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Southwest Airlines Community

Statement about Flight 5136 on May 20, 2017


We've fielded many inquiries from Customers and news outlets regarding Flight 5136 from Buffalo to Fort Lauderdale on May 20. On that flight, we welcomed all families to board the aircraft during Family Boarding, which happens between the "A" and "B" boarding groups.

Our Operations Agent at the gate informed two parents that another member of their group was ineligible to board under Family Boarding, and asked that she board in her assigned boarding group. This conversation in the boarding area had nothing to do with discrimination; we welcomed both parents to board the aircraft with all of their children. The parents expressed disappointment that the Family Boarding policy was not applicable to another member of their group. The two parents did not agree with our policy, and our Flight Crew worked to save seats together on the aircraft for the family while the conversation continued in the gate area.
You can read about our Family Boarding Policy on Our Employees work hard to follow the policy to accommodate families traveling together while also maintaining boarding priorities for all of our Customers. Our Chairman and CEO recently wrote a post about Civility and The Golden Rule, which means treating every Customer and fellow Employee with respect and dignity.