Pre-Boarding Abuse - Delta

Old Sep 18, 18, 11:42 am
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Pre-Boarding Abuse - Delta

It seems to be getting worse each month, now that the word has spread that the GA’s are not allowed to question the need for pre-boarding.

Delta 779 out of ATL today is a case in point: Man & woman with a 7-8 year old, pretty healthy looking boy, walked on after the other infants & child seats had boarded. A couple standing next to me saw this, looked at each other & took their 8-10 year old girl by the hand and followed. I asked the GA about this as I boarded with FC and she simply said, “Don’t tell me what to do, I can’t ask questions about pre-boards.”

Can’t Delta simply say, “children with car seats, strollers and infants in arms...”?

(From DL 1-M+, Diamond every year, so I see this a LOT!)
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Old Sep 18, 18, 11:56 am
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Welcome to Flyertalk. I am moving your thread to the Delta Forum
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Old Sep 18, 18, 12:05 pm
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Originally Posted by spanda View Post
.....Can’t Delta simply say, “children with car seats, strollers and infants in arms...”?

(From DL 1-M+, Diamond every year, so I see this a LOT!)
It doesn't help. They can just claim disability. Not all disabilities are visible and you cannot question what disability they have.

Sad symptom of society.
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Old Sep 18, 18, 12:06 pm
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Originally Posted by spanda View Post
It seems to be getting worse each month, now that the word has spread that the GA’s are not allowed to question the need for pre-boarding.

Delta 779 out of ATL today is a case in point: Man & woman with a 7-8 year old, pretty healthy looking boy, walked on after the other infants & child seats had boarded. A couple standing next to me saw this, looked at each other & took their 8-10 year old girl by the hand and followed. I asked the GA about this as I boarded with FC and she simply said, “Don’t tell me what to do, I can’t ask questions about pre-boards.”

Can’t Delta simply say, “children with car seats, strollers and infants in arms...”?

(From DL 1-M+, Diamond every year, so I see this a LOT!)
Flying out of MCO, it's pretty commonplace. I seem to recall the GA always making the statement you quoted, but that doesn't stop people. Also, there might be an infant and a party of six or more accompanying him. That's the way it goes. Sometimes there are a lot more wheelchairs getting on than getting off. As long as they don't take the overheads in FC or C+, I'll just SMH.


We
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Old Sep 18, 18, 12:17 pm
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Originally Posted by TerryK View Post
It doesn't help. They can just claim disability. Not all disabilities are visible and you cannot question what disability they have.

Sad symptom of society.
That's correct, they are not supposed to. As someone who qualified for this recently, I wish they could. Because I'm sure people thought that about me because as a 40 year old able bodied person to preboard probably looked like fraud. I resolved that if anyone challenged me I'd lift my shirt and should them my peritoneal dialysis catheter and point to my bag with my machine and say that I just need to make sure that machine gets overhead space because I need that machine to live. Might promote some knowledge sharing/enlightenment. And discourage fraud.
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Old Sep 18, 18, 12:19 pm
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Originally Posted by spanda View Post
It seems to be getting worse each month, now that the word has spread that the GA’s are not allowed to question the need for pre-boarding.

Delta 779 out of ATL today is a case in point: Man & woman with a 7-8 year old, pretty healthy looking boy, walked on after the other infants & child seats had boarded. A couple standing next to me saw this, looked at each other & took their 8-10 year old girl by the hand and followed. I asked the GA about this as I boarded with FC and she simply said, “Don’t tell me what to do, I can’t ask questions about pre-boards.”

Can’t Delta simply say, “children with car seats, strollers and infants in arms...”?

(From DL 1-M+, Diamond every year, so I see this a LOT!)
Delta could definitely change the pre-boarding to say what you recommend and that would help with the toddlers. I agree that toddlers are old enough to not require pre-boarding. But your comment about "healthy looking" is irrelevant; not all medical conditions can be spotted by a DYKWIA.
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Old Sep 18, 18, 12:39 pm
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People should just board in their allocated group with none of this pre-boarding / need more time nonsense
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Old Sep 18, 18, 12:43 pm
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Disability/Need .vs. Convenience

Originally Posted by miraclebear2003 View Post
Flying out of MCO, it's pretty commonplace. I seem to recall the GA always making the statement you quoted, but that doesn't stop people. Also, there might be an infant and a party of six or more accompanying him. That's the way it goes. Sometimes there are a lot more wheelchairs getting on than getting off. As long as they don't take the overheads in FC or C+, I'll just SMH.


