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Old 02-04-2013, 12:56 PM   #1
Sugar Jones
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Oh another SW questions? re: boarding

So I was just reading that you can't pre-purchase seats. I have two anxiety ridden children that have never flown and are terrified. How do I ensure that we will sit together, I can't imagine not sitting with the kids????

I looked at the early boarding thing and I am more than willing to pay for that, but what are the odds that we will still be able to sit together after family boarding - (which we don't qualify for because our kids are too old)

The two children with anxiety are 11 & 9.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:57 PM   #2
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You may be able to get medical boarding since they do have anxiety.

Otherwise, I'd pay for the EBCI. I've never gotten in the A boarding group to a flight to Orlando without it.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by stargazertechie View Post
You may be able to get medical boarding since they do have anxiety.

Otherwise, I'd pay for the EBCI. I've never gotten in the A boarding group to a flight to Orlando without it.
Yes one does take medication for it, the othe we use natural remedies (didn't work with the younger one)

Ironically my youngest (5yrs old) is fine with it.

I'll look into the medical thing, but I don't mind paying the EBCI, for the flights I want it's only an extra $100.00 total. That's worth it if it means we can make sure each child is with an adult.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:07 PM   #4
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What if you call Southwest and speak to someone? Explain your situation

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Old 02-04-2013, 01:10 PM   #5
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I have an autistic child as well as a child who is prone to bad ear pain and I'm the only one who can sooth the autistic one and get the ear plugs in correctly for the other so I have to sit with them both. I pay for EBCI for peace of mind. Technically I know we qualify for pre-boarding because my daughter is autistic and needs me beside her, but I'm trying very hard to teach especially my autistic child that it's up to us to make sure that our own needs are met and only ask for help if it's something we can't take care of ourselves. When it comes to sitting together, we can take care of that need ourselves so we do. I know some people would say that we're wasting our money but for me it's also part of a bigger picture of what I'm trying to teach her. Before anybody jumps on me, note that I'm just sharing what we do and I'm not saying other ways are wrong.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clanmcculloch View Post
Before anybody jumps on me, note that I'm just sharing what we do and I'm not saying other ways are wrong.
It would be silly for anyone to jump on you for using a parenting style that works best for your family
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clanmcculloch View Post
I have an autistic child as well as a child who is prone to bad ear pain and I'm the only one who can sooth the autistic one and get the ear plugs in correctly for the other so I have to sit with them both. I pay for EBCI for peace of mind. Technically I know we qualify for pre-boarding because my daughter is autistic and needs me beside her, but I'm trying very hard to teach especially my autistic child that it's up to us to make sure that our own needs are met and only ask for help if it's something we can't take care of ourselves. When it comes to sitting together, we can take care of that need ourselves so we do. I know some people would say that we're wasting our money but for me it's also part of a bigger picture of what I'm trying to teach her. Before anybody jumps on me, note that I'm just sharing what we do and I'm not saying other ways are wrong.
So buying EBCI should be fine to ease my worries of not sitting together? I don't mind paying for it either.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugar Jones View Post
Yes one does take medication for it, the othe we use natural remedies (didn't work with the younger one)

Ironically my youngest (5yrs old) is fine with it.

I'll look into the medical thing, but I don't mind paying the EBCI, for the flights I want it's only an extra $100.00 total. That's worth it if it means we can make sure each child is with an adult.
You will have a better chance of sitting together if you purchase EBCI. Passengers who purchased EBCI are checked-in in the order they purchase so I would purchase soon to give yourselves an even better chance.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:35 PM   #9
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You will have a better chance of sitting together if you purchase EBCI. Passengers who purchased EBCI are checked-in in the order they purchase so I would purchase soon to give yourselves an even better chance.

Good luck with your decision.
As I understand it, the bolded is not totally true. If you take the subset of passengers who purchase EBCI, I think it does all the business fare folks (in the order they purchased), then the "normal" fare folks (in the order they purchased), then the "want to get away" fare folks (in the order they purchased).

Also keep in mind, if you get on the plane at a hub, your number may not really help you. For example, let's say you're flying Chicago -> Orlando. But the plane is going from Minneapolis -> Chicago -> Orlando. Even if you have a "high" boarding number, any passengers staying on the plane will keep their seats (or move to better ones), so you still may not find prime seats.

