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A-Listers losing status for check-in priority

johnindallas
New Arrival

Flying home to Dallas this morning. I'm A-List Preferred and my wife is flying on companion pass with me. Her ticket also had early bird added. 

 

When we got notified of our boarding passes yesterday morning, we were both in the single-digit B positions even though our reservatins were made nine weeks ago. I chalked it up to some blip related to my ticket or the odd chance a lot of conventioneers or golfers had bought expensive tickets back to Dallas after a week of work or play. I knew I could board slightly earlier at the end of the A group. Even though I had EBCI for my wife, I went ahead and bought her up to A13 in the BS group (yeah, I know) with the hope of our getting exit row seating together (preferably on the two-seat row on the 700).

 

When I followed A60 up to the gate scanner to board, there were 15-20 other A-Listers waiting over to the side to do the same. Somehow, all of us had lost our check-in status and were buried in the B and C groups on a completely full flight. One gal was A+ and her husband was on her companion pass. He was well up in the A group and she was at the end of B. Go figure. 

 

A-Listers are usually called up as the first to board after the A group, then military, families with kids, etc. Today, the gate agent announced military, then families, then extra-time passengers, and maybe a few other classifications before saying A-Listers could board.

 

Well, we didn't get our exit row as there weren't two seats together that included an aisle by the time my wife got on what began as a completely empty airplane from the hangar. As I walked past the exit rows to join her, I couldn't help but notice several preboarders camped out in those rows including two very large individuals in the two-seat row. Obviously, the FAs weren't all that concerned although one in the back called me out for putting my computer bag in the overhead versus under my seat. We still got an aisle and center seat on the plane, which is what we would have gotten for our B positions, anyhow.

 

Oh well. When you fly every week, you shrug it off and let it go becuase you have the chance to go home and flying with SWA is still a great airline experience.

 

Still, I wonder how often the computers are having brain freeze and are totally disregarding the usual A/A+ check-in privilege. Seems there ought to be some safety nets in place to avoid that but who knows. 

 

Have a great weekend, y'all!

 

 

 

 

8 REPLIES 8

Re: A-Listers losing status for check-in priority

DancingDavidE
Top Contributer

@johnindallas wrote:

...I went ahead and bought her up to A13 in the BS group (yeah, I know) with the hope of our getting exit row seating together (preferably on the two-seat row on the 700).

 


Before kids this was my favorite spot too! And if you take the "window/middle" seat, then the aisle seat there is no better than any other aisle seat so you don't get too much grief for having a companion on the way. Don't forget that and sit in the aisle and wait though as people will have their eyes on that special seat.

 


@johnindallas wrote:

Flying home to Dallas this morning. I'm A-List Preferred and my wife is flying on companion pass with me. Her ticket also had early bird added. 

 

When we got notified of our boarding passes yesterday morning, we were both in the single-digit B positions even though our reservatins were made nine weeks ago. I chalked it up to some blip related to my ticket or the odd chance a lot of conventioneers or golfers had bought expensive tickets back to Dallas after a week of work or play. I knew I could board slightly earlier at the end of the A group. Even though I had EBCI for my wife, I went ahead and bought her up to A13 in the BS group (yeah, I know) with the hope of our getting exit row seating together (preferably on the two-seat row on the 700).

 

...

 

Still, I wonder how often the computers are having brain freeze and are totally disregarding the usual A/A+ check-in privilege. Seems there ought to be some safety nets in place to avoid that but who knows. 

 


That is a little weird for your ALP position to be nest to the EBCI - are you sure that all of your account info was linked to the ticket? I would double-check that your status printed on your boarding pass, and that you earned points, etc.

 

As for the fallback, I think that is the "A61" boarding position. I have heard most gate agents do A-list first, then families and other groups so I think that was atypical for your flight to be after those groups...but I'm usually fixated on family boarding or long since boarded if traveling solo so I may not have noticed.

 

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: A-Listers losing status for check-in priority

johnindallas
New Arrival

Yeah, David. All the account info was there. I talked with four or five others who boarded right next to me at A61 as we were hanging out in the jetway. Most were ALP and had the same issues. It sounded like everyone on the flight, except maybe the BS group, got positioned based on their ticket purchases and not on status levels. It was all over the map. Strangely, the automatic 36-hour check-in was at least working because boarding passes were issued at the 24-hour mark. They were just not where expected. 

 

We are empty-nesters so we don't have to worry about family boarding. I'm used to being in A16-19 about 90% of the time, and maybe in the 20s on occasion unless I make a last-minute change to a ticket and get put in B/C because that's the only available slots. Even then, it's A61 time!

 

We've been spoiled on the 800s our last few trips together since there are two more exit rows (a three and a two) and more leg room, and we will often be able to catch 15 B/C or D/E with just the two seats. (I still like 14 C or D when flying solo since that row has the best leg room all the way across--with the exception of 16 A or F, of course.)

 

It's all good. So many of the perks offset the occasional inconveniences. 

