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Re: Solution for South Wests Preboard nightmare

Retired Community Manager

Hi @tommyo,

 

Many of our Customers have disabilities that are not necessarily visible or restricted to a specific age group (e.g., diseases that cause blood clots, epilepsy, autism, etc.), and some Customers require the use of a wheelchair (or other mobility device) in one airport when they expect to have to travel a significant distance but don’t need to wheelchair in other circumstances (e.g. a smaller airport, making a connection to a gate in the same terminal, or the Customer is capable of walking the short distance down the jet bridge). However, our Employees are trained to ask a Customer who requests preboarding certain fact-finding questions regarding the Customer’s qualification for preboarding.

 

 

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Re: Solution for South Wests Preboard nightmare

New Arrival

I appreciate that there is some vetting of the pre-boards. However, it's hard to be empathetic when you see the the people sitting waiting in wheelchairs ask others to watch their belongings while they get up and get coffee, go the the restroom, etc., with little apparent limitation to their ability to move quickly. I see this often at the gates of PBI.  And for those of us who pay extra for each in our party to board early, it is equally frustrating to have your desired seats being saved by someone who paid for one early bird seat, and is saving others for those in later boarding groups. I believe that SWA should begin making announcements at boarding time to the effect that seats cannot be saved for people in later boarding groups. After all, SWA, you would earn more $$ if people paid to board honestly.

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Re: Solution for South Wests Preboard nightmare

Top Contributor

Southwest won't "begin making announcements at boarding time to the effect that seats cannot be saved for people in later boarding groups" because Southwest allows seat saving.

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Re: Solution for South Wests Preboard nightmare

New Arrival

I take the first open seat that I want, if someone wants to save seats they should either not be cheap and buy early bird for their entire party, or sit in the back. 

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Re: Solution for South Wests Preboard nightmare

New Arrival

The best solution is to require all preboards

to wait until others are off after landing to exit the plane. Those who choose not to wait should be tagged as ineligible for preboard in future flights. Solves every single part of this issue, and Based on what I have seen, would eliminate 80% of the miracles in the sky. 

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Re: Solution for South Wests Preboard nightmare

Active Member

If you are frustrated because someone claims a seat is saved, just sit there.

 

Problem solved.

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Re: Solution for South Wests Preboard nightmare

New Arrival

I walk just fine, by looking at me you’d never expect that I would be in the preboarding group. I can’t guarantee to you that I have seen things and experienced things you wouldn’t want to see, or have seen, but for most I have. I’ve seen the dirty looks I get, and have heard the mumbling. Your completely selfish viewpoint, that all those who preboard should be wheelchair bound, or not allowed to walk around with no apparent limitations, is offensive and appalling. I typically wouldn’t wish negative thoughts towards anyone, but I can definitively say dealing with what I’ve seen, and dealt with what I have. I hope you never have to walk or journey through an airport, dealing with what runs through my mind, as crowds ebb and flow around me. People rushing towards you, walking up from behind you, touching you, and generally causing you distress and anxiety, to where you’re almost immobile. 

 

Good luck and and I truly hope you never get PTSD, and if you do, it’s not because something bad happens to someone you know, or because of something you witness in a crowd, like maybe someone ending their life, with the intention of ending as many others as possible as well. 

 

To you, I say good day and BLESS YOUR HEART!

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Re: Solution for South Wests Preboard nightmare

Active Member

@LindseyD wrote:

Hi @tommyo,

 

Many of our Customers have disabilities that are not necessarily visible or restricted to a specific age group (e.g., diseases that cause blood clots, epilepsy, autism, etc.), and some Customers require the use of a wheelchair (or other mobility device) in one airport when they expect to have to travel a significant distance but don’t need to wheelchair in other circumstances (e.g. a smaller airport, making a connection to a gate in the same terminal, or the Customer is capable of walking the short distance down the jet bridge). However, our Employees are trained to ask a Customer who requests preboarding certain fact-finding questions regarding the Customer’s qualification for preboarding.

 

 


While that is true, I think people are talking about those gaming the system by faking a need to preboard.  This saves money on fees and gives a better shot at reserving all the seats in the first few rows.

 

Its more prevelant on SWA than other carriers due to the semi open seating.

 

While you are at it Lindsay, are you ever going to answer my direct question as to how SWA officially defines "any available seat" ??

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Re: Solution for South Wests Preboard nightmare

New Arrival

Thank you Lindsey w/Southwest. You are correct not all of us have a visible disability. I don’t use a wheelchair or assistive device and I usually take one of my sons on board with me. I take them with because my wife and other son wait for their position to board. I have PTSD and prefer to sit in the back of the plane. I board early so no one touches me in the crowd. I board early so I can see everything going on in front of me. While all the people that pay for their A list boarding position, I can appreciate, they’re not the type of people I’d like running into me or touching me. I assume they are all very relaxed on the plane inflight, possibly even dozing off. I can’t remember the last time I’ve had the luxury of catching a nap on a plane. I know I’m not the norm by sitting in the back, but also know I don’t do it because I’m worried about one of the entitled A list boarders think of me. I do it because no one sees what I do and can’t see my disability, making it such a smoother process to board if I am allowed to pre-board. 

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Re: Solution for South Wests Preboard nightmare

Active Member

Honestly your staff ask no questions.  I stand in line listening to young adults talk about how this is the greatest thing ever because it doesnt matter what their boarding number is.  Everyone on these posts agrees that people with disabilities that make them need more time to board, or make them need to sit in front, should do so.  No one on these message boards is suggesting otherwise.  The frustration is not regarding those that need the consideration.  But Lindsey, you should really stop pretending like there is not problem and like Southwest has this figured out - it further infuriates those watching the abusive preboard number continue to swell as word of mouth has spread this option of skipping Southwest's numbering system.    The growing number of preboarders that abuse this should be frustrating those that really need it because those abusers are making others standing in line following the rules resent a policy that can be so easily abused that it is useless.  And those that are abusing it happily stand silently while those needing the policy and those working at southwest shield them.