AirWillie6475
Topic Author
Posts: 2372
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Southwest Boarding Question

Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:40 pm

I took a WN flight the other day, I was alone, and was feeling good and this time I thought I would try to sit in row one. As much as I hate WN boarding, I didn't this time because I was first in A line. So we get ready to board when the agent lets in 3 families first because they had one had a Grandma who supposedly couldn't move well, she moved pretty fine down the jetway, another because they had young kids. The youngest was probably 9.

The point is that these people all moved pretty WELL they could sure find a seat, and how come none of them sat at the back of the plane? Why does WN let these people go when you can clearly see that they won't be a burden on boarding process and that they just want to get the good seats without waiting like I did. I ended up sitting next to the engine because all the kids had taken window seats. They should just let people with wheel chairs go and that it.
 
DL787932ER
Posts: 575
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RE: Southwest Boarding Question

Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:44 pm

I doubt any airline is going to be too strict with priority boarding, for fear that they'll accidentally deny it to someone who really needs it and then be cursed/publically humiliated/sued/etc. I'd guess any elderly person travelling with small children could get priority boarding from any airline if they wanted it.

Having said that, I will agree it's nice to know where your seat will be as soon as you book it, and it's no secret that WN does not offer that service. It's entirely possible that the inability to reserve a seat assignment in advance results in certain customers taking advantage of a liberal priority boarding policy to get the seats they want. The solution is obvious, but to avoid  flamed  I'll let you come up with it on your own  biggrin 

[Edited 2006-01-13 05:52:35]
F L Y D E L T A J E T S
 
stlgph
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RE: Southwest Boarding Question

Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:44 pm

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Thread starter):

The point is that these people all moved pretty WELL they could sure find a seat, and how come none of them sat at the back of the plane? Why does WN let these people go when you can clearly see that they won't be a burden on boarding process and that they just want to get the good seats without waiting like I did. I ended up sitting next to the engine because all the kids had taken window seats. They should just let people with wheel chairs go and that it.

Just like when I flew back to St. Louis from Las Vegas and 29, yes, 29, people preboarded. ONE in a wheelchair and ONE with a walker.

It's a complete joke.
if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
 
Mainliner
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RE: Southwest Boarding Question

Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:52 pm

If a family can find any excuse to preboard, they will take it, regardless of how 'mobile' their children or seniors are.
In their defense, however, even though they may be able to walk down the jetway with no problem, getting a young child or a senior situated in their seat can be a hassle.
Every flight counts.
 
AirWillie6475
Topic Author
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RE: Southwest Boarding Question

Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:55 pm

DL787 I agree but what about the other normal passengers that are fine who go with the special passengers? That immobile grandma took with her about 5 other perfectly fine family members.
 
atrude777
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RE: Southwest Boarding Question

Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:56 pm

Every airline allows family to pre board first iv seen it on AA and NWA too along with SWA.

They pre board the family first to make sure they can all sit together since it isnt assigned for SWA.
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
GentFromAlaska
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RE: Southwest Boarding Question

Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:59 pm

The small child cutoff traveling with parent or another adult as I recall is two years old. Possibly the 9 year old was a unaccompanied minor or minor traveling alone. WN does allow kids and pre-teens to board in advance of "A" "B" "C" boarding groups.

The elderly lady probably boarded under the "Pax who need additional time" rule. There is not much which can be done about it. However if you felt she wasn't a senior and was moving too good and was not accompanied by a CSA, F/A or another care provider, I would let the desk know. There are pax who abuse the system.
Man can be taken from Alaska. Alaska can never be taken from the man.
 
DL787932ER
Posts: 575
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 3:27 pm

RE: Southwest Boarding Question

Fri Jan 13, 2006 2:06 pm

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 4):

As I said, it may be that in this case some people took advantage of a generous priority boarding policy. I have never encountered this problem in my life. As I said, to avoid  flamed  I will leave it to you to determine how I have avoided this problem.
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HPLASOps
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RE: Southwest Boarding Question

Fri Jan 13, 2006 2:10 pm

Quoting STLGph (Reply 2):
Just like when I flew back to St. Louis from Las Vegas and 29, yes, 29, people preboarded. ONE in a wheelchair and ONE with a walker.

It's a complete joke.

