Pre-Boarding Unfair?

Discussion in 'Southwest Airlines | Rapid Rewards (w/ AirTran)' started by Jimgotkp, Sep 3, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    Just took my first Southwest flights from SEA-MDW-EWR while purchasing Business Select tickets. I was rather impressed with the amount of service we get along with the free snacks and drinks. However, what ticked me off was the large number of pre-boarders which included A LOT of teenagers. Even though I had A-2 boarding, most if not all Exit Row seats were taken by these people. I feel people who pre-board shouldn't be allowed to sit in the exit row seats. Does anyone else feel the same?
     
  2. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    Why? Because they were teenagers ... or just because. :cool:
     
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  3. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    If a person needs preboarding, that's usually because they are old or young or otherwise unable to board normally like a healthy, prime-of-their-life individual. So why would a preboarding person be allowed to sit in an exit row, which requires you to claim that you have a range of physical abilities that would allow you to help during an emergency? This sounds like bad policy.

    I'm not opposed to teenagers sitting in exit rows, and I'm not opposed to teenagers preboarding, but if they get one, logic says they should not get the other.
     
  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Why should teenagers that are old enough to sit in exit row be allowed to pre board... unless they accompany someone who needs preboardng. And then we get to my pet-peeve of fifteen people accompanying one old person who legitimately pre-boards. One assistant per pre boarder, please, max two (in case of a couple with baby, for example).
     
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  5. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    Exactly. There were multiple groups of people of 4+ people with the people needing extra time sitting in the front and the teens in the exit row. There needs to be a policy to this.
     
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  6. UA191

    UA191 Silver Member

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    There are obviously a variety of reasons why teens could board before you.

    I'm 14 & have flown 1.4 million miles in my lifetime.
    I've had some adults lash out at me for me being able to board before them.
    They are always surprised & apologetic when I pull out my elite card. ;)

    On SWA, I don't see why there would be a problem with pre-boarders (or teens) sitting in exit row seats.
     
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  7. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    I think SouthWest sells priority boarding though, so that's probably what you saw.
     
  8. ACEDAD
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    ACEDAD Silver Member

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    If a person uses preboarding they are specifically prohibited from sitting in the exit row. But it has to be enforced by the FA.
     
  9. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    If you mean early bird check-in, they board after business select according to

    http://www.southwest.com/html/generated/help/faqs/earlybird_checkin_faq.html

    EarlyBird Check-In is a low-cost option that gives you the benefit of having an automatically assigned boarding position, allowing you to board earlier than Customers using our traditional checkin procedures. As an EarlyBird Check-In Customer, you will have a better opportunity to select your preferred seat and have earlier access to overhead bin storage for your carryon luggage than our general boarding Customers. This affordable option automatically reserves for you the next best boarding position available, allowing you to board the plane after Business Select Customers and Rapid Rewards A-List Members.

    The OP was on a business select ticket.
     
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  10. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Indeed... Also from the FAQ linked above:

    Do families get to preboard?
    An adult traveling with a child four years old or younger may board during Family Boarding, which occurs between the "A" and "B" boarding groups. However, those Customers holding an "A" boarding pass should still board with the "A" boarding group. With an all-jet fleet outfitted with comfortable, leather seats, our families traveling with small children are easily accommodated together.

    Do passengers with disabilities get to preboard?
    Prior to general boarding, preboarding is available for Customers who have specific seating needs to accommodate their disability and/or need assistance in boarding the aircraft or stowing an assistive device. If you have a disability and require preboarding, you should request a blue preboarding sleeve from our Customer Service Agent positioned at the departure gate. The sleeve serves as notification to our Operations (Boarding) Agent that you need to preboard. It's important to keep in mind that Customers who preboard may not occupy an emergency exit seat. Customers with disabilities who have any other special needs related to boarding should speak with a Customer Service Agent at the departure gate.
     
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  11. Jim
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    Jim Silver Member

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    I know DL and FL have a minimum age requirement for Exit Row.... I don't know if it is FAA driven or not.
     
