First time flying southwest

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by MJBING, Jul 9, 2013.

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  1. MJBING

    MJBING Earning My Ears

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    Thanks, out of curiosity's just spoke directly with Southwest via a phone call. My customer service rep told me 1) family boarding is NEVER cancelled and 2) all four of us may board during family boarding at which a minimum of 70 seats will still remain if A boarding isn't maximum.
     
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  3. maxiesmom

    maxiesmom The Mean Squinty Eye Works

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    Well it is unfortunate that they are giving your bad information. Family Boarding is sometimes cancelled, and it is quite possible they will only allow one adult to board with your younger child. The person you spoke with on the phone can tell you one thing, and the gate agents can do something different. And the gate agents are the ones in control.
     
  4. tjmw2727

    tjmw2727 DIS Veteran

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    This - and although I have never seen it canceled I have seen family boarding limited one adult one child at both Philadelphia and Orlando more than once. SWA has this policy listed on the website as well.

    Also - if the flight is a continuing flight there could be passengers already on the aircraft so the phone representative who quoted the 70 or so seats was mistaken on more than one point.
     
  5. stitchlovestink

    stitchlovestink DIS Veteran

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    Yes because you are an expert on flying out of BWI and have been there to witness them cancel family boarding! Sheesh!!

    OP, you need to decide who you want to believe, make your decision and just walk away from this thread or it's going to drive you crazy! I'm saying that in all seriousness. Now I will say that some gate agents may not let all four of you board together BUT some may! It is up to gate agent. BUT I HAVE NEVER WITNESSED FAMILY BOARDING CANCELLED AT BWI! It is my home airport. As a matter of fact, I have polled my family and friends who also fly SW out of BWI and none of them have witnessed it either!! Are any of these other posters that are saying family boarding can be cancelled flying SW out of BWI regularly?? I don't believe so! And again, All EBCI guarantees is 'is to check you in at 36hr mark' NO MORE than that! It does NOT promise that you will get a seat by your child! Likely....yes. definitely....No.
    I really wish you the best. But I think you would be throwing $$ away unnecessarily, but that is JMHO!
    Best of Luck to You!!
     
  6. maxiesmom

    maxiesmom The Mean Squinty Eye Works

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    Did I say I had seen them cancel family boarding at BWI? Nope. I said they have been known to cancel family boarding. The agent MJBING spoke with told them family boarding is never canceled, which is wrong! As is telling them that their whole family will be able to board all at once. No agent on the phone can guarantee that!

    If you would stop being so defensive of your position, maybe you would read the posts as they are written, instead of taking them as an attack on you. Sheesh!!!!
     
  7. stitchlovestink

    stitchlovestink DIS Veteran

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    I'm not taking it as an attack on me....just tired of you giving the OP bogus info when you don't fly out BWI. They don't cancel it there. I mean really, they CAN do anything if you really wanted to get technical! They can cancel the whole flight...they can change the flight time...they can overbook it, and bump people! They can do almost anything they want to do to us, provided they are willing to pay the penalties for certain infractions.
     
  8. Jestocost

    Jestocost DIS Veteran

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    This also isn't accurate as there are a number if reasons there could be fewer seats available at family boarding.

    SWA's 737-500 series, for example, only has 122 seats to begin with, so if all 60 slots in A are filled (not likely) then you only have 62 seats left. That's the plane with the lowest seating capacity in the SWA fleet, however.

    Still, here's who could be on board before family boarding ever begins:

    • Passengers who started their travel at another airport and are continuing on the same plane on its next flight. (A very common occurrence at BWI and MDW in particular.)
    • Medical preboards and unaccompanied minors (Could be none, could be 10)
    • The entire A group.
    • Anybody who got in the family boarding line before you. (If as you were told entire familes can board, that could be nobody or it could be 20 people.)
    So, in a worst-case scenario on SWA's smallest plane on a flight with continuing passengers, medical preboards and unaccompanied minors, a full A group and lots of families, you could have not all that many seats left.

