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Old 12-16-2012, 09:24 PM   #16
Princess on the Run
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Originally Posted by mmouse50 View Post
I just flew home yesterday and had purchased EBCI for the return trip - I ended up with A54-A56. Since I was so close to the end of the A's and they were boarding the families (and there were a lot of them) between A and B would I have had any recourse if I had done early bird and received a B and still had to board after all the families that I am assuming hadn't done early bird?
What sort of recourse would you expect? You paid to be checked in at 36 hrs and they did that. You got what you paid for so what else would you expect them to offer? EBCI doesn't promise a great seat or A boarding, just a check in at 36 hrs.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:26 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by bumbershoot View Post
They allowed a line like that to form even before A had boarded? That's pretty unusual. When I've flown SW in the last couple years, they will sternly tell people to sit back down until it's their time, if they try to form a line other than the line at the poles.

And since you did board before those people, you *probably* have no true idea what happened with them after you got on board.
I also flew out of MCO on Sat 10/15. The family line was at least 20 families deep with all ages of children and both set of parents. They all boarded together after the A's. If I had paid the 10.00 extra and had to board after all of them I would be calling Southwest to find ask what the policy is about this and making a complaint if it was not followed.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:35 AM   #18
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I also flew out of MCO on Sat 10/15. The family line was at least 20 families deep with all ages of children and both set of parents. They all boarded together after the A's. If I had paid the 10.00 extra and had to board after all of them I would be calling Southwest to find ask what the policy is about this and making a complaint if it was not followed.
The issue is that the gate agents have significant discretion with regard to the application of and any flexibility around the policy, so you are going to find significant variation in what happens. GAs can choose to completely suspend family boarding if there are a large number of families with small children at one end of the spectrum but a different GA in exactly the same situation could not only have family boarding but also could allow entire families--not just the one child with one adult the policy would let them limit it to--to board.

This thread so far reflects the opinions of people who would be upset if family boarding was applied too broadly and those who purchased EBCI and received B boarding numbers. While I agree that allowing a large number of full families to board before the Bs isn't a good idea, the EBCI passengers in the B group are still technically getting what they paid for.

However, you can find other threads where there are families incensed that family boarding was suspended or that the policy limiting boarding to one qualfiying adult and one child was applied to the letter. I don't believe that they have much to complain about as technically SWA is within their rights to suspend family boarding or to conform the procedure to the limits within their published policy.

For all of its pluses, this highlights a few areas where SWA has its minuses. Another example is their lack of a clear policy regarding seat saving. Their policy is that you can take any open seat once on the plane, but they don't specifically define what constitutes an open seat. As a result, it winds up being up the the FAs discretion; and some are of a mind that any seat without a person in it is "open" and others won't require a single person in a row of six seats who has placed a small item on the five other seats to remove those items to allow others to sit there,
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:38 AM   #19
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I can't stand the family boarding policy - I think they should board after the B's. I have not seen them stick to the one adult/one child rule. Last Spring break, there were a ton of full families boarding between A&B. We paid for EBCI and were right at the beginning of the B's so we were ok but others weren't. My DH sat next to a guy with a B that was upset that he had to split up his family because his daughter was 7 and they couldn't board early. We then had a family of 3 that had to completely split up and the 8 year old child had to sit by themselves. The crew begged (offering free drinks) for someone to move and allow the Mother to sit by her son but no one would.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:53 AM   #20
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I understand why the gate agents have discretion to apply the rules liberally, but it does seem that some gate agents don't really want to rock the boat so they just let whatever go.

Some bend to 1 adult 1 child makes sense.
Examples:
1 Adult with a 2 year old and 6 year old. With the above rule this would leave a 6 year old alone to try to board at his boarding position.

2 adults and 1 child, well lets be honest here they are going to end up being one full row, so what does it really hurt to have the third person join them now? Plus now its easier for them to get all their stuff and settle down and move everyone along.

The plan to Orlando I was on had many families but I was ok in the low B's and it was starting to get a bit crowded when DH joined me (high B's but he just wanted the middle seat next to me anyway) a bit after that though had lots of issues with parents being upset that they weren't next to their children, including one mom that kept bugging the FA being they weren't next to each other, her 7 year old was in front of her, it wasn't like they were on opposite ends of the plane. FA didn't even try to get people to volunteer although a few people did. Which made for a fun time getting everyone to sit down so we could leave and fun with people trying to move all over to get their bags at the end.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:55 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by conniehar90 View Post
I can't stand the family boarding policy - I think they should board after the B's. I have not seen them stick to the one adult/one child rule. Last Spring break, there were a ton of full families boarding between A&B. We paid for EBCI and were right at the beginning of the B's so we were ok but others weren't. My DH sat next to a guy with a B that was upset that he had to split up his family because his daughter was 7 and they couldn't board early. We then had a family of 3 that had to completely split up and the 8 year old child had to sit by themselves. The crew begged (offering free drinks) for someone to move and allow the Mother to sit by her son but no one would.
If they boarded after the B's then this would happen every time as by the end of the B's there are mostly just middle seats left... I think that would be much worse (and I don't even have kids so its not like I use family boarding)
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:17 AM   #22
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They are going to be increasing EBCI to $12.50, they need to address this. Maybe mark the boarding passes of those who bought it and allow any EBCI not in A to board before the families. I don't understand why they allow seat saving, people have caught on to only buy one EBCI and save seats for the rest, they are losing money. Especially when it's really blatent by putting packages and coats on empty seats.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:28 AM   #23
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They are going to be increasing EBCI to $12.50, they need to address this. Maybe mark the boarding passes of those who bought it and allow any EBCI not in A to board before the families. I don't understand why they allow seat saving, people have caught on to only buy one EBCI and save seats for the rest, they are losing money. Especially when it's really blatent by putting packages and coats on empty seats.
I was thinking the same thing. Why not have family boarding after ALL of the EBCI people have boarded. You choose to pay extra, you should get to board before people who don't pay for it.......

