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Old 03-01-2010, 01:31 PM   #1
boxer
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Southwest Pre-Boarding??

It has only been a year since we flew SW, but I wanted to make sure they still had pre-boarding for families with small kids. I know the 'new' pre-boarding routine was to board after the "A" passes, so I wanted to make sure this is still the case.

I don't think I'll be near a computer to print out the tickets, and for the most part the pre-boarding still leaves ample room on the plane to find adjoining seats, so this is why I ask.
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Old 03-01-2010, 01:38 PM   #2
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If you don't get an A boarding pass, you will board after the A's if you have small children under the age of 3 or 4.
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Old 03-01-2010, 01:47 PM   #3
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If you aren't near a printer but can get checked in, you can then print your boarding passes at the airport. If I'm not near a computer when it is at the 24 hour window, I'll have a friend do the check in for me. All that the friend needs is the confirmation number and correct spelling of your name.
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Old 03-01-2010, 01:48 PM   #4
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From Southwest's website:

An adult traveling with a child four years old or younger will board between the “A” and “B” boarding groups. If you have an “A” boarding pass, please feel free to board with that boarding group. With an all-jet fleet outfitted with comfortable, leather seats, our families with small children are easily accommodated together.
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Old 03-01-2010, 01:54 PM   #5
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I will mention that sometimes they change the age of pre boarding. I have been on flights from PVD to MCO before where they said only those two and under. Otherwise, as they said, 3/4 of the plane would pre board. In any case, even when I had C boarding numbers we never had trouble finding seats together. As a PP stated, if you can check in 24 hours in advance but not print out the boarding pass that is fine.
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Old 03-01-2010, 02:02 PM   #6
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I have gotten on SW late after everyone has boarded and even then people will move so that you can sit with your kids. I only had an issue once where I looked the man dead in the eye and said your choice move or sit next to my three year old. he moved
Another time the flight was really full and we were connecting, the attendants re arranged seating for us but I think people would have moved anyway.
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Old 03-01-2010, 02:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momofsamandeden View Post
I only had an issue once where I looked the man dead in the eye and said your choice move or sit next to my three year old. he moved
anyway.
Wow, that was super, duper nice of you. What if that person needed that particular seat due to a medical issue you can't see? What if they paid for EBCI, should they be expected to move because they planned ahead?

Don't always expect people to move, especially in the day when people can pay for Early Bird Check In...... I know there are circumstances out of some passengers control, such as a late connection, but threatening someone is not the way to go......
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Old 03-01-2010, 02:34 PM   #8
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We flew home yesterday on SW, MCO to DEN. There was a family of 5, with 3 children looking about 5 and under who were among the last to board. The flight attendents announced more than once that we weren't going to take off until that family was accomodated in a group of 3 and a group of 2. They were not about to let any of those children sit alone. They were way in the back and I don't know what happened, but since we made it home, I guess someone moved.

On the other hand, the last 2 people to board were a mother and her son who looked about 8. They were separated and the FAs didn't ask anyone to move for them.

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Old 03-01-2010, 02:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momofsamandeden View Post
I have gotten on SW late after everyone has boarded and even then people will move so that you can sit with your kids. I only had an issue once where I looked the man dead in the eye and said your choice move or sit next to my three year old. he moved
Another time the flight was really full and we were connecting, the attendants re arranged seating for us but I think people would have moved anyway.
Lucky it wasn't me or my husband you took that attitude with. We would have told you to plop the 3 year old down. I've got an iPod - I can turn it up enough to drown out any noise. It is not my issue that you failed to plan ahead.

Now if you asked nicely I might consider moving.
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Old 03-01-2010, 02:48 PM   #10
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Courtesy beats attitude every time. I don't mind sitting next to someone's 3 year old. I can fill his or her head with a LOT of bad ideas in a 2 hour flight.
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Old 03-01-2010, 03:29 PM   #11
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If you want to try to board with the "A" group there are a few things to consider, you can have a friend or family member check you in as previously mentioned, you can purchase EBCI and let SWA check you in, or you can check in with a web enabled cell phone. In all cases, you can print your boarding pases when you get to the airport and your boarding number will not change.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExPirateShopGirl View Post
Courtesy beats attitude every time. I don't mind sitting next to someone's 3 year old. I can fill his or her head with a LOT of bad ideas in a 2 hour flight.
Great response!

Or put them next to my DH he can sleep thru anything on a plane.
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Old 03-02-2010, 05:37 AM   #13
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Plan ahead.....simple. If it's important that you be seated next to someone, you need to plan ahead. That means either be on the computer 24 hrs ahead (which no longer is always going to get you A group) or pay for EBCI.
Those flying with kids should not be allowed to just arrive late and expect others to move in order to accomodate them. It's just not fair.
When SW starts allowing people to remain in their chosen seats. rather than give them up at the FA's request for that late family, then, and only then will passengers get the idea that they have to plan ahead in order to sit together.

If I pay for EBCI, there is no way I am giving up my seat for someone who got there too late.
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:02 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momofsamandeden
I only had an issue once where I looked the man dead in the eye and said your choice move or sit next to my three year old. he moved
Nasty and uncalled-for. Not HIS responsibility that you couldn't get a seat next to your child. Rude of you to threaten him like that.
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:14 AM   #15
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If you're concerned about not being near a computer at the 24 hour mark then you can pay for the early bird check-in. Southwest will then automatically assign you a boarding group and there is no need to do anything more until you have a chance to print off your boarding passes either before you leave or once you arrive at the airport. We've done this twice and both times have been in the "A" boarding group. Otherwise family boarding comes between the "A' and "B" groups. On all the flights we've been on family boarding was for parents traveling with a child 4 years old and younger. One other money saving tidbit that might help. When we fly I have my husbands reservation separate from ours and then we only have to pay for one early bird check in. He is able to board and save the seats next to him for our youngest children.
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