No elite preboard? Normal?

 
Old Dec 31, 04, 9:33 am
  #1  
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No elite preboard? Normal?

On a recent oversold flight to Florida the gate agent offered no Elite preboard, only a FC call, children and exit row. After she offered preboard to FC I went over and asked if she was going to make an Elite perboard announcement and she told me "no I'm not" and went onto other things.

Is this normal?

What nice way could I have urged her to change her mind? (this is a serious question, I didn't want to be rude but I spend big cash with NWA and preboard is a perk I worked hard for).

Last edited by davevi; Dec 31, 04 at 9:35 am Reason: ...to correct typos
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Old Dec 31, 04, 9:55 am
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It can be done at the discretion of the GA. I have had it happen a couple of times, usually when they are running late and in a hurry to get everyone on board.
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Old Dec 31, 04, 10:16 am
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Happens at the discretion of the GA and can be intentional or not.

Next time I suggest that you just go in after the FC has boarded. I never get stopped for doing that.
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Old Dec 31, 04, 10:30 am
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Thumbs down making it up as you go along

Gate agent is the prized position at NWA.

They get the freedom to make their jobs interesting. Sometimes it's First class boarding. Other times, families with small kids. On even dates, it's those who need extra time. If they recently received a write-up about customer service issues, then it's NWA silver, gold, and platinum level world-perks customers, and similar levels on partner airlines.

If they're having a really bad day, it's "We're going to start boarding by row number, starting with the back of the plane. Be sure to check up front for blankets and pillows, and if you don't want to carry your bags to the back there's really nice storage space up front, too!"

Your best bet is to hang around the boarding area and as soon as the jetway door opens, prepare to board. Don't pay any attention to what their stated boarding order is, just get ready to board and start moving when they begin the process.
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Old Dec 31, 04, 11:04 am
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Sad but true. There is absolutely no rhyme or reason, nor apparantly any policy--at least not that management cares enough to enforce. It's a real annoyance, and some GAs seem to relish using this opportunity to embarrass their top tier customers, ("I SAID exit row", proclaimed ringingly throughout the gate area).
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Old Dec 31, 04, 12:34 pm
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Unless there's an unusual situation the poor gate agent's trying to manage--a long delay, a massively-oversold flight, etc.--I interpret my Elite status as a licence to board with FC. If the GA does a specific preboard for folks with babies or mobility problems, I wait patiently til they're done. They're the only paz who trump elites, as far as I'm concerned.

That said, if I'm only carrying on my little computer case, I prefer to board late rather than early--less time stuffed in an airplane seat!
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Old Dec 31, 04, 2:31 pm
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Originally Posted by MJLogan
Unless there's an unusual situation the poor gate agent's trying to manage--a long delay, a massively-oversold flight, etc.--I interpret my Elite status as a licence to board with FC. If the GA does a specific preboard for folks with babies or mobility problems, I wait patiently til they're done. They're the only paz who trump elites, as far as I'm concerned.
Seems to be that NW instituted a new policy a few months ago that says that exit row pax also trump elites...
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Old Dec 31, 04, 4:43 pm
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Delayed Elite Preboard

I experienced this on a late oversold flight from DTW to MSP. The GA chose to board FC - then the rear of the airplane - then Elite. Frustrating

I just went on when they called the folks in the rear of the airplane even though I was in a preferred seat. I do not find them to be very tight on checking in DTW when you have status - the same can not be said for DL.

I agree with you, elite preboard is a key perk.

Last edited by whisprwave; Dec 31, 04 at 5:02 pm Reason: typo
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Old Dec 31, 04, 6:04 pm
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Originally Posted by slippahs
Seems to be that NW instituted a new policy a few months ago that says that exit row pax also trump elites...
Part of this might be that some people can choose exit rows online and they may not qualify. Getting a look at these folks early in the process provides options when they have to be re-assigned. (Just a guess on my part, but I've seen it happen.)
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Old Dec 31, 04, 7:10 pm
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GAs Rule

GAs rule the roost... so make sure you dawn a sweet smile when you ask about the status of your FC elite upgrade at the gate (battlefield tactics).

Ciao!
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Old Dec 31, 04, 7:52 pm
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If the gate agent doesn't mention elites in the First Class boarding call (and I haven't been upgraded) I will generally board with First. I kind of hold back until it looks like most of First has gone down the jetway and before they start general boarding. I've never been turned back.

Now, on my wish list would be for Mesaba and Pinnacle planes without a First Class Section to offer a pre board for elites. Perhaps Pinnacle does this, I know Mesaba doesn't. Since the only reason I really care to board early on these planes is to get bin space, it would be good. Continental Express does this and it is a nice benefit.
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Old Dec 31, 04, 9:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Poopdeck90210
GAs rule the roost... so make sure you dawn a sweet smile when you ask about the status of your FC elite upgrade at the gate (battlefield tactics). Ciao!
When you stay in a hotel that leaves the little chocolates on your pillow, don't eat them!! Get some extras from the housekeeper and toss them in your coat pocket (NOT pants pocket). At checkin, at the gate, at the WC - a little chocolate smooths a LOT of situations. And it can never hurt - either in the goodwill generated or in the lack of calories that you then have to work off yourself.
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Old Jan 1, 05, 11:34 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by davevi
On a recent oversold flight to Florida the gate agent offered no Elite preboard, only a FC call, children and exit row. After she offered preboard to FC I went over and asked if she was going to make an Elite perboard announcement and she told me "no I'm not" and went onto other things.

Is this normal?

What nice way could I have urged her to change her mind? (this is a serious question, I didn't want to be rude but I spend big cash with NWA and preboard is a perk I worked hard for).
I had a family emergency a few weeks ago and had to return home early from DEN. No FC and the only non-middle seat available was in the LAST row of the plane.

I waited through EXIT and FC boarding and figured I'd be called next with the other elites.

Nope, the GA calls about 10 rows of passengers and I get trampled by about 50 people looking to board. When I get to the counter (and this flight wasn't late at all) I looked right at the GA and said, "Nice preboard of elites. Way to take care of your best passengers." She threw me this evil little smile that told me she knew exactly what she was doing.

I've never once had this happen on AA as all elites are assigned to Group 1.

--Rich
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Old Jan 1, 05, 12:12 pm
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Originally Posted by slippahs
Seems to be that NW instituted a new policy a few months ago that says that exit row pax also trump elites...
Again, I think itís at the GAís discretion. I had been on way too many flights during the last 3 weeks and noticed a few that boarded F and people who needed a little more time, then exit row.

My biggest complaint to date is the downward spiral of pre-flight refreshments. (Yes, I know there are some out there that have never had a problem with this??) But with all the flying I did the past 3 weeks, I would say itís at about a 50/50percentage now. Is this something that NW is going to cut back on in 2005?
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Old Jan 1, 05, 12:36 pm
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Well, here's a question/comment. The Elite program states that Elite members have Pre Boarding priveledges. I've noticed that whether it's NWA or UAL (the two airlines I fly) that over half the time, they don't say anything about elite boarding. I just board when WBC/FC boards. No one has ever stopped me or even given me a hard time (I usually fly Intl-but occasionally domestic). If I'm not on a FC/WBC ticket, I too wait for the FC folks to start the queu and folks with kids, and just join in. I never thought to wait for a special anouncement, because the members guide simply states it's what is part of the membership and that so often there is no boarding anouncement. If I waited for the anouncement, I'd be the last person on the plane. Anyone ever given grief for trying to board even though you were clearly in elite status?
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