I'm not saying that will happen, but it's something to keep in mind.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clanmcculloch View Post
I have an autistic child as well as a child who is prone to bad ear pain and I'm the only one who can sooth the autistic one and get the ear plugs in correctly for the other so I have to sit with them both. I pay for EBCI for peace of mind. Technically I know we qualify for pre-boarding because my daughter is autistic and needs me beside her, but I'm trying very hard to teach especially my autistic child that it's up to us to make sure that our own needs are met and only ask for help if it's something we can't take care of ourselves. When it comes to sitting together, we can take care of that need ourselves so we do. I know some people would say that we're wasting our money but for me it's also part of a bigger picture of what I'm trying to teach her. Before anybody jumps on me, note that I'm just sharing what we do and I'm not saying other ways are wrong.
Well done!!!! What a great job you're doing. Teaching self reliance is a wonderful thing...even if it can only be a little bit of self reliance.

Anyway....if you were to go without EBCI, and checked in right at the 24 hr window, you would most likely be in the B group. This means that you would be able to find two pairs of seats, but towards the back. If you do get EBCI, you will end up in the A or the B group....someone is going to have to sit alone anyway, the seats are 3 and 3. so one parent will be by themselves unless you just pair a child and a parent. So, really no worries about being seated with the kids.

Another thing....you really need to get the kids prepared for what is going to happen once at the airport. Practice going 'through security'...set up a table and pretend it's the conveyor belt that everything goes through. Practice having the kids go through the xray maching..use a doorway for that. No, it won't be exactly the same but it will take the edge off their nerves.
Try explaining to them that people work on the planes all the time and they have no worries about flying. Will it make a difference? Maybe not, but it's a discussion. Show the kids how comfortable you are. They will pick up on that. Give any needed meds in plenty of time. And bring things to occupy them during the flight.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goofy4tink View Post
Well done!!!! What a great job you're doing. Teaching self reliance is a wonderful thing...even if it can only be a little bit of self reliance.

Anyway....if you were to go without EBCI, and checked in right at the 24 hr window, you would most likely be in the B group. This means that you would be able to find two pairs of seats, but towards the back. If you do get EBCI, you will end up in the A or the B group....someone is going to have to sit alone anyway, the seats are 3 and 3. so one parent will be by themselves unless you just pair a child and a parent. So, really no worries about being seated with the kids.

Another thing....you really need to get the kids prepared for what is going to happen once at the airport. Practice going 'through security'...set up a table and pretend it's the conveyor belt that everything goes through. Practice having the kids go through the xray maching..use a doorway for that. No, it won't be exactly the same but it will take the edge off their nerves.
Try explaining to them that people work on the planes all the time and they have no worries about flying. Will it make a difference? Maybe not, but it's a discussion. Show the kids how comfortable you are. They will pick up on that. Give any needed meds in plenty of time. And bring things to occupy them during the flight.
My mother and mother in law are coming with us so one of them would be with the 3rd child if we couldn't do Mom & 2 kids - Dad & 1 kid.

I am going to prepare them as best I can. I am anxious of flying as well, so we are going to be one fun group to be around
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam_gordon View Post
As I understand it, the bolded is not totally true. If you take the subset of passengers who purchase EBCI, I think it does all the business fare folks (in the order they purchased), then the "normal" fare folks (in the order they purchased), then the "want to get away" fare folks (in the order they purchased).

Also keep in mind, if you get on the plane at a hub, your number may not really help you. For example, let's say you're flying Chicago -> Orlando. But the plane is going from Minneapolis -> Chicago -> Orlando. Even if you have a "high" boarding number, any passengers staying on the plane will keep their seats (or move to better ones), so you still may not find prime seats.

I'm not saying that will happen, but it's something to keep in mind.
Oh these are Wanna Get Away prices so does that make a difference for EBCI??
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:20 PM   #13
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Practice going 'through security'...set up a table and pretend it's the conveyor belt that everything goes through. Practice having the kids go through the xray maching..use a doorway for that. No, it won't be exactly the same but it will take the edge off their nerves.
Yes yes yes yes yes.

If you live close to an airport, maybe you can go visit and watch the travelers. I know at "my" airport, you can stand and watch everyone go through security, and see how efficient it all is (from afar it looks efficient, LOL, and actually seatac does a pretty good job of keeping it all moving quickly), and what happens, etc.

Kids under 12 (12 and under? can't remember) keep their shoes on, so you've got that going for you! I remember convincing my little dude to take his shoes off...not fun.

Get to the airport early, keep calm, relax...

For our first flight to Orlando we used SW, and there were no problems sitting together. Our experience has not shown that it's something to *worry* about. Have a plan, practice, head towards the back of the plane, and breathe.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:29 PM   #14
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I just want to thank you so much to everyone. I love that I have somewhere to go to ask all these questions!!!!
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