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  12. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    I'm not mentioning all teens. Just teens who accompany a customer who has a disability or needs more time to board.

    Why would I rip on all teens when I'm 20 and I flew a lot since I was 17?
     
  13. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    So pretty much the FAs didn't enforce the policy. It's quite lame considering we don't even get a priority tag on our checked luggage.
     
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  14. thrashsoundly
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    thrashsoundly Silver Member

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    This is exactly right and the reason I chose not to fly SW any more a few years back when the rule changed. Made it almost impossible to get a seat with extra room.

    Teens that are over 14 years old can sit in the exit row per FAA rule.
     
  15. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Very well said.
     
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  16. cvsara
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    cvsara Gold Member

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    IF that is true, then I agree. But just to pull out a card, with a same name (Jr/Sr) is not elite for one or the other, even though you both could board at the same time.
    I don't do SW, but one of the most 'unfair' boarding procedures, is the present UAL. Come on, parents with children under 4YO, after they have already called 'anyone needing a little more time'. PLUUUUEEEEZZZZ
     
  17. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Do you have any reason to believe the pax is misrepresenting his situation or using a parent's card for status?

    My comment was oriented towards the articulation of the points (less the points raised themselves, though they are perfectly fine as well).
     
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  18. cvsara
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    cvsara Gold Member

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    Of course I don't. But I have a son with my name, (a II)
     
  19. UA191

    UA191 Silver Member

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    If you would like to see proof, I can arrange that.
    I don't have a father, let alone one with my own name.
     
  20. cvsara
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    cvsara Gold Member

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    Listen, I don't care, I don't do SWA. Ever. The tread was about unfair per boarding. Nothing more. I only wish that at that age I could have. I commented on 'un-fair boarding, that is all. Ther fact that you have flown,100000 miles a year, almost 274 miles a day since the day you were born, hasn't anything to do with un-fair boarding.
    Let it go.
     
  21. Jimmy28

    Jimmy28 Silver Member

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    Pre-boarders are not allowed to sit in the exit row as the one person on this thread who actually flies Southwest mentioned. What is it about WN threads that cause people who never fly them to respond with 'answers'?? 98% of the time an FA stands in the exit row during boarding and it's extremely rare to get a pre-boarder in the exit rows. This is also why the first regular passenger is the only one who hangs on to their boarding pass and gives it to the FA upon boarding so that the FA's know when pre-board is over.

    Pre-boarders generally do sit in row 1 especially when you're dealing with older handicapped folks as those rows are simply easier to get in and out of.

    Now if you board a WN flight and the exit rows are full then 99% of the time those are folks who were already on the plane when it landed and are continuing on. They are allowed to get up and change seats once the FA's have their through passenger count.

    The only other thing you'll see occasionally (and this is possibly what you saw here) is that if you are a through passenger on a WN flight and you've got a longer stopover you can ask to be let off to get something to eat, etc. In that case you do get to board before any of the new passengers simply by showing ID. I've seen folks get back on as soon as they were ready and I've seen others have to wait until boarding is ready to begin. They show their ID and the GA lets them back on and since they aren't true pre-boarders are allowed to sit in the exit rows.
     
  22. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    For the record (and in my defense), I do fly WN occasionally when it makes sense and don't have any Southwest phobia :D But I don't consider myself an experienced WN flyer and thus consulted their website for my answers (see the quotes above).

    Thanks for explaining things from the perspective of a seemingly experienced WN flyer :)
     
  23. Jimmy28

    Jimmy28 Silver Member

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    LOL ;) Yeah, I was more referring to the folks who when a WN question is asked respond with "Well I hear AA gives you pajamas now!" lol
     
  24. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    And the pax are more "classy", too :D
     
  25. Andrew72681

    Andrew72681 Silver Member

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    This sounds like a lazy or incompetent gate agent. The GA should have enforced the rules and wheeled a needy passenger down if needed. The droves of people accompanying someone down gets really annoying. Not as annoying as when you see perfectly healthy people running through the airport and then when they get to the gate acting hurt and asking for a pre board.
     

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