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Family trip - Can we just walk up for family boarding (my child is 8)?

kjcrutch
New Arrival

It's not like we carry her birth certificate around with us.  I don't want to separate us from our two young children (8 and 10) for an almost 3 hour flight?  Would it be that big of a deal?

6 REPLIES 6
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Re: Family trip - Can we just walk up for family boarding (my child is 8)?

elijahbrantley
Rising Star

Hello,

 

Here are the guidelines for family boarding: "An adult traveling with a child six years old or younger may board during Family Boarding, which occurs after the “A” group has boarded and before the “B” group begins boarding. If the child and the adult are both holding an “A” boarding pass, they should board in their assigned boarding position."

 

This means that if your children are 8 and 10, you all will have to board in your assined boarding positions.  A few things to keep in mind:

  • If you all purchased your tickets together at once, there is an extremely high chance that your boarding positions will be together and sequential.
  • Check in as close to 24 hours out as possible to get the best boarding positions.  I recommend doing it the moment the close strikes the flight time the day before.
  • You should be able to find seats pretty close together as long as you are -- I would say -- in the B group.  If you end up in the C group, ask those around you or the flight attendant for help finding seats together.  I am sure others would be willing to move around to help out, but I would recommend trying that in the back quarter of the plane.
  • You could consider purchasing Early Bird for each ticket if you are very concerned about the boarding process.

Good luck!

-A List Preferred, Companion Pass holder, Community Champion.
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Re: Family trip - Can we just walk up for family boarding (my child is 8)?

kjcrutch
New Arrival

I know what the policy is but I think there is a flaw with their policy.  Like my 8 year old can sit alone or my 10 year old?  I checked in at exactly 24 hours and we got B58, 59, 60 and my daughter, C01.  Awesome.

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Re: Family trip - Can we just walk up for family boarding (my child is 8)?

SWDigits
Rising Star
Solution
While you know the policy it may be worth asking politely at the gate about how family boarding works. You may be pleasantly surprised at the answer... but maybe not... your mileage may vary.

Failing that, when you do board, you may find seats together, maybe not.

Failing that you may he able to get someone to trade with you but that doesn't always work either.

I also recommend sending the Southwest team a note to log your thoughts on the issue, contact info is found here:
https://www.southwestaircommunity.com/t5/Knowledge-Base/Submitting-a-Suggestion-and-or-Complaint/ta-...

As a final note, there are *strong* and opposing opinions expressed about the seating process that you can find here on the discussion boards.

Customer | Home airport DCA | Community Champion
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Re: Family trip - Can we just walk up for family boarding (my child is 8)?

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@kjcrutch wrote:

I know what the policy is but I think there is a flaw with their policy.  Like my 8 year old can sit alone or my 10 year old?  I checked in at exactly 24 hours and we got B58, 59, 60 and my daughter, C01.  Awesome.


I can't endorse just walking up, I suppose if the kids look young it is possible that you may or may not be questioned about their ages.

 

If you want to hedge your bet go yourself with the younger one and hold two spots, or go up yourself with both kids and save one place. As you mentioned, this isn't the policy and for whatever reason the line was drawn at six years old instead of eight.

 

One other option according to policy would be to purchase upgraded boarding at the gate, if available in some combination for your party.

 

EBCI obviously not an option if you've already checked in and the flight is tomorrow or later today.

 

If all else fails, go at your position and ask the FA for help in getting one adult next to one kid and then repeat if there aren't four spots together at that position. (Sometimes there will be at the rear of the aircraft.)

 

 

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.
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Re: Family trip - Can we just walk up for family boarding (my child is 8)?

elijahbrantley
Rising Star

To be fair, all your boarding numbers  are sequential, so you will board the plane “together.” The C position is the exception.  The C person will be the first to board directly after the final B (the rest of your party). 

 

In order to all stay together during boarding, you can all board together with the C1 person. I feel quite confident you will be able to find someone who would be willing to move around (if necessary) so that you can sit two and two so the kids are not alone. 

-A List Preferred, Companion Pass holder, Community Champion.
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Re: Family trip - Can we just walk up for family boarding (my child is 8)?

SWDigits
Rising Star
@kjcrutch any chance you are able to share your boarding experience?

Customer | Home airport DCA | Community Champion