Passengers Taking Advantage of Preboarding

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Old Jan 4, 15, 3:35 pm
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Passengers Taking Advantage of Preboarding

On a recent flight PHX- MSY, when we arrived, there were a couple of people seated in wheelchairs, both of which preboarded and proceeded to sit in bulkhead seats. My wife always has a wheelchair at the airport and preboards as she has MS and has difficulty walking. When we arrived in MSY, miraculously, the two guys who had preboarded no longer needed a wheelchair. In fact, I noticed that they were walking faster than me. Southwest has a problem with people in wheelchairs who preboard. Could they not develop a form that would have to be signed by a physician saying preboarding was necessary?

Last edited by aceflyer2; Jan 4, 15 at 4:06 pm
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Old Jan 4, 15, 4:16 pm
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Nothing new here. WN has provided the miracle of flight for years.
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Old Jan 4, 15, 4:18 pm
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They can't because that would be in violation of the Air Carrier Access Act.
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Old Jan 5, 15, 4:42 am
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I hapoened to see something similar a while ago. Flying CMH-STL-DAL, there was a family of 6. Dad had his left hand wrapped in a bandage. They all pre-boarded. (Even though only 2 should have followed a pre-boarder). Anyhow, the bandage was there in STL as we wait d to board STL-DAL. But as we're walking from the gate to baggage claim in DAL, the dad is unwrapping it. I think they thought no one was going to follow them the whole flight and know that they would get caught abusing the system.


Unfortunately there's nothing you can do about it.
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Old Jan 5, 15, 5:02 am
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Probably the same two guys who park in the handicap parking space at the grocery store. I also have MS, have to use a wheelchair through the airport and preboard, but I 'look so good' just sitting there! I do my best not to judge.....because I know people have judged me..............but somtimes it's difficult.
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Old Jan 5, 15, 5:57 am
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a few weeks ago at MDW, a gentlemen was telling his son to get him preboard because of his condition because he "has to sit in the last row." I was talking to the guy but never asked about his condition and it's frankly none of my business. Lo and behold, he preboarded and was sitting the last row.

He's the first person I have ever met who has voluntarily sat in the last row.
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Old Jan 5, 15, 7:48 am
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Originally Posted by aceflyer2 View Post
On a recent flight PHX- MSY, when we arrived, there were a couple of people seated in wheelchairs, both of which preboarded and proceeded to sit in bulkhead seats. My wife always has a wheelchair at the airport and preboards as she has MS and has difficulty walking. When we arrived in MSY, miraculously, the two guys who had preboarded no longer needed a wheelchair. In fact, I noticed that they were walking faster than me. Southwest has a problem with people in wheelchairs who preboard. Could they not develop a form that would have to be signed by a physician saying preboarding was necessary?
Yup, they call those "Miracle Flights". Something miraculous happens during the flight and cures them. FA are well aware of it but there's nothing they can do.
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Old Jan 5, 15, 11:27 am
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Originally Posted by jco613 View Post
a few weeks ago at MDW, a gentlemen was telling his son to get him preboard because of his condition because he "has to sit in the last row." I was talking to the guy but never asked about his condition and it's frankly none of my business. Lo and behold, he preboarded and was sitting the last row.

He's the first person I have ever met who has voluntarily sat in the last row.
This could very easily be a need for easy access to a lavatory,but did not have any reason why he could not easily navigate to the back of the aircraft. If this is the case, I applaud him for not taking the seats near the lav up front,in order to save them for those who are mobility impaired
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Old Jan 5, 15, 12:05 pm
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Originally Posted by jco613 View Post
a few weeks ago at MDW, a gentlemen was telling his son to get him preboard because of his condition because he "has to sit in the last row." I was talking to the guy but never asked about his condition and it's frankly none of my business. Lo and behold, he preboarded and was sitting the last row.

He's the first person I have ever met who has voluntarily sat in the last row.
I often prefer the back of the plane and frequenty get an open middle that way
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Old Dec 22, 15, 1:49 am
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I witnessed the best "Miracle of Flight" ever today and it wasn't even on an airplane. Flight was running late and there were ten wheelchairs lined up to pre-board. OA makes the pre-board announcement a little differently from normal. He said that if you are seated in a wheelchair, but could actually walk, then report to him immediately and board before the wheelchairs. Eight of the ten disabled pax sprang up and vanished down the jetway. The look of pax in the gate area was priceless.

Had to have saved at least ten minutes in the boarding process. Kudos to this creative agent. The Miracle of Flight is truly an enigma.
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Old Dec 22, 15, 7:44 am
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Originally Posted by aceflyer2 View Post
Could they not develop a form that would have to be signed by a physician saying preboarding was necessary?
Judging by the sheer number of perfectly ambulatory people with handicapped permits here on LI, I'd say the physicians are either in on the scam or don't care. I know 2 people with them that play ice hockey and run obstacle mini-marathons (and both collect worker's compensation)... It truly is a broken system.
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Old Dec 22, 15, 9:00 am
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Originally Posted by joshua362 View Post
Judging by the sheer number of perfectly ambulatory people with handicapped permits here on LI, I'd say the physicians are either in on the scam or don't care. I know 2 people with them that play ice hockey and run obstacle mini-marathons (and both collect worker's compensation)... It truly is a broken system.
Or signed by somebody who once drove by a physician's office?

Face it. There is absolutely nothing to be done about it. The same people willing to scam the elderly out of their savings will forge a signature on a form to limp onto an aircraft.

It's a flaw in open seating which can't be corrected short of having a GA kick each person in the shin to see if they scream. And that has other consequences.
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Old Dec 22, 15, 9:10 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
It's a flaw in open seating which can't be corrected short of having a GA kick each person in the shin to see if they scream. And that has other consequences.
I would honestly pay to see this before every flight.
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Old Dec 22, 15, 6:01 pm
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Originally Posted by ursine1 View Post
They can't because that would be in violation of the Air Carrier Access Act.
Are you specifically referring to a certain section? At first glance they still seem to have some room to tighten things down with the "self identification" requirements. I don't know FAA rules but am familiar with ADA/504.
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Old Dec 22, 15, 9:03 pm
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The "miracle of flight" is nothing new. But it's hard to say who is "really" disabled and who is not. After all, some airports can be quite a challenge to those who can walk up and down a jetway without much trouble. My boss, a former triathlete, fell into this category after he had an emergency bypass surgery. Airports like LAS, ORD/MDW, and even MSY became a challenge.

What's really abusive is when a large group tries to take advantage of a pax's preboarding privileges. A while ago at MSY I witnessed a family/group of six try to board with a young child (I think in a wheelchair). GA stopped them in their tracks and told them that only one family member could board with the child (it appeared that one family member would be sufficient to assist the child, so I don't fault the GA at all). The frustrated family calmed down after being told that they would be kicked off the flight if they continued their fussing.
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