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Increasing pre boarders that obviously have no handicap

Twensminger
New Arrival

There are many who pay the significantly higher prices for Business select only to face 15 “pre boarders” who obviously have no physical difficulty and take up the first 3 rows in the plane. I ve witnessed some of them either running to gate or to baggage claim for crying out loud. Obviously no handicap.

Either screen closer or make the ruling that if you must  pre board, then you exit the plane last, not first.

18 REPLIES 18
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Re: Increasing pre boarders that obviously have no handicap

dfwskier
Rising Star
Solution

Hello.

 

You are not the first person to complain about the situation.

 

Federal law ties Southest's hands on the subject. It can't legally question passengers as to the nature of their disabiities. If passengers self identify as having diabilities that requires pre boarding, Southwest basicaly has to believe them.

 

Also, some disabilities are not obvious. For eample, a person prone to nausea might need a seat near the lavatory, but might be capable of easily walking to the plane. I have sciatica, and at times I walk normally, while other times I'm anything but normal. I can be fine getting on a fliight and be in agony getting off the same flight.

 

I can only suggest that you be tolerant of others, even though some of those others game the system.

Re: Increasing pre boarders that obviously have no handicap

AJs
New Arrival

Why is that this is only abused on SWA? I’ve never experienced this abuse on other airlines! The bottom line is SWA, doesn’t seem to care about business fliers. If you did you would make changes to your policies. Boarding a flight today, 27 preboarders, unreal! I was A2, and boarded 29th. Maybe it’s time to switch airlines....

Re: Increasing pre boarders that obviously have no handicap

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

@AJs wrote:

Why is that this is only abused on SWA? I’ve never experienced this abuse on other airlines! The bottom line is SWA, doesn’t seem to care about business fliers. If you did you would make changes to your policies. Boarding a flight today, 27 preboarders, unreal! I was A2, and boarded 29th. Maybe it’s time to switch airlines....


 

Other carriers assign seating, so there's no major benefit to pre-boarding. (Hence, the only real "solution" to the pre-boarding "problem" on Southwest is... )

Re: Increasing pre boarders that obviously have no handicap

rtbarron
Active Member

@Twensminger wrote:

 

Either screen closer or make the ruling that if you must  pre board, then you exit the plane last, not first.


Or you can simply learn to live with it.

Southwest is not going to do anything about it because they don't want to end up in a viral video broadcast on CNN showing a disabled veteran with no outward signs of disability being denied pre-boarding or forced to remain on the plane while other passengers get off.

To be honest, this topic has been covered ad nauseam and needs to be put to rest.

Re: Increasing pre boarders that obviously have no handicap

ronnyradio
Active Member

Or Southwest could go to assigned seating and watch their pre-board requests plummet.....

Re: Increasing pre boarders that obviously have no handicap

rtbarron
Active Member

47 years of open seating and pre-boarding, and 45 consecutive years of profits.

I don't see Southwest changing a policy that has worked well for nearly 50 years just to appease a minority of passengers who feel cheated by pre-boarders.

Southwest prides itself on Hospitality but that hospitality means that Customers must accept Southwest's unique way of doing things. If you cannot accept open seating, fly an airline that has it. Remember, there are many long-time passengers who love Southwest's open seating. Don't expect Southwest to change their way of doing things to appease you.

Re: Increasing pre boarders that obviously have no handicap

ronnyradio
Active Member

47 years of open seating and pre-boarding, and 45 consecutive years of profits.” sounds like the president of Sears....maybe they will start “appeasing” the 20% of customers that deliver 80% of their profit. Or maybe not and they will wait for the streak to end

 

 

Re: Increasing pre boarders that obviously have no handicap

rtbarron
Active Member

@ronnyradio wrote:

47 years of open seating and pre-boarding, and 45 consecutive years of profits.” sounds like the president of Sears....maybe they will start “appeasing” the 20% of customers that deliver 80% of their profit. Or maybe not and they will wait for the streak to end 



You forget that all the airlines that do it your way (have assigned seating) went bankrupt while Southwest, with open seating, soared. In other words, your Sears analogy just doesn't fly.

And of the 20% that allegedly deliver 80% of the profit, I bet fewer than a quarter give a darn about "cheaters." The Southwest way has worked for nearly 50 years because enough Customers like it to keep them profitable. If that changes, Southwest will do what is necessary to remain competitive.

Like I said before, this topic has been covered ad nauseam and needs to be put to rest.

Re: Increasing pre boarders that obviously have no handicap

dfwskier
Rising Star

@ronnyradio wrote:

47 years of open seating and pre-boarding, and 45 consecutive years of profits.” sounds like the president of Sears....maybe they will start “appeasing” the 20% of customers that deliver 80% of their profit. Or maybe not and they will wait for the streak to end

 

 


As has already been said open seating has been around for Southwest's entire existence. It allows

Southwest to get passengerson and off aircraft faster than airlines that use assigned seating. That allows Southwest to get in more flights per day per plane than the competition. That translates into more revenue and profit and that makes the owners of Southwest (the stockholders) happy.  It also frequently allows Southwest to keep it's fares down -- which makes passengers happy.

 

The vast majority of travelers are used to and comfortable with open seating.

 

 

The two points above illustrate why Southwest is not likely to change to assigned seating.