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Explorer C

I am an a-lister and have earned every penny of it, Southwest's pre-board policy effectively nullifies my privileges. There is NO reason that ANYONE should be allowed to pre-board that does not have a valid reason, those traveling with their pre-boarders that do not have a valid reason should board according to their assigned numbers (SW already has a childs policy I believe). I have witnessed TOO MANY TIMES people requesting pre-board (even if they have a B or C number) only to sit in the front row and save seats for their B and C family, while they watch those with crutches and casts "walk" to the back! I like the unassigned boarding process and think it is being taken advantage of by too many people while SW stands by and allows this to happen! I will begin to say something EVERY time from now on.



Aviator A

Sure, there probably are people that take advantage of the system.  Since Southwest is not legally able to request verification or proof of a disability or other need to preboard there's not much that can be done.  I've heard the idea that preboarders not be allowed in certain seats, but when you read what preboarding is for it specifically says , "Preboarding is available for Customers who have a specific seating need to accommodate their disability and/or need assistance in boarding the aircraft or stowing an assistive device."  You can see there's no easy solution.




Frequent Flyer A

@MAD-A-LISTER I'm not an A-Lister. I'm A-List Preferred if you want to get into a pissing contest. I always pre-board. Does that piss you off? I get an extra seat because I'm fat (no punch pulling though I've lost 50lbs in the past 4 months).


I witnessed a lady checking in this morning who was going for treatment for cancer (you see this a lot flying to Houston because of MD Anderson). She was really nervous and talking a lot about it. The agent was so nice, comforting and trying to calm her. The agent then asked her if she wanted to pre-board. The lady paused and stuttered a bit, and the agent said, "Let's get you pre-boarding so that we can help you a bit more." The poor lady (who was traveling by herself) burst into tears.


She appeared to be perfectly healthy. From what I could tell, she was walking just fine. Doesn't all of this just piss you off? 


Explorer B

Your condescending tone nullifies any point you’re trying to make. Congrats on losing that weight. Try losing the arrogance next.


Explorer C

I am a long-time Business flyer as well as long-time A-list Preferred… I used to get mad when a large group of Pre-boarders would board ahead of me even though I’d purchase a Business Select ticket and fly 100+ flights a year. It made me angry and I started becoming anxious about flying.


so… I applied to be a Pre-boarder on all of my flights going forward… saves me tons on Business Select and I get to board way ahead of where I used to board. Problem solved.


if you can’t beat them… join them…


Explorer C

To the contrary, Southwest is absolutely allowed to ask for proof of disability if someone is requesting "reasonable accommodation," which includes early boarding. Source: I'm a lawyer. This is Southwest's fault. I don't want anyone else coming on here and thinking otherwise.


Aviator A

lol, someone really has a bone to pick if they make their literal message board screen name "mad a lister" in all caps 🤣


That aside, pretty much everyone who preboards has a "valid reason" to do so. Here's what Southwest has to say about it in their Boarding the Plane FAQ:


Preboarding is available for Customers who have a specific seating need to accommodate their disability and/or need assistance in boarding the aircraft or stowing an assistive device. If a Customer with a disability simply needs a little extra time to board, we will permit the Customer to board before Family Boarding, between the “A” and “B” groups. Those Customers who need extra time to board will receive a new boarding pass with an extra time designation. The designation serves as notification to our Operations (boarding) Agent that the Customer should be permitted to board before Family Boarding.

We will allow one travel companion to act as an “attendant” and preboard with a Customer with a disability. In most cases, the Customer requires assistance from only one other person, and any additional family members or friends are asked to board with their assigned group.

Customers should request preboarding from our Customer Service Agent at the ticket counter or departure gate. Our Agents are trained to ask fact-finding questions to determine if the Customer meets the qualifications described above. Those Customers who qualify for preboarding will receive a new boarding pass with a preboarding designation. The designation serves as notification to our Operations (Boarding) Agent that the Customer should be permitted to preboard.

It's important to keep in mind that Customers who preboard may not occupy an exit seat.

Note: Customers who are preboarding because of a need for a specific seat onboard the aircraft should speak with the Operations (Boarding) Agent prior to the start of preboarding to alert the Agent to the seating need.




Fun fact: on one of my flights last week an entire family with several grown adults (and maybe some adult kids, definitely 18+) and a few small children all tried to board during Family Boarding. The gate agent told them that Family Boarding was only for children under 6 and two adults max, and wouldn't budge. The family was ticked off and made a scene, yelling and storming off, saying they would report the agent, etc. They ended up being one of the last to board, and I'm pretty sure we left several minutes late because of them taking their grand ol' time. One of the adults was trying to go down the aisle with a half open suitcase and stuff literally spilling out of it. I'm not kidding! It was a sight to see. 




Aviator C

@MAD-A-LISTER You appear to be very forthcoming with your personality so might I suggest this.  You should go up to every one of those who appear to be bucking the system and inquire about their rationale to get a pre-board pass.  Since SWA has restraints on what they can do in regard to verification, you don't.  Stealing the "pissing match" scenario, I've asked, (and in some cases more or less demanded) people early in the pandemic to cover their face with their mask, even though there is a GA/FA right there.  I was fortunate that the FEDs and airports got more diligent in their mandates and more people were forced to mask up properly.  (You gotta love those old Texas men, lol) 



Frequent Flyer B

Yet the masks have zero to do with anything beneficial and everything to do with ignorance and control.

They simply do nothing beneficial.


Aviator A

This is a legal issue and not a SW one. 


My personal solution: I aim for exit row seats as a A Lister (Preferred). Pre-boarders can't sit in the exit row.


Works for me. Otherwise, I give the benefit of the doubt.


My grandmother used to look perfectly healthy and able, but she had a significant vision issue. The extra time was helpful for her -- as it is for countless others with invisible challenges.


-A List, Companion Pass holder