 

 

Highlighted

Re: A-Listers losing status for check-in priority

Lindsey Employee
Employee

@johnindallas,

That definitely is an odd situation - thanks for reporting it. I'm sorry about the experience overall, which clearly affected more than just a handful of our most loyal Customers. We'll make sure this one gets in front of the right people. 

 

Thank you for your continued patronage. I'm glad that even though this event was unpleasant, we've banked enough good experiences with you over the years for you to know this isn't typical. We look forward to bringing you more of the service you deserve on future trips. 

 

 

Lindsey
Community Manager
The Southwest Airlines Community

Re: A-Listers losing status for check-in priority

Jwalsh3rd
Active Member

This one for customer service. To hear about.  As an A List preferred I have found that customer service reps listen, and better still are listened to about SWA policies that are not being observed by personnel.   Pre boarders should not be allowed to sit on exit rows and A List are, in my experience, boarded before families with children.  Sometimes, when equipment is changed on the same fight number, through passengers that had to get off a plane when the equipment is changed are allowed to board before those with boarding passes are called.  These passengers are not technical pre/boarders and can sit in any seat, including exit rows if they are otherwise qualified.

 

Traveiers Tip:  even if you are an A List passenger, get your boarding pass as early as it is available in order to be higher in the queue for boarding.

Re: A-Listers losing status for check-in priority

DancingDavidE
Top Contributer

@Jwalsh3rd wrote:

...Pre boarders should not be allowed to sit on exit rows and A List are, in my experience, boarded before families with children.  Sometimes, when equipment is changed on the same fight number, through passengers that had to get off a plane when the equipment is changed are allowed to board before those with boarding passes are called.  These passengers are not technical pre/boarders and can sit in any seat, including exit rows if they are otherwise qualified.

 


Agreed - I have never seen pre-board passengerss allowed to sit in exit rows on my many flights, and have seen them ejected the one or two times I saw it to be attempted.

 

Through passengers however can get those seats, although they don't always seem to go for it.

 

 


@Jwalsh3rd wrote:

Traveiers Tip:  even if you are an A List passenger, get your boarding pass as early as it is available in order to be higher in the queue for boarding.


This is true for business select. A-list will have their position assigned already regardless of how long after 24-hours you retrieve your pass.

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: A-Listers losing status for check-in priority

chgoflyer
Top Contributer

@DancingDavidE wrote:

@Jwalsh3rd wrote:

...Pre boarders should not be allowed to sit on exit rows and A List are, in my experience, boarded before families with children.  Sometimes, when equipment is changed on the same fight number, through passengers that had to get off a plane when the equipment is changed are allowed to board before those with boarding passes are called.  These passengers are not technical pre/boarders and can sit in any seat, including exit rows if they are otherwise qualified.

 


Agreed - I have never seen pre-board passengerss allowed to sit in exit rows on my many flights, and have seen them ejected the one or two times I saw it to be attempted.

 

Through passengers however can get those seats, although they don't always seem to go for it.

 

 


@Jwalsh3rd wrote:

Traveiers Tip:  even if you are an A List passenger, get your boarding pass as early as it is available in order to be higher in the queue for boarding.


This is true for business select. A-list will have their position assigned already regardless of how long after 24-hours you retrieve your pass.


 

Actually, from a recent discussion on FlyerTalk, it appears that Southwest now automatically checks in Business Select passengers. The order of assigned positions remains a mystery, but BS passengers no longer need to check themselves in right at t minus 24 in order to receive the best position.

Re: A-Listers losing status for check-in priority

DancingDavidE
Top Contributer

@chgoflyer wrote:

Actually, from a recent discussion on FlyerTalk, it appears that Southwest now automatically checks in Business Select passengers. The order of assigned positions remains a mystery, but BS passengers no longer need to check themselves in right at t minus 24 in order to receive the best position.


Darn it, the community just convinced me it was the other way! Smiley LOL

 

I don't have much perspective, when I have bought BS before it is usually last minute, so if order of purchase is a factor I would tend to be last. I also had thought it was auto-check-in (when it may not have been) so both variables tending to make me later in the BS group so I can't do any A/B testing from my own experience.

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: A-Listers losing status for check-in priority

chgoflyer
Top Contributer

@DancingDavidE wrote:

@chgoflyer wrote:

Actually, from a recent discussion on FlyerTalk, it appears that Southwest now automatically checks in Business Select passengers. The order of assigned positions remains a mystery, but BS passengers no longer need to check themselves in right at t minus 24 in order to receive the best position.


Darn it, the community just convinced me it was the other way! Smiley LOL

 

I don't have much perspective, when I have bought BS before it is usually last minute, so if order of purchase is a factor I would tend to be last. I also had thought it was auto-check-in (when it may not have been) so both variables tending to make me later in the BS group so I can't do any A/B testing from my own experience.

 

 


Smiley Wink

 

For what it's worth, Southwest hasn't officially announced any change, so it's possible this is just some kind of glitch or other temporary side effect that may go away at some point. (To me, however, it always seemed odd that BS passengers weren't checked in automatically.)