We used to buy just one early bird and my husband would board first and save the middle seat for me. Even then he was frequently challenged by other couples who wanted to sit together. So we now just buy two early birds and board together. Much easier and worth the extra $15 - $30. I do think Southwest could help the situation by making an announcement during boarding indicating saving seats is not allowed. Additionally, the flight attendants could also monitor this during boarding as it's very obvious. As far as groups pre-boarding with one disabled person - I find it to be hit or miss. I have seen some gate agents stop the group and allow only one person to board with the disabled person and I have seen some allow severals people to board with one disabled person. If Southwest has a policy on this it is not uniformally enforced.
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