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Person of size with husband and 6 year old son

Explorer C



I am a person of size and will be booking a flight to Florida soon. We always fly SW as they are always great to work with.  I usually get high anxiety when flying since I am overweight even though I am always working on weight loss, however, when flying with our little one I don't have as much because I take comfort in knowing that he sits in in the middle and everyone is comfortable because I'm sitting with my family.


I read on here that person of size can preboard. I've flown with SW for a few years and never knew this. My question is if I preboard can my husband and son come on with me? I know I read on here that your companion cannot but since we are a family with a little one is this an option?  If not, and I preboard, how do I know they will get to sit with me? Thanks in advance.


Re: Person of size with husband and 6 year old son

Aviator A

Actually here's the rule on who is allowed to preboard : "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 are allowed to have others help you preboard

Re: Person of size with husband and 6 year old son

Aviator A

Technically, no, since the policy states a person preboarding may have one person go with them and you are seeking to have two people go with you, BUT I highly doubt Southwest would require you to split up if you inquired about all preboarding together.  This is one of those situations that is going to require a decision made by the gate agent so you should prepare for either scenario.


Here's the preboarding policy I am referring to:

"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."


The policy does have the caveat, "In most cases", so there's room to allow for an additional person.  I do think if you ask nicely about it and show that the 2nd person is a 6 year old you won't have any problems.


If however they are not allowed to preboard with you then there is no guarantee they would be able to sit with you.  If you are sitting anywhere but the first couple of rows then you should be able to save seats for them.  This is very common, just don't try to save the front row.  To reduce the stress of this you could purchase EarlyBird Check-In for your husband and kid so they get a better boarding position.  You could also purchase upgraded boarding at the gate to get in the A1-15 positions.  It's more expensive than EBCI, but does get a better position.


I would suggest going to the gate, inquiring about preboarding, then if that fails, purchase the upgraded boarding positions for husband and son.  Still, check in right at 24 hours before departure time to get the best boarding position possible without paying, perhaps it will be low enough for you not to worry.