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Old 03-24-2013, 03:36 PM   #1
3SpoiledPrincesses
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SWA Medical Preboard or stick with my EBCI position

I am flying from Seattle to Jacksonville, FL in August with my 3 kids (2,4,9). My 2 year old needs to be in a carseat (Safety/Medical reasons). She has had 2 open heart surgeries. We try to avoid public places that have tons of germs (think Chuck E Cheese type places). I purchased EBCI for all 4 of us even though technically I can family preboard between A & B.

I am hoping to get an A boarding position so that I have time to strap in the carseat (having her contained will minimize what she touches) and wipe down everything possible in our seating area with clorox wipes. My 9 year old will either sit on the Isle beside us or in front of us. She will be okay as long as she is in a row around us. She needs to be as close to the front of the plane as possible as she gets motion sickness very easily. We have found that she does better in the front of the plane than the back of a plane (we fly cross country several times a year). Dramamine doesn't help much.

My question is should I try to get a "blue sleeve" so that I have more time to secure my daughters carseat and wipe down everything that my kids may touch? And, so that ODD gets in the front of the plane? I need to do my best to prevent my 2 year old from catching something on the plane. If she gets a bad cold or stomach virus it's possible that she would be admitted to a hospital (which would suck on our vacation). OR, should I just stick with my EBCI boarding position. With an A position (assuming that I get an A) will I have time to do all that I need to do before take off? I will not be putting anything in an overhead bin.

Usually my DH travels with us, but the kids and I are going a few weeks ahead of him to visit family and he is meeting us in Orlando. My DH asked me how I was going to do everything myself once on the plane, and I hadn't really thought about it until now.

TIA for everyones thoughts and suggestions.
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:45 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3SpoiledPrincesses View Post
I am flying from Seattle to Jacksonville, FL in August with my 3 kids (2,4,9). My 2 year old needs to be in a carseat (Safety/Medical reasons). She has had 2 open heart surgeries. We try to avoid public places that have tons of germs (think Chuck E Cheese type places). I purchased EBCI for all 4 of us even though technically I can family preboard between A & B.

I am hoping to get an A boarding position so that I have time to strap in the carseat (having her contained will minimize what she touches) and wipe down everything possible in our seating area with clorox wipes. My 9 year old will either sit on the Isle beside us or in front of us. She will be okay as long as she is in a row around us. She needs to be as close to the front of the plane as possible as she gets motion sickness very easily. We have found that she does better in the front of the plane than the back of a plane (we fly cross country several times a year). Dramamine doesn't help much.

My question is should I try to get a "blue sleeve" so that I have more time to secure my daughters carseat and wipe down everything that my kids may touch? And, so that ODD gets in the front of the plane? I need to do my best to prevent my 2 year old from catching something on the plane. If she gets a bad cold or stomach virus it's possible that she would be admitted to a hospital (which would suck on our vacation). OR, should I just stick with my EBCI boarding position. With an A position (assuming that I get an A) will I have time to do all that I need to do before take off? I will not be putting anything in an overhead bin.

Usually my DH travels with us, but the kids and I are going a few weeks ahead of him to visit family and he is meeting us in Orlando. My DH asked me how I was going to do everything myself once on the plane, and I hadn't really thought about it until now.

TIA for everyones thoughts and suggestions.
I've heard people get blue sleeve preboarding with peanut allergies so that they can wipe everything down so I don't know why your case would be different. I don't think they can deny medical preboarding if you request it.

I'm not sure where you sit makes a difference with the recycled air and germs. Turn off the overhead blowers.
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:05 PM   #3
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I definitely think you should go with the preboard. That will give you more time to handle the situation and alert the flight attendants to your needs. If you board with the general group you can't guarantee where you will be in line and it could complicate your boarding more. Southwest is very easy (in my experience) with the preboards so just tell the agent at the gate before boarding begins and you will have less issues.
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:48 PM   #4
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In your shoes I would definitely check in with the SWA desk after you clear security and ask to preboard! Hope all goes well.
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:51 PM   #5
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Do ask about the "blue sleeve" medical preboarding.

If you are denied both the blue sleeve and the family boarding, just calmly and quietly take the time you need to wipe down the seats, etc. anyway.

Hopefully those including A-listers not encumbered by small children will hustle a little but this point is not really relevent here or worth observing.

Asking to preboard helps the gate crew plan better. The worst thing to do (sorry to you dads who don't like to ask for directions or for anything else) is to say nothing and let your kids play in the terminal until the final boarding call and then sauntering/straggling aboard.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:03 PM   #6
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definitely do medical preboard - i wouldn't think of using EBCI (may not get front seats together) or family boarding (can be kinda like chuck e cheese on steroids) with your daughter's history.
your other DDs can help wipe everything down while you set the carseat.

have a safe and happy flight!
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:25 PM   #7
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Thanks for everyones thoughts. I feel weird about asking for preboarding. I don't want to take advantage of the situation or take a spot that someone may need more than I do. And, with 3 kids I don't want to be in anyones way.

