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Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

Active Member

I commented on this a few weeks ago. Yes, it is and has been out of control. I wrote the CEO and received back a very nice and professional email from a customer service staff. Basically, it said they cannot do anything about it due to federal laws.  But I still ask: why does it take a group of people (family members, friends) to accompany one disabled person that is preboarding?   My neighbor has done it a few times:  she fakes an injured leg (has a cane and cloth brace ) and her husband and sometimes other family members accompany her in preboarding.  She laughs about it. She even sat in the emergency row section once when she told the FA she needed the extra leg space for her injured leg. She posted it on Facebook and it shows her laughing.    Which raised the question- doesn't the passenger have to be physically capable of opening the emergency hatch? 

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Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

Top Contributor

Preboarders aren't allowed to sit in an exit row seat. I've heard it announced on every Southwest flight I've taken. I've seen flight attendants re-seat people out of the exit row when necessary.

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Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

Employee
Employee

We're sorry for any frustration, @Bond007 and @buzzchris. As you may know, we follow federal regulations in offering preboarding to Customers with disabilities. By law, we are prohibited from asking Customers what their disabilities are. It's also important to consider that many disabilities are not limited to a specific age group and many are not visible.

 

We're not equipped to assist you here since this is a peer-to-peer support forum. However, if you would like to report specific flight incidents during your travel, we encourage you to reach out to us via the options in the steps below. Thanks!

 

Submitting a Suggestion and/or Complaint

Nicole
Community Manager
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Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

Active Member

This is the problem - alot of peers need support on how to handle this SW policy because SW has created an enormous direct conflict with, on one hand, your pricing and reward strategies which center around earlier boarding numbers , which you then allow any passenger to ignore with your preboard  strategy. It really makes no sense that you ask everyone else to follow a system and board BY NUMBER, and strictly so - imagine if a C tried to board as a B-  outrage would ensue !  And you establish an incentive for passengers to pay more to board early. BUT  but then you stand there and watch the abuse of your crazy policy of allowing anyone who does not like their boarding number to just preboard instead . So as SW has chosen to ignore this conflict in your own policies, it is not surprising that you now have thousands of passengers commenting and/or reading comments about it . On top of all that, those same preboard abusers can board ahead of all others and save 4 seats - and your policy is to just have the flight attendants watch it all.  There is definite need for change to at least minimize this problem - such as making anyone who preboards use a wheelchair to both board and deboard with one - that would help reduce  abuse because it takes passengers more time and effort and only those who need it would Use it. In the meantime peer to peer support is all that your passengers have - your policies created all of this.  At least we have peers...your poor flight attendants and those actually needing help dealing with disgusted passengers - what do they have ?  

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On Sep 20, 2019, at 6:22 AM, The Southwest Airlines Community <no-reply@communitymail.southwest.com> wrote:

Hi Bond007,

NicoleAshley (Employee) mentioned you in a post! Join the conversation below:


 

Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

 

We're sorry for any frustration, @Bond007 and @buzzchris. As you may know, we follow federal regulations in offering preboarding to Customers with disabilities. By law, we are prohibited from asking Customers what their disabilities are. It's also important to consider that many disabilities are not limited to a specific age group and many are not visible.

 

We're not equipped to assist you here since this is a peer-to-peer support forum. However, if you would like to report specific flight incidents during your travel, we encourage you to reach out to us via the options in the steps below. Thanks!

 

Submitting a Suggestion and/or Complaint

 

 



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Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

New Arrival

Only saw one violation. Handicap couple were brought in wheelchairs at departure gate. At destination, they both got up and ran off jetway. 

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Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

Active Member

My neighbor does this quite often. She fakes an injured leg, uses a cane, and gets pre boarding. She hasn't been stopped yet. Plus, a couple of times, she was allowed to sit in the emergency row, the better seats, and saves the seats for her family who were in the "C" group. She brags about it. 

 

Plus, a few years ago, a very elderly woman (probably in her 80s) was pre boarded. I got on board and she was in the emerg row exit.    What?!  Even if she didn't pre board, an older person should not be allowed to sit in those emerg rows. I am retired from the Air Force and have opened emerg doors many times, (mostly for training) and it is not the easiet thing to do. Add a real emerg to that, and chaos, and you will have problems. 

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Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

Top Contributor

@buzzchris wrote:

My neighbor does this quite often. She fakes an injured leg, uses a cane, and gets pre boarding. She hasn't been stopped yet. Plus, a couple of times, she was allowed to sit in the emergency row, the better seats, and saves the seats for her family who were in the "C" group. She brags about it. 

 

Plus, a few years ago, a very elderly woman (probably in her 80s) was pre boarded. I got on board and she was in the emerg row exit.    What?!  Even if she didn't pre board, an older person should not be allowed to sit in those emerg rows. I am retired from the Air Force and have opened emerg doors many times, (mostly for training) and it is not the easiet thing to do. Add a real emerg to that, and chaos, and you will have problems. 


Pre boarders are supposedly not allowed in exit rows. If you see it you should report it to the FA.

 

Others sitting in exit rows have the duties explained and then they have to affirm that they can perform those duties. If the so affirm, they are allowed  to sit in exit rows.

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Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

Active Member

I forgot to mention:  Regarding the elderly woman in emerg row seating: Yes, this should be reported to the FAs. Thing is, the FA was right there. The scene was also recorded and posted on Facebook by a Facebook friend of mine whom I was flying with. I also heard that it was posted on  You Tube which surprises me due to possible legal consequences brought on by SW. I am sure SW doesn't want their dirty laundry aired. 

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Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

Active Member

Here's a followup: Not too long ago, a dad apparently with a low A number, got the emergency row and saved two seats for his two daughters. Were they 15 years of age? No although they told the FA they were. It was obvious they weren't. We guessed about 12 to 13 and we were almost right. I sat next to a SW middle manager employee, in front of the group and overheard them say they were 13 and 14. They were also petite.  I always understood you also have to be physically capable of opening the emerg doors to sit in the emerg row.    The SW employee I sat with told me that  FAs are usually instructed not to confront or question about ages (unless it is really obvious). They don't want confrontation which can lead to a delay of the departure time. (Can't have that!)

.....So,..not offending someone or not confronting someone about this important safety policy is much more important to SW then passenger safety.  As my good friend who is an attorney/judge said: Wait until a real emergency and the person is incapable of opening the emerg door,...and people die or or injured.  Multiple lawsuits against SW. 

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Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

Employee
Employee
Solution

Hi @buzzchris. As a peer to peer support forum, we are not equipped to assist you here, but we encourage you to contact us with your specific concerns via the options in the directions below:

 

Submitting a Suggestion and/or Complaint

Nicole
Community Manager