There were over 30 pre-boards on my recent flight going from San Juan to Orlando. A majority of them walked on (not in a wheel chair). This tells me that Southwest did NOT provide assistance for them to board. I paid extra for my business class fare ticket and my boarding position was A-2. When I boarded the plane, the first 9 rows were occupied with pre-boards that were saving seats for travel companions. I watched the gate attendants allow anyone who walked up to the counter who appeared to be over the age of 60 pre-board the plane. I understand the law requires airlines to provide assistance when requested and can not discriminate, but I could not find where the law states that they have to be let on the plane first ahead of any other passengers. I can see that this isn't an issue for airlines with assigned seating, but it presents a unique situation for Southwest because you charge extra to be at the front of the line, but you're not actually allowing the customer to be at the front of the line. It would make sense for Southwest to allow the first 15 passengers who paid the extra for the business class fare tickets to board first, and then allow the customers who need "assistance" to board. This would not add any extra time to the boarding process. The only exception to this would be where the customer said they needed to be sat in the first row due to their disability. The policy needs to be changed!
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