My 11 year old and 14 year old have traveled together 4 times. Going on now for 2 years. I’ve purchased unaccompanied service for only 1 of them. The 3 previous times they have traveled, they have both been allowed to board together, as they are siblings in the same itinerary. From the 1st time that they started traveling together I asked about the boarding process when I made my reservation, I was assured they would stay together the whole time. Today, I was met with some pushback on this issue. The lady calling everyone to line up, never called for unaccompanied minors. Once I made it known, she said only one of them was allowed to board “pre-board”. I explained that’s not what I was told by the reservation agent and that, this have never been expressed to me or been done to my kids. I asked to speak with a supervisor. The supervisor and I verbal judo’d for a while. He said it was Southwest Policy, only the unaccompanied could board early. I told him ultimately, I was willing to wait until everyone boarded and have them board together. He said no, that by law he had to take my minor by himself. I told him that I was not going to relinquish custody of my child. He said that if I didn’t, then my kids would not be getting on the plane. So I restarted his comment... “you’re saying, if I wait to the end and the plane is still here and the door is still open you’re not going to allow my kids on the plane” he said “that’s right, they aren’t getting on this plane” he further said it wouldn’t be fair for all the other passengers who paid to be on a specific boarding order. I asked to speak with another level of supervisor and he said that was not going to happen. I told him that’s now how things work, I said I wanted to speak with someone higher than him, he said he was it, he said he was it for Southwest at the airport, that if I needed some higher, I would have to call the 1-800. He went on to suggest that my minor child should save my 14 year old a seat next to him. To which I said, “it’s first come, first serve. You’re trying cover one whole and open another. If my kid tries to save a seat for his brother, isn’t that the same thing as you allowing them to board together and sit together, same outcome, with the exception that there might be a confrontation between my younger son and another passenger who won’t want to listen to an 11 year old saving a seat?” He said it wasn’t going to happen my way”. After some a moment of reasoning, he said he would allow them to board after the “1st class and preferred category” (not sure what the actual name of the categories are). So, ultimately exactly what I had asked for in the first place. They sat in row 2 of the airplane. Basically, they had to ask some passengers to move to give them both the seats up front. Inconvenienced other passengers and my family, when it could have all been avoided. Who is violating the policy? Is there a policy that says a young Traveler and an unaccompanied minor cant board “pre-board” together? I haven’t seen anything on this topic. Should there be some sort of policy to address this situation? Is there a safety, law, regulation aspect that prevents this from being a normal courtesy without the response received today? After all, there are less restrictions for someone simply requesting to “pre-board” based on simply suggesting they have a need to “pre-board” early. Any thoughts?
... View more