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AList Boarding with Small Children

nikki224
New Arrival

I am A-List but my children are not, and I have had mixed experiences boarding with my children and trying to use my A-List boarding position.

 

A few times they have allowed me to board with the A group in my position with my children (who do not have an A boarding pass) while other times they tell me that the kids can't board with me (they are small so there is no way they are able to board by themselves). I know that family boarding will allow us to all sit together - it is really about shortening the amount of time we have to wait outside and also getting to use my AList benefits. I completely understand that a group of adults should not be allowed to board together just because one perosn is A-List, but when it is minor children, I don't really see the big deal with just allowing them to board with a parent, as they obviously are not going to be able to board alone, thus preventing the parent from boarding with their group if they must wait for the children.  

 

Has anyone else experienced this or know the policy on this? 

7 REPLIES 7

Re: AList Boarding with Small Children

AustinCali
New Arrival

I've had a simular situation.  Once the child is 12, they will need to board on their own.  This is SWA's policy and the employees are not flexible.

 

I don't feel comfortable leaving my son alone in the mass grouping that are sardined in-between the lineup poles.

 

My solution is to have my son board solo using my A boarding, hoping that he can fend off others so i can sit with him.  The issue is that carry-on storage space is limited once you board.

 

SWA wants you to pay extra for business boarding so you both will board with A.

Re: AList Boarding with Small Children

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

Unfortunately, Southwest's official policy is that the A-Lister board with the child or children at their assigned positions, or during Family Boarding if their children qualify (age 6 and under). Yes, they expect A-Listers to give up their benefit when they travel with family. 

 


@AustinCali wrote:

I've had a simular situation.  Once the child is 12, they will need to board on their own.  This is SWA's policy and the employees are not flexible.


 

There is no such policy involving children 12 and older stating they must board on their own. I'm not sure what exactly you're talking about.

 

Re: AList Boarding with Small Children

exquisitebones
New Arrival

I too have had mixed experiences and just had a horrible one with a super rude gate agent in San Diego. 

My daughter is 4 and I am and have been A list, for a long time, and I was sent away and told I had to forfeit my benefits or have her board in her own group?

haha! Are you kidding. So I got pushed back to family boarding.  (At the end of the family boarding line too!) 

 

its super frustrating because cause all other airlines I have status with don't act like this, they cover your underage companions with elite status too. 

I love southwest but that was a really lame experience. 

Re: AList Boarding with Small Children

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

See my earlier post. The official policy on Southwest is that A-lister's give up their boarding benefit when boarding with companions or children.

Re: AList Boarding with Small Children

Raenadhuy
New Arrival

This just happened to me and I thought the gate agent was just giving me a really hard time. Traveling alone with two kids under 6 and I get kicked out of line. So stressful to be caught off guard like that. Had I known, I would have bought A1-15 so that we can be closest to the front when we arrive. Can’t wait to carry at least one sleeping kid and all the carryons through the narrow isles starting from the back of the plane. The gate agent could have been kinder and extremely clear with her announcement preboard. Solo parent travel is tough as it is.

Re: AList Boarding with Small Children

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

@Raenadhuy wrote:

This just happened to me and I thought the gate agent was just giving me a really hard time. Traveling alone with two kids under 6 and I get kicked out of line. So stressful to be caught off guard like that. Had I known, I would have bought A1-15 so that we can be closest to the front when we arrive. Can’t wait to carry at least one sleeping kid and all the carryons through the narrow isles starting from the back of the plane. The gate agent could have been kinder and extremely clear with her announcement preboard. Solo parent travel is tough as it is.


 

Just in case you're not aware, anyone with children age 6 and under can board with Family Boarding, after the A group / before the B group. That may be helpful in your case, and avoid having to purchase 3 Upgraded Boardings, which at $30-$50 each can add up quickly. 

Re: AList Boarding with Small Children

soren731
New Arrival

This is where I can't stand Southwest's policy. How many times have I been on a plane where the flight attendant has made an announcement that they need two seats together for a parent and their kid. They won't push back from the gate until they get those two seats. They bribe passengers with alcohol to give up their aisle or window seat because the mother and child didn't qualify for family boarding because the kid is over 6. Change the policy. Let the kids board with a parent at the higher position. As long as they're not trying to board 6 kids in the A-group, it should be fine.