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Re: Pre-boarding

Invsdb
New Arrival
 

Re: Pre-boarding

Kath699
New Arrival

I have to admit, I love Southwest, but I too have seen abuses of the pre-boarding.  We flew from Las Vegas back to Cleveland on a flight that was held due to a ground stop during the day.  It was the only flight out to Cleveland, so they delayed boarding.  We had spent the additional $40/person to upgrade our boarding position (after already purchasing early bird).  The number of pre-boards and their "escorts" or whatever you want to call them was appalling.  At least, they didn't allow them to sit in the exit row!  However on a recent trip back from Aruba, I had a guy standing next to me complaining that they didn't allow him and his wife to accompany his father in a wheelchair down with his mother.  He said they always do in Providence and he sits in the exit row.  I gently explained that that is the correct thing to do and how it is supposed to be handled and that I appreciate that they did this since I paid the additional $40/person for upgraded boarding and wouldn't be happy if he took the exit row when I paid for it.  It's bad enough that pre-boards are allowed to sit in the bulkhead seats.  Kudos to the agent in Aruba who did not allow the swarm of people to pre-board with their friends and family.

Re: Pre-boarding

jcan1256
New Arrival

You're right out of control!

Re: Pre-boarding

LindseyD
Retired Community Manager

@jmcmd,

 

We care. Customer feedback is important, and we know that without it, we'd be missing many opportunities for improvement and growth. The conversations happening on the Southwest Community are of great value to us, and we appreciate that the forums are place for us to learn about what our Customers are seeing and experiencing when they travel with Southwest Airlines.

 

Re: Pre-boarding

Jmaynard5
New Arrival

It’s almost too easy to say “we care” isn’t it?   If SW really cares about what every frequent flyer recognizes as the abuse of the preboarding privilege, then you should do something about it.  I've haven't read the law you sight which says you cannot question a person about why they need to preboard, but I do know that I cannot park in a handicap parking spot just because I want to be close to the store entrance.  I can only park there if I have a handicap sticker (which I don't).  If I abuse this privilege, the local police are very happy to award me with a $500 parking violation.  If I rent a vacation home months in advance and for health reasons have to later cancel it, I have to show a doctor’s excuse or something similar.  It’s a little bit hard for me to imagine that you cannot have some requirement like proof of a handicap or a doctor’s excuse in order to gain the privilege of boarding ahead of people who have actually paid for that privilege.  Like others have said, at some point your good customers (A-list and A-list Preferred) are going to start opting for other airlines. 

Re: Pre-boarding

duchess0511
New Arrival

If you read the ADA website regarding disabilities you will find it there where you can not question a person on their disability.  The same disability can affect different individuals in different ways and there is no way an airport customer service agent is going to be able to understand what each and every persons disability means, they aren't doctor's and that just isn't their job. 

Re: Pre-boarding

Jmaynard5
New Arrival

An earlier post by the airline said that the law they were abiding by was not the ADA but the 

Air Carrier Access Act.  Maybe I am wrong about this, but I assume that it is the airline's choice to offer preboarding.  There is no law that REQUIRES the airline to offer preboarding to passengers,  and certainly it doesn't require them to let someone accompany the person who has a disability.  When a privilege is abused in life, it usually gets taken away.  It would be unfortunate for the airline to have to rescind this gracious privilege that Southwest offers, but it has gotten out of hand.  No one begrudges early boarding for people who are TRULY disabled.  But any frequent flier will tell you the same tales of obvious abuse that you've heard on this blog.  And again, I can guarantee you that passengers will vote with their feet and go to other airlines.  

Re: Pre-boarding

duchess0511
New Arrival

The Air Carrier Access Act is what dictates airlines needing to offer pre boarding to those who seek it, the ADA or American's with Disabilities Act prevents the airlines from asking passengers for proof of said disability and or needing to explain their disability. 

Re: Pre-boarding

Jmaynard5
New Arrival

I read the The Air Carrier Access Act and I cannot find anything that REQUIRES an airline to offer preboarding.  They have to accommodate those with disabilities but nothing says they have to give them seating priority over passengers who have paid for it.  Maybe a solution to this is that pre-boarders should NOT be allowed to sit in the first ten rows and the exit rows (with the one exception of those whose disability requires them to sit in the bulkhead row).  This might help to stem the tide of faux pre-boarders.   What do you think Southwest?

Re: Pre-boarding

Alistjunkie
New Arrival

I agree, I fly on the average 50-60 flights a year and always in Business Select, so I pay a premium almost double to sit up front. I see many pre boarders that don't look very handicap to me. Also when departing the plane they are the ones holding up the process because they can't get up and out of the way quick enough or they have so much crap to take with them and it does get annoying to us business travelers who need to go places in a hurry.