I have flown Southwestern Airlines faithfully now for years and have decided enough is enough. I am A-list plus with companion status and travel with a large suitcase and tools for weeks. Now some of the airports I go to no longer have an counter for Business Select or A-List and when I wait in the regular full service line I get told by the counter agents to “use the self check in stand” and not wait in line for a counter person. Even after I try to explain I have to pay for my overweight bags before checking them in and I am A-list flying on a business select ticket they do not seem to care and only want to take the already tagged bags from customers that have already have boarding passes. I have already started flying United and Delta. I can get where I am going for the same ticket price and available flights. If my loyalty means nothing then why be loyal. My wife is not traveling as much now so the companion status isn’t as important and watching the people abuse the pre-boarding policy is annoying. When I fly United and Delta they assign everyone a seat number and it’s amazing how there are only 1 or 2 preboard people compared to the countless ones on SWA. I have done a lot of research on this claim that some preboarders have to sit next to window or they get sick. Only thing I can find is people that are nauseous may need to open a window to avoid getting sick. If having to see where you are going to avoid getting sick is a real thing then please tell me what this illness is called because my doctor couldn’t.
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Unfortunately like everything else there are those that exploit the loopholes and those who follow the rules and pay extra for the business select tickets suffer. Every flight on SWA I take now (and I fly constantly) there are individuals in the preboard group that appear to have no reason for being there. They appear young, fit, able to stand and walk and have no special needs or items like service dogs or mobility devices. They stand in the preboard line for long periods to make sure they get on first while playing on or talking on their phones. The open seating policy and ease of asking for and getting a preboard assignment lets those who did not pay for business select and usually have a group C boarding group assignment to jump to the front. I have been business select A1 or A2 position and by the time I was able to board I had to sit in row 5 or greater after all the preboard people. Most are half my age and more fit than me. I have watched many literally take off running in the airport after we got off the plane.
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