Southwest boarding advice

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by ccw, Nov 19, 2012.

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  1. dznygurl

    dznygurl Mouseketeer

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    On our flight to Orlando from New Orleans last week I had A29 while the rest of my family had B1-B-4. I opted to wait and board with them. Huge mistake! Not only did SW do Family Boarding, they let entire families (including grandparents) board. I could not believe what I was witnessing. By the time we were allowed to board we had to get to the last two rows in order to sit with each other. It was my youngest child's first time flying and was surprised that with B1 boarding we would possibly have to sit apart.
     
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  3. goofy4tink

    goofy4tink No tags...not needed! Transportation moderator Moderator

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    This would be a situation when I would send an email to SW. SW is supposed to have specific rulings about who gets to board within family boarding. And it is supposed to be one parent, one child. I have no issue with the whole family boarding as long as it is the immediate family and it isn't a huge family. A family of 5 shouldn't be an issue, but if you add all the other relatives??? Nope, that's not fair.
     
  4. Keegansmommy

    Keegansmommy Mouseketeer

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    When we flew in April, My husband and older son had A boarding. The SW employee at the gate told me to just board with them in the A group instead of waiting for family boarding (our younger son and I had B group). Coming back from Orlando the Family Boarding was 5 and under.
     
  5. seashoreCM

    seashoreCM All around nice guy.

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    Hmmm...

    You did purchase Early Bird Check In and got B grade boarding passes. Then at boarding they let many additional adults and juniors board with the little children and ahead of you. And you can't find seats together.

    Now it is okay to ask people if they would'nt mind switching seats so you can sit next to your wee'uns.

    In favor of saving seats: Fewer situations where you end up sitting next to someone you don't want to sit next to and who does not want to sit next to you.
     
  6. goofy4tink

    goofy4tink No tags...not needed! Transportation moderator Moderator

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    And this is just one example of varying policies. It's hard to tell people what the policy is when airlines constantly amend the stated policy!! I have to ask...did you check in at the same time as your dh and older ds??? If so, why didn't you also have A boarding group? Or did you somehow just get split up?
    Most here would have suggested that your dh and older ds go back to the B group with you vs you and younger ds moving ahead to the A group.

    I just wish that airlines would set policy and then stick to it!!! It would make flying so much easier!!!!
     
  7. jdb in AZ

    jdb in AZ <font color=green>It could end up curdled<br><font

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    One problem with getting the A boarding passes -- you can't choose who fills up the seats around you after you have settled into your primo seats.

    Three weeks ago we were flying home from Orlando, and two kids probably 4-6 yrs old, and an indulgent grandma sat behind us. Mom was behind them. "Mom, I want a different flavor lollipop." "Mom, I want to color." (Crayons were in the checked luggage.) "Why can't I color?" over and over.

    DH tuned them out with his head phones. At least they didn't keep kicking our seats.

    We were SOO glad when they changed planes to a connecting flight an hour later instead of continuing on our flight for another four hours.
     
  8. goofy4tink

    goofy4tink No tags...not needed! Transportation moderator Moderator

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    Yep, there is that!!! I usually try to get seats either in the front exit row seats, with other exit rows behind me, or a regular row just in front of the exit rows!!! Otherwise, it's towards the back of the plane for me. I would rather sit in the last row than have seat kicking, whining kids behind me!!!
     
  9. stitchlovestink

    stitchlovestink DIS Veteran

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    Our lastest greatest experience on our last flight home on SW....was not the baby directly in front of us that was so quiet you never knew she was there BUT was a MEOWING CAT behind us that wouldn't shut up!!! MANY of us were getting sick & tired of listening to it! And then when really got our goats was when the lady got off the plane and there was a big sign on the side of the carrier that said service animal??!! REALLY??!! a service cat??!! We all just looked at each other like this is a joke, right? Go ahead, flame away! No one could figure out what a service cat could do other other than calm someone with anxiety issues, but then it really can't help in a pet carrier under a seat. The way it was carrying on, that poor thing was miserable. So it wasn't fair to the animal or those of us around it and the person who supposedly needed it. Maybe flying isn't right for that person & the service cat. I mean it was bad enough listening to the screaming baby sitting in the back of the plane, but at least that was a human being. When does someone else's comforts/needs trump those of those they are surronding?? Really? I am just wondering? Because in all of my experiences 'true' service animals are extremely well behaved. I'm sorry I just don't think dozens of people should have to tolerate that. It really isn't reasonable.


    Posted from Disney Forums Reader for Android
     
  10. tjmw2727

    tjmw2727 DIS Veteran

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    We flew SWA from Orlando this morning and I saw yet another variation on the family boarding process.

    Gate agent said since there were already 50+ passengers onboard (8:30am flight!) that he would allow family boarding for one parent with a child up to 9. He was very strict about the other parents and older children boarding with their BP number but wanted to avoid the "last minute scramble" as it was a full flight.