    My point is not to say that all is lost, however. I've flown SWA dozens of times, with and without EBCI, and never with kids who could board in family boarding and I never have been separated from my family.
     
  9. Gracie09

    Gracie09 DIS Veteran

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    I have seen family boarding cancelled and there is no way a phone agent can know the second part because of multiple variables - continuing flight comes to mind first. Basically calling the phone agent and asking an ops question is the same as calling the Disney main number and asking a specific ticketing or hotel question.
     
  10. JediBonas

    JediBonas DIS Veteran

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    So this is a little off-topic but has anyone used carseats (FAA approved) on Southwest and how much of a hassle was it? My husband and I will be traveling with our two 23-month-olds and in laws and just wondering if there's anything I should know about from people who've done it before. Oh, and yes, all six of us paid for EB ;)
     
  11. ABCastillo

    ABCastillo Mouseketeer

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    I flew SW with my toddler when she turned two. We rented one of the CARES airplane harnesses for children off eBay. It was only $15 and fit in my carry on. It worked really well and I didn't have to drag a carseat. Kept her in her seat without to many complaints from my little one too.
     
  12. JediBonas

    JediBonas DIS Veteran

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    That's a wonderful idea. I was thinking about buying them but put off by the price, renting would be perfect!
     
  13. MJBING

    MJBING Earning My Ears

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    I just find it funny how there are so many different opinions, stories, theories. It may be the downfall/ drawback of Southwest...but in my case, the offer the most direct flights on this day at the best price (by far). I really don't think sitting with my child is going to be an issue, but am a Rookie flying southwest so I would not know.

    I appreciate everyone jumping in, I guess though in hindsight, nothing really is certain until it happens....not going to stress over it.
     
  14. TarrahA

    TarrahA Mouseketeer

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    This thread caught my attention b/c I am also going to have a family flying SW for 1st time together in such a large group. (8 total) I contemplated buying EBCI but after reading up on it decided against it. Everyone's stress here about EBCI seems very over the top to me.

    First of all, if I was SO worried about relying on the kindness of strangers (which scares me to death btw - my God, what is this world coming to??), I wouldn't be flying SW to begin with!!! I'd go with an airlines that HAS assigned seating, b/c that is NOT what EBCI guarantees anyway.

    Secondly, in our group we have 4 kids (1 infant, so no seat for him), 4 adults. IF family boarding is offered (regardless of whether its whole family or just 1:1), then we should be fine. If its not, we'll do our check in at 24 hr mark & hopefully get the same boarding group. We'll (adults) try to grab seats close to each other & save seats (yes, I know, flame me) so that we at least have a 1:1 ratio, hopefully better than that but not going to raise a stink if not. And if luck has it that we all get boarding pass ZZZZ and are the last on the plane we'll just have to ask for the kindness of some single & couple riders who would be gracious enough to allow a child to sit w/ someone familiar.

    I mean really, the way you people talk about how serious of an offense it would be to you to be asked to move (and not b/c you don't want to separate from family, just b/c you don't want to be inconvenienced), and the schemes you'd go thru to make THEM inconvenienced for trying to keep their family together, really worries me. Especially for those that seem to be parents - could you not see yourself in their shoes??? What happened to empathy?? And on a plan to the happiest place on earth no less!!! I would move to the LAST ROW on the plane if I was not with my child & could help a family stay together - b/c as long as the plane stays in the air & there aren't any serious flight issues, in just mere hours I'll be with the Mouse & will have forgot about the inconvenience as soon as I stepped onto the ME bus. And I'm no Mother Theresa so I'm sure there's more of me than the heathens that wouldn't.

    And it goes both ways, if you don't want even the possibility of being asked to inconvenience yourself for another, fly an airlines that has assigned seating, or board last on just one flight so you can feel how uncomfortable & awkward it is to have to ask 10 people to help you before you get a kind soul that will. Geesh, I usually find love & butterflies on the DISboards but occasionally the sense of stubborn entitlement roars it's ugly head.
     
