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Pre-boarding remains out of control

New Arrival

I've been a customer of Southwest for years now.

The pre-boarding is still out of control.

I upgraded my husband's ticket and kept my B boarding. I watched at least 30 people board before the A group, then another 20 with the family boarding and dog companion criteria.

I'm almost at an A list status with Southwest this year and my husband and I frequently pay to upgrade our tickets.

I understand boarding the disabled first; however, how many family members are allowed to board with the person pre-boarding exactly?

Also, when did having a champion dog qualify as a physical disability?

After watching all the preboarding and the Business select and A list individuals ( who have earned their boarding status legitimately) I watched another 20 board with family.

 

The numbers equate half the plane. Is there a family boarding limit and/ age group criteria on the children that qualify.

It's a reasonable courtesy if the individuals have babies (under two years) with one parent.

Other customers in line also thought as I did as we watched and discussed the boarding process. Is there a criterion in referencing the companion animal situation as well?

If a family wants to sit together, then they need to upgrade their tickets, like everyone else.

It's become free to access to better seats than the individuals who are paying to assess a better seating position.

I have three children, and over the last 20 years, we have flown hundreds of times, not only with our three children but other children as well as chaperones. We always made sure that we upgraded or picked a seat so that we could all be together.

It sounds great as a perk for the once or twice a year family vacation. However, for your loyal frequent flyers, it’s a complete disaster and money spent unnecessarily if half the plane boards before your upgraded expensive ticket are called for boarding.

Is there an endpoint for the southwest on the pre-boarding or will you drive your customers to other airlines were paying for an upgraded seat means you get an upgraded seat?

19 REPLIES 19
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Re: Pre-boarding remains out of control

New Arrival

Agree 100%

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Re: Pre-boarding remains out of control

Rising Star
Solution

This has been extensively discussed on the Community.  A quick search will show you lots of conversations about this topic; the themes are always the same.

If you feel strongly about it, I suggest you reach out to SW directly using the Contact Us link below.

-A List Preferred, Companion Pass holder, Community Champion.
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Re: Pre-boarding remains out of control

Active Member

SWA continues to use the free for all seating, leaving the passengers to work out saved seats with each other, and allows any and all to pre-board unchecked and unquestioned with as many family and friends as they want.

 

This results in a very quick boarding and departure.

 

The only solution, if you care at all where you site, is to use another airline where you can reserve your seat in advance, and usually pay for the luxury of doing so.

 

I love SWA for the price and inconvenience, but I don't think I'll continue to put up with this pre-boarding fiasco any longer. When you factor in the EB charges the other airlines costs to reserve a seat are at least comparable. 

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Re: Pre-boarding remains out of control

New Arrival

It's really, really sad, and actually tragic, the response of Southwest to the customers who have shown the most loyalty by flying with them week after week for years where it concerns PRE-BOARDING abuse.  Those loyal customers who rightly expect a VERY modest level of benefit associated with that loyalty (and the dollars we spend).  The message I've seen to very reasonable suggestions about PRE-BOARD abuse is that your concerns are cras and mean and if you don't like what we're serving, take your business elsewhere. Shame on you Southwest. 

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Re: Pre-boarding remains out of control

Top Contributor

@Gstevenson wrote:

It's really, really sad, and actually tragic, the response of Southwest to the customers who have shown the most loyalty by flying with them week after week for years where it concerns PRE-BOARDING abuse.  Those loyal customers who rightly expect a VERY modest level of benefit associated with that loyalty (and the dollars we spend).  The message I've seen to very reasonable suggestions about PRE-BOARD abuse is that your concerns are cras and mean and if you don't like what we're serving, take your business elsewhere. Shame on you Southwest. 


NONSENSE!!

 

I've never heard SW tell people that complain about the situation "cras."

 

I've heard plenty of people simply explain that the airline has to follow the law.

 

If you don't like that, then tell your congreessperson/senator that you want the law changed.

 

 

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Re: Pre-boarding remains out of control

Active Member

@Gstevenson wrote:

Those loyal customers who rightly expect a VERY modest level of benefit associated with that loyalty (and the dollars we spend).  


Any "loyal" customer who 'rightly expects' benefits or compensation isn't right, and isn't very loyal. 

 

Southwest boards on a first come, first serve basis, and always has. We can talk about how a small minority 'abuses' the pre-boarding process until the cows come home, but at the end of the day it's a pretty insignificant matter as long as a) you get on the plane and b) find a seat. 

 

If it truly bothers you, you can go to any other airline and pay for a specific seat - and pay much more overall in the process! 

 

--Jessica

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Re: Pre-boarding remains out of control

Top Contributor

@jksobonya wrote:

 

Southwest boards on a first come, first serve basis, and always has.


Well, to be fair, Southwest hasn't boarded on a first-come first-serve basis for years now. "First-come first-serve" only applies after several categories of passengers, most all of which involve buying a better position (with cash or loyalty). First come first serve now starts at least mid-to-late A, and often B group.

 

To me, all of the current problems with Southwest's boarding system, including pre-boarding abuse, began at the point when Southwest monetized their system. 

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Re: Pre-boarding remains out of control

Active Member

Dear jksobony:
With all due respect, I disagree with your stance that this is a pretty insignificant matter.
There are numerous conversations about this topic on this board, because boarding sequence has a particularly unique impact on Southwest vs. other airlines. For example, while it made sense for me to pay $10 for Early Bird (EB) a decade ago, I rarely bother* now because, in the tangible reality I witness at the boarding gate, it doesn't get me now the benefits it got me back then (and now they charge much more for EB).
*- The exception is if I know I'll be away from cell/internet access 24 hours before the flight; but, normally, checking-in exactly 24 hours before flight-time gets me a sufficiently good position, not much different from the position of a travel companion who does fork out $ for EB; and then we both watch lots of people boarding before us, and then... (gasp!) ...once on board, sometimes they try to save seats. Smiley Frustrated
Also respectfully, I see nothing wrong with a loyal customer expecting benefits. Unless I'm severely mistaken, many airlines use the term "loyalty" to describe their... well... frequent or loyal customers. For example, Southwest describes its Rapid Rewards program as a "loyalty program," no? Do you think those customers shouldn't be allowed to voice their opinions unless they are complimentary of the airline? (It's a rhetorical question.)
These issues are important to many loyal customers, and you can't simply brush their opinions under the carpet by suggesting that they go fly "any other airline".
@@jksobony wrote:

 

Any "loyal" customer who 'rightly expects' benefits or compensation isn't right, and isn't very loyal. 

 

Southwest boards on a first come, first serve basis, and always has. We can talk about how a small minority 'abuses' the pre-boarding process until the cows come home, but at the end of the day it's a pretty insignificant matter as long as a) you get on the plane and b) find a seat. 

 

If it truly bothers you, you can go to any other airline and pay for a specific seat - and pay much more overall in the process! 

 

--Jessica


 

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Re: Pre-boarding remains out of control

New Arrival

Really!!! You don't expect value for your spending?  I'm an unapologetic capitalist, and yes, if someone else has greater value.....I'm moving. The fact that I'm agitating for change should indicate that my objective is of a more pure heart, like yours.....I'm trying to change a system. I could have kept quiet and moved my money to United.