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Re: Pre-Boarding Abuse bad for All

Active Member

Here is what I was told the policy is for preboarding, which is not st all

what is happening :


"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. Customers who are traveling with assistance and emotional support animals qualify for preboarding. 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.”

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Re: Pre-Boarding Abuse bad for All

New Arrival

it has nothing to do with bursitis... board first i dont care, but i bet you'll have a problem if you have to sit in a seat past the first 10 or 15 rows. For us spending 10's of thousands a year in travel costs, have connecting business flights and so on, we pay for the perks. but when i watch someone in a wheel chair get on a plain with his wife, take the front row, get off the plane in Vegas and walk through the terminal faster than me!!!? then i have a problem.

 

Bursitis can be dealt with in the back as well as the front so don't kid your self

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Re: Pre-Boarding Abuse bad for All

New Arrival

I have been commuting weekly between my home in Vegas and my job in San Francisco for over 20 years now...exclusively flying SW for the past 12 years. I have seen lots of change (mostly good) over that time. The biggest issue I have with preboarders has to do with inconsistency not only among airports, but among gate agents in the same airports. For example, when leaving Las Vegas on very early-morning flights (most with few preboarders), gate agents will often announce that preboarders can only be accompanied by one person (as opposed to families of 7 boarding with grandma in her wheelchair). That doesn't stop the seat saving for multiple people once onboard, however, so it's basically a meaningless gesture. On my return trip home from either SFO or OAK airports, I have seen gate agents allow large groups to preboard with one disabled passenger and have witnessed a gate agent tell a business traveler in a sling (a young man) that he would not be allowed to preboard because a flight attendent could help him put his suitcase in the overhead bin when he boarded. The moral of this story is that the world is crammed full of people who learn to play the system. They are cheaters who feel empowered and have no moral compass. That being said, gate agents honestly can't judge the disabled from the players. Many physical and mental disabilities aren't easily discernible, as other responders have mentioned. To help ensure your emotional health when flying, you have two choices. First, do what I've learned to do as a frequent flyer and realize that boarding, like life in general, isn't always fair. Take a deep breath and thank whatever god you pray to that you don't actually need that blue boarding pass and cross your fingers that karma will eventually catch up to the cheaters in one way or the other. OR...fly another airline where you can book your specific seat in advance...and pay for your carry-on bags...and pay for your checked bags... You get my drift. A final thought... I remember the days when the line was first-come, first-served. I would get to the airport two hours before my flight to ensure I was one of the first 20 regular boarders on the flight. That meant standing in line (or sitting) in line the entire time. Those awful days are over. And SW also allows the A-Listers to board before the parents with small children, which wasn't always the case. Imagine if the preboarders still included all those families with children as well. A person with an A-30 boarding pass would sometimes be lucky to actually be the 50th or 60th person on the flight. Overall I enjoy flying Southwest and am grateful that the airline does improve the experience for customers as the years go by.

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Re: Pre-Boarding Abuse bad for All

New Arrival

The pre-boarding from Jamaica was a joke, one man boarded, no physical disabilities seen, saved the first 2 rows for his family, jumped off at Lauderdale and set a very brisk pace to immigration.  Lifted his two medium sized checked bags off the conveyor belt and trotted off pulling both cases behind him and again at a lickety spit pace.  I now know you can save seats, I now know you can pre-board with NO medical letter just lie and say 'I need to preboard' and then save the first few rows for all your friends!!!   Then an older lady on the second leg from Lauderdale to Tampa saved the  other two seats in her row for her friends that had C boarding so although we paid extra for early boarding we coundn't sit anywhere near forward on both flights!!!   Never again.  If I want to travel like cattle then I'll suffer Southwest again but if I want to be able to relax and not have to deal with obnoxious people then I'll fly a more organized airline.

 

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Re: Pre-Boarding Abuse bad for All

Active Member

This thread is a great way to blow off steam. But the reality is that the abusers (and the seat savers) are going win Every time until Southwest management steps in to control the situation. Whether that is by having the pre-boarders limited to certain rows or something else to make pre boarding less attractive to abusers, something has to be done. 

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Re: Pre-Boarding Abuse bad for All

Top Contributor

As has been discussed many times, preboarders cannot legally be limited to certain rows within the system that Southwest uses now.

 

The something that will eventually be done will be assigned seating. And only at the point when Southwest feels their open boarding system (and it's inherent issues) negatively affects profits.

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Re: Pre-Boarding Abuse bad for All

Active Member

Just sit there.  If you want the seat, ignore what the seat saver is claiming, and sit there.  Nothing they can do to stop you.

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Re: Pre-Boarding Abuse bad for All

New Arrival

I have terrible anxiety.  I need to sit near the front and a widow otherwise I have panic attacks.

 

Many people have disabilities that is not visible.

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Re: Pre-Boarding Abuse bad for All

Active Member

I have no problem with pre-boarders. I do not understand people with dogs. Last flight there were three people with dogs - none of them trainined in any way as support dogs - they were barking at each other! Not sure how that makes sense.

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Re: Pre-Boarding Abuse bad for All

New Arrival

In your case then you should fly an airline where you can select your window seat at the front of the aircraft ahead of time.  I have a physical disability and am confined to a wheelchair, and even though I preboard I still have to  take what is available, I can't compel people who preboarded ahead of me to move because I prefer their seat.