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Re: Pre-boarding

Jmaynard5
New Arrival

HERE'S A SIMPLE AND EASY SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM:  When a passenger asks for a pre-boarding pass, the agent should ask him or her if they need physical assistance getting down the jetway?   If not, then simply ask them to go ahead and board with their group.  Interestingly, I experienced this being done in Denver several months ago.  I was not well at the time and asked the agent at the gate for a pre-boarding pass just to test it to see how easily this could be done.  The agent asked me this question which I thought was courteous but also direct and to the point.  I had to admit that, no, I would not have any trouble making my way down the jetway.  I honestly thought that Southwest must be training their gate agents to ask this question.  However, subsequently I have seen the same long lineup of people pre-boarding who look like the picture of health.  There will always be people who are not truthful when asked this question.  But most will respond like I did and board with their group. 

Re: Pre-boarding

LocktonGuy
New Arrival

While SW may be governed by law on the actual person needing the pre-board.  You could easily limit it that individual and maybe 1 person traveling with them.  The most frustrating thing to see when you've purchased business select at a significant cost, is to see the person needing the pre-board and their enterouge of 4-6 people getting on with them.  

 

Enforce your policy and be compliant.  

Re: Pre-boarding

Challenger
New Arrival

I normally have a walker when I preboard.  This year I can no longer walk long listances, which are currently defined as more than about 20 feet!  So, I currently can’t walk to the back of a plane!  

 

I have however seen SWA announce and enforce only one companion, with the exception of when there are three toddlers!  

 

Returning from Florida, last September, the number of wheelchair request to the final destination was 22!  There weren’t that many when we boarded because they were actually out of wheelchairs at the boarding gate.  

 

While i too have wondered about some of those boardig early, I can tell you that hidden disabilities are real.  An, as seats get closer and closer some become more obvious.  

 

We do wait to see my walker brought to the jetway before exiting.  But, there is also a problem that there are wheelchair requests that are first come first served and there aren’t enough for those requested.   Please consider too that distances vary to gates and someone may not be able to walk to a gate in Atlanta, but can easily walk to a gate in Ft Lauderdale!   I’m looking forward to being ale to walk the length of a jetway again, but so far there seems to be no solution to my new disability.  

Re: Pre-boarding

twigod
New Arrival

Lindsey,

 

I am reading about the preboarding abuse here in the forum.  I get that SWA has to follow the rules, but why couldnt they let the A-list preferred and business selects on the plane 1st and then let the "preboarders" on?  that way you are showing loyalty to the people who have paid for the right to load first and still accomodating the disabled people?

Re: Pre-boarding

LindseyD
Retired Community Manager

Hi @twigod,

 

We're always open to feedback - I definitely appreciate you sharing your ideas here on the forum. We don't have any immediate plans to change our boarding process, as it has worked well for us for many years. Allowing preboarders to get on the aircraft first ensures they'll have access to seats they may need for Safe and comfortable travel. For example, some disabilities require that a person be near the lavatory, or perhaps they need to be in the bulkhead (front row) to accommodate a broken limb or a service animal. 

 

 

Re: Pre-boarding

Bond007
Active Member

Your statement that the preboard policy has worked well for many years  is just not current . You used to have those that needed to board early use a red card after checking in and explaining their issue . Now you allow anyone who says they embed to preboards to just get on first.  The preboard situation used to be around 3-5 people and now it is over 20, and they save more seats once on. If you are not willing to hear this problem from your customers just asks your staff . 

Re: Pre-boarding

jcan1256
New Arrival

I totally agree with you. It's out of hand. I'm starting to use other airlines so I know I have a seat.

Re: Pre-boarding

Winterb221
New Arrival

It's clear that there is abuse, particularly in certain markets.   Southwest should institute a new policy whereby if a certain number of pre boarders is exceeded, those passengers who paid an upgrade for A-list or early bird boarding those upgrade fees should be refunded.  To pay $40 only to find out you will be the 62nd person to board a 135 seat plane is criminal!   

Re: Pre-boarding

jmcmd
Active Member

As a new poster, I wonder if this board is just a venting opportunity or does SWA care?

Re: Pre-boarding

Davis94
New Arrival

Similar situation yesterday. Departing from Tampa, there were 12 wheelchair passengers. Prior to the boarding process, I observed 3 of those who 'needed assistance' leave their wheelchairs in line and either go to the bathroom or go get a snack. After completion of the trip, 4 of those exited the aircraft without delay or assistance. The seniors are learning how to play the system.