Will they let us pre-board with Aspergers/Autism child?

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by My2CrazyGirls, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. My2CrazyGirls

    My2CrazyGirls DIS Veteran

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    I am bringing documentation. Will they definitely let us pre-board with our daughter (age 7 ASD) and other 6 year old (has other health issues)? We are flying Southwest. I keep hearing horror stories of 5 year old kids not being able to sit with their parent because people don't want to give up their seats. I am very nervous about this happening. Pre-boarding would help because our daughter does not like to be on line with tons of people all around her. And then I would have a minute to wipe down all surfaces with clorox wipes for our other daughter.

    What should I say to make the SW person understand?
     
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  3. LisaBi

    LisaBi DIS Veteran

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    My son has Down Syndrome, and we always pre board with Southwest. I've never even had to say way. I just go up to the gate agent and say "I'd like to see if I can pre board with him." I don't get to say anymore before they hand me the blue sleeve. If they did let me continue, I would be saying it is because crowds freak him out and I need to get him settled before he is overwhelmed trying to pick a seat among the crowds and starts throwing a cit and blocking the aisle. I do still always check in 24 hours ahead to get the best possible boarding position just in case.
     
  4. My2CrazyGirls

    My2CrazyGirls DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the reply. I think with Down Syndrome it is usually more obvious (correct me if I am wrong but all of the Down Syndrome people I know look like they have Down Syndrome) that there is a disability. With autism, often the kids look completely typical. So if I ask if I can pre-board with my kids they are going to look at them and ask why. So I was thinking of saying "my daughter has autism and my other daughter has other health issues and I was wondering if we will be able to pre-board. If they don't say yes right away I plan to tell the person that my daughter does not like to be squished between a bunch of people and my other daughter has anxiety and if we get separated she will freak out.

    Is that good or do I need to tell them more?
     
  5. primrosea

    primrosea Mouseketeer

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    We always preboard with our child who also looks typical and there had never been a problem. We have never been asked for any documentation and have always been accommodated nicely. Enjoy your flight!
     
  6. My2CrazyGirls

    My2CrazyGirls DIS Veteran

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    Do you say they have autism or do you tell them why you need to pre-board? Thanks :)
     
  7. Lisa71

    Lisa71 Adoption Rocks!

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    We find it easier to have my husband board as soon as possible and then I take my son at the very end. The seat is ready and we walk in among the last few people.
     
  8. bookwormde

    bookwormde <font color=darkorchid>Heading out now, another ad

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    We used to preboard with our AS son (experiance flier now so I just make sure to check in right at 24hrs).

    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.
     
  9. primrosea

    primrosea Mouseketeer

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    We go to the agents and just tell them a little about our situation (doesn't like crowds/being touched without warning...) and have had no trouble at all. You are given a colored card to present as preboard and go on with the rest of the preboard families. We prefer to sit in the back of the plane so there has never been an issue finding seats.

    Have a fun trip! :thumbsup2
     
  10. buffettgirl

    buffettgirl The whole tag thing, so 1990's internet.

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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.
     
  11. mistysue

    mistysue DIS Veteran

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    I would explain why you need to pre-board. Saying Autism doesn't really tell the person anything as different individuals are completely different and it may lead to somebody knowing better solutions for your particular issue. (Such as the PP who mentioned having somebody pre board and then taking the child in last, which may be better in many cases.) The need for preboarding is based on symptoms not condition labels.
     
  12. buffettgirl

    buffettgirl The whole tag thing, so 1990's internet.

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    when you make your reservations online there is a place to note any special needs, right on your reservation.
     
  13. Nevada Jen

    Nevada Jen Mouseketeer

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    I doubt you will have any problem with SOuthwest. If you tell the ticket agent when you are checking your baggage, they will probably be able to give a stamp to get through security in the disabled line and then just walk up to the gate agent at your gate and ask for a preboard card. I have never seen them give anyone a problem.
     
  14. Midnightred

    Midnightred DIS Veteran

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    This is all great info guys! I can't wait to fly this July with my DH and boys, it's been years. My boys are now 11 and 9, and are both autistic. The youngest one is much more afflicted, and it it quite obvious. We have direct flights from El Paso to LAX on Southwest. I did type the information about the disabilities when I bought the tickets. I also purchased the Early Bird Special check in. At first I thought it would be best to sit in the very front, where the boys would have more leg room, could stand if they wanted, and not bother the people in front of them. My DH thinks it's better for us to sit by the bathrooms in the very back. I think I am starting to agree. Anymore flying tips would be welcome for me. :wave2:

    Midnightred
     
  15. 2plus2equalsus

    2plus2equalsus Earning My Ears

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    We fly southwest all the time and just say, " my son has special needs and needs to pre board" (we tell this to the agent at the gate). Then at TSA line we ask the line attendant at MCO (at home its not an issue).
    Every time I feel the stares and sometimes have a snooty ticket agent...sigh. This time I'm making my DS a shirt that says "not all disabilities are visible" with the autism ribbon on it! Have a good trip!
     
  16. Midnightred

    Midnightred DIS Veteran

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    I'm sorry, what is MCO? :confused3

    Midnightred
     
  17. crashbb

    crashbb DIS Veteran

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    It is the code for the Orlando Airport.
     
  18. Princess Disney Mom

    Princess Disney Mom DIS Veteran

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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.

    Don't worry.

    Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards
     
  19. DOREEN1779

    DOREEN1779 Mouseketeer

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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.
     
  20. summerrluvv

    summerrluvv <font color=darkorchid>Work Hard. Have Fun.<br><f

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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!
     
  21. MoukyMouse

    MoukyMouse Mouseketeer

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    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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