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Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

New Arrival

My husband is immunosupressed and has neurological issues (thanks to the Marine Corp).  He also uses a cane.  We ask for pre-board because it takes him a minute to get down the aisle and he could trip easily if something is out in the aisle as his balance isn’t the greatest.  I also Clorox wipe the seatbelt latch, the armrests, the tray, and the window shade if he is by the window before he touches anything.  He cannot risk catching a germ from someone else.  As well, he wears a dust mask prior to boarding.  We do everything possible to keep him healthy.  Our goal by preboarding is not to sit in the first rows, it’s only to get him situated.  We don’t care if we are row 10.  I have to chuckle to myself, I usually sit in the center seat since I am very petite.  When people notice my hubby in a mask, they must think he’s contagious (?).  They will just walk on by the empty seat on the aisle. The fact is, he is just trying to stay healthy.  Just remember, you can’t always look at someone and know their backstory.  

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Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

Active Member

I'm surprised any A-listers would be complaining...y'all should know better. 🙂

 

1.  As an A-lister, you know how to take advantage of free checked bags.

2.  You know how long it takes bags to get to the carousel, which is about as long as it takes to unload from the back of the plane.

3.  So you sit in the back of the plane and watch the other sheeple fight over overhead bin space with their overstuffed bags.

4.  You smile to yourself as the middle seat next to you doesn't fill up, but the guy who cheated and preboarded gets stuck next to the last minute C-lister with BO.

 

Honestly, with few exceptions, I don't see why anyone would fight to sit in the front of the plane.   Ask yourself if you'll really save time on the back end, and if you will, if it's worth it to you.

 

All the cool kids sit in the back of the bus, remember? 😉

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Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

Top Contributor

 

All the cool kids sit in the back of the bus, remember? 😉


Well, I have noticed a phenomenon where it does make sense to sit up front.  On almost full (but not completely full) flights the C listers get on board and immediately go to the back of the plane. When they find no seats back there, they start moving forward until they do find seats.  Therefor, if there are any seats open, I've found they normally are in the first 4 rows of the plane.

 

So my rule of thumb when the plane is supposed to be full is to take the first aisle seat I find.

I did that on my flight last Saturday. I took 3C. After everyone had boarded there was one open seat: 3B.

 

When the plane is not supposed to be full, I head for 9C. Why? It normally is he first seat to get drink service.

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Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

Active Member

Ha, interesting logic.   On my flights, the FA usually reminds people to take the first middle seat they see.  I'm sure statistically it may be a crap shoot. 

 

I also never take an aisle seat.  I don't want one or two people outboard of me dictating when I have to get up...or a butt in my face in the aisle trying to rush off the plane.

 

Yes, I was wondering which seat would get their drinks first. 🙂

 

 

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Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

New Arrival

Unfortunately, there will always be those who "game the system".  

 

But writing as one of those who does board early, may I concure with those posters who say that the reasons for early boarding are not always visible.  When arranging for my flight, I always request a wheelchair as I am 89 years of age with mobility problems.  If anyone cared to inquire, my ID clearly shows year of birth, 1930!  An added problem,  I do not look 89.  Often when walking through x-ray machine with shoes on, (Yes, I can make that short walk) attendant stops me and asks if I am over 75 as persons over 75 years old, are not required to remove their shoes.   Because of the "gamers" I do feel self-conscious at the gate, sitting in my wheelchair.  I have on makeup, and am dressed fashionably and I am sure to most observers, I do not appear as needing a wheelchair for any reason.   I must admit though, I am uncomfortable with my "driver" cutting into the security line.  I do not see the need for that.  Next time, I'll ask "driver" to not cut in line.

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Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

Active Member

SW hands are not tied in this issue. Their gate agents are supposed to be trained to ask questions regarding those who self identify as needing assistance. Do they actually do anything though? I probably wouldn't. Way too much liability these days in challenging anyone for anything.

 

SW could fix this by marking pre boarders seats and requiring them, for their own safety, to remain seated at the destination until everyone else has deplaned. 

 

I don't understand how someone who needs a wheelchair and two or three people to assist them in boarding can then jump into the aisle, grab their overstuffed bag from the overhead, and run down the jetway when the plane lands.

