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Old 03-23-2013, 07:11 AM   #16
crashbb
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Originally Posted by Midnightred View Post
I'm sorry, what is MCO?

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It is the code for the Orlando Airport.
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Old 03-24-2013, 01:26 PM   #17
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I always tell the airline "may I preboard with my autistic child. ". No problem on al airlines including southwest. I do put stickers on her that say autism speech impaired if alone call my cell or 911. This helps with TSA. Only once on husband was seated with my daughter and a strange man on the other side of her. I asked him to switch with me and he said no. Well after a few minutes sitting next to her he decided to switch.

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Old 03-24-2013, 01:46 PM   #18
DOREEN1779
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We fly on United and never had a problem. I explain to the gate attendant we have an autistic child and would like to board early to get him situated. They never ask why and we board with first class.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:40 PM   #19
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I always preboard with my ASD son. People with disabilities board before everyone else, including family boarding. I always bring a note, they never ask to see it. Enjoy your trip!
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Old 03-27-2013, 03:40 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by bookwormde View Post
typically with SW they will have a customer service desk in the councourse where you can declare your childrens disabilites and get the blue preboard card. I let the gate agent know also, and it is important to listen carefully for the disability preboard anouncement.

We also find it best to sit near the back so we do not have people pushing by on boarding and can wait a few minutes when disembarking till the plane is mostly empty.
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If you are really worried about it, you can also purchase the early bird check in for your flight. It should at least allow you to be in group A.

You still may be able to preboard but it takes the 'what if' out of the situation. I've been on flights where ti seemed like half the plane was preboarding and that crowded situation may or may not work for you.
I will be flying from BWI to MCO with my 2DSs (10 & 8), both with Autism. I have always flown alone with my boys since my DH is afraid to fly (he's driving down to WDW). We've always flown Southwest & I've never told anyone with SW that they had Autism - never thought to. When they were younger, we went on with "family boarding". The last time we flew they were too old for family boarding so I made sure to log in as soon as I could. We were blessed with group A & took the last row. I agree the back row has been best for us. For this trip in April we paid for extra for the early boarding. I've never heard of the "blue card" & have never seen a customer service desk to get one. I'll have to look into that this time because I had the concern that everyone would pay the extra to pre board & we wouldn't get to sit together.
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:14 PM   #21
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You get the blue card from the gate agents at your gate. Same place you get stroller tags, and gate check tags for various things.
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:43 PM   #22
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pre-boarding with 'non-visable' disabilities

I too have pre-boarded with my daughters with Southwest Airlines and they both look 'normal', however one has epilepsy and one has an ASD. Never had a problem with the customer service agent at the boarding gate letting us preboard, in fact once I requested that only my daughter and I preboard so that I knew one of us adults was sitting by her, and the customer service agent said that we were a family and we would board together (this was when my younger daughter was not diagnosed with ASD yet). I do remember sometimes getting some of the typical comments from other passengers about 'special priviledges' and the like but I just ignore them because I know that sometimes people let their ignorance guide their speech when they just simply don't understand; I don't often think they are trying to be rude. We usually fly Delta know so have pre-assigned seats, but would fly Southwest again and use preboarding if necessary.

You can take a doctors note if you would like to, but it is actually against the ADA regulations for them to ask for a proof of disability. But if it makes you feel better to carry one with you, by all means do so.

As far as where to sit on the plane, my daughter with ASD has definite sensory and anxiety issues so she will not sit by anyone she doesn't know and she doesn't like it when the aisle by our seats is blocked by someone just standing-up or by the service cart. She feels trapped even though she always sits by the window. Take this in to consideration when you choose your seats, especially if you are considering sitting by the restroom area, as they are often times people in the aisles waiting for the restroom. My daughter can see the restroom lights and knows when it is ok to 'go' or not, and I still walk to the restroom with her, even though she is tweleve, and that seems to work pretty well. Sometimes sitting at the front of the plane is also more relaxing because they can't see 'all' the other people on the plane with them; it can reduce their anxiety level somewhat. It is all about making them fell safe and teaching them that they can learn to cope with situations that make them uncomfortable.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:50 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by summerrluvv View Post
I always preboard with my ASD son. People with disabilities board before everyone else, including family boarding. I always bring a note, they never ask to see it. Enjoy your trip!

They won't ask, they can't it's against HIPPA laws. You can hand them one but they won't read it, again, because they are not allowed.

Same thing when you ask for a GAC at any of the parks, the documentation is pointless, you need to verbally express what your child's needs are, just hearing their diagnosis doesn't help them get you the assistance you need.
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Old 03-31-2013, 04:53 PM   #24
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They won't ask, they can't it's against HIPPA laws. You can hand them one but they won't read it, again, because they are not allowed.

