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Re: Military Boarding Policy

Stacimay21
New Arrival

I’d like to add to this post and say that I just watched 17 people “preboard” accompanying people needing additional time but when I tried to board with military boarding I was told I had to be in uniform. I literally showed her my orders and explained the nature of my job doesn’t allow me to travel in uniform to which she replied “plenty of people travel in uniform in DC, I know it’s possible”. Really southwest? I fly once sometimes twice per month with this airline because of military duties and have NEVER been denied because I wasn’t in uniform. I specifically choose SW because of this reason. Today I was greeted with insincerity, a rude gate agent, and total and complete disregard for my military service because I wasn’t a walking display of it. I will further add that when the gate agent announces the priority boarding they rarely ever say “US military personnel IN Uniform”. Does the fact that I’m not in uniform make me less of a service member? What’s the purpose of the priority boarding? It doesn’t make sense. Is it to honor those currently serving their country? If so it should be extended to any and all currently serving WHY does being in uniform make a difference? To distinguish that it’s official business? Again, that’s the purpose of military orders that I also presented. Or is is an act for SW to seem military friendly but in fact not really care? Because at this point that’s certainly what it feels like. This one person may not make a difference but it’s extremely disappointing that SW displayed such poor customer service and a total disregard for those protecting this country’s freedom. Shame on you. I guess I should encourage those serving their country to fake an injury because apparently that holds more weight with SW. 

Re: Military Boarding Policy

Stacimay21
New Arrival

lol I’d like to add to this post and say that I just watched 17 people “preboard” accompanying people needing additional time but when I tried to board with military boarding I was told I had to be in uniform. I literally showed her my orders and explained the nature of my job doesn’t allow me to travel in uniform to which she replied “plenty of people travel in uniform in DC, I know it’s possible”. Really southwest? I fly once sometimes twice per month with this airline because of military duties and have NEVER been denied because I wasn’t in uniform. I specifically choose SW because of this reason. Today I was greeted with insincerity, a rude gate agent, and total and complete disregard for my military service because I wasn’t a walking display of it. I will further add that when the gate agent announces the priority boarding they rarely ever say “US military personnel IN Uniform”. Does the fact that I’m not in uniform make me less of a service member? What’s the purpose of the priority boarding? It doesn’t make sense. Is it to honor those currently serving their country? If so it should be extended to any and all currently serving WHY does being in uniform make a difference? To distinguish that it’s official business? Again, that’s the purpose of military orders that I also presented. Or is is an act for SW to seem military friendly but in fact not really care? Because at this point that’s certainly what it feels like. This one person may not make a difference but it’s extremely disappointing that SW displayed such poor customer service and a total disregard for those protecting this country’s freedom. Shame on you. I guess I should encourage those serving their country to fake an injury because apparently that holds more weight with SW. 

Re: Military Boarding Policy

SWDigits
Rising Star

It's 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!

 

Also a side note is that seating and boarding is a big topic of discussion in these forums so it's not just military boarding, there is a bigger dynamic at work.  And there are *strong* and differing opinions on almost any boarding topic.  With many potential sequencing conflicts.  End of side note.

 

So without a formal military boarding policy I think what's happened is that an informal "norm" evolved where gate agents are able to use discretion to board military members early.  Some will let you board in "civvies", some state that you have to be in uniform, some say no dice.  I think in all instances the gate agent is technically correct because, without a policy, it really is their call.  Though in all instances, there should be courtesy and respect for all customers.

 

I'm a Navy veteran and two comments in this thread most resonate with me:

 

    • Do other airlines have open seating like Southwest?  Probably not.  Boarding early is a far bigger deal on Southwest than on an airline that has assigned seating.  Direct link to comment.
    • There is no problem accepting preferential treatment if it is offered. However, there should never be the expectation of it. Policies and their subsequent enforcement vary from one place to another. It happens. The military is the same way.  Direct link to comment.

The Knowledge Base on this site provides contact information to submit a suggestion or a complaint.  You can get in touch with Customer Relations by email (click through on this page), by phone at 1-855-234-4654 or on Twitter (@Southwestair).


Customer | Home airport DCA | Community Champion

Re: Military Boarding Policy

Hkowger
New Arrival

Lindsey, 

 

While your response is appreciated. Military members are targets and are told to not travel in uniform when possible.  It would be much appreciated if you allowed us the earlier boarding with valid military ID shown with boarding pass.

 

thank-you for considering,

heather

Re: Military Boarding Policy

rhall2967
New Arrival

I see alot of posts on here about Service members and the policy for Military pre Boarding.

what is frustraiting to me is that South west does not have a policy regarding

Emergency First Responders. I have been a professional Firefighter/Paramedic for 25 years and I'm not given any pre boarding status because of my career. I would think it would be very important for flight crew to know that a Emergency First Responder is on the aircraft should an in flight emergency take place. A simple pre check in box at time of registration and allow those qualified members to be placed in Emergency seating area instead of someone that thinks they are qualified because they want to have leg room. 

On board the plane they treat these customers as if they are capable in emergency and I wlak by after being stuck in C class.

 

just happen to me on last flight and my flight tomorrow I checked into my flight exactly 24 hours nd I was placed in C class.

Very Frustraiting 

Re: Military Boarding Policy

berto1951
New Arrival

Currently,  Soiuthwest allow active duty, uniformed members of the U.S. armed forces to board between the “A” and “B” boarding groups. It would be great if this policy also applied to all veterans. 

 

A chanage in policy will truly show your respect and appreciation for all members of the armed forces (Not onlu AD) as well as their families.

Re: Military Boarding Policy

SWDigits
Rising Star

First, thank you for your service.

 

As a fellow veteran and a Southwest customer *my personal opinion* is that the above suggestion is not something I would want to see implemented.

 

On a personal level I'm proud of my service but I don't feel like I'm owed anything from Southwest for it.

 

From the Southwest perspective it seems like it would add all sorts of confusion during boarding. For example the last thing I'd want is for gate agents to have to look at your DD-214/retired military ID/veteran designation on your driver's license/whatever and have to make a call about whether to let you jump in. Also there are millions of us in the population so I imagine there are multiples of us flying on any given Southwest flight.


Customer | Home airport DCA | Community Champion

Re: Military Boarding Policy

Navyshrink
New Arrival

Lindsey, while you may think this policy honors service members, it is actually exploitive and offensive. Southwest should abolish the policy completely. 

Re: Military Boarding Policy

Khaavi
New Arrival

We experienced this first hand on Monday. A gate attendant in Nashville announced acitive duty. My husband walked up with his ID in hand. He was told “I didn’t call B group yet”. My husband was berry angry saying he is not allowed to travel in uniform. The gate attendant shrugged his shoulders. Then to make it worse, the next time he called active duty in uniform, he loudly said IN UNIFORM, making a point to stress it which further embarrassed my husband. What a horrible experience. Southwest is now on our “no fly” list. Stop making it about PR and actually show that you respect our active duty members. 

Re: Military Boarding Policy

ID10T-error
New Arrival

@Khaavi wrote:

Southwest is now on our “no fly” list.


BUH-bye