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change in when families pre board?

New Arrival

I have flown Southwest for years, and this has been the boarding order: Pre-board (w/blue cards), Business Select, A group, A-listers who didn't get A for some reason, families with small children, then B, and C. On a recent trip, however, they boarded families with small children (via a general announcement, not based on some special circumstances) BEFORE Business Select and the whole A group. Is this an actual change in policy or was this just a mistake/deviation from procedure on that one flight? Some of the Business Select folks were super annoyed when they boarded and had to sit back near the exit row. There was even a pretty heated argument between one passenger and a mom about how she and her family got way better sets for free than people who paid for an upgrade. I wasn't one of those folks, but I have considered Business Select from time to time. However, it would definitely not be worth it if families boarded ahead.


Re: change in when families pre board?

Top Contributor

There's been no change in policy, Family Boarding is still in between the A and B groups. Are you certain there was an announcement, and not that there were some families who may have preboarded, due to disabilities? If so, I'd suggest you use the email contact form on the Southwest website to let them know, as that would be a significant derivation from official policy.


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The good news is that you should not see anything like this again.

Re: change in when families pre board?

Top Contributor



Maybe those people came from the thru flight that had a plane swap.


for example MCO to AUS with a stop in Houston but no change of planes then they arrive in Houston and they have a new plane for HOU to AUS so they get to board before Business Select as they would have already been on the plane and this case would have families since a lot of families come from Orlando 


but I have not seen any other times where families board first.


If you would like to discuss with Southwest directly you can reach out on Twitter or call customer relations and they can look in to the flight to see what occurred and why families boarded first. 


Hope this helps