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Hassled by Baggage Check Agent for Preboarding

floridaguy
Active Member

Tonight in Orlando, I checked one bag and indicated the need to preboard due to a medical condition.  I do not need assistance boarding.

 

The baggage check agent gave me a hard time about it and tried to sell me the upgrade check-in and then offered to give me "extra time".  I said NO.  I know my rights.  I told him that he was in violation of the Air Carrier Access Act for debating my condition and reason for preboarding.

 

What is Southwest doing?  Are you training your people to make passengers buy the preboarding?  Your gate agent tonight in MCO is disgusting and doesn't know the law.

 

In the revised final rule published on May 13, 2008, the Department expanded the preboarding requirement to cover not only people who need a specific seat assignment or who need to stow their personal folding wheelchairs, but also to cover passengers that “need additional time or assistance to board, stow accessibility equipment, or be seated.” For a passenger to be entitled to preboarding, that passenger must self-identify at the gate as being a person with a disability that needs to preboard for one of the above-listed reasons. In the section-by-section analysis of the preamble to the final rule, the Department noted that the obligation to preboard passengers with disabilities “exists regardless of the carriers’ preboarding policies for other persons (e.g., families with small children).” 

 

 

8 REPLIES 8

Re: Hassled by Baggage Check Agent for Preboarding

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

Yes, we all know you like to preboard.  Contact Southwest directly if you have a complaint.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Hassled by Baggage Check Agent for Preboarding

dfwskier
Top Contributor

Poor baby.

 

I do have an extra soap box that you could  use.

Re: Hassled by Baggage Check Agent for Preboarding

parpitt1
Active Member

Sounds like you did not provide one of three reasons specified by the rule:

 preboarding requirement to cover not only (1.)people who need a specific seat assignment or (2.) who need to stow their personal folding wheelchairs, but also to cover passengers that (3.)“need additional time or assistance to board, stow accessibility equipment, or be seated.” For a passenger to be entitled to preboarding, that passenger must self-identify at the gate as being a person with a disability that needs to preboard for one of the above-listed reasons. 

They can't ask what your physical or mental challenge is, BUT they can ask you to provide one or more of those 3 reasons that you are using as a reason to preboard.  

Safe travels

Re: Hassled by Baggage Check Agent for Preboarding

floridaguy
Active Member

I understand.  But self identifying and being specific regarding seat assignment would satisfy any read of the Federal regulation.  Instead, I was encouraged to buy an upgrade.

 

How many people would surrender their rights at the baggage check desk and pay for what they entitled to receive?  Southwest needs to get their people in order.  I've filed a complaint and will give feedback here on how the proceed.

 

I will guess that this incident will result in "employee education" so that they don't open a can of worms legally.

 

I'm disappointed.  

Re: Hassled by Baggage Check Agent for Preboarding

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@floridaguy wrote:

 

Since the federal  rule states For a passenger to be entitled to preboarding, that passenger must self-identify AT THE GATE,

 

Why were you even asking the bag check people?

 

I would expect that people that enforce the rule (gate agents) would be familiar with the rule - others less so.

Re: Hassled by Baggage Check Agent for Preboarding

floridaguy
Active Member

The first point of contact is appropriate for asking about preboarding.  The baggage check is a place to do that because they can issue boarding passes too.

 

The problem became apparent when he wanted to sell the upgrade.  

Re: Hassled by Baggage Check Agent for Preboarding

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@floridaguy wrote:

The first point of contact is appropriate for asking about preboarding.  The baggage check is a place to do that because they can issue boarding passes too.

 

The problem became apparent when he wanted to sell the upgrade.  


Did you ask the gate agent?

Re: Hassled by Baggage Check Agent for Preboarding

floridaguy
Active Member

The person at baggage check eventually issued the PRBD designation so it was finally over.