HERE'S A SIMPLE AND EASY SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM: When a passenger asks for a pre-boarding pass, the agent should ask him or her if they need physical assistance getting down the jetway? If not, then simply ask them to go ahead and board with their group. Interestingly, I experienced this being done in Denver several months ago. I was not well at the time and asked the agent at the gate for a pre-boarding pass just to test it to see how easily this could be done. The agent asked me this question which I thought was courteous but also direct and to the point. I had to admit that, no, I would not have any trouble making my way down the jetway. I honestly thought that Southwest must be training their gate agents to ask this question. However, subsequently I have seen the same long lineup of people pre-boarding who look like the picture of health. There will always be people who are not truthful when asked this question. But most will respond like I did and board with their group.
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