Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

Highlighted

Re: Military Boarding Policy

New Arrival

I travel often and will never fly Southwest again. My daughter, who is active duty military, just attempted to board her flight from BWI to PWM when the agent announced military boarding and was denied twice because she is not traveling in uniform (even though she showed her military ID). Not only was she denied but the agent was extremely rude to her. She travels often, and never in uniform, and has never had this issue even on previous SW flights. Horrible customer service and treatment of active duty personnel. 

Highlighted

Re: Military Boarding Policy

New Arrival

@LindseyD

I just boarded a Southwest flight at John Wayne where the agent didn’t call out Military boarding after the A group. So I went up to ask and got a little attitude while she said “it’s a courtesy” and said “it is up to my discretion” then when my wife said her co-worker (who we asked prior) told us that we could board after A, the agent said “I’m in charge of this”.

Highlighted

Re: Military Boarding Policy

New Arrival

unfortunate to have this discussion board and all comments essentially disregarded by Southwest management . The military boarding policy could be greatly improved and ignoring concerns will equal losing business. 

Highlighted

Re: Military Boarding Policy

New Arrival

Lindsey,

 

Thank you for confirming that Southwest does NOT, in fact, give a rip about military service, when it comes to boarding. Which is fine, really. Just come out and say it: "If you are in the military, you can wait in line just like everybody else." At least that "policy" would be consistent.

 

Why foster all of this angst against yourself, Southwest? Why require service members to be IN UNIFORM in order to board early enough to get out of the middle?

This sinple distinction demonstrates that your policy is purely for show. Unadulterated, blatant, in-your-face pageantry, created to make Southwest appear to be friendly to the members of the military.

 

On those rare occasions  when I have no choice but to fly Southwest, perhaps I should put on my Class B uniform, so you (Southwest Airlines) can appear to be kindhearted and magnanimous toward the military. But then, I would have to charge you for the advertising. And I wouldn't be allowed to do that in uniform. What a conundrum you have created.

 

So, Lindsey (if that is your name), I take umbrage at your suggestion that, "we have an enormous amount of respect and appreciation for all members of the armed forces as well as their families." Really? Talk is cheap, and those words are about as cheap as you can get.

 

Why not just come out and say it. Get in line like everybody else, Soldier. To be perfectly honest, we (military) don't have to have all these perks, like discounts and early boarding. You  (taxpayers) thank us twice a month, and that should be all we need from you. But then, I'm guessing I don't speak for all of my brothers and sisters in (and out of) uniform.

Highlighted

Re: Military Boarding Policy

New Arrival

I STRONGLY suggest that Southwest review it's policy on this subject.  Just last evening, my husband, who is still active after over 20 years of military service was embarrassed by a gate agent who told him he was not allowed to board after Group A unless he was in uniform.  This is contrary to every other gate experience we have had.    The policy in place is outdated and miscommunicated leaving our men and women who serve as the ones confused and embarrassed.  I hope we all can agree that is a shame and should be corrected.  

Highlighted

Re: Military Boarding Policy

New Arrival

I’d like to add to this post and say that I just watched 17 people “preboard” accompanying people needing additional time but when I tried to board with military boarding I was told I had to be in uniform. I literally showed her my orders and explained the nature of my job doesn’t allow me to travel in uniform to which she replied “plenty of people travel in uniform in DC, I know it’s possible”. Really southwest? I fly once sometimes twice per month with this airline because of military duties and have NEVER been denied because I wasn’t in uniform. I specifically choose SW because of this reason. Today I was greeted with insincerity, a rude gate agent, and total and complete disregard for my military service because I wasn’t a walking display of it. I will further add that when the gate agent announces the priority boarding they rarely ever say “US military personnel IN Uniform”. Does the fact that I’m not in uniform make me less of a service member? What’s the purpose of the priority boarding? It doesn’t make sense. Is it to honor those currently serving their country? If so it should be extended to any and all currently serving WHY does being in uniform make a difference? To distinguish that it’s official business? Again, that’s the purpose of military orders that I also presented. Or is is an act for SW to seem military friendly but in fact not really care? Because at this point that’s certainly what it feels like. This one person may not make a difference but it’s extremely disappointing that SW displayed such poor customer service and a total disregard for those protecting this country’s freedom. Shame on you. I guess I should encourage those serving their country to fake an injury because apparently that holds more weight with SW. 

