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Re: Increasing pre boarders that obviously have no handicap

rtbarron
Active Member

@dfwskier

I came across this today:

https://skift.com/2018/07/26/southwest-ceo-says-assigned-seats-and-premium-cabins-still-dont-make-se...

“Let me be very blunt, we are not looking at assigning seats right now,” Kelly said. “We are not talking about assigning seats now, and we’re not talking about looking at it sometime in the future.”

 

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Re: Increasing pre boarders that obviously have no handicap

CareforNOLA
Active Member

@rtbarron, I agree that the location drives the type of passenger and FL locations have snowbirds, but it is also passenger choice.  My folks came to visit me via Southwest in their 70’s because it was just easier than on the other airlines.  They just found attendants to be kinder and the trip to be easier (admittedly no connections helped), so they would have had one of those wheelchairs not from TPA but from BNA.  Thanks Southwest for making it easier for them to come visit their grandchild. I always keep that in mind when I see the preboards.  Even if a few are not legit, the vast majority are.  

 

Sorry @twensminger—I hope you can take @rtbarron’s comments as they are meant and they deliver a bit of empathy for those who are not as able bodied as others.

Re: Increasing pre boarders that obviously have no handicap

sfarlow
New Arrival

it will only get worse now that EBCI fee increases on Aug 29 to $25. Folks who don't want to pay the fee will just sit in a wheelchair

Re: Increasing pre boarders that obviously have no handicap

Brichter57
New Arrival

The pre-boarding is getting out of control. The worst part is that SW best customers are the ones getting the shaft. I’m A list preferred. And I pay more for business select because I want to be comfortable. And it seems the preboarding on my last 10 flights have gotten out of hand. Literally, people that are in Peak Physical condition are preboarding. I saw a lady with a half marathon shirt on. She was in better shape than anyone! But preboarded? And then, she got on the plane and saved the whole front row of seats for her family. What is that?

 

I love SW. But I can get first class seats on a Unpreferred airline for similar business select pricing. I don’t want to, but this is getting sickening. If it’s for a legit reason, I get it. But I’m finding this fewer and far between. 

Re: Increasing pre boarders that obviously have no handicap

CareforNOLA
Active Member

@Brichter57,

i know it can be aggravating and I wish it were not.  I just try to remember that we all arrive at the same time, and My A-List preferred status is mainly a WiFi perk.  I admit that I am a short-statured, short haul passenger though, so it is easier for me than for taller people on longer flights.

 

A half marathon shirt may not mean as much as you think.  I volunteer annually for a pediatric hospital half-marathon, so I have a stack of shirts but have never taken a step other than into the phone bank to process donations.  And I wear those shirts fairly often.  Now I will have to remember not to wear them on an airplane — I never thought about the fact that someone might think I am fit if there is a need (because I am kinda the opposite and may need to pre-board myself in about 10-20 years).

 

What should a pre-boarder produce? How does one verify health problems?  I can see why the gate agents have to go with the claims.  Would a person who takes hemodialysis have to show their shunt?  Would a cancer patient in a weakened state after chemotherapy have to show a central line?  What would happen if they questioned someone in your family who might have a hidden condition?  I acknowledge your viewpoint, but I really do not see a pathway that will please everyone.  People have posted various suggestions but the main thing that keeps me coming back is that it basically takes ten to fifteen minutes to empty out a 737.  That is a small price for me to pay, and I always hope that the few pre-board, seat-saving people who perhaps should not have gotten on first, have something really special that they are flying toward such as a wedding or a family reunion.  

 

You have to decide for yourself how to handle the situation.  Safe travels whenever you go.  I know that Southwest’s boarding process is not everyone’s cup of tea, but they have earned my loyalty (though I do fly the competitors as well on occasion - even if no perks whatsoever for me).  By getting on a plane twice each week, my hope is that we can all be calm for the boarding and the flying time.  If I want others to stay cool, I have decided that I need to do so as well.  It is frustrating but some people may need that extra time and I choose to wait with a diversion such as a book, hoping that day when I need extra time does not come soon.

Re: Increasing pre boarders that obviously have no handicap

wordsmith1313
New Arrival

@CareforNOLA This. This, this, this, so much this. Thank you for your kindness, compassion and reason!

Re: Increasing pre boarders that obviously have no handicap

LindseyD
Retired Community Manager

@CareforNOLA, thank you for bringing a sensitive and respectful perspective to the discussion. 

Re: Increasing pre boarders that obviously have no handicap

bgubs14
Active Member

Yeah I think like others said it is an issue but the rules say simply disability with could be physical, mental, or a combination of both. You can’t always tell who has a disability and who doesn’t. I think having your documentation of disability on your account or if needed having to bring documentation of it when check-in happens would be helpful . 

Re: Increasing pre boarders that obviously have no handicap

Lmkel68
Active Member

I remember getting to the airport in MSP and seeing a passenger in a wheelchair to pre-board BUT she partied like a rock star for four days.  It's amazing what people will do.