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Family Boarding Issues

dhatz
New Arrival

I have a real issue with the way Southwest does Family boarding at the gate. They announce that parents traveling with children 6 years and younger can use family boarding. But... They need to allow Families with Children considered Minors to be able to board during this time. Southwest charges a premium for Unaccompanied Minors, but I am A-List Preferred, but my family is not... this is a major issue. Of course I can board with my daughter at the end of B... but Unless I pay another premium for priority check-in My family usually gets middle to end of B group. Which in many cases is middle seat only at the end of B.  So essentially my 10 year old is now a unaccompanied Minor... now sitting by themselves somewhere else on the plane.

Please revise your policy to state Families Traveling with Minor's can board with Family Boarding.  It has only been an issue at one or two airports, but each time I request for the gate attendants suvervisor right then... they reluctantly allow my 10 year old to board with Family boarding.  

We use the SWA CC and I travel exclusively with SWA, but My family who uses the same CC and endures my trips with SWA for business have no perks.  At the minimum people traveling with A-List Preferred should be allowed to board between A and B.

Thanks,

David

18 REPLIES 18

Re: Family Boarding Issues

Porter570
New Arrival

Also A list preferred with companion and I could not agree more.

There are a lot of ways to view this:

 

1) I Am A list preferred and you either make me pay more to sit with my family or make me lose my status I earned by being away from my family.  Thanks.

 

2)if you did let my family board with my family, do you think some would NOT take a middle seat?

 

3) why take the harassment of a minor risk by having them sit next to a stranger?

 

4) as an a lister, I grow tired of waiting for planes as flight attendants are pleading with people to move so a mother can sit next to her child.  It’s rediculous for them to ask, me to hear, us to be late. Note, in his scenario, someone might board before me.  I can live with that.

 

5) if I travel with a companion - even an adult - how often does that happen per flight that it screws other A listers out of an aisle seat? Likely, a middle is taken by companion, but if not, it’s not like half the flights are companion.

 

its a pretty simple fix:

 

1) companion passes board together

2) families board with highest ticket

3) if really low seat and traveling with a minor, board in family boarding

 

in thw cureent political climate of seperating kids from parents, do you really want some bad press about an incident that went wrong in that regard?

 

also, don’t think your “employees wouldn’t let that happen”.  I received this gem when boarding with my family.

 

ME: Can my 8 year old board with me, I am A, she is C.

 

Them: No.

 

Me: Family boarding is under 6, sooo....

 

Them: you can board at C or she can board alone.

 

Me: you want me to leave an 8 year old alone and to your care?

 

them: she is not my responsibility if something happens to her.

 

Why even put your employees in a position to say that....

 

Please re-consider a sensible/easy solution.

 

Re: Family Boarding Issues

dfwskier
Rising Star

I'll propose a solution that I'm sure will be contoversial: Save the seats.

 

Take an aisle seat and throw your briefcase in the window seat (or middle seat). when people ask, you can tell them the seat is taken.

 

If you need to, have the person you board with sit in the aisle seat across from you and have that person do the same thing with a bag.

 

Southwest policy does not prohibit saving seats, but a lot of people don't like it when people do it. You'll find discusion on the topic on this site.

 

In the interest of full disclosure: I do save seats - normally one and never more than two..

Re: Family Boarding Issues

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@dfwskier wrote:

I'll propose a solution that I'm sure will be contoversial: Save the seats.

 

Take an aisle seat and throw your briefcase in the window seat (or middle seat). when people ask, you can tell them the seat is taken.

 

If you need to, have the person you board with sit in the aisle seat across from you and have that person do the same thing with a bag.

 

Southwest policy does not prohibit saving seats, but a lot of people don't like it when people do it. You'll find discusion on the topic on this site.

 

In the interest of full disclosure: I do save seats - normally one and never more than two..


Same...my wife and daugher are coming in family boarding - sometimes we all do family boarding, sometimes I board at my A-number. I don't see the middle seat being a big issue, so basically there would be one less aisle seat for the A31-A60 crowd.