My only flight on SW had our boarding passes all split up using EBCI. We had like A 42, 44, 46, and 49 or something like that. The people in between us were single passengers. Our flights were all on one confirmation with EBCI purchased for all at the same time..... The two singles let us all board together as it made no sense for us to stand apart in line.....

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Old 12-17-2012, 11:09 AM   #24
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I was thinking the same thing. Why not have family boarding after ALL of the EBCI people have boarded. You choose to pay extra, you should get to board before people who don't pay for it.......

My only flight on SW had our boarding passes all split up using EBCI. We had like A 42, 44, 46, and 49 or something like that. The people in between us were single passengers. Our flights were all on one confirmation with EBCI purchased for all at the same time..... The two singles let us all board together as it made no sense for us to stand apart in line.....

Duds
You do know there are others that didn't pay for EBCI before you right? I just missed getting A list this year (literally if I had one more flight before the end of the year I would be A list all next year) but some of my coworkers have it. With A list they can check in when they get to the airport and still will be in front of most of those with EBCI.

I'm not sure why everyone is so upset about this... no one is forcing you to get EBCI... if you don't want to pay just don't.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:13 AM   #25
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I was thinking the same thing. Why not have family boarding after ALL of the EBCI people have boarded. You choose to pay extra, you should get to board before people who don't pay for it.......
Duds
Because that's defeating the purpose of family boarding. The reason they have them so high is so small kids can sit with their parents. If you move family boarding until after the B's, there's going to be a lot of either separated families or negotiating going on to keep families together.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:25 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by sam_gordon View Post
Because that's defeating the purpose of family boarding. The reason they have them so high is so small kids can sit with their parents. If you move family boarding until after the B's, there's going to be a lot of either separated families or negotiating going on to keep families together.
But they could change the boarding to

A- Business Select etc.
B- Family with EBCI
C- Others with EBCI
D- Families Without EBCI
E- Others Without EBCI

Those paying extra board first then others.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:25 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by dudspizza View Post
I was thinking the same thing. Why not have family boarding after ALL of the EBCI people have boarded. You choose to pay extra, you should get to board before people who don't pay for it.......

My only flight on SW had our boarding passes all split up using EBCI. We had like A 42, 44, 46, and 49 or something like that. The people in between us were single passengers. Our flights were all on one confirmation with EBCI purchased for all at the same time..... The two singles let us all board together as it made no sense for us to stand apart in line.....

Duds
The purpose of family boarding is make sure families can sit together. Having family boarding between the As and the Bs accomplishes that.

You suggest passengers with EBCI should be boarding before family mid-boarding? Easy solution. limit the number of EBCI available on each flight, and increase the fee so their total revenue doesn't take a hit.

JMO but SW should require all passengers on a reservation purchase EBCI and should eliminate seat saving.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:53 AM   #28
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But they could change the boarding to

A- Business Select etc.
B- Family with EBCI
C- Others with EBCI
D- Families Without EBCI
E- Others Without EBCI

Those paying extra board first then others.
You're missing the point of family boarding though.

IMO, these "solutions" are getting too complicated. Here are simple ones...

1) Lewisc's suggestion of everyone on a reservation getting EBCI if one person does.
2) Enforce '1 adult and any children under 12' to accompany children under 5 in family boarding. If there's two parents and a 5 year old, one parent boards with the child, the other waits until their number. If there's one parent, a 4yo, and a 10yo, they all board together during family boarding.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:58 AM   #29
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I totally understand why they have family boarding and I am all for families sitting together. My kids are older than 4, so I can't use that, but that doesn't mean that I don't want to sit with them on a vacation that we get to take 1 time a year. If I pay for EBCI, why should anyone who doesn't pay for it get to board before me? If sitting together is so important, then those passengers would purchase EBCI to ensure they board before family boarding..... that's all I am saying....

I also understand those that are A listers or purchase business select fares... no problem with them getting A1-15.

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Old 12-17-2012, 02:09 PM   #30
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You suggest passengers with EBCI should be boarding before family mid-boarding? Easy solution. limit the number of EBCI available on each flight, and increase the fee so their total revenue doesn't take a hit.
I would love it if they increased the cost of EBCI to like $25 or $50 so fewer people would use it. Someone pays $10 and they think they own the plane. If you really feel you absolutely need to board early and you don't qualify to pre-board, then you'd probably be willing to pay whatever they charge to get a lower boarding position. But because it's cheap, so many people just buy it to have it that eventually it's worthless because just about everyone buys it and they all expect A boarding. Well between preboarders (handicapped, etc) BS, A-listers, and family boarding not everyone is going to get first crack at their seat. So paying $10 extra doesn't promise you a thing other than not having to check yourself in at 24 hr. If 90% of the passengers pay their $10, someone's still going to be unhappy with their boarding position notwithstanding having paid their $10.

I love the idea to limit how many can buy it and increase the price a ton so that only those who REALLY need it buy it. That guarantees those people a little more assurance in where they will end up and also eliminates those who pay for it and end up with C boarding anyway. Win-win.
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