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Pre-board abuse, reduced A-List Prefered value, time to mobilize the SW lobbyists

dwjr
New Arrival

I've read the frequent complaints about Southwest pre-board abuse and have to admit that it frustrates me, as well.  It's less of an issue for me when apparently able-bodied passengers pre-board as I think it's important to give them the benefit of the doubt given the number of hidden impairments. 

 

It's the wheelchair boarders who claim a disability while pre-boarding, then (with great dexterity) retrieve their overhead luggage and make an unassisted beeline for the airport exit (multiple bags in-hand and a cell call underway) that makes me fume.  And for all those out there who respond that "life is too short to get uptight about things like this", it's about the way they disrespect those with real disabilities that I'd ask you to consider if you're that altruistic.

 

Ok, now that the commonplace pre-board frustration is baselined, I recently had an interesting circumstance when I witnessed a family of six pre-board (four children and what appeared to be their parents) ... all without apparent impairments.  Isn't it the policy that pre-boarders get one -- and only one -- companion?  Interestingly, a red-shirted Southwest employee escorted them to the pre-board area ... and as they departed ... hugged each of them.  He then left the gate area ... obviously not a member of the gate staff.  

 

A complaint to Southwest will inevitably result in a canned response from their CRM system about their adherence to regulations and their lack of control.  My solution is to push Southwest to direct their legislative and regulatory lobbyists -- no question they have them -- to get better rules in place.  Just as their well-publicized $2 billion investment in better Wi-Fi, power ports and bigger overhead bins is getting attention, they need to direct their balance sheet to seeking more equitable (and enforceable) pre-board regulations.

 

Southwest's open boarding policy has it in a real bind when it comes to the diminishing value of A-List Preferred and paid upgrades.  No baggage fees, Companion Passes, no change fees, etc. only go so far when viewed against the perks of competitors.

 

As a long-time A-List Preferred customer, I'm seriously questioning the value given the clear pre-boarding abuse and Southwest's hand wringing.

 

And as a side note, that flight with the six-member pre-board family.  There were a total of 23 pre-boarders.  The flight was delayed given the lack of available wheelchairs.

5 REPLIES 5

Re: Pre-board abuse, reduced A-List Prefered value, time to mobilize the SW lobbyists

dfwskier
Top Contributor

Sorry you are frustrated.

 

Southwest's lobbyists can't fix this as you are dealing with a federal law. It will take a federal law to change it.

 

Maybe you should tell your senator and or congressperson that you want to see the law changed.

 

Hint - don't hold your breath.

Re: Pre-board abuse, reduced A-List Prefered value, time to mobilize the SW lobbyists

dwjr
New Arrival

I work a lot with lobbyists.  They can motivate legislative changes on the one end ... and regulatory ones on the other.  It just takes Southwest's clout (and maybe even cooperation with other carriers) to prove the problem and seek some resolution.  It's amazing what they'll do when the bottomline is threatened.

Re: Pre-board abuse, reduced A-List Prefered value, time to mobilize the SW lobbyists

PDFelter
Active Member

I'm tired of all of this complaining.  You mean to tell me that even if all 23 of the preboarders took the 1st 4 rows of seats, that it is a problem if you are sitting in the 5th row?  Good grief, find something else to complain about.  You had a seat on the plane.

Re: Pre-board abuse, reduced A-List Prefered value, time to mobilize the SW lobbyists

dfwskier
Top Contributor

here, here

Re: Pre-board abuse, reduced A-List Prefered value, time to mobilize the SW lobbyists

floridaguy
Active Member

Maybe we need a little song to go along with this....

 

Pre-board pre-board...over the ocean view....you paid for business select.....and I go to board ahead of you.....