We
Originally Posted by coloneltigh View Post
That's correct, they are not supposed to. As someone who qualified for this recently, I wish they could. Because I'm sure people thought that about me because as a 40 year old able bodied person to preboard probably looked like fraud. I resolved that if anyone challenged me I'd lift my shirt and should them my peritoneal dialysis catheter and point to my bag with my machine and say that I just need to make sure that machine gets overhead space because I need that machine to live. Might promote some knowledge sharing/enlightenment. And discourage fraud.
A very reasonable response; genuine disability and need for extra time in boarding should never be questioned. I also have no problem with early boarding for Active Duty Military - they have earned the perk.

My issue is solely being 72, paying 125% more for FC and waiting 15 minutes at the gate while someone obviously gets to abuse the system because they know they will not be questioned because Delta can’t risk a complaint. A simple, “Do you have a special need, Sir/Mam?” and a simple “Yes” in the less obvious cases should suffice without embarrassment.

Because the abuse is growing more common, there should be some adjustment. I would even accept the ancient policy of boarding FC last, so we could just relax for an extra 15-20 minutes before queuing up (provided the FA’s policed the FC overhead space!).

Delta: hang out & watch the expressions on your Premium passengers’ faces sometime. This is not a unique complaint...
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Old Sep 18, 18, 12:53 pm
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The good agents will usually make an announcement either over the PA or loud enough so everyone near the podium can hear when pre-board abusers enter the line. The last time I flew to MCO, parents with small children did not get to preboard, since "we don't do that at this airport (MSP) since otherwise the whole flight would preboard."
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Old Sep 18, 18, 12:54 pm
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I’d rather see people take advantage of the system without justification than have the GAs challenge people who have a disability or illness that is not visible. In regard to pax who board with a wheelchair but disembark without one, it is more confusing, tiring, and stressful to get through check-in, TSA, finding a gate, and standing in a long line to board than it is to walk off the plane and wait for an electric cart or walk straight to baggage claim.
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Old Sep 18, 18, 1:05 pm
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Originally Posted by spanda View Post
.........A simple, “Do you have a special need, Sir/Mam?” and a simple “Yes” in the less obvious cases should suffice without embarrassment.....
To avoid selective enforcement, GA needs to ask everyone who tries to pre-board. It will not stop fraudsters but will slow down boarding process as well as to embarrass some with genuine disabilities. Fraudsters will not hesitate to lie.
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Old Sep 18, 18, 1:11 pm
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
People should just board in their allocated group with none of this pre-boarding / need more time nonsense
That's a violation of U.S. law regarding air service to people with disabilities.

14 CFR 382.93
382.93 Must carriers offer preboarding to passengers with a disability?

As a carrier, you must offer preboarding to passengers with a disability who self-identify at the gate as needing additional time or assistance to board, stow accessibility equipment, or be seated.
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Old Sep 18, 18, 1:39 pm
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Lately the GAs on my JFK to SDQ flight are enforcing this by only letting 1 parent board with the child and only the child that appears to be under 2.
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Old Sep 18, 18, 1:58 pm
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Originally Posted by miraclebear2003 View Post
Flying out of MCO...
Flying out of MCO - I've had GAs say "We are not going to pre-board infants and children because that will be more than half of today's flight"
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Old Sep 18, 18, 2:01 pm
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Children and the disabled are two entirely separate categories. Many carriers board families somewhere after elites board and before the rest of the crowd. The disabled may pre-board before other passengers and it is not for carriers to question the claim of a disability.

The bottom line problem is that the alternatives are not any better. If carriers abolished boarding for families with kids and 14 CFR 382.93 for the disabled were withdrawn by DOT, the total boarding time would likely be greater. While individual passengers may care where they board in the process because earlier boarding assures OH space, DOT does not care about that.

Consider what happens if there are three wheelchair passengers on a given flight. One in Group 2, one in 3 and one in 4. For each of those passengers, boarding grinds to a halt while the passenger loads or is assisted onto the aircraft and the attendant withdraws. Boarding those three passengers at roughly the same time means that time it takes is not three times the individual process.

It goes without saying that fraudsters who claim a disability to board early deserve to be banned for life, but it isn't likely to happen. So forget it.
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