I go both ways on this. While I frequently use SWA for travel (fly every week), I find myself increasingly frustrated with the pre-boarding situation. People are clearly abusing the privilege, and I think they are going to ruin things for individuals who actually need to board first. I'm fortunate to always be assigned a low A boarding group. With disgust, I often find myself waiting, and sacrificing the good seats, for young people, visually athletic, and obviously in excellent shape. Unfortunately, these self-centered hacks also appear quite unemployed and entitled. They have figured out how to use the "new first class", boarding in front of us die-hard SWA loyalists, who have worked very hard, earning or paying for status for many years. (This is where I completely flip on this issue) At the same time, my wife suffers from anxiety (claustrophobia). She wouldn't be able to fly unless she was granted pre-board status. It's critical when we travel together, as she can hardly get through the airport, and onto the plane, without completely losing her mind. We love traveling, but the hours leading up to boarding are miserable for her. She is quite capable, physically, of boarding, appearing quite normal, like the rest of us, but inside she's trying her best to endure. Watching her, closely, you can see her trembling and very much not at-ease. I am grateful for the pre-boarding policy, and strongly feel that old people, sick, injured, or mentally ill, should rightly be given consideration. In most cases, the SWA staff go the extra mile to make sure they're comfortable and ok (this is one of many reasons why we all love SW). What baffles me is the simplicity and access to the pre-boarding status. I don't want to promote how easy it is (as if it isn't already known), but I do think it should be something you apply for, in advance, requiring some reasonable form of verification. There needs to be a way to sort the idiots from the people who actually need the service. Certainly, would make my air travel easier.
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