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Business select boarding with A group child

New Arrival

So traveling home to OKC after a week in Disney world, my family and I were at the Orlando International. As a very frequent SW flyer I generally fly Business select. I am fortunate enough to have acquired enough flights that I am a Companion pass holder. So in my bookings I have my wife, my 10 year old, my 2 year old, and myself.

 

i purchased my usual business select for myself. The 10 year old is my companion pass holder. My wife and 2 year old were bought with points. At that time I purchased all of them Early bird boarding. 

 

So on our our return trip home I was an A2, my wife A50 something, my 10 year old A30 something, and my 2 year old was A47. As per boarding any other time I have flown as such I have never had a person give me an issue with boarding with my 2 year old. My 2 year old is generally better behaved for me than my wife, so it just makes it easier. Because we have had issues finding 4 seats together at times we board in small groups to keep together. So when my 2 year old and myself go to board the gentlemen at the gate stops me and says no we cannot board at that time. At this point my 2 year old is getting very upset because she thinks we can not get on the plane at all. So she's crying and screaming "I want to get on the plane" and I'm trying to deal with a VERYYYYYY rude and unprofessional gate attendant. I asked for a supervisor and the gentleman did nothing but to ignore my request.  I understand he had other customer to attent to, but he was paying me no mind. 

 

So as to save myself from some serious further issues I waited for my daughters boarding position and boarded in A47. The plane filled. My wife and oldest eventually boarded and found separate seats from us. As it were I approached the supervisor that boarded the plane trying to help the unpleasant gate attendant. 

 

My problem with SW very grey boarding procedures is and I quote "it's based on the plane and current situation". So this gentlemen who may have been having a bad day or something has the sake of my trip in his unhappy hands. I have been told several times before a small child (6 and under) can board with an A parent in the A parents boarding position. There needs to be uniformity. I spend quite a fair amount of time and money on SW to be treated the way the gentlemen did to me. Southwest needs a solid set in stone rule. I don't believe a child of 2 should not be allowed to board with a A parent. Southwest has allows been my favorite airline based on polite and friendly experiences. Based on my travels today I can firmly say that it is very hard to say now. 

 

On a a side note the airplane flight attendants were FANTASTIC after such an ordeal. All 3 asked me if I was ok and what they could do, if anything to make my flight better. That's the SW experience I have grown to enjoy. 

 

So end all be all all is I would like to know what can SW do to fix this? It's not a set in stone rule. I have heard conflicting answers all over the country. As an avid flyer I believe the stance the gentleman took was very wrong. SW needs to do something about it and they need to put those kinds of rules where people can find them and they can read them. 

 

Thankfully,

Unhappy Dad

6 REPLIES 6
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Re: Business select boarding with A group child

Top Contributor

I think the problem is with consistent enforcement and that some of the airports will be lenient in this area, the wording in the policies is pretty clear to me that they don't allow the earlier boarding, that you would have to bump backwards to the highest common denominator.

 

See if you agree:

https://www.southwest.com/html/generated/help/faqs/boarding_the_plane_faq.html

 

 

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.
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Re: Business select boarding with A group child

New Arrival

To an extent. My wife and older child were hung up at security as my 2 year old and myself used my TSA precheck. So they actually didn't get to board to much later. Somewhere in the later B I think.

 

Wording of the policies,

"An adult traveling with a child six years old or younger may board during Family Boarding, which occurs after the “A” group has boarded and before the “B” group begins boarding. If the child and the adult are both holding an “A” boarding pass, they should board in their assigned boarding position."

 

In my situation my 2 year old was solely with me. So she can not board in her boarding position alone. Being the person who paid for the full business select fare I feel as though she should be allowed to board with me.

 

say the situation was that I was traveling alone with her. Would that change the availability of her boarding with me? Im

the primary person traveling. On any other airline she would board with me in my boarding "group". 

 

All I am looking for here is someone who has a brain and some common sense to look at the rule and see that it is flawed.

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Re: Business select boarding with A group child

New Arrival

Im in the same scenario as you and this is frustrating, especially when you purchase expensive tickets that provide the a-1 through a-15 boarding. My child is the companion, as such my child should board with me in the A1-15.  Southwest needs to resolve this issue ASAP.

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Re: Business select boarding with A group child

Top Contributor

@459131411 wrote:

Im in the same scenario as you and this is frustrating, especially when you purchase expensive tickets that provide the a-1 through a-15 boarding. My child is the companion, as such my child should board with me in the A1-15.  Southwest needs to resolve this issue ASAP.


You can always ask, personally I think if you asked the gate person nicely in advance you'll have better luck than trying to sneak through.

 

But if they say "no" it's pretty clear that the rules say family boarding. 

 

Hopefully the pilot for boarding companions with the CP holder will be rolled out to the whole system, I only heard good feedback on this community about that pilot. For older companions it isn't like the person won't save a seat anyway, and it would help close the gap on younger companions that couldn't board by themselves like yourself and the earlier poster.

 

In response to the above - if the child was less than two as a lap child, I'd take them through in A1-15 position - they wouldn't be taking a seat from anyone, their boarding document doesn't have a number...so the last position is your own number.

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.
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Re: Business select boarding with A group child

Top Contributor

Unfortunately, as has been stated, a Business Select passenger (or an A-List passenger for that matter) must give up their boarding privlidge if they are traveling with a young child.

 

Even if that child is their Companion.

 

Yes, this makes no sense.

 

If they were traveling with an adult, or with a child old enough to board by themselves, they could just save a seat for them. (Southwest allows seat saving, which also doesn't make much sense.)

 

It's especially silly since the seat the companion would occupy if they boarded together (or after being saved for them) is most likely a middle seat anyway. 

 

Southwest's "open" boarding system was great right up until they began to monetize it. That changed everything. 

 

 

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Re: Business select boarding with A group child

Top Contributor

@chgoflyer wrote:

Unfortunately, as has been stated, a Business Select passenger (or an A-List passenger for that matter) must give up their boarding privlidge if they are traveling with a young child.

 ...

 

It's especially silly since the seat the companion would occupy if they boarded together (or after being saved for them) is most likely a middle seat anyway. 


That's the worst part - it makes no practical difference for an older companion other than some stress on the flyer's part, or for reduced stress/convenience maybe we buy Early Bird.

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.