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Re: Preboard

ceecee1955
New Arrival

We pre-board and to look at us you would think everything is okay. My husband had a stroke 15 years ago and has cognitive problems and needs extra time. Do not judge people because you cannot "see" a disability.

Re: Preboard

groop
New Arrival

What gets me are those that need  wheelchair assistance to board the flight, walk off the plane, and easily handle their full-size luggage at the baggage carousel 15 minutes after deplaning.

 

Yes, there are several travelers who have legitimate needs, but for those that cannot see there are others gaming the system, you're missing it.

 

I've been flying SWA for over 20 years and it is getting much worse and does nothing but disincentivize  their frequent flyer program by diluting the availability of premium seating 

Re: Preboard

dfwskier
Top Contributor
Solution

@groop wrote:

This topic comes up frequently. The answer is always the same : the Air Carrier Access Act

governs how airlines treat pre-boards. Airlines CANNOT question passengers about the natures of their disabilities. Airlines CANNOT ask for proof of disability.

 

Yes, some perfectly healthy people game the system, BUT THE AIRLINES CANNOT DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

Re: Preboard

spacecoastbill
Active Member

The "miracle flight" has Jetway Jesus waiting at the gate to heal them.


All the GAs and FAs know about this, but there i nothing they can do about it.

Re: Preboard

ffflyer
Active Member

SWA can certainly do something about preboard abuse.

 

Anyone who needs extra time to board the plane should be provided with extra time to exit the plane.

 

Preboarders seats should be marked and, upon arrival, they should be required to remain in their seats until everyone else leaves the plane.

 

That would, I expect, cut the number of preboarders in half.

Re: Preboard

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@ffflyer wrote:

SWA can certainly do something about preboard abuse.

 

Anyone who needs extra time to board the plane should be provided with extra time to exit the plane.

 

Preboarders seats should be marked and, upon arrival, they should be required to remain in their seats until everyone else leaves the plane.

 

That would, I expect, cut the number of preboarders in half.


Ahh so are saying that SW should treat disabled persons differently (they must stay in their seats until everyone else has left the plane).

 

That's called discrimination, and discriminating against disabled people is against the law.

Re: Preboard

ffflyer
Active Member

If someone needs extra time to get on the plane, why don’t they need extra time to get off?

Re: Preboard

spacecoastbill
Active Member

No, a carrier with unassigned seats is specifically prohibited from making preboarders seat in any particular seat.

Re: Preboard

sallye53
New Arrival

And here is the other side of the story- I paid extra $$ so that my husband and myself could use the "early board" option- he has mobility and cognitive issues.  We had to cancel the flight due to current situation and now they are saying the extra $$  paid is "non refundable"-- but we got 2000 points in our Rapid Rewards account.  We will probably not be able to travel again so that's useless.  I tried to do the right thing by paying the extra $$ for early boarding for him and got kicked in the rear for doing so.  Unfortunate that people who don't really need it abuse the system-- and even more unfortunate that those of us who pay for it are told "sorry, no refund. or credit."  Thanks but no thanks, Southwest.  (BTW- I worked for United for 30 years, many as a gate agent, which is why I paid the extra $$-- it's truly challenging to try and board disabled passengers which is why I paid the extra $$--)  I explained this to SW with no luck.  We bought these paid tickets as they were the only non-stop option for our destination  which is what we needed.  Guess we will just stay home from now on.

Re: Preboard

DisabledALister
New Arrival

As a long term A-Lister myself, who is quite young, and looks very healthy.  Who can walk and stand short periods.  Who fatigues so easily that overdoing it can cause me to be laid up for days.  Who uses a wheelchair or a walker, but I dont have to sit in it 100% of the time.  

 

To you, I look like a preboarding jerk.  

 

In reality, I earned A-List status when I was fully "abled".

 

I never judged or was angry at preboarders, but I didnt stop friends lighthearted jesting about them and their miracles.

 

My life has been turned upside down.  I preboard because I have to.  I preboard because that extra walking isnt about convenience, or laziness, or cheating the system.  It is about my ability to manage to function more than a teensy percent of the day.  It is because a little extra walking that day could cause gasping and shortness of breath and a skyrocjeting heart rate.  Id be miserable, but at least you'd feel better about boarding sooner and 5 seats earlier.  

 

If I am not fortunate enough to have help at arrival somewhere, I might miraculously have to manage my own luggage, and probably look perfectly fine doing it.  

 

Should I stay seated in my wheelchair at all times to make you feel better?  Should I wrap myself in bandages unecessarily so that my disibility can be visible to you?

 

I am not trying to be mean, but I assure you, a week in my shoes would have you singing a different tune.

 

I preboarded recently on a trip with my kids and ex husband.  They preboarded with me because I needed his help.  Should I have left my kids at the gate with us on the plane?  And we got looks, let me tell you.  

 

The kicker - our boarding passes were A2-5.  I wasnt sure how preboarding would work, it was my first time, so I paid extra to upgrade to ensure we'd be early on the plane.  If I hadn't upgraded, we'd have been in the A20s due to status. 

 

Im sure some people abuse.  But I know many young people in my groups who are not willing to use accommodations available to them because they fear judgment of others.  They do things that actually cause them net harm by expending unecessary energy because they dont want to be judged by abled people.  Many of us have internalized "ableism".  

 

I even wear joking shorts implying or pointing out I have an invisible illness because I hate the disappoving stares.  Im ok with curiosity.  Ill even tell you if you ask.  But disapproving looks are more of a reflection of that person, than me.  

 

I carefuly planned and managed my energy all week to be able to make that flight.  I gave up a lot of things to make it.  It was hard, but just because Im not healthy anymore doesnt mean I cant enjoy a vacation.

 

P.s.  despite significany health challenges, I work.  Not my old job, I cant.  But from home.  I never went on disability.  I wanted to keep working, it was hard, but I did it.

 

I qualify for and need preboarding, I dont look like it.  Not a bit.  But I would gladly never preboard again to have my health, and my life back.

 

(I apologize if there were typos, I am absolutely exhausted and not going back to reread this novel, I even know this is an old post but I came here to look up some information about carrying on medical devices, and after seeing multiples of these posts, I could not help but respond)