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Re: Preboarding...way out of control

dfwskier
Rising Star

"I don't think anyone at Southwest would agree that forcing people with disabilities to pay more would be a smart move."

 

especially given that doing so would be against Federal law..

Re: Preboarding...way out of control

rdski1953
New Arrival

@TheMiddleSeat

@dfwskier

@dcatlin

 

Who said anything about "forcing" them to pay?  I think they are saying if they suffer from an issue they should take the necessary precaution and purchase the EB.  I suffer from Crohn's and that is exactly what I do.  I agree with dcatlin, people are abusing the system.

Re: Preboarding...way out of control

dfwskier
Rising Star

@rdski1953 wrote:

 

 

Who said anything about "forcing" them to pay?  I think they are saying if they suffer from an issue they should take the necessary precaution and purchase the EB.  I suffer from Crohn's and that is exactly what I do.  I agree with dcatlin, people are abusing the system.

 

Federal law requires airlines to accomodate people with disabilities, suggesting that they buy EBCI to accomodate their disabilitiies isn't accomodation. Asking disabled peopole to pay more than non disabled people would get Southwest a federal lawsuit and a whole lot of bad press..

 

You suffer Crohns and choose to not board early. I have sciatica and choose not to early board early. That is our choice.

 

Besides buying EBCI ain't the thing it used to be. Given the number of A-listers out there it's not uncommon for EBCIers to get mid number B boarding positions. Lots of luck getting an aisle with that.

 

Do some people cheat the system. Sure. People drive over the speed limit. People check out of the 15 item max grocery store checkout line with 20 items. Why would I expect preboarding to not have some cheats. That is life.

Re: Preboarding...way out of control

TheMiddleSeat
Rising Star

@dcatlin wrote:

2 women that can keep up with a fit marathoner walking a quarter mile thru an airport have no special need or disability that seat 1A suits them better than seat 20A.  Somebody with physical limitations I certainly understand the difference.  


It is 100% improper for you to pretend you can tell what physical limitations someone has just by looking at them and seeing how fast they walk.

 


@dcatlin wrote:

 We will never come to an agreement on this subject and it would be nice if you would at least admit there are people who are abusing it and that is why there are multiple chains on this subject. 


Do people abuse the preboarding process?  Perhaps.  But I don't know because:

1. Not all disabilities are visible.  Many replies from other people make this exact point with personal examples.

2. Walking speed is not an indication of preboarding worthiness.

3. I will never ask someone what their disability is or why they are worthy of preboarding.

4. No one has ever voluntarily told me they are abusing the policy.

 

I'm a total rule follower too (at least we have that in common), I love gate agents who don't let people board out of order, but I believe you should not only know the rules, but also let the proper authorities handle enforcement and judgement.  Just like I don't ask or guess if everyone in line is really an A or a B and if they are in the correct numerical order, I'm not going to guess about people's reasons to preboard.  With preboarding, Southwest is pretty limited in what they can to do regarding enforcement other than assigning seats and I don't see that happening anytime soon.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

 

Re: Preboarding...way out of control

ronnyradio
Active Member

Bottom line is that SWA provides great incentive to scam pre-boarding...the argument about "hidden" vs obvious disability is one not going to be resolved here. It seems to me that there are WAY more preboarders on SWA then other airlines that I fly so my conclusion - scammers because there is something to gain. Other airlines with assigned seats, not so much. But, I could be wrong...

Highlighted

Re: Preboarding...way out of control

rtbarron
Active Member

In 47 years of service, the odds are that Southwest has had a few pre-board "scammers." And, in 47 years of service, every one of those "scammers" has pulled into the gate at their destination airport at the exact same moment as every other passenger on the plane.

Whether you were in the "1-30" group from the olden days or an "A-Lister" today, you didn't arrive at your destination any later because of alleged pre-board scammers. In the grand scheme of things, if just doesn't matter.

Re: Preboarding...way out of control

ronnyradio
Active Member

You self-righteously say It doesn’t matter to you so it shouldn’t matter to anyone, but my guess is if you have A-22 you don’t line up in C because “everyone gets there at the same time”  It matters  to me and the millions of people who have paid for early bird or been loyal enough to qualify for A-list etc. Clearly the market has determined there is value to boarding order and Southwest as it should has capitalized on it. The pre-board scammers are also evidence that boarding order matters to them or they wouldn’t do it.

Re: Preboarding...way out of control

Missing_Aria
New Arrival

I'm not sure if someone else has brought this up, if they have then let me second it, if they haven't then let me offer an alternate POV:

I'm a disabled veteran with a cane and I'm flying Southwest for the first time in my whole life BECAUSE of their preboarding policy, and I'm willing to bet a lot of others are too.  Now my cane is folding, and honestly I might fold up my cane and put it in my purse beffore I board because I don't want to inconvience people once on board.  That said I still need to hold onto seats (something that's hard to do when dozens of others are getting seated) or keep a hand on the wall as I walk onto the plane, I might even need to stop because my knee locked up as it so often does and I don't want someone to run into me because I came to a sudden stop if/when that happens.  

Now chances are I'm probably won't fold up my cane because threads like this are a constant reminder that society expects my 32 year old self to LOOK disabled.  Society glares at me when I pass them on the sidewalk with my cane on my good days and society watches me on the days when I'm barely hobbling along and wonders if I'm faking on my bad ones.  When I mention that I'm former military everyone just goes "OHHHH You got injured"  Well... No actually I just have a bad hip (and because of that a bad leg) and the military isn't exactly kind to any weakness in our bodies.  The military (no matter what happened to you) basically fast forwards your body's wearing down far faster than your average civilian job, and mine was probably originally meant to start having issues at 40-something.  

I LOVE that Southwest isn't forcing me to pay even more than I already do for being disabled.  I've already paid years of my life, my health, my marriage, and who I was as a person just to end up a disabled wreck who couldn't even function in society for the first teo years that I was out.  Do some people abuse the system?  Of course they do, someone ALWAYS abuses every system out there.  But Southwest has chosen not to punish the rest of us as a result and I applaud them for that. 

You are not Southwest, and you are not judge jury and executioner of anyone who may or may not have a disability.  Maybe you luck out and the person you call out as a fake is actually a fake and is embarassed enough to never try to scam the system again.  But in my experience that never happens.  If you actually do catch a scammer they'll likely just continue to keep up the act and you'll end up tossed out of the airport by secuity for harrassing the 'disabled' person cause scammers will use the system to their advantage here.  If you catch someone with a legitimate disability then you're making their already difficult life that much worse.  In my case I'd probably have a panic attack and shut down if you actually confronted me in public cause I also have severe anxiety and moderate PTSD.  You basically need to ask yourself it that risk is worth it for you.  Are you okay with adding additional suffering to someone who might already suffer more than you can possibly imagine on a daily basis?

The thing to remember is that the preboarding is as much for your benefit as it is for those who are disabled.  It keeps us out of your way with our gimpy selves while you all rush for your prefered seats.  In fact most disabled people I know who fly Southwest actually don't even go for the better seats, they just go for anywhere that allows them to sit with their companion who may need to assist them.  And if we do board alongside you we possibly can do things like lifting up luggage or walk without aid and we'll get them done to keep from holding you up, but often we're internally screaming in pain during or after doing those things.  

It's said over and over again but you can't possibly know everything a person is dealing with in their life.  I'd rather let a few scammers slide than chance hurting those who are already hurting and don't deserve it.