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Pre-boarding is getting out of control

catvek
New Arrival

Today on a flight from Los Angeles to Oakland: 47 people are pre-boarding.

FORTY-SEVEN. 

Southwest has good intentions when they allow certain people to pre-board, but it has been getting out of control for quite a while. I wonder if Southwest is going to do something about it.

39 REPLIES 39

Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

spacecoastbill
Active Member

Unfortunately their hands are tied.

 

People have figured out a way to not pay the early bird or priority fee and board first to grab the seats most wanted.

 

Then they try to save seats, or entire rows.

 

Its only going to get worse.

Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

elijahbrantley
Rising Star

I do not disagree that the pre-boarding group is often quite large, but Southwest is legally required to offer it, and I always remember that you can't always see disabilities or special needs.

 

With that said, are you sure that some of those who "pre-boarded" were not through passengers who were continuing on the same flight but stepped off the plane for a pit stop?  When SW allows those folks to get off, they always board them first since they technically should have already been on the plane.

-A List Preferred, Companion Pass holder, Community Champion.

Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

mrsstats
New Arrival

I don't have a problem with people preboarding for REAL medical issues and I know you can't always see the issue.  However, when my mother got a handicap sticker for her car she had to have her doctor verify her medical issue.  Maybe the same needs to be done for the airlines.  I happen to know someone who has no REAL medical issue then he doesn't like to sit anywhere but the aisle so he tells them he has an issue with his leg.  Then both he and his wife board and no one has paid for EB and really no one has a medical issue.  

Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

AndSoItGoes
New Arrival

I have a modest proposal to solve the problem. Everyone who has a medical issue or needs extra time boards last. It makes no sense to let people who are hobbled, slow, or have to board with their designated helper/pet monkey go first. They just clog up the aisles. Let the able-bodied/efficient folks board first and then the former "pre-boarders" can get on at their leisure. Oh, they can board with as many "helpers" as they want!

Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

dfwskier
Rising Star

@AndSoItGoes wrote:

I have a modest proposal to solve the problem. Everyone who has a medical issue or needs extra time boards last. It makes no sense to let people who are hobbled, slow, or have to board with their designated helper/pet monkey go first. They just clog up the aisles. Let the able-bodied/efficient folks board first and then the former "pre-boarders" can get on at their leisure. Oh, they can board with as many "helpers" as they want!


Sorry, but early boarders are are boarders because they need specific seat. Sometimes they need the assistance of those that accompany them. Making them board last likely means the seats they need will have been taken by others, and if they board last it is likely that the persons accompanying them will not be able to sit with them as only middle seats will be available.

 

Thanks for your proposal, but it won't work.

Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

spacecoastbill
Active Member

There is only one solution.  One not likely to happen.

 

Assigned seats.

 

This problem is growing and getting out of control.

 

Internet pages will spread the way to avoid any fees to board first.  The first half of the plane will turn into saved seats zones.

 

Verbal and physical confrontations will continue and get more and more prevalent.

 

Its easy to predict, and if SWA isnt going to do anything about it, then they are complicit in the outcome.

 

 

Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

gsking
Active Member

Some thoughts:

 

1.  Yes, give them the front seats, and let them board last.  Designate those with a verified disability, same as designated handicap vehicle spaces.  Have the FA block the front seats.

 

2.  Or don't let them have carry-on luggage.  If they are that disabled, they can't be carry much.  It should have been checked.

 

Either method would help.   If you don't have proof of disability, you go with family boarding, after the A group. 

 

Frankly, if they just enforced the existing rules on carryons (one sized for overhead, one under the seat), there'd be much less hassle.  No taking up tons of space with two oversized items, and blocking the aisle while doing so.

 

With two free checked bags, there's no excuse for that on SW.

 

I always run to the back of the plane to get out of the fracas.  Then I watch all the idiots getting on, and see the same idiots block the aisle getting off.  Couldn't just wait 5 seconds for those three people to pass before you walk upstream to get your carryon three rows back, could you?  Your time is oh so much more valuable than everyone else's.

 

Sigh, I shouldn't have gotten started.

 

 

Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

dfwskier
Rising Star

@gsking wrote:

Some thoughts:

 

1.  Yes, give them the front seats, and let them board last.  Designate those with a verified disability, same as designated handicap vehicle spaces.  Have the FA block the front seats.

 

2.  Or don't let them have carry-on luggage.  If they are that disabled, they can't be carry much.  It should have been checked.

 

Either method would help.   If you don't have proof of disability, you go with family boarding, after the A group. 

 

Frankly, if they just enforced the existing rules on carryons (one sized for overhead, one under the seat), there'd be much less hassle.  No taking up tons of space with two oversized items, and blocking the aisle while doing so.

 

With two free checked bags, there's no excuse for that on SW.

 

I always run to the back of the plane to get out of the fracas.  Then I watch all the idiots getting on, and see the same idiots block the aisle getting off.  Couldn't just wait 5 seconds for those three people to pass before you walk upstream to get your carryon three rows back, could you?  Your time is oh so much more valuable than everyone else's.

 

Sigh, I shouldn't have gotten started.

 

 


Well several federal laws prevent the airline from doing some of the things you suggest. The airline cannot request proof of disability. The airline cannot ask the nature of the disability. If a passenger requests pre boarding, the airline must grant the request. End of story.

 

Federal discrimination laws basically say no business can treat disabled persons worse than those that are not disabled. Not allowing disabled persons to have carry on luggage would violate federal law.

 

Everyone talking about a massive preboard problem is seeing things I don't see, and I fly over 30 SW flights a year and have been doing so for well over a decade. Could I just have been lucky on over 300 flights?

Re: Pre-boarding is getting out of control

Bond007
Active Member

I have posted about this issue of abuse of preboarding  in the past.  I gave up because SW just says they can’t do anything about it. But really? There are 21 preboards from LV to SEA today. 3 needed wheelchairs. There were 22 on my flight to Chicago 2 weeks ago. There were 17 on my flight back to LV.  In fact, I have not been on a flight with less than 15 EXCEPT for my flight to Sacramento last week - there were only 10.  But the entire flight had 40 people on it.  Finally , the flight to Chicago with 22 had 1 very health man board and save 5 seats — and then stand with his back to the door so no one could try to sit in his saved seats.  So... wow SW!  Still 0 response ??? Why do you expect anyone to pay for early boarding?  My eventual solution to this has been to build up my miles on Alaska airlines to become their MVP - so I fly them as much as possible . Good luck to SW with this completely unfair and unsustainable policy.