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Person of Size

Radar70
New Arrival

I've read conflicting responses for the purchasing of an extra seat.  My husband has a large chest/ shoulders, I have a large bottom, we are flying to Vegas and thought it best to purchase an extra seat.  I want to pre-board as it is difficult for me to walk the aisle, I don't want everyone staring and judging my size.  I am confused about pre-boarding or if I have to purchase Early Bird check in.  I sent Southwest an email weeks ago, I never received a reply - they said it could take up to 30 days for an answer, I am impatient & want to calm my anxiety.  Thank you  

4 REPLIES 4

Re: Person of Size

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

The short answer: if you need to preboard, simply request it at check-in or at the gate.  If you plan to prebaord there is no need to purchase EarlyBird.  You did not seem to have a specific question about passengers of size, but that option is available and can be utilized to give you a little more room.

 

Here is information about preboarding from https://www.southwest.com/help/day-of-travel/boarding-process

 

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.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Person of Size

bwallet
Active Member

@Radar70 At check-in, request an extra seat under the "customer of size" policy. It will include preboarding.

Re: Person of Size

bec102896
Top Contributor
Solution

If you do the COS extra seat (customer of size) you will be able to preboard that way you can put the paper on the seat next to you that says seat reserved. You will need to tell the other passengers that the seat is taken if they ask is anyone sitting there. On my flight from Vegas yesterday a guy tried to start an argument with a person who did the COS extra seat policy. 

 

Also I recommend buying the seat proactively because if the flight is full you may not be able to get the seat. Some agents will oversell some won't from what I have seen lately from others using the policy at check in. 

Re: Person of Size

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor
Solution

@Radar70 wrote:

I've read conflicting responses for the purchasing of an extra seat.  My husband has a large chest/ shoulders, I have a large bottom, we are flying to Vegas and thought it best to purchase an extra seat.  I want to pre-board as it is difficult for me to walk the aisle, I don't want everyone staring and judging my size.  I am confused about pre-boarding or if I have to purchase Early Bird check in.  I sent Southwest an email weeks ago, I never received a reply - they said it could take up to 30 days for an answer, I am impatient & want to calm my anxiety.  Thank you  


All three responses so far are the answer to the post:

 

1) don’t buy early bird if you will ask for preboarding and/or COS.

 

2) the scenario for you both might be for you to ask for medical preboarding and him to book customer of size which includes preboarding, then you can both board and pick out a three-seat row and put the placard on the middle seat. (Or the window

 

note: the COS ticket is refunded, so you don’t actually “pay” for it in the end but you do have to buy it up front and get a refund later. There is no option to buy a second seat for yourself, it’s not compatible with the ticketing system. The COS method is the workaround in this regard.

 

3) There isn’t any reason for you both to be COS when all you need is one empty middle seat to share. You could both do it if you didn’t plan to sit together. 

4) if you don’t end up preboarding or as COS, head to the middle of the place the window seats are a little wider there. The very front and back window seats are thinner seats due to the tapering of the fuselage.

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