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Family Boarding

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My understanding is that family boarding (between Groups A and B) is for 2 adult per 1 child age 6 and under.  Is this correct?

 

We fly to and from Orlando often so there are higher numbers of people flying with children.  I understand that.

 

What I find frustrating is that it seems there is little to no policing of how many people board in a family group.  Even though there may only be 1 child age 6 or under, the entire family lines up with them and boards together, sometimes including grandparents, etc.  I have seen groups of 6 or more people in the family boarding even though there is only 1 child with them.

 

I pay for EBCI to allow for my 9yo and I to sit together.  There are times when we have almost been separated, even with purchasing EBCI, as so many people use the family boarding to board their entire party.

 

Are they allowed to do this and if so, I just need to relax and take what seats we can get.  But, if boarding the entire family is not what the policys entails, I wish SW would begin checking who boards with the family groups and having 'extras' board with their properly assigned boarding pass numbers.

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Re: Family Boarding

Top Contributor

Actually, as written, the Family Boarding policy allows one adult and a child age 6 and under to board together. But most agents do allow two parents if present, and many do allow other related family members as well. Like you, I do wish they'd keep tighter limits on this, but I fear that -- because of Southwest's unique boarding scheme -- doing so might just create more problems onboard. Southwest allows passengers to save seats, so parents would just save several seats onboard for the remaining family members. Ultimately, the result is the same. 😞

 

My only suggestion to you would be to buy EBCI as early as possible. Positions are assigned in the order of EBCI purchase, so early purchase should help get A positions, which will let you board prior to Family Boarding.

 

Hope this helps!

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Re: Family Boarding

Top Contributor

@Scrappinginont wrote:

My understanding is that family boarding (between Groups A and B) is for 2 adult per 1 child age 6 and under.  Is this correct?

 


I've interpreted the policy which says "an adult traveling with..." to be an adult, and the other parent is also "an(other) adult". 

 

But it does make sense that including the extended family at some point should be clarified so that people like yourself as you said can sit back and relax.

 

I'd certainly include additional young siblings for instance. Grandparents? Much more than that and then who is checking ID to verify all of these relatives...I think Southwest partly desired to keep the policy simple, and let the operations agents figure it out rather than having an overly prescriptive case that would cause too many problems.

 

 

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.
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Re: Family Boarding

Top Contributor

 


@DancingDavidE wrote:

@Scrappinginont wrote:

My understanding is that family boarding (between Groups A and B) is for 2 adult per 1 child age 6 and under.  Is this correct?

 


I've interpreted the policy which says "an adult traveling with..." to be an adult, and the other parent is also "an(other) adult". 

 

But it does make sense that including the extended family at some point should be clarified so that people like yourself as you said can sit back and relax.

 

I'd certainly include additional young siblings for instance. Grandparents? Much more than that and then who is checking ID to verify all of these relatives...I think Southwest partly desired to keep the policy simple, and let the operations agents figure it out rather than having an overly prescriptive case that would cause too many problems.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

And, for another opinion, I'd suggest that the ambiguity in the policy as written is exactly what leads to customer frustration.  😉

 

The policy pretty clearly specifics a single adult, but I often see complaints from passengers who are told only one adult may board with the child, likely because in general this is not enforced.

 

And extended family, to me, other than additional minor children, should not be allowed. (Even with the seat-saving caveat I mentioned earlier.)

 

I'd hate to see the agents' discretion further reduced, but that does seem like the direction things are headed at Southwest... so perhaps it would be prudent to dictate strict adherance to policy in this case as well.

 

Policy, for reference:

 

An adult traveling with a child six years old or younger may board duringFamily 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