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Family Boarding Issues

Porter570
New Arrival

I have saved seats in the past, I go to the back of the plane and do just that.  One day, with just my wife I was waiting for and plenty of open seats, I had a women ask if she could sit by me, I pointed to my wife who was about 5 people back, and said I was waiting for her.  She yelled at me that I can’t save seats, she didn’t care, and would sit next to me anyway.  A family and flight attendant stepped in and gave her a seat next to them and closer to the exit.

 

I understand and the mechanics of how to save a seat, that’s not the point.

 

My point is, why even put people in this position? That incident was a good brand image? And if you can save seats, why bother seperating at boarding?  Especially children.

 

it makes no sense and creates ill will.

Re: Family Boarding Issues

dfwskier
Rising Star

Saving seats does not have to lead to confrontation.

 

Throw your bag or jacket on the seat you want to save. If someone asks if the seats are taken, you can say yes. If pressed further, you can say the person using the seat is somewhere up front - which would be true.

 

I left my own computer and headphones on my aisle seat w hen I left the seat to  visit the restroom last week when boarding for my full flight was stil going on. People got the messge that the seat was taken.

Re: Family Boarding Issues

Porter570
New Arrival

I am fascinated by folks that are willing to create a work around for a simple/logical change.

 

again, I know HOW to save a seat, but I don’t control how people respond to IF I save a seat.  So the “doesn’t have to lead to confrontation” is out of my control. 

 

If saving a seat IS allowed and CAN lead to confrontation, why not just let people board together?

 

If saving a seat IS allowed, and COULD lead to a child in a dangerous situation, why not let them board together?

 

can someone explain why we should NOT be allowed to board together?  

 

All good on seat saving tactics 😉

Re: Family Boarding Issues

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@Porter570 wrote:

I am fascinated by folks that are willing to create a work around for a simple/logical change.

 

again, I know HOW to save a seat, but I don’t control how people respond to IF I save a seat.  So the “doesn’t have to lead to confrontation” is out of my control. 

 

If saving a seat IS allowed and CAN lead to confrontation, why not just let people board together?

 

If saving a seat IS allowed, and COULD lead to a child in a dangerous situation, why not let them board together?

 

can someone explain why we should NOT be allowed to board together?  

 

All good on seat saving tactics 😉


So far it hasn't, or hasn't very often led to confrontation. When it does, then I would expect clarification or new policy to come from Southwest.

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Family Boarding Issues

Porter570
New Arrival

Very much appreciate the hypothesis as to why.  Would LOVE a SW employee to chime in.

 

To paraphrase for you:

- your customers create work around for your policy they don’t like

- it doesn’t often lead to confrontation or worse (but can)

- should it get news worthy, SW would consider a change (our hypothesis)

- change would make customers happy, reduce your risk, and align better with your seat saving policy 

- no valid business reason for NOT changing (perhaps you have one)

- we believe something bad has to happen to a passenger or child first for you to act

 

Would love an official response.  Multiple assumptions are made that don’t paint a flattering picture.  No ones intent, but does offer insight as to how your customers view  your desire to serve them.  Seeking clarity on a valid business reason to NOT fix your boarding issues with ALL families and companion pass holders.

 

Also, I had two of your employees encourage me to post as they stated, “they don’t listen to us, they only listen to customers.”  I found that ironic.....

 

 

Re: Family Boarding Issues

CareforNOLA
Active Member

@Porter570,

I want to say thank you for heading to the back to save seats.  As an A-lister, I do the same when traveling with family because I find it reduces confrontations about seat saving.  

 

I never understand why people would confront someone with a comment about “no seat saving” because that seems like a lose-lose situation to me.  Who wants to sit next to someone that they just angered?  It is only ten minutes to empty a plane, so why would anyone want to spend a miserable hour plus to save ten minutes?  But from the posts on this website, I can see that people are passionate about it, so I just wanted to say thank you for heading to the back third.  

 

Safe travels to you and yours.