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Handicapped passengers

kssunflower
New Arrival

Do others who are elderly with handicaps (not wheelchair or scooters) feel the need to have some sort of earlier boarding in order to avoid having to stand in the line which is very diffiult for those with feet and leg issues?  Sometimes I have felt the need to actually sit on the floor while waiting in the line (but then afraid I might have difficulty getting back up). Is some sort of earlier boarding possible?

2 REPLIES 2

Re: Handicapped passengers

elijahbrantley
Rising Star

You can indeed board early if you need extra time or assistance or have trouble standing.  Read all about how it works at SW's site here.  

 

Here's an overview:

 

Customers with disabilities are not required to provide advance notice of the need for assistance; however, doing so helps us better prepare for the number of Customers who will need our help.

 

We give Customers the opportunity to proactively notify Southwest Airlines of any specific disability-related needs during and after booking on Southwest.com. When booking a new reservation, Customers may use the “Special Assistance” link on the Enter Traveler Info page to indicate that he/she requires assistance. When booking online, Customers may notice that there is a link (identified with a question mark) that directs the user to the details of our policies for assisting Passengers with disabilities. After the Customer has selected his/her option(s), the Customer should scroll down and complete the booking process.

 

If a reservation has already been created, simply click on the “FLIGHT | HOTEL | CAR” link located on the top of our home page. Then, select “Manage Reservations” from the “Flights” column, input the required information, and select “Search.” From that page, click on the "Special Assistance" link under the Passenger name. Once a Customer has added his/her option(s), the Customer should click “Update Information” and the information will be saved to the Customer’s reservation.

 

Customers may also advise us of any disability-related travel needs at the time of booking by telephone or, if a reservation has already been made, by calling 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792) prior to travel.

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Re: Handicapped passengers

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

@elijahbrantley wrote:

You can indeed board early if you need extra time or assistance or have trouble standing.  Read all about how it works at SW's site here.  

 

Here's an overview:

 

Customers with disabilities are not required to provide advance notice of the need for assistance; however, doing so helps us better prepare for the number of Customers who will need our help.

 

We give Customers the opportunity to proactively notify Southwest Airlines of any specific disability-related needs during and after booking on Southwest.com. When booking a new reservation, Customers may use the “Special Assistance” link on the Enter Traveler Info page to indicate that he/she requires assistance. When booking online, Customers may notice that there is a link (identified with a question mark) that directs the user to the details of our policies for assisting Passengers with disabilities. After the Customer has selected his/her option(s), the Customer should scroll down and complete the booking process.

 

If a reservation has already been created, simply click on the “FLIGHT | HOTEL | CAR” link located on the top of our home page. Then, select “Manage Reservations” from the “Flights” column, input the required information, and select “Search.” From that page, click on the "Special Assistance" link under the Passenger name. Once a Customer has added his/her option(s), the Customer should click “Update Information” and the information will be saved to the Customer’s reservation.

 

Customers may also advise us of any disability-related travel needs at the time of booking by telephone or, if a reservation has already been made, by calling 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792) prior to travel.



Just a minor correction to the above: Passengers requiring extra time do not preboard on Southwest, they are allowed to board with Family Boarding between the A and B groups.

 

Pre-boarding is for disabled passengers who require either assistance boarding the aircraft or a specific seat once on board. 

 

While the condition described would not technically qualify one for pre-boarding on Southwest, I suspect a gate agent would understand the need, and issue a pre-boarding pass upon upon request.

 

 

From the website:

 

Preboarding

Preboarding is available for Customers who have a specific seating need to accommodate their disability and/or need assistance in boarding the aircraft or stowing an assistive device. If a Customer with a disability simply needs a little extra time to board, we will permit the Customer to board before Family Boarding, between the “A” and “B” groups. Those Customers who need extra time to board will receive a new boarding pass with an extra time designation. The designation serves as notification to our Operations (boarding) Agent that the Customer should be permitted to board before Family Boarding.

We will allow one travel companion to act as an “attendant” and preboard with a Customer with a disability if the Customer requires the person's assistance either to board or while on the aircraft. In most cases, the Customer requires assistance from only one other person, and any additional family members or friends are asked to board with their assigned group. 

Customers should request preboarding from our Customer Service Agent at the ticket counter or departure gate. Our Agents are trained to ask factfinding questions to determine if the Customer meets the qualifications described above. Those Customers who qualify for preboarding will receive a new boarding pass with a preboarding designation. The designation serves as notification to our Operations (boarding) Agent that the Customer should be permitted to preboard.

It's important to keep in mind that Customers who preboard may not occupy an exit seat.

Note: Customers who are preboarding because of a need for a specific seat onboard the aircraft should speak with the Operations (boarding) Agent prior to the start of preboarding to alert the Agent to the seating need.