SW and child under 4

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by mrstomrice, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. mrstomrice

    mrstomrice Disney Planning Fanactic!

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    I am not sure I will be able to be online 24 hours before our SW return flight and it is early on a Sunday morning, so there are not any family/friend offers to wake up for us either:) Since I have a nearly 4 year old, am I automatically getting sat between the A and B boarding group? Have you ever had a problem at least getting 2 and 2 together?

    Also, will a concierge at CR take care of this for us if we have to be in the park? We have the family magic tour around the time of the 24 hour mark and I can't be late. Thanks for your help:)
     
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  3. clanmcculloch

    clanmcculloch DIS Veteran

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    Many posters on this board her personally experienced flights where Family Boarding was skipped or limitted to 2 and under rather than 4 and under. This happens sometimes on flights to destinations that are major family destinations (Orlando being a HUGE one). There are sometimes flights where over half the plan would qualify. If there is Family Boarding, the gate agent may limit it to only the child under 4 and 1 parent meaning the other parent and other child would board at their appointed boarding pass position. It's also possible that you'll all get to board with Family Boarding. There are no guarantees.

    IMO this is the exact type of situation where paying for EBCI makes sense. That $40 ($10 pp for your return flight) will buy you a lot of peace of mind.
     
  4. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    Concierge desks at the resorts and Guest Services at the parks can check you in for your flight, or you can use a web enabled cell phone. You can print your boarding passes at the airport. Personally, as mentioned above, I would go ahead and get the EBCI for your return flight so you don't even have to worry about it.
     
  5. tjmw2727

    tjmw2727 DIS Veteran

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    Most of the time family boarding happens between A and B groups but I have seen it suspended a few times. Due to the number of families on the Orlando flights this is a possiblity IMHO folks should be prepared for.

    The concierge at all the WDW resorts as well as guest relations will check you in but you must be present and have ID.

    If you or a family member can't be at a computer, use a web enabled cellphone, or at guest relations at T24 and sitting together is important I would suggest purchasing the early bird check in. At least for the 4yo and one parent - an extra $20.00 so the child can be sure to sit with at least one parent.
     
  6. ccgirl

    ccgirl DIS Veteran

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    As a PP stated, the concierge at the hotel will check you in but it sounds like you will be in the parks at your 24 hour mark. If that's the case; guest services can check you in. I have had them do that in the past. But, now I just use my blackberry and check in online. If you have a web enabled phone you can check in that way. I have never paid for the EBCI and have never had a problem finding at least 2 seats together even with C boarding passes.

    Have fun!
     
  7. r&kmommy

    r&kmommy DIS Veteran

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    Our last flight to MCO there was family boarding for 1 parent and 1 kid (to ensure seats together)... I went ahead, and my dh stayed behind w/ the 2 kids to let them burn off some more energy (though we all could have gone on together) I installed dd's car seat, and put a bag on the 2 seats in front of where I was to save for dh and my ds. No problems.
     
  8. mrstomrice

    mrstomrice Disney Planning Fanactic!

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    Thanks for all of your help and suggestions!
     
  9. kaytieeldr

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

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    It should be noted though - and this not directed at or a criticism of the quoted poster but merely information for people reading this thread :teeth: - that while Southwest doesn't prohibit saving seats, they also don't support it. If someone else had come along before the rest of her party boarded and wanted those seats, they could have sat there.

    Again, NOT directed at the OP, and not intended to incur wrath or start an argument. Just information.
     
  10. r&kmommy

    r&kmommy DIS Veteran

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    Duly noted :) I just figured since my dh *could* have come on w/ both kids, saving their seat was the same thing... :goodvibes
     
  11. prncess674

    prncess674 DIS Veteran

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    Just because he could have is NOT the same thing. If you had saved the last aisle seat I would have placed your bag in the aisle and would have no qualms about doing so. Somewhat related I have been in F class where a colleague noticed that a coach passenger placed a bag in the F overhead bins. I boarded and there was no room left. My colleague pointed out the offending bag. I then removed it, placed it in the aisle and put my bag in it's proper place and then had the FA ask the F passengers if they owned the bag. The bag was then summarily checked.

    Not trying to start a debate but having a child does not make you a special snowflake. If you absolutely require special seating for your family then pay for it or fly private jet, the rest of the world doesn't care about you and your little snowflakes. I may be flying solo but that shouldn't mean I am destined to middle seats in the last row of coach simply because you decided to procreate.
     
  12. seashoreCM

    seashoreCM All around nice guy.