I bought and paid for the EBCI when I bought my tickets (right after they were released on the SW website) hoping that we were in the first 3/4 of the A boarding, so that I had more time. I figured I was covering my bases if for some reason they wouldn't let me family preboard (should be able to because I have a 2 & 4 year old) if I got a B position.

When we flew SW last April from Seattle, SW didn't do a family preboard. They skipped it. We were in the last of the A group and they went straight to B. Since I will be by myself, I want to be prepared for any situation while boarding. On the way home we picked up a nasty stomach bug. It had to come from the airplane/airport because we all got sick at the same time and the family that we were visiting never got sick. I was thankful that we were at home and with my daughters pediatrician and not in a strange hospital somewhere.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:49 PM   #8
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Yes get the blue sleeve. SWA is very good at helping. God Bless and have a great flight.
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:01 PM   #9
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Definitely preboard. It takes me a while to get me and my wheelchair settled, so I just take the time I need. I tell the SWA people there that I take a minute or so and I WILL be blocking the aisle, so could they please make sure I have that time. Sometimes there are many preboards (mainly elderly people with airport wheelchairs, in my experience with SWA), and I hate taking up the aisle and having a long line of older people having difficulty standing waiting for me. Just explain everything you need to do and that it will take you a few minutes, and they will work with you.

I have also heard some people who need to avoid germs on planes bring sheets from home and drape them over the seats. First they wipe everything down, then put down sheets - it may be that extra layer of protection everyone needs!
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
On the way home we picked up a nasty stomach bug. It had to come from the airplane/airport because we all got sick at the same time and the family that we were visiting never got sick.
FWIW, my husband brings things home to me from his work without EVER getting them. (such a kind man) So I could totally see a family member giving a bug to you without getting it themselves. Not saying it was not the airplane, but there are other possibilities even if you weren't aware of others getting sick.


Have you walked through what will be happening with the 9 year old? Where s/he is to go, stand, what s/he is to do? With just the 3 of us getting onto an airplane I run through the gameplan with DS (and DH, LOL...he's great at work travel alone but forgets what to do when traveling with others!) so there's a minimum of standing around, getting in the way of others.

By the way, I don't think SW has areas to put things if you're in the VERY front row, so unless you are truly traveling without anything in your hands, you will be putting things in the overhead compartments, if only your purse that contains the wipes you'll be using to clean things. Do be prepared for that, if you're shooting for the very front row.


When we traveled SW when DS was little enough for preboarding, we had to stand *right there* at the podium or we missed hearing about it. I don't know what is wrong with the SW area at Seatac, but we almost missed it each time.
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:40 PM   #11
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I felt weird asked for preboard because I had walking cast on. But I had a fear of tripping going down the narrow isle way and wanted a seat at the front of the plane. As it turns out there were only 30 people on my flight!! Yes 30 people. from CLE to Nashville so I did not need to worry about being able to sit in the front.
They were very nice. Even helped stow my carry on.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KPeveler View Post
Definitely preboard. It takes me a while to get me and my wheelchair settled, so I just take the time I need. I tell the SWA people there that I take a minute or so and I WILL be blocking the aisle, so could they please make sure I have that time. Sometimes there are many preboards (mainly elderly people with airport wheelchairs, in my experience with SWA), and I hate taking up the aisle and having a long line of older people having difficulty standing waiting for me. Just explain everything you need to do and that it will take you a few minutes, and they will work with you.

I have also heard some people who need to avoid germs on planes bring sheets from home and drape them over the seats. First they wipe everything down, then put down sheets - it may be that extra layer of protection everyone needs!
That's what I do because of my peanut allergy. I bring sheets to put over the seat.

I would also recommend having her wear a mask. I wear one primarily because of my peanut allergy just in case but I also have severe environmental allergies and I'm on immunosuppresents so it's an extra precaution for me. I still end up in the hospital almost every time we get home after I fly but we have figured out that's because for me asthma and flying don't mix....we don't know why but it happens
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:17 PM   #13
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I always travel with a mask for my daughter. It's a custom made one that fits her face. She's really small for her age.

I don't necessarily need a front row seat. Just one in the first 10 rows or so. The worst flights for my daughter are the ones that have large screens with a movie playing. She can't watch it at all. I will have a backpack with me and my 9 year old will have a small backpack with her.

My 9 year old has sat beside us before or in front of us before. She's okay with it. She usually chooses a window seat and goes to sleep.

I've never heard of the sheet thing before. I may bring an extra blanket and put over her when she goes to sleep. I always keep the vents off as well.

Thanks for all the thoughts.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:20 PM   #14
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We are flying off season so I hope that its not a full flight!!! My mom took the same exact flight in December and both legs the plane was half empty. I hope that we get lucky!!'
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:25 AM   #15
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Thanks for everyones thoughts. I feel weird about asking for preboarding. I don't want to take advantage of the situation or take a spot that someone may need more than I do. And, with 3 kids I don't want to be in anyones way..
Psst! The other two kids might be able to temporarily sit in the next row.

This works particularly well with Southwest; you can then decide who sits where after you get settled.
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