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Re: Preboarding Scammers

Eggy2424
New Arrival

Personally, I would be happy if someone stopped and asked me about my disability. I have the great fortune of having a “hidden” one — I have stage 4 cancer. I’ve always bought my tickets like everyone else. On my last SWA flight, one of my flights was delayed and it didn’t look like I would be able to switch it to one that would get me to a potentially life saving surgery on time. I admit that I broke down in the airport, just asking the GA to help. There was such an outpouring of kindness; one man next me demanding the last seat out of town on another plane quietly asked the attendent to give it to me, even if it would make him late. Another couple specifically requested to move to another day so they could give me those seats. And after an outpouring of gratitude from me to all of them, the GA kindly gave me preboarding. I had never preboarded in my life.

 

Now I’m out of surgery and will probably specifically request preboarding. And I actually would be delighted if someone would confront me and demand why a person who looks like she could have run a marathon 15 lbs ago is boarding before them. Then I can tell them the life-saving operation wasn’t successful, and now I have to heal before chemotherapy which will probably buy me only a year. I’ll likely cry. And I may get that one unkind comment that this doesn’t necessarily count as the type of disability to let me board before A groups. But if I see some humanity in their expressions, just a little empathy for someone who’s getting a tiny moment of respite when nothing else has gone right — or even a shaudenfreude moment of “at least I don’t have her problems” that will let me feel a tiny bit less guilty for “exploiting” the rules—it may be worth it. 

Re: Preboarding Scammers

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@Eggy2424 wrote:

 

 Thank you for sharing your story I hope it helps some of the haters among us see the other side of the situation.

 

Best of luck with your chemo treatment. Miracles do occasionally happen. I hope one happens for you. 

Re: Preboarding Scammers

tappingmom1
Active Member

@Gbonne 

YOU are the one lacking ethics.  And YOU are the one who should be shamed if you attempt to shame a fellow passenger.

 

It is tacky, at best, to ask a stranger why they might be pre-boarding.  Many folks have hidden disabilities.  You really need to mind your own business and reconsider your own moral principles at play here.

Re: Preboarding Scammers

RitiJ
New Arrival

hi

 

Are you saying that folks without disabilities, can legally claim, without challenge or consequence, they do have a disability, and receive the same protections for folks with disabilities protected by the Air Carrier Access Act? Surely this had to be predicted and remedied when the Act was written, no?

 

I just find it very hard to believe that the penalties for parking in a handicap spot are greater than pretending you have a disability to fraudulently board a plane. I just can't wrap my head around that.

 

Re: Preboarding Scammers

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@RitiJ wrote:

hi

 

Are you saying that folks without disabilities, can legally claim, without challenge or consequence, they do have a disability, and receive the same protections for folks with disabilities protected by the Air Carrier Access Act? Surely this had to be predicted and remedied when the Act was written, no?

 

 NO

 

The act requires the airlines to accept the word of anyone who claims to be disabled - period.

 

No proof required. Illegal to ask for the  reason.

 

No provision to catch cheaters.

Re: Preboarding Scammers

jacksycz
New Arrival

Id happily board after the business class passengers. I wouldn't particularly have an issue with it. Southwest does generally allow people with morbid obesity as well to have preboarding because of special seating requirements. Its possible that the airport seating isnt accomodating either...so they are standing the whole time, probably in pain. Did you hear about the guy from ireland that was assigned one cheek to one side of the aisle and the other on the opposite side? Basic Economy blunders.

 

One possibility is to allow those that got a business class ticket to board first, and then people with disabilities immediately after. However, That elderly grandma that cant stand too long and their traveling companions may have a problem boarding if they cant make it through the jetbridge. People with Congestive Heart Failure, Pulmonary Hypertension for example, recent hip replacement, Intractible High Impact Chronic Pain. 

 

So while I wouldn't mind waiting, You can't plan for everyone's disability and federal law allows them to board first. 

 

Plus, if you could afford it, you would be flying Delta First Class.

Re: Preboarding Scammers

Goforwand1
Active Member

We can debate this back and fourth until the cows come home and nothing will change until SWA actually enforces the one (1) preboard passenger and one (1) attendant. To me this is the biggest issue in terms of scamming. We will allow one travel companion to act as an “attendant” and preboard with a Customer with a disability. Simple....

 

SWA does not consistently enforce their own policies which is the problem. I have seen (on countless occasions) 3 to 4 people boarding with a preboard passenger that did not have any preboard documentation....this happens all the time.

 

SWA gate agents can't challenge the validity of the preboarder (nor should the gate agent have to) but they can enforce the rules and not allow any more than one attendant.

 

For the 2 to 10 preboard passengers with one attendant that will take up the first rows..all good...it's a heck of a lot better than 10 to 50 people taking the first rows which happens without enforcing the one attendant rule..

Re: Preboarding Scammers

floridaguy
Active Member

I love Southwest's preboarding policy.  It is really nice to be able to sit up front where there is more legroom.

 

Great job Southwest!  I preboard regularily.