I agree. This is where the Cattle Heard Airlines part comes in. You don't give pax assigned seats, and this is what happens. Everyone takes the first window/aisle seat available, so boarding takes longer than if they loaded back to front, and people will use any lame ass excuse to be first in line. The times I flew WN, I remember people standing in the front of the A row for 1 1/2 hours prior to dept just ensuring that they get first choice on seats. It's really pathetic, and part of the way WN changed, er ruined, the airline biz.
"Just because I know how to get off a freeway doesn't mean I know how to get back on!" - Retard Joe
 
N200WN
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RE: Southwest Boarding Question

Fri Jan 13, 2006 2:16 pm

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Thread starter):
They should just let people with wheel chairs go and that it.

I agree...sort of. Doing it the way you suggest I think would result in a heck of a lot more people using wheelchairs. This past holiday season was the heaviest in my ten years that I've ever seen with wheelchairs. I swear every flight had eight off and eight on. One flight from DAL even had eighteen wheelchairs coming off, and they were the first 18 pax off the plane.

I would do it like this:

1. Priority Preboarding for the disabled...wheelchair or not. BUT, you MUST show evidence (something from the state like a handicap parking placard). Anyone else requesting a wheelchair would be charged a small fee.

2. Minors flying alone (5 to 11).

3. Mom/Dad with kids five and under...and MUST go beyond the exit row. Aunts/Uncles/extended family don't need to go too.

Quoting STLGph (Reply 2):
It's a complete joke.

Yes, it is
 
DB777
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RE: Southwest Boarding Question

Fri Jan 13, 2006 2:18 pm

I saw an older hippy comedian a while back on the Tonight Show with a cane and one of his jokes about the benefits of carrying a cane was getting to board first on airliners while uttering crazy sounds of your mouth like they were your last gasps in life. He said they'll let you on first every time. It was funny as hell so try it.
Photographing aircraft since the Earth was flat and on Airliners.net since #338
 
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aloha73g
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RE: Southwest Boarding Question

Fri Jan 13, 2006 2:42 pm

The solution as far as you are concerned is to aim for the last row....as I do. I think its fun to sit in the back...its often less crowded and you get to stay on the plane longer. We are aviation nuts after all!!

I like to observe the flight from the back...theres more to see. If you aim for the last row you will most likely not beisappointed in a WN style boarding process. They are also easy seats to get in assigned boarding systems since no one else wants them.

-Aloha!
Aloha Airlines - The Spirit Moves Us. Gone but NEVER Forgotten. Aloha, A Hui Hou!
 
ssides
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RE: Southwest Boarding Question

Sat Jan 14, 2006 1:54 am

Quoting HPLASOps (Reply 8):
The times I flew WN, I remember people standing in the front of the A row for 1 1/2 hours prior to dept just ensuring that they get first choice on seats. It's really pathetic, and part of the way WN changed, er ruined, the airline biz.

So don't fly them if you don't like them.

Actually, WN does the pre-board process better than most airlines -- they have do, given the open seating.

At WN, you have to tell the people at check-in that you want to pre-board, and they give you a blue ticket jacket that puts you in the pre-boarding group. If you look able to make it down the jetway OK, you won't get your pre-boarding pass.

WN also responded well when it banned pre-boarders from taking exit row seats. The theory was well-thought out ... if you are disabled enough to need pre-boarding, you surely do not meet the exit row criteria.

As an airline, WN (and every other airline) has more important things to worry about than people who take advantage of the pre-boarding process. Most of their business travelers could care less, and if they do care they will fly an airline that gives them a pre-assigned seat. That's what I usually do.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
ckfred
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RE: Southwest Boarding Question

Sat Jan 14, 2006 4:35 am

I don't have a problem with letting families that have children under the age of five pre-board. Even though a five-year old is pretty mobile, he or she probably needs help getting buckled in, particuarly since buckles and belts on airplanes are different from cars. Also, a lot of kids under five ride in car seats, since they are better suited.

Take it from me. Putting a child's car seat into an airplane seat is not easy, since the buckle goes inside the seat, and there is far less room to work.

As for the elderly, my gripe isn't so much about people who abuse the system as those who won't take advantage of the system. I was on an AA flight, and an elderly woman who walked very slowly boarded with her group. You should have seen how backed up the line was behind her.
 
USAFHummer
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RE: Southwest Boarding Question

Sat Jan 14, 2006 4:50 am

FYI, in the "General Information" part of a current Southwest timetable which I have here, it says the following about the pre-boarding policy...

"...Preboarding is available to unaccompanied children and, upon request, to Customers who have disabilities and need boarding assistance or have a specific seating need, and to any child four years old or younger accompanied by one adult. Preboarding authorization must be obtained from the Agent at the Departure Gate..."

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