Same thing when you ask for a GAC at any of the parks, the documentation is pointless, you need to verbally express what your child's needs are, just hearing their diagnosis doesn't help them get you the assistance you need.
I have never once had to say anything more than my child is on the autism spectrum, and we travel quite often.

At Disney, yes I have had to explain his needs.
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:25 PM   #25
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As someone who travels about once every month or two across country. . .the frequent fliers and the airline staff WANT families with disabilities to pre-board. They will not put additional roadblocks up in your path!

It's purely self motivated interest. If you're settled and situated and comfy, you and yours will have a good flight. This allows everyone else to have a good flight. We will all be stuck in a very, very small space, usually for several hours. If someone with disabilities or a small child is having a bad flight, this may well mean that many other people will have a bad flight.

So don't be ashamed or nervous or try to be self-effacing and not take advantage of your pre-boarding. You are allowing yourself, your family and others to have a nice flight. (Unless of course, one of us has to sit next to a blankety-blank guy with entitlement issues and a blue blazer he thinks the rest of his row should help him keep tidy. But that's a rant for another post, I think.)

Anyone who says anything or gives you a look or a comment? Has just shown him or herself to be an unsophisticated, uncouth lout who has remarkably little self-preservation. Ignore this poor example of our species and pre-board! As a somewhat selfish, semi-frequent flier, I implore you to do so!
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:00 PM   #26
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Those of you who are saying that it is against ADA rules to ask for proof of a disability for accommodation are correct IF it is for EQUAL accommodation. But if it is for a better accommodation such as Handicap parking, they can require proof. And preboarding is a 'better' accommodation so they could 'choose' to look at it if they wanted to. Now I have never had SW question me, but I have heard through the rumor mill (DD's BF's dad works for SW) that they are considering revamping their preboarding rules because of potential abuse (not saying anyone here is!!) But some people have apparently 'caught' on to asking for a preboard blue sleeve rather than pay for EBCI. So don't be too shocked if the policy ends up changing in the future.
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:54 PM   #27
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Every time I have told a Southwest gate agent that I need to wipe down the seat area for my daughter's disability, I've been handed a blue jacket allowing us to pre-board. My daughter's disability that necessitates me wiping down all surfaces she may contact is life-threatening food allergies. I don't think you'll have any trouble at all with pre-boarding.
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:11 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by stitchlovestink View Post
Those of you who are saying that it is against ADA rules to ask for proof of a disability for accommodation are correct IF it is for EQUAL accommodation. But if it is for a better accommodation such as Handicap parking, they can require proof. And preboarding is a 'better' accommodation so they could 'choose' to look at it if they wanted to. Now I have never had SW question me, but I have heard through the rumor mill (DD's BF's dad works for SW) that they are considering revamping their preboarding rules because of potential abuse (not saying anyone here is!!) But some people have apparently 'caught' on to asking for a preboard blue sleeve rather than pay for EBCI. So don't be too shocked if the policy ends up changing in the future.

Yes, accommodations are used to provide EQUAL rights for disabled individuals and not for an 'upgrade' of sorts, but this is how it works.... If I have a disabled child and they have to sit by their parent or another adult because of a disability (Down Syndrome, Cerebal Palsy, Autism, etc.), that is not an 'upgrade' of anykind as it is considered accomodating a disability so that my disabled child can have an 'equal' flying experience as the other individuals that are on the plane. If the airline chooses to provide the accomodation of having them sit with a parent by letting them preboard then it is absolutely an accomodation provided for the disability by the airline, not an upgrade. If the preboarding system is what the airline utilizes to accomodate individuals with disabilities, that is their choice. The airline could ask others to move from their seats during the boarding process to provide accomodations once the disabled individual is on the plane if they wanted too; it doesn't really matter as long as accomodations are provided for an equal experience. If an individual with a disability gets put somewhere on the plane that they are not comfortable with and there is not someone with them to assist them, then an 'unequal' situation has been created for not only that disabled individual but for everyone on the plane. Meltdowns at 35,000 feet are not pleasant!

Viewing something as an 'upgrade' that provides an equal experience to a disabled individual is personal opinion since companies decide how they will accomodate individuals with disabilites not vise versa.

People with disabilites only have to 'prove' being disabled to a handful of entities, such as schools and the social security administration; this is in order to get academic accomodations or social security for a disability. These disabilities are proved with medical documents which can only be released by a physician with a signed permission of the person in question (disabled) or their legal guardian. Even handicapped parking is done with the use of medical forms and doctor referrals.

