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Preboard bureaucratic fiasco

jkeith00
New Arrival

Sitting on the tarmac right now and have zero love for SWA.  Flight 801 OAK to LAS. 

 

I am A-list and paid for early bird automatic checkin as I was traveling day before this flight and could not check myself in.  A-list early bird checkin got me a C42 seat assignment.  

While checking bags I asked the counter agent if this was a mistake.  The response was no, this can happen sometimes.  The agent then said she was going to mark me as pre-board as a courtesy.  I did not ask for and boarding assignment change, but was appreciative of the gesture.  Until…

 

After a 1+ hour delay and a plane change due to the original plane being over-fueled, I finally boarded.  I entered the plane and sat in an emergency exit row.  Immediately a flight attendant told me I wasn’t allowed to sit in the exit row.  I explained what happened and the flight attendant told me to stay put while she checked with supervisors.  Minutes went by and the flight continued to board before another flight attendant approached and said i had to move a row forward into a row that does not recline and where I was technically the fourth person in the row due to the double occupancy mother/infant sitting next to me.  

I expressed my unhappiness and that I neither asked for preboard nor do I have any disability that would prevent me from ably sitting/serving in an exit row.  The response was simply that I can complain to a supervisor or find another flight.  

Poor form, SWA!

16 REPLIES 16

Re: Preboard bureaucratic fiasco

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

Why would someone who's A-List pay for Early Bird Check-in? A-Listers receive positions that are better than those given to people who purchase EBCI.

 

The only reason that I can think of for someone who is either A-List or has bought EBCI to receive a C boarding position is if the flight was purchased or changes were made or EBCI was purchased less than 36 hours prior to departure (which would be after the positions were already assigned).

 

A-Listers can board at the end of the A group, simply by showing their boarding pass which indicates they have A-List or their A-List member card if they have one.

 

Unfortunately, pre-boarders are not allowed to sit in the exit row.

 

Re: Preboard bureaucratic fiasco

jkeith00
New Arrival

Booked the flight in March.  And the rest you mention is exactly my point… seems I paid to have Southwest put me through an internal process quandary that substantially diminished my customer experience and I am unhappy about it.   Just got off that plane so still heated about it.  

And salt in the wound, the baby next to me cough while drinking a bottle and sprayed mom and me with milk/formula.  I’m not upset about that, but laugh as it was a total Murphy’s happening on top of the rest. LOL

Re: Preboard bureaucratic fiasco

bwallet
Active Member

The system won't even let someone who is A-List book EBCI. It isn't even an option.

Re: Preboard bureaucratic fiasco

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

I think there's some info that's not correct here. If you actually are A-List and booked in March and didn't make any changes within 36 hours of departure you would have received a boarding position somewhere in the low A's. 

 

 

Re: Preboard bureaucratic fiasco

jkeith00
New Arrival

Interesting the community position here seems to be that a diminished customer experience is highly unlikely to be attributed in any way to the service provider. 

I booked 3/25/21. I am A-list. I paid for Early Bird Checkin at time of booking. No changes were made any time after booking. My boarding assignment position was C42. 

https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0sGv6DhEGe61Ec 

 

Believe or don’t.  Either way, your comments to date are irrelevant.   I provided information simply as context for the reader.  My complaint is that a SWA employee changed my boarding position without me asking to “help me out”.  What I got instead was admonishment from flight attendants and forced out of my seat.  

Re: Preboard bureaucratic fiasco

chgoflyer
Top Contributor
Solution

Did you perhaps achieve A-List after you booked? As noted, A-Listers can't buy EarlyBird Check-In -- the system doesn't actually allow it.

 

In any case you'll want to remove that link, since the information shown would allow anyone to change or cancel your return flight.

 

I think our reaction is because often people post here stories that include missing details, or that aren't correct, or are even impossible. I apologize for that being my assumption in your case.

 

Your boarding pass indicates A-List, but not Early Bird Check-In. I suspect there was some sort of glitch, perhaps caused by the presence of both, that caused neither to actually be applied to your itinerary. I'd recommend you contact Customer Relations (not the reservation line) early Monday to see if there's anything that can be done before your return flight.

 

In case you aren't aware, as an A-Lister you can always board at the end of the A group.

 

If you prefer boarding even earlier than that, I'd recommend paying for Upgraded Boarding at the gate, and then asking CR to refund that fee, and/or your EBCI purchase fee after the completion of travel.

 

Contact Customer Relations 

Re: Preboard bureaucratic fiasco

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

@jkeith00 wrote:

I booked 3/25/21. I am A-list. I paid for Early Bird Checkin at time of booking. 


This is not even possible.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Preboard bureaucratic fiasco

gsking
Rising Star

More fanciful yarns by the creative writers who slink in as new arrivals and then vanish shortly after...

Re: Preboard bureaucratic fiasco

jkeith00
New Arrival

Oh goodie… another “top contributor” to ignore the actual complaint and tell me how wrong my contextual information is. 🙄