    We did use EBCI and had A boarding passes so we quickly found a row of 3 and got out of the way so I didn't actually see the family boarding.

    Now - amoung the last passengers to board - well to the end of the C's were a family with two small children (definately under 4). The FA's did have too offer out a free drink to get them seated together but it didn't take to long.

    Personally this bothers me the most - if you have kids and want to sit together on SW at least take advantage of family boarding if you can and don't make others move because you are late to the gate !!
     
  11. MomOf2As

    MomOf2As Earning My Ears

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    We went to Disney World twice last summer and flew SW from STL to MCO. Both flight times were very busy. We have two kids, ages 2 and 3.5, and family boarding was offered on all our flights. We only saw 2 or 3 families using the family boarding, so I didn't feel that it was too much of a burden for the rest of the passengers. But then I again, my family was one of those so maybe I'm seeing it differently. :thumbsup2
     
  12. DebbieB

    DebbieB DIS Veteran

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    Maybe they came off a connecting flight?
     
  13. tjmw2727

    tjmw2727 DIS Veteran

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    The were at the gate before we started lining up -

    but yes I see your point and there are times when passengers are held up and can't board on time.
     
  14. jayhawk74

    jayhawk74 Mouseketeer

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    They may have been non-revs who aren't issued boarding passes until the Gate Agent knows for certain that there will be seats available.
     
  15. kaytieeldr

    kaytieeldr Reserving the right to make jokes out of typos - b

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    But my understanding is nonrevs take the seats that are available, even young ones. No paying passenger is expected to move.
     
  16. sommergirl25

    sommergirl25 Mouseketeer

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    I will be flying non revs in few months. Do you really think it is ok for young children to sit wherever is available just because they didn't pay for the seat? My 2 year old will not be sitting by himself and I wouldn't let my 6 year old sit alone either. I don't understand how moving to another seat hurts anyone. My husband and I are prepared to have to split up but the kids will be seated next to one of us. It will be their first time flying, it will be for their protection, an the sanity of everyone else around.
     
  17. stitchlovestink

    stitchlovestink DIS Veteran

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    Is it okay? Well, if you don't think it's okay then I would say that your better bet would be to buy tickets and purchase EBCI. That way you will be certain to have seats by your child(ren). I don't get what makes a parent think that someone else who PAID for their ticket should be expected to give up a more desirable window or isle seat and take a middle seat because that's what would need to happen. Now if someone WANTS to give up their seat, so be it. But this should not be a forced situation. You can easily solve this problem by buying tickets & EBCI.


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  18. sommergirl25

    sommergirl25 Mouseketeer

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    I never said to force someone. If flying alone, I would move around to accommodate families, paid or not. I would imagine that there are other people that would as well. There is no way I would break up a young child from their parent just because I paid for my seat. No one knows who did and didn't pay for their flight.
     
  19. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    I have gotten split up like that when checking in my family as perfectly as possible.

    And the ones who got the later A number simply got in line with the early B passes. That's the only way that feels right to me.

    I actually think it was on a flight with just me and DS. We just got into the Bs where the B boarding pass put us.
     
  20. stitchlovestink

    stitchlovestink DIS Veteran

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    You asked a question and I answered with MY honest opinion. Just because you don't care for my opinion don't mean you have to get so defensive. I never said you were going to ask that people be forced to move to accomodate you or another parent/child from being separated. I just stated how you could avoid the problem altogether.
    Personally, call me rude, but even if I were travelling alone I wouldn't be giving up my window seat or isle seat. I choose my seat for a very specific reason and if I am on one side of the plane, I choose the isle seat and if on the other, then the window seat it is. I have yet to sit in the middle seat unless it was between family members and they are aware of my medical situation. But even if it were not for my need, I don't know that I would be so quick to give my seat up as I think this comes back to an issue of personal responsibility and if you are flying on a ticket that lets you on the flight based on availability at the end...Well, you get what you get.


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  21. tjmw2727

    tjmw2727 DIS Veteran

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    In our case people did move - I was sitting with my kids so I didn't offer.

    The issue at least for me is that I plan in advance and do everything in my power to be seated with my kids, others plan for medical needs, allergies etc. Then folks who don't expect others to accomodate them - and fwiw I have moved in the past when traveling solo or with my older dd.

    It doesn't matter what I think but I personally don't think it is reasonable to expect a 2yo to sit alone - however a 6 year old should be ok - ideal no but ok yes. And no matter what I think the FA's will work pretty hard to get child preschool age or younger seated with a parent. With school age children it varies and as I mentioned in my op they exteneded family boarding to 9 and under on our flight yesterday.

    If you are flying non rev you should plan for the possibility - I would double check all the restrictions on your tickets so you can be prepared and prepare the 6yo. Hopefully you will find a less full flight and sit together or at least 2 and 2 !
     
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