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Re: Military Boarding Policy

Rtjkdavis
New Arrival

The policy is exploitative. They are only boarding for advertising benefit. The policy should be abolished all together or made a real benefit to all active duty. It is especially shameful since we are frequently forced to take Southwest when booking through the government’s travel system, DTS. 

Re: Military Boarding Policy

Palu0561
New Arrival

SW Flt 696 @1140 to RDU

 

I agree. We were on a mission where our authorized uniform was civililian clothes. It was embarrassing walking up to board as “active duty, uniformed members,” only to be told we must be “in uniform.” I explained to the boarding agent that we were wearing our authorized uniform for the mission, but she denied boarding. Furthermore, there are many active duty personel (OSI) who do not wear the standard military uniform in performance of official duties. It does not feel SINCERE when SW shows appreciation for active duty “uniformed members” only when we are “wearing the uniform”. SW policy verbiage should be changed to be more forthright with their intentions. Service in the air ended up being top notch...so no problems there. 

 

Joe

Re: Military Boarding Policy

SWDigits
Rising Star

It's still my undertanding that Southwest does not have a military boarding policy.  If such a policy exists (on the web or elsewhere) then please point me to it, I'd like to be able to provide a reference for others!

 

I think what is seen in airports today is an informal practice that has, by default, become an unwritten policy.


Customer | Home airport DCA | Community Champion

Re: Military Boarding Policy

_Corpus_
New Arrival

Completely agree.  It is an empty gesture, that lends them "good will" to the civilian population, while offering nothing to the militarypersonnel.  The policy should either allow active duty to board early or not have the offer at all.  

Re: Military Boarding Policy

Jwtr0803
New Arrival

I was actually turned away at the gate today because the attendant said I was not in uniform; and honestly I don’t necessarily need to board before others, I just wish they would be consistent.  I have not had this issue before but obviously there should be some clarification to Southwest’s employees.  

Re: Military Boarding Policy

BobDenby
New Arrival

Yeah exactly, make a policy and stick to it

Re: Military Boarding Policy

BobDenby
New Arrival

Just tried boarding between A and B, didn’t work, the guy wouldn’t let me on. Said the “best he could do was after B30’” So he basically just randomly made something up on the spot. I will avoid Southwest whenever possible. The open seating policy is frustrating. 

Re: Military Boarding Policy

anelparra
New Arrival

Southwest hands down has been the WORST airlines when you compare it to the treatment of service members. Not only do they not let you use the priority lane for check in they also required me to be in uniform to boar AFTER group three or four other groups before B. Their customer service is horrible and will make sure not to fly Southwest again when on orders and much less for personal travel. 

Re: Military Boarding Policy

lawyee
New Arrival

As of May 2017, Army Regulation 670-1, para 3-7(c) states "Personnel on official travel and traveling by commercial travel means may wear the service uniform, the ACU, or appropriate civilian attire, UNLESS restricted by the commander." In other words, at times there are reasons the commander doesn't want the Soldier to draw attention to himself/herself by wearing a uniform in a pubic place. Yet some (not most) Southwest gate agents refuse to permit early boarding (after A group) for those in civilian attire. These gate agents will not even accept valid military ID as proof of dutiful service. While that may be the gate agent's right I feel compelled to clarify this point and ask they not make the Soldier feel as if their service is only meaningful when in uniform. (This was observed during boarding of Flt 1953 from St Louis to Chicago on March 21.)

 

Also while I only cite to Army regulations (available online) I would not be surprised if similar policies exist for fellow services Navy, Air Force, Marines and USCG.

 

Finally, no special treatment is being requested. I am not aware of any SW published policy. All that is being asked is SENSITIVITY when denying early boarding, especially to the younger enlisted Soldiers following Orders and not in uniform.

Re: Military Boarding Policy

LindseyD
Retired Community Manager

@Ebruin02 and @lawyee,

 

Thank you for posting in the Southwest Community, we're always happy to have folks join the conversation.

 

At Southwest Airlines, we have an enormous amount of respect and appreciation for all members of the armed forces as well as their families. Currently, (as you've noted) we allow active duty, uniformed members of the U.S. armed forces to board between the “A” and “B” boarding groups. Our Operations Agents should are trained to guide military personnel who are not traveling in uniform to board according to their assigned boarding positions.

 

Our goal is to preserve the goodwill of all Customers anticipating a smooth boarding and inflight experience, and I hope you can understand that we must protect the integrity of our boarding procedures. Still, we empower our Employees to make exceptions to our policy when appropriate.