You can not be asked by someone at an airline or a theme park or similar to show proof of a disability because the only way to 'prove' a disability is to provide your medical documentation of a diagnosed disability and no one has the right, without your permission, to review any medical information about you whatsoever. Even if they viewed the medical documentation, most people wouldn't understand the specifics of certain disabilities enough to assess what accomodations are necessary anyway.
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:09 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by disney-dreams View Post
Yes, accommodations are used to provide EQUAL rights for disabled individuals and not for an 'upgrade' of sorts, but this is how it works.... If I have a disabled child and they have to sit by their parent or another adult because of a disability (Down Syndrome, Cerebal Palsy, Autism, etc.), that is not an 'upgrade' of anykind as it is considered accomodating a disability so that my disabled child can have an 'equal' flying experience as the other individuals that are on the plane. If the airline chooses to provide the accomodation of having them sit with a parent by letting them preboard then it is absolutely an accomodation provided for the disability by the airline, not an upgrade. If the preboarding system is what the airline utilizes to accomodate individuals with disabilities, that is their choice. The airline could ask others to move from their seats during the boarding process to provide accomodations once the disabled individual is on the plane if they wanted too; it doesn't really matter as long as accomodations are provided for an equal experience. If an individual with a disability gets put somewhere on the plane that they are not comfortable with and there is not someone with them to assist them, then an 'unequal' situation has been created for not only that disabled individual but for everyone on the plane. Meltdowns at 35,000 feet are not pleasant!

Viewing something as an 'upgrade' that provides an equal experience to a disabled individual is personal opinion since companies decide how they will accomodate individuals with disabilites not vise versa.

People with disabilites only have to 'prove' being disabled to a handful of entities, such as schools and the social security administration; this is in order to get academic accomodations or social security for a disability. These disabilities are proved with medical documents which can only be released by a physician with a signed permission of the person in question (disabled) or their legal guardian. Even handicapped parking is done with the use of medical forms and doctor referrals.

You can not be asked by someone at an airline or a theme park or similar to show proof of a disability because the only way to 'prove' a disability is to provide your medical documentation of a diagnosed disability and no one has the right, without your permission, to review any medical information about you whatsoever. Even if they viewed the medical documentation, most people wouldn't understand the specifics of certain disabilities enough to assess what accomodations are necessary anyway.
But they don't HAVE to allow you to preboard... as long as you are seated beside your child that's it. That is equal to what others on that flight received. It is a BONUS that you got on early enough to pick a PRIME seat that makes HER most comfortable such as you stated in previous post. So what would you if you arrived to the gate late? Expect others to shuffle & rearrange to meet your daughter's needs? I'm not saying it's unreasonable to need to sit beside her, but beyond that and you have left the 'equal' experience from the other flyers on that plane who have paid for their passage just like you and are no less important than your daughter. There have been times that parents can't even sit beside their preschool or very young school aged children because people don't want to move. SW has open seating.

I was discussing this preboarding issue with a SW pilot last night. DD's good friend's father is a SW pilot. He said the abuse is so bad they are discussing discontinuing it. He said he recently had a flight where there were 15 wheelchairs (not including the other preboards) waiting to board, but then when they landed... Miraculously... NOT ONE person was waiting for a wheelchair upon deplaning!!!! They all walked off!!!! That is ridiculous!!! FIFTEEN!!!! That is incredible abuse. So there is discussion about discontinuing preboards except for people who own their own medical equipment because they still need the time to stow those wheelchairs/ecvs in the cargohold. But the others will have to start buying EBCI as their option. Just sharing what he is being told...
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:53 AM   #30
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But they don't HAVE to allow you to preboard... as long as you are seated beside your child that's it. That is equal to what others on that flight received. It is a BONUS that you got on early enough to pick a PRIME seat that makes HER most comfortable such as you stated in previous post. So what would you if you arrived to the gate late? Expect others to shuffle & rearrange to meet your daughter's needs? I'm not saying it's unreasonable to need to sit beside her, but beyond that and you have left the 'equal' experience from the other flyers on that plane who have paid for their passage just like you and are no less important than your daughter. There have been times that parents can't even sit beside their preschool or very young school aged children because people don't want to move. SW has open seating.

I was discussing this preboarding issue with a SW pilot last night. DD's good friend's father is a SW pilot. He said the abuse is so bad they are discussing discontinuing it. He said he recently had a flight where there were 15 wheelchairs (not including the other preboards) waiting to board, but then when they landed... Miraculously... NOT ONE person was waiting for a wheelchair upon deplaning!!!! They all walked off!!!! That is ridiculous!!! FIFTEEN!!!! That is incredible abuse. So there is discussion about discontinuing preboards except for people who own their own medical equipment because they still need the time to stow those wheelchairs/ecvs in the cargohold. But the others will have to start buying EBCI as their option. Just sharing what he is being told...
Like I posted above, I've been on SW flights where it seems like nearly half the plane is lined up in the preboarding area. So I make sure I get the A boarding group because at least I know I'll have a good chance of sitting with my child. If it cost more, I pay it, but it does sort of irk me that people can just walk up, say they have a special need and get a preboarding pass.

That said, even I've been in the B group and have had no trouble getting to sit together.
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