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Frequent Flyer B

*******What would you have done? Tell me that you can seat in any open seat?

Thats exactly what you would be told.  By myself and the FAs as well.  Exactly what has happened before.  If you want to be that inconsiderate, then board with them.

******Sorry, but this seat is taken.

No, it isnt, its available.

******Sit down anyway? I'm not getting up to let you in. Push past me? I'm pressing charges for assault. 

Does not work that way.  Cause a problem and its YOU getting thrown off the plane.  You might want to read up on criminal codes and the elements needed.   What you think is assault is in reality YOU committing criminal disorderly conduct.


Explorer C

LOL you seriously have issues.  Thank God I don't have to sit next to you.


Explorer B

I was so frustrated at these posts.  I made an account.  With a similarly obvious name.  Im copying my other response here.  Please consider how some of us feel being judged by someone who doesnt have to think about everything they do, everything they eat, every step they take, just to get through a day.  That guy on crutches will probably be like new in a few months.  Its might be uncomfortable to walk that far, but it likely has little to no impact on the rest if his week.  


I look perfectly fine.  But those 100 extra feet add up for me, and do impact my day, and my week.  It might impact me enough to be visible that moment, it might not.   It two months, I wont be any better, but I'll likely still look perfrctly fine.  Now, who "deserves" preboarding. 


Anyway, I don't begrudge people who don't know any better, but now you do.  Here's my other response.



As a long term A-Lister myself, who is quite young, and looks very healthy.  Who can walk and stand short periods.  Who fatigues so easily that overdoing it can cause me to be laid up for days.  Who uses a wheelchair or a walker, but I dont have to sit in it 100% of the time.  


To you, I look like a preboarding jerk.  


In reality, I earned A-List status when I was fully "abled".


I never judged or was angry at preboarders, but I didnt stop friends lighthearted jesting about them and their miracles.


My life has been turned upside down.  I preboard because I have to.  I preboard because that extra walking isnt about convenience, or laziness, or cheating the system.  It is about my ability to manage to function more than a teensy percent of the day.  It is because a little extra walking that day could cause gasping and shortness of breath and a skyrocjeting heart rate.  Id be miserable, but at least you'd feel better about boarding sooner and 5 seats earlier.  


If I am not fortunate enough to have help at arrival somewhere, I might miraculously have to manage my own luggage, and probably look perfectly fine doing it.  


Should I stay seated in my wheelchair at all times to make you feel better?  Should I wrap myself in bandages unecessarily so that my disibility can be visible to you?


I am not trying to be mean, but I assure you, a week in my shoes would have you singing a different tune.


I preboarded recently on a trip with my kids and ex husband.  They preboarded with me because I needed his help.  Should I have left my kids at the gate with us on the plane?  And we got looks, let me tell you.  


The kicker - our boarding passes were A2-5.  I wasnt sure how preboarding would work, it was my first time, so I paid extra to upgrade to ensure we'd be early on the plane.  If I hadn't upgraded, we'd have been in the A20s due to status. 


Im sure some people abuse.  But I know many young people in my groups who are not willing to use accommodations available to them because they fear judgment of others.  They do things that actually cause them net harm by expending unecessary energy because they dont want to be judged by abled people.  Many of us have internalized "ableism".  


I even wear joking shorts implying or pointing out I have an invisible illness because I hate the disappoving stares.  Im ok with curiosity.  Ill even tell you if you ask.  But disapproving looks are more of a reflection of that person, than me.  


I carefuly planned and managed my energy all week to be able to make that flight.  I gave up a lot of things to make it.  It was hard, but just because Im not healthy anymore doesnt mean I cant enjoy a vacation.


P.s.  despite significany health challenges, I work.  Not my old job, I cant.  But from home.  I never went on disability.  I wanted to keep working, it was hard, but I did it.


I qualify for and need preboarding, I dont look like it.  Not a bit.  But I would gladly never preboarding again to have my health, and my life back.


Adventurer C

I respect your perspective and the post had nothing to do with legitimate pre-board. However number one... The distance is the same if you pre-board or not.  Perhaps boarding last would be much less stressful. Especially those who are triggered by large groups. 

Two, shouldn't legitimate pre-boarders have issue and take up this fight with these fake ones? In fact Id say that would be a noble fight that YOU ARE invested in. Reduce the false ones because only adds to your boarding times with all the false and preserve the sanctity. Don't expect the rest of us to ignore that on average 30 people pre-board and less than half have a real reason.   I freak out and have anxiety when so many pre-boarders are taking my time being escorted on the plane while they walked around the terminal. Should my anxiety about pre-boarders make me pre-board? 


Aviator C

Until the law changes, nothing can be done.  In the near future, those that preboard will be assigned boarding positions due to the number of preboards.


Then, the remaining six passengers can board the plane after all preboards are on the plane.


The issue becomes open seating.  With open seating, preboards get the best choice of seats, thus, the number of preboards.  


What gets me is the number of people who are using wheelchairs.  I see them running around the terminal getting snacks and then right before boarding, they drop back into their wheelchair.  Due to the number of preboards, people have now figured out that using the wheelchair gets you the front of the line for preboards.


Explorer A

I continually ask SW for their opinion on the regulations and whether they are employing their sea of lobbyists to find a reasonable solution.  I get radio silence.  They simply take the teflon approach of saying "they are adhering to the regulations".


Aviator C

Why in the world would Southwest lobby to have some type of reversal or upset of the current law?  Can you imagine the backlash from the legal community if Southwest pushed back on providing accommodations for persons with disabilities?


This issue is not preboarding.  The issue is OPEN SEATING which makes preboarding a bonus by giving the passenger the best choice of seats.  


If you fly other airlines, while preboarding does occur due to the law, there is not an incentive to misuse the system since your seat is already assigned.  


Your focus is misdirected.  Southwest has the answer but changing to assigned seating is going to slow down the boarding process and translates into fewer revenues.




Explorer A

That's the point ... forcing hard decisions about a business model that doesn't work.  Either buckle up, lobby for changes and ensure the wrath of <insert your favorite interest group here> or change the business model.  They can't have it both ways and not continue to elicit these concerns.


The abuse is real and undeniable ... equal to people parking in disabled slots with the knowledge that they'll be perpetually ticket-free.


Explorer B

Sorry but not sorry. Pre board is being abused on a massive scale. This will have to be addressed or the airline will lose their most loyal A list and A list preferred customers. Self centered people don’t care about that I get it. I have sat in the normal boarding line with WW2 vets. They themselves were outraged at who was in preboard. Enough!


Aviator C

All that is required of the law is that you "self identify" as a person with a disability to be able to preboard.  In fact, you can do back flips and aerobics all the way to the gate and then "self identify".  You can also yuk it up and wear a sign that says "I abused the Pre Board System" and wear a flashing strobe light and the law will protect you.


The issue here, as stated many many times is OPEN SEATING where the preboard passengers get the best choice of seats


 Soon the preboards will be assigned boarding positions and the remaining six people can just walk on the plane afterwards.