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Re: Military Boarding Policy

Choohooo
New Arrival

@LindseyD

 

 I think this policy is absolutely absurd. I am subject to disciplinary action if I fly in uniform with the Army. The only time I am allowed to fly in uniform is on a military charter. In such a case, I’d also be carrying a firearm.

 

What it sounds like is Southwest has adopted a policy that sounds great over the intercom but in reality is in contrast to rules for a large portion of the armed forces. The policy is basically a marketing scheme pretending to be military friendly. Unfortunate really.

 

i just flew out of Phoenix for a trainin exercise and the gate agent literally said,,

 

“I’m sorry sir but just because you are in the military doesn’t make you better than everyone else waiting in line.” 

Re: Military Boarding Policy

Mayoju
New Arrival

Today at gate C19 the gate attendant just finished "families with children and active duty military are welcome to board", I go up with my id and he says "oh sorry you have to be in uniform".

I flew to Phoenix from Sea TAC and they allowed me to enter when they asked I could.

The only thing I could conclude is that they're terrorist simpathyzers. The guy clearly didn't like military.

 

southwest has a spineless CEO.

PS this was on Veterans Day

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Re: Military Boarding Policy

chgoflyer
Top Contributor
Solution

@Mayoju wrote:

Today at gate C19 the gate attendant just finished "families with children and active duty military are welcome to board", I go up with my id and he says "oh sorry you have to be in uniform".

I flew to Phoenix from Sea TAC and they allowed me to enter when they asked I could.

The only thing I could conclude is that they're terrorist simpathyzers. The guy clearly didn't like military.

 

southwest has a spineless CEO.

PS this was on Veterans Day


 

Thank you for your service.

 

I think the more logical conclusion would be that the agent was simply enforcing Southwest policy.

 

Most active duty and retired military people I know don't expect anything special, but are grateful when it's received.

 

If you disagree with Southwest's policy, like those disappointed with the uniform limitation, I'd suggest you contact Southwest directly to express your opinion. (This is primarily a customer-to-customer forum.) You can find contact info below, under "Contact Us."

 

 

Re: Military Boarding Policy

cstroda
New Arrival

So let me get this straight, you will allow Parents with children board before the "B" group but an active military person, with a valid military ID, who is willing to fight for your freedom has to board in their group just because they are not in uniform?  Does this sound right??  I am surprised Southwest is so hung up on uniforms being cacky shorts are allowed to be worn by the flight attendents on flights!! 

Re: Military Boarding Policy

Missing_Aria
New Arrival

Sooo much this!  

I was in the Air Force and when I first joined we actually weren't allowed to fly in uniform AT ALL except for when it was specifically on our orders to do so.  That only happened once when I was flying from Tech School to my clinicals location in my blues and again when I went TDY to Ft Dix before my deployment. 

Now about halfway through my time they actually changed the rule to allow us to fly in uniform but I only did it once when I happened to be flying on Memorial Day and my dad (a veteran himself) was picking me up from the airport.  I never did so again afterwards though because I got more than a little paranoid about this guy who kept following me around at my layover and creeping me out by staring at me.

The problem is, and you can see it in the previous employee's post if you read between the scripted lines, that airlines want to be SEEN being generous to service members.  That's why most of them only take uniformed military for early boarding.  Once while active duty I even heard that rarest of messages "all active duty military can now board" with no uniform qualifier and when I got to the gate the lady told me I couldn't board if I wasn't in uniform.  This wasn't Southwest but it WAS when the Air Force didn't allow us to fly in uniform unless expressly stated on our orders.  I had my military ID on me too so it wasn't that they didn't believe me, they simply cared far more that the people could SEE that they were letting a military person board first rather than just some random chick in civies. 

And as Lindsey so nicely pointed out, their "goal is to preserve the goodwill of all customers".  They know that if the other customers see me in my civies board in the military boarding time then they're going to get crap for it.  Rather than stand up and say "sir/ma'am, that young lady IS in the military" they'd rather shame me and turn me away at the gate while everyone else waiting just assumes I'm some civilian trying to game the system.  Translation, they'd rather the service member look/feel like garbage than them.

Re: Military Boarding Policy

Klewis2213
New Arrival

The very same thing just happened to my daughter. I will never fly SW again, nor will my daughter, and I will be sure to share her experience with all my friends and family who travel and she will be sure to share this with her command. 

Re: Military Boarding Policy

Klewis2213
New Arrival

I travel often and will never fly Southwest again. My daughter, who is active duty military, just attempted to board her flight from BWI to PWM when the agent announced military boarding and was denied twice because she is not traveling in uniform (even though she showed her military ID). Not only was she denied but the agent was extremely rude to her. She travels often, and never in uniform, and has never had this issue even on previous SW flights. Horrible customer service and treatment of active duty personnel. 

Re: Military Boarding Policy

TylerPass
New Arrival

@LindseyD

I just boarded a Southwest flight at John Wayne where the agent didn’t call out Military boarding after the A group. So I went up to ask and got a little attitude while she said “it’s a courtesy” and said “it is up to my discretion” then when my wife said her co-worker (who we asked prior) told us that we could board after A, the agent said “I’m in charge of this”.

Re: Military Boarding Policy

Kerrid04
New Arrival

unfortunate to have this discussion board and all comments essentially disregarded by Southwest management . The military boarding policy could be greatly improved and ignoring concerns will equal losing business. 

Re: Military Boarding Policy

jnpeppers
New Arrival

Lindsey,

 

Thank you for confirming that Southwest does NOT, in fact, give a rip about military service, when it comes to boarding. Which is fine, really. Just come out and say it: "If you are in the military, you can wait in line just like everybody else." At least that "policy" would be consistent.

 

Why foster all of this angst against yourself, Southwest? Why require service members to be IN UNIFORM in order to board early enough to get out of the middle?

This sinple distinction demonstrates that your policy is purely for show. Unadulterated, blatant, in-your-face pageantry, created to make Southwest appear to be friendly to the members of the military.

 

On those rare occasions  when I have no choice but to fly Southwest, perhaps I should put on my Class B uniform, so you (Southwest Airlines) can appear to be kindhearted and magnanimous toward the military. But then, I would have to charge you for the advertising. And I wouldn't be allowed to do that in uniform. What a conundrum you have created.

 

So, Lindsey (if that is your name), I take umbrage at your suggestion that, "we have an enormous amount of respect and appreciation for all members of the armed forces as well as their families." Really? Talk is cheap, and those words are about as cheap as you can get.

 

Why not just come out and say it. Get in line like everybody else, Soldier. To be perfectly honest, we (military) don't have to have all these perks, like discounts and early boarding. You  (taxpayers) thank us twice a month, and that should be all we need from you. But then, I'm guessing I don't speak for all of my brothers and sisters in (and out of) uniform.