  15. Gracie09

    Gracie09 DIS Veteran

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    So your patenting style is to no take responsibility for your children and situation and be cheap. Got it. And then you speak of entitlement when your whole post is about how because you are travelling with children and choose to not purchase ecbi because your plan is to ask aka guilt other passengers into ensuring you family sits together. Talk about entitlement. So yes if I am travelling alone and I pay for ecbi I am sitting in the seat I choose. Or will you be offering to reimburse the fee I paid? I'm guessing no.



    Its about responsibility, not entitlement
     
  16. ford91exploder

    ford91exploder Mouseketeer

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    EBCI, there IS a hierarchy here basically class of flyer, ticket type and sequence so if a A List Preferred buys a anytime ticket, they will be higher in the check in pool than if they buy a wanna get away ticket but both will still be higher than a infrequent flyer who buys a 'wanna get away' ticket and EBCI.

    In short southwest rewards those who spend the most money with them


     
  17. Hrhpd

    Hrhpd DIS Veteran

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    Exactly. I can't believe the posters that say they are too cheap to buy EBCI, but then expect others to accommodate their parsimonious decision.

    I have a friend who travels with a sports team of kids with disabilities. They absolutely qualify for the blue sleeve, yet each and every parent buys EBCI just to make sure each child will have an adult with them.

    That is taking responsibility, not "oh, if we don't get what we want, we will just ask people to move." Entitlement doesn't begin to describe that attitude.
     
  18. TarrahA

    TarrahA Mouseketeer

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    I think my whole post I was pretty clear I would NOT be allowing a child to sit alone, so there's no lack of responsibility on my part at all.

    To be fair, I think everyone that flies SW is doing so to save money, so to try to take jabs at me by saying I'm being irresponsible just for the sake of being cheap would be directed at EVERY family that flies SW (including yourself) - because again, EBCI does NOT guarantee you seats together, or even your "seat of choice". I think my post speaks more along the lines of understanding the need for flexibility & lack of expectations for any prime seating when dealing with SW. And if it came down to the last straw & I was not helped by one person that would be willing to move, I'd get off the plane & change flights & to an airline that had assigned seating, b/c at that point I'd know the world really IS as cruel as the examples I've read in this thread, OR I would realize that nothing but families fly to MCO & it may be necessary to choose a different carrier if I couldn't satisfy my bare needs(or wants) by trying to be as flexible & UNentitled as possible.

    I never said I'd be relying on "guilting" anyone into helping, ASKING for help would be the last option, AFTER being responsible & checking in right at 24 hrs, being at the gate well before boarding, and organizing my party so that we are in prime position within our boarding rights & the family boarding SW offers to get seats we NEED, not WANT. I don't care if we sit right next to the bathrooms if there's 2 seats open - I'm going to WDW!! If I did have to use the last option though I wouldn't be guilting anyone. People help because they want to be nice & are genuinely good people. For me to ask, "would you be so kind as to take that seat there so I could sit with my daughter since these are the only two available?" is far from street peddling, and if YOU feel guilty about saying no, it's no reflection on me, that's your problem - and probably well deserved b/c your conscience is telling you you had no good reason other than "I don't want to".

    I can understand not wanting to be inconvenienced & feeling like you deserve that seat b/c you paid for a chance to get it first, but the reality is not EVERY passenger buys the EBCI, and those that do are not given assigned seats or even a guarantee of a "good" seat, just a head start from the rest. How would I know who in boarding group A bought it & who didn't? Are you going to wear a shirt that reads "don't ask me to move, I paid extra for this seat (but not really)" ??? What if you bought EBCI for a flight that was a continuation & all the "good" seats are taken when you board?? Are you going to go up to someone in "your rightful" seating area & ask them to move if they didn't also buy EBCI?? Can you see how both your question for anyone to reimburse you and these are both ridiculous notions?
     