Highlighted

Re: Military Boarding Policy

New Arrival

lol I’d like to add to this post and say that I just watched 17 people “preboard” accompanying people needing additional time but when I tried to board with military boarding I was told I had to be in uniform. I literally showed her my orders and explained the nature of my job doesn’t allow me to travel in uniform to which she replied “plenty of people travel in uniform in DC, I know it’s possible”. Really southwest? I fly once sometimes twice per month with this airline because of military duties and have NEVER been denied because I wasn’t in uniform. I specifically choose SW because of this reason. Today I was greeted with insincerity, a rude gate agent, and total and complete disregard for my military service because I wasn’t a walking display of it. I will further add that when the gate agent announces the priority boarding they rarely ever say “US military personnel IN Uniform”. Does the fact that I’m not in uniform make me less of a service member? What’s the purpose of the priority boarding? It doesn’t make sense. Is it to honor those currently serving their country? If so it should be extended to any and all currently serving WHY does being in uniform make a difference? To distinguish that it’s official business? Again, that’s the purpose of military orders that I also presented. Or is is an act for SW to seem military friendly but in fact not really care? Because at this point that’s certainly what it feels like. This one person may not make a difference but it’s extremely disappointing that SW displayed such poor customer service and a total disregard for those protecting this country’s freedom. Shame on you. I guess I should encourage those serving their country to fake an injury because apparently that holds more weight with SW. 

Highlighted

Re: Military Boarding Policy

Rising Star

It's my undertanding that Southwest does not have a military boarding policy.  If such a policy exists (on the web or elsewhere) then please point me to it, I'd like to be able to provide a reference for others!

 

Also a side note is that seating and boarding is a big topic of discussion in these forums so it's not just military boarding, there is a bigger dynamic at work.  And there are *strong* and differing opinions on almost any boarding topic.  With many potential sequencing conflicts.  End of side note.

 

So without a formal military boarding policy I think what's happened is that an informal "norm" evolved where gate agents are able to use discretion to board military members early.  Some will let you board in "civvies", some state that you have to be in uniform, some say no dice.  I think in all instances the gate agent is technically correct because, without a policy, it really is their call.  Though in all instances, there should be courtesy and respect for all customers.

 

I'm a Navy veteran and two comments in this thread most resonate with me:

 

    • 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.  Direct link to comment.
    • 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.  Direct link to comment.

The Knowledge Base on this site provides contact information to submit a suggestion or a complaint.  You can get in touch with Customer Relations by email (click through on this page), by phone at 1-855-234-4654 or on Twitter (@Southwestair).


Customer | Home airport DCA

Re: Military Boarding Policy

New Arrival

Lindsey, 

 

While your response is appreciated. Military members are targets and are told to not travel in uniform when possible.  It would be much appreciated if you allowed us the earlier boarding with valid military ID shown with boarding pass.

 

thank-you for considering,

heather

Highlighted

Re: Military Boarding Policy

New Arrival

I see alot of posts on here about Service members and the policy for Military pre Boarding.

what is frustraiting to me is that South west does not have a policy regarding

Emergency First Responders. I have been a professional Firefighter/Paramedic for 25 years and I'm not given any pre boarding status because of my career. I would think it would be very important for flight crew to know that a Emergency First Responder is on the aircraft should an in flight emergency take place. A simple pre check in box at time of registration and allow those qualified members to be placed in Emergency seating area instead of someone that thinks they are qualified because they want to have leg room. 

On board the plane they treat these customers as if they are capable in emergency and I wlak by after being stuck in C class.

 

just happen to me on last flight and my flight tomorrow I checked into my flight exactly 24 hours nd I was placed in C class.

Very Frustraiting