 20 times a year over the past 6 years with SW. I never ever ever been turned away cause I’m not physically in uniform even though it’s in my carry-on.  YOU SHOULD NEVER FLY IN UNIFORM!! The worst part is how embarrassing it was. Like she was loud and obnoxious and people were staring at me. Highly unprofessional.  If anything it’s a horrible fake PR stunt if you need to be in uniform.