  19. Hrhpd

    Hrhpd DIS Veteran

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    Sorry, you can try to justify your actions all you want by trying to blame others, but you want to either not follow guidelines by saving seats or expect others to accommodate you (definition of entitlement) by moving.

    You think it is perfectly to do whatever you want to get what you want such as cheating or inconveniencing people, everything except being responsible and buying EBCI.

    Your argument that everybody flies Southwest to save money, so it is ok to expect others to accommodate you does not hold water. Many people pay more. Some fly business select which guarantees A. Parents who want a better chance of sitting together pay extra. If you want to make sure sit together, fork out the extra dollars. Plain and simple.

    And yes, people who paid for EBCI did pay extra for their seat. They paid a premium opportunity cost to attain the seat they wanted.

    Those that don't want to pay the premium cost have to live with their decision without expecting others to be responsible for them.

    It has nothing to do with the world being mean and cruel. It has everything to do with responsibility for yourself and your family.

    Labeling the world cruel because you won't take responsibility. :confused3
     
  20. TarrahA

    TarrahA Mouseketeer

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    You're trying to make me out to be someone that wants to walk on to the plane last & expect all my wants to be meet - NOT true. I never blamed anyone, and I never said I expect others to accommodate me. I said I would HOPE that people would help a family sit together if they were able to, all while using SW's FREE boarding style that I have every right to, just like you. If I were going up to someone in the first row and asking them to move while the last 3 rows were still empty, THAT would be a sense of entitlement & deserve a No. But that is NOT what I'd be doing. And seat saving happens all the time - if you want to call me on it, do it - but I'll politely say a child is sitting here. If you want to get your panties in such a wad, talk to a stewardess. But I'm willing to bet that the majority of people just keep on walking, just as I would if there were other seats available. Life is too short to waste energy huffing about something so trivial as whether you got row 15 or 17.

    I'm on my phone so unfortunately can't bold, but you say, " Parents who want a better CHANCE of sitting together pay extra." That's exactly ALL you're paying for! I could also be in boarding A without paying any extra by checking in at 24 hrs. If by CHANCE I land in boarding B though, I'm still pretty confident I can find seats together w/o inconveniencing anyone. Again, I'm not walking in to the gate at T-:30, and DO NOT "expect" anyone to accommodate me. You're really into trying to put words in other peoples' mouths.

    No they didn't, they paid a premium price to be thrown into the boarding pass pool 12 hrs earlier, with hopes (and most times granted) that they'll be in group A. But that DOES NOT mean you paid for any one specific seat or section, or a right to seat with anyone! Again, if you pay for EBCI on a continuation flight, do you get pissed & demand a refund from SW if you have to seat somewhere you didn't want to?? That is a ridiculous belief of entitlement that SWA will quickly bring you back down from should you try.

    Exactly, which should be the case for ALL SW flyers! I'm not expecting anyone to be responsible for me or my group - I'm just saying that should I come into a position where I boarded the plane ON TIME & within my boarding class but couldn't find 2 seats together, I would HOPE that the single riders on the plane would not be so rude as some of the people I've seen here (and I have never seen anyone carry out the threats of behavior described here, so I'm pretty confident no one would be).

    Again, you're taking my words completely out of my posts & replacing with your own - I've never denied responsibility for my family.

    Again, no. I didn't label the world cruel, just some of the acts a few of you in this thread have said you would personally do in order to make someone who was only trying to keep their family together, feel uncomfortable in doing so, or just flat out refusing to be nice b/c you paid $12.50 extra to get on the plane before the "vagrants" that didn't. If you pay EBCI and get a seat that I'd be requesting should I need to (would most definitely be the least convenient seats on the plane), you really should be complaining to SW or using a different carrier because they swindled you, not me.
     
  21. Hrhpd

    Hrhpd DIS Veteran

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