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Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

Top Contributor

@ffflyer wrote:

SW hands are not tied in this issue. Their gate agents are supposed to be trained to ask questions regarding those who self identify as needing assistance. Do they actually do anything though? I probably wouldn't. Way too much liability these days in challenging anyone for anything.

 

SW could fix this by marking pre boarders seats and requiring them, for their own safety, to remain seated at the destination until everyone else has deplaned. 

 

I don't understand how someone who needs a wheelchair and two or three people to assist them in boarding can then jump into the aisle, grab their overstuffed bag from the overhead, and run down the jetway when the plane lands.


Federal laws PROHIBITS airlines from inquiring about the nature of the disabilities

 

If you dislike that, take it up with your senators and congressman.

 

Good luck in getting them to change the law.

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Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

New Arrival

I can understand how it may seem that more than half of the people take advantage of the pre-boarding policy.  I'm sure there are people whom do take advantage of the system, it happens everywhere!  You may think I would be one of them if you saw me, however things don't always seem to be as they appear.  I have a severe anxiety and can't sit in the middle or back of the plane due to seeing all of these people in a small space causes me to have panic attacks. I also have a knee replacment that unfortunatley locks up on me that causes pain and for that reason I need to stand in the plane a lot of the times so I need an isle seat.  For these reasons I get a pre-boarding pass and yes, my 2 children whom are not of age even to fly on there own, board with me.  I guess before you go judge, as you may have me before, and have seen me as a healthy active person whom has no disability, think twice.  The take away thought from this is, those who judge need to do some critical thinking and not pre-judge those whom you know nothing about.  Again, I get that there are some people whom take advantage of this system and those that do, well there is nothing you're going do about it.  Southwest isn't legally able to ask a customer as to a disabilty before giving them a pre-board pass, and they shouldn't be able to as it is not their business.  Would you like to have to tell someone who is not a dr, nurse, etc. of a disability whether mental or physical to a complete stranger?  Doubtfull.  It is a seat on a plane for goodness sake, not a front row seat to the best sporting event or concert that you paid for and had to give up to sit in nose bleed seats.  I myself have more things to worry about than this.  I posted this as I felt it was something that needed to be brought up after all of the posts from this forum and others.

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Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

Top Contributor

@mom0f2 wrote:

I can understand how it may seem that more than half of the people take advantage of the pre-boarding policy.  I'm sure there are people whom do take advantage of the system, it happens everywhere!  You may think I would be one of them if you saw me, however things don't always seem to be as they appear.  I have a severe anxiety and can't sit in the middle or back of the plane due to seeing all of these people in a small space causes me to have panic attacks. I also have a knee replacment that unfortunatley locks up on me that causes pain and for that reason I need to stand in the plane a lot of the times so I need an isle seat.  For these reasons I get a pre-boarding pass and yes, my 2 children whom are not of age even to fly on there own, board with me.  I guess before you go judge, as you may have me before, and have seen me as a healthy active person whom has no disability, think twice.  The take away thought from this is, those who judge need to do some critical thinking and not pre-judge those whom you know nothing about.  Again, I get that there are some people whom take advantage of this system and those that do, well there is nothing you're going do about it.  Southwest isn't legally able to ask a customer as to a disabilty before giving them a pre-board pass, and they shouldn't be able to as it is not their business.  Would you like to have to tell someone who is not a dr, nurse, etc. of a disability whether mental or physical to a complete stranger?  Doubtfull.  It is a seat on a plane for goodness sake, not a front row seat to the best sporting event or concert that you paid for and had to give up to sit in nose bleed seats.  I myself have more things to worry about than this.  I posted this as I felt it was something that needed to be brought up after all of the posts from this forum and others.


 

Thanks for reminding judgemental people that their judgements might not be correct.

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Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

New Arrival

It sucks for sure.  But, when you are the person that needs preboarding, or the helper, you really see how much it sucks.  Flying with special needs is itself, very stressful.  I know it increases stress for everyone, but when I was the "helper" - getting someone situated in a seat just took a lot more effort, to make sure the things they needed were in the right place.  

 

I'm not saying you should change your tune, as your observation and complaint are in fact worthwhile, yet, giving them some time to get situated usually helps things in the bigget picture, and, the helpers are usually taking the center rows to be in the right place, so its not all doom and gloom.