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    If they allow one parent and one kid, then what prevents two parents and three kids from splitting up as one parent and one kid with at least one party of strangers in between? (The last kid, if an age to be kidnappable or molestable, simply stands next to his sibling.)

    You may not save an aisle seat (or any other seat) but you can certainly occupy the last aisle seat with the kid at the window.

    Family boarding is to reduce the begging and beseeching of others to switch seats, which actions can be time consuming.
     
  13. crashbb

    crashbb DIS Veteran

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    Why in the world would they do that? If two children were the appropriate age for family boarding, the whole family can board together. It is not as if they say - "choose your favourite young child and board with them - leave the other child behind". The issue is when there are many family members and only ONE child that is young enough for family boarding.
     
  14. prncess674

    prncess674 DIS Veteran

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    Saving seats is unacceptable. If SWA allowed seat saving then one person in a party of 6 could buy EBCI and then litter their belongings over 5 seats. If a child is young enough to board between A & B and it is important for you to sit together then you need to board at that time and put a butt in the seat not a magazine.
     
  15. crashbb

    crashbb DIS Veteran

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    While I absolutely agree with you (saving seats is unacceptable), SWA doesn't actually have a policy forbidding seat saving. The party line is something like "saving seats is fine unless it impedes with the flight". Therefore, there is nothing stopping a party of 6 paying for one EBCI and saving seats. On the other hand, there is also nothing stopping someone not from that group taking one of the "saved" seats.
     
  16. PlutoPony

    PlutoPony DIS Veteran

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    SW does not disallow seat saving and what you have described above has been observed occasionally on SW flights and described on FT threads. We can argue whether it's ethical/right/fair but right now it's rare to have a SW FA take a firm stance on saving of seats.
     
  17. prncess674

    prncess674 DIS Veteran

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    I am not here to argue the ethics of it. If there isn't a person in a seat and I have boarded in my appropriate zone/group I will sit my butt in any seat not already occupied by a warm body. A magazine does not = warm body. No FA is going to toss me out of seat because someone threw a magazine on a seat for someone who is boarding after me.
     
  18. lyonking3

    lyonking3 DVC member DVC Gold

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    Family boarding is after "A" group, but before "B" Group.
     
  19. ccgirl

    ccgirl DIS Veteran

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    I was on a full flight from PVD to MCO. They decreased the age of family boarding to those age 2 and under. They did let the entire "immediate" family board (parents/siblings). No uncles, grandparents etc. On board, a lot of people were placing the bags to save seats for those extended family. The flight attendants halted boarding and made an announcement that SW has an open seating policy and people could sit anywhere there was not a person and told everyone to remove their bags.

    I think people get far too concerned with seating on SW. Up until this point I have exclusively flown with then. I have never had a problem finding two seats together. I usually take one child and my DH the other. Even when we were not eligible for family boarding and had a "C" boarding pass we still found seats together. I can see if one parent is flying alone with 3 children. In that case; I would pay for EBCI to increase the chance of sitting together. Note there is still no guarantee you will all sit together. It depends on how many people purchased EBCI, how many preboardings, and business class there are and where they decided to sit. But....my DH, myself and two children do not need to sit together. One parent is more than capable of taking care of one child. One one of our flights; I sat with my 2 children and my DH gladly took a seat much further back. No biggie...the flight is 3 hours and we were going to be spending a week together at Disney.

    One note is that if you are flying with a carseat that carseat needs to be placed on a window seat. I did not know that when I first started travelling with a carseat - which is why I mention it.

    Have fun! I absolutely love that airline.
     
  20. r&kmommy

    r&kmommy DIS Veteran

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    How do you know if you are removing a magazine/bag of someone who has placed it there to hold their seat while they use the restroom or go put their carry on in an overhead bin? Very ASSumptive of you.
     
  21. prncess674

    prncess674 DIS Veteran

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    Do you use that potty mouth in front of your kids? :confused: Seriously, you are making some major ASSumptions too. I paid for a seat and have boarded appropriately, I am allowed to choose any open seat. If you have a problem with the SWA seating policy, I suggest you choose an airline that has assigned seating. SWA has an open seating policy. I am perfectly within the rules to select any open seat. Seat saving is pretty obvious, there is usually one adult who is sitting in the middle surrounded by a bunch of littered seats. They then quickly bounce up and say they are saving that seat for Aunt Milly who didn't bother to check in at the 24 hour mark. How is Aunt Milly's lack of planning my problem?
     

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