Thanks for posting this. This rule is very clear but is not being followed by gate agents. On my past several flights the passengers needing "extra time" have been allowed to board before A List and A Boarding group passengers. They should board with families which is between Group A & B. If SW followed their guideline, there would be far fewer passengers upset that they are paying extra for tickets but not gaining any benefit. To be clear, I understand not all disabilities are obvious to the public but the vastly increasing number of people needing extra time to board has become progressively larger every time I fly.
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Pre board is being abused. Period. We are frequent fliers and flew on December 13, 2017 from RSW. There were approximately 40 people who boarded before Business Class! The pre boards were a combination of 12 wheelchairs with an accompanying person and those needing "extra time" to board the plane along with their accompanying person and a couple of Veterans (no problem with the Vets). I can't begin to tell you how increasingly frustrated your customers are becoming with this process. Several people in the queue were complaining .The people paying extra for Business Class and Early Bird are being ripped off by this abused pre board process. The gate agents are not closely checking the pre board documents which may be a factor. And it is even more frustrating when the wheelchair and pre boarders seem to have no problem upon landing when they hop out of their seats, grab their bags and scoot off the down the Jetway without a wheelchair or assistance. I realize SW cannot question the nature of disabilities and the flying abusers know that too. The only remedy for this increasing problem is to change from open seating to assigned seats. I always like open seating and always pay for EB but we are seriously considering changing to a carrier with assigned seating. I sincerely hope SW realizes they are NOT doing customers any favors with the open seating process. In fact, by the time all the wheelchairs and pre boards get settled, the flight crews need to begin rushing the general boarding passengers by continually announcing they need to hurry up and get seated for an an on time departure. Just wrong.
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