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Re: Priority Boarding when traveling as a companion

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

So much confusion! Southwest is trying to do a good thing, but system limitations create some unwelcome situations.

 

If you're A-List and have booked a multi-passenger reservation, you and those passenger(s) will be checked in at t-36 and should receive close, if not sequential, boarding positions. There are some situations that trigger exceptions, as listed under the program terms & conditions. If all passengers don't receive sequential boarding positions, they may still be able to board with the A-List member, but will likely be asked to board in their individual assigned positions, or alternately offered boarding after A-60, at the discretion of the gate agent.

 

If you're A-List and also hold a Companion Pass and have added the Companion to your reservation, your Companion will not be checked in at t-36 and will not receive the A-List boarding perk. (This is because a Companion currently receives their own confirmation number, and for the system to provide the perk, all members must be on the same itinerary and share the same confirmation number.) Southwest has suggested that this may be updated at some point to allow Companions the same accommodation as non-Companions traveling with an A-Lister.

 

If you're A-List and have booked a multi-passenger reservation with another passenger(s) who is also A-List, currently the system seems to strip the status from one or more of the A-Listers on the itinerary. In this case it's best for each A-List traveler to book their own itinerary separately from others with status. If booked at or near the same time those passengers should receive similar boarding positions. If they wish to board together they are asked to board at the highest numerical position, or after A-60 if given a B or higher position.

 

Hope this helps!

I haRe: Priority Boarding when traveling as a companion

tony_tonya
New Arrival

I have flown a dozen times this year where My wife is on a different reservation and has a terrible boarding zone.   I simply go to the ticket counter and explain that I am A List and my wife booked on the companion pass EVERY time I have done that they have let her board with me.  On two occasions they actually came over to me prior to boarding and let us go First on the plane even though My boarding position was around A15.   Kill them with kindness Most SW Gate people are awesome.

Re: Priority Boarding when traveling as a companion

SM7
New Arrival

One of the most BAIT & SWITCH policies by any airline! This is ridiculous. I've been an A-List member for 15 years & A-List preferred for couple years with a companion pass for my kid for the last 4 years. I read this as simple English & then the Southwest gate handlers at Phoenix Airport gate D-7 embarrassed me by first feigning ignorance about the policy & then clarifying that "the companion needs to be on the same reservation #" which they know is impossible!! Wow! Funny thing is I fly all over the US & only Southwest Gate handers at Orlando & Phoenix enforce & are happy to rub it in your face. I've flown & had my kid board along with me in so many other Airports like San Diego, Austin, Raleigh-Durham, San Jose, LAX, Ontario-LA, Orange County etc & they never make any fuss of a 8-year old boarding with me. And now Southwest rubs it in my face again! Not nice at all. "

We know getting more time with the people most important to you is everything. That's why we're spreading the love of one of our most-coveted A-List and A-List Preferred perks. Starting March 12, anyone on a reservation with an A-List or A-List Preferred Member can board when they do. That means everyone on the same reservation gets to board together and pick their seat earlier. Because we can all agree the more time you get with your people, the better.” B.S.!

Re: Priority Boarding when traveling as a companion

grandepdre
New Arrival

So last week, my wife was not allowed to board with me (Business Select fare) as my companion on a flight leaving Las Vegas to Chicago and going on to Louisville.  They ultimately denied her boarding saying it had been overbooked.  I had to come off the plane with my carryon and "volunteer" to take a later flight, because I wasn't about to leave her stranded by herself.  My brother flew back with our luggage, and he later told me the flight had enough empty seats that would have allowed me and my wife to fly.  It also turns out the "overbook" was for pilots and flight attendants to get to Chicago from their canceled flights to other flights.  Then we had to deal with an indignant and unsympathetic gate agent who wasn't even there when this all occurred who tried to tell us there would be no compensation, no accommodation, or reimbursement.  Once the original gate agent came back from a break and got their supervisor involved, we did get vouchers and reimbursements and a re-book for the next day.   But they still had my wife boarding separately.  Plus, the hotel they sent us to was close to a dump and gave us bed bugs.  You are going to have a hard time convincing me to achieve Companion Pass holder status again.  I do not see the value at all.  

Re: Priority Boarding when traveling as a companion

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

@grandepdre Companions do not get sequential boarding positions with a Business Select ticket. You don't see value in buy one, get one free tickets?

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Priority Boarding when traveling as a companion

grandepdre
New Arrival

I don't see the value in having my companion bumped from flying, no. 

 

I also don't see the value in losing 3 months of the companion deal, because the expiration date is the 1-year anniversary of me getting the card, not the 1-year anniversary of making the qualifying purchases to earn  the pass. 

 

And I don't see the value of Southwest putting me in a bed bug infested hotel for the night for my trouble.  

 

Do you see why I would feel frustrated with Southwest now? 

Re: Priority Boarding when traveling as a companion

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

Involuntary bump can happen to anyone, it does not limit to companions. I've enjoyed many free flights from my companion pass and no other airline provides such a beneficial perk. It appears you obtained the companion pass via a promotional offer on credit card sign up. The standard expiration is the remainder of the year you earned it in AND the entire next calendar year. That's a pretty sweet deal. You're welcome to do what you want, I just don't agree with the thinking.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Priority Boarding when traveling as a companion

dfwskier
Top Contributor

As has been said here many times, there is a hole in the "companions board with ticket holder" process. It works for Wanna Get way, Wanna Get Away+ and Anytime ticket holders BUT NOT FOR BUSINESS SELECT ticket holders.

 

Spaces A1-A15 are only available for ticket BUYERS thus there is no way to accommodate companions with adjacent boarding positions..

 

Next time buy one of the other fare types and your companion will have a space right next to yours - assigned 36 hours before  flight time.