Lack of enforcement of Boarding Order

Old Sep 13, 2023, 9:27 am
  #46  
 
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Originally Posted by smarinello
This is becoming a joke on SW. Yesterday the GA allowed families to board ahead of A group. And of course, the 12 Wheelchairs who all stood up when landed and 1/2 didn't take a WC to leave.

The policy should be if you WC on, YOU MUST WAIT until the plane is deboarded then you can get off. That will stop that BS.
I was A-16 and there were people in the higher A's in my "spot" and they were like where you going, and I said, in front of you as she said numerical order. The ole' "we will all arrive at same time BS."

When I boarded, the woman in Aisle was a pre-board, she openly admitted that she "pre boards" with a mild condition so she doesn't have to pay and gets on first.
Pre boards should have to wait. It's a joke now.
I missed this when it started late last year, but I just now stumbled across this December 2022 article on FT and it explains some things. I haven't flown since Thanksgiving, so I haven't yet witnessed this new wrinkle in action, but it explains your experience, and perhaps explains the explosion of preboarders in the past year.

Apparently, WN has been experimenting with bringing family boarding up ahead of A group, essentially making them preboarders again, following those with special needs.

The catch is, preboarded families are supposed to be prohibited from sitting in rows 1 thru 15.

Naturally, nearly every comment on the article is either adamantly opposed to giving families a preboard privilege, or in favor of it because it would keep rows 1-15 child-free, or in favor of it but don't believe the row restrictions are enforceable by the already-busy cabin crews without pausing boarding after the families board to ensure they're all in the back of the bus before general boarding begins.

Personally, I'm in the third group - I love the idea of having fifteen child-free rows in the cabin, but I can't see the cabin crew being able or willing to enforce the restriction, particularly when some irate soccer mom gets in in a FA's face and declares that they're in the mostest bigliest hurry to get off the plane (they may even legitimately have a tight connection), or they absolutely HAVE to have the bulkhead row so the kids have a place to crawl around and play throughout the flight.

https://www.flyertalk.com/articles/s...g-forward.html
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Old Sep 13, 2023, 1:40 pm
  #47  
 
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I stopped flying Southwest because of all this foolishness. There are a few other choices for me and that's what I'll use. Bye Bye Southwest.
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Old Sep 13, 2023, 1:49 pm
  #48  
 
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Flew Delta a couple weeks ago, the boarding process was even more of a mess. GA had to announce multiple times thru the boarding process "if you attempt to board before your zone is called, you will be required to check your carry on bags". And everyone standing right on top of the gate entrance waiting for their zone to be called, blocking everyone trying to board in order.

I'll take the Southwest boarding process any day and walk past all the preboarders in rows 1-4 and head right for the exit row.
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Old Sep 13, 2023, 2:01 pm
  #49  
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Originally Posted by dmbolp
Flew Delta a couple weeks ago, the boarding process was even more of a mess. GA had to announce multiple times thru the boarding process "if you attempt to board before your zone is called, you will be required to check your carry on bags". And everyone standing right on top of the gate entrance waiting for their zone to be called, blocking everyone trying to board in order.

I'll take the Southwest boarding process any day and walk past all the preboarders in rows 1-4 and head right for the exit row.
As a former Plat level at Delta, I can confirm it can be crazy over there as well - even with assigned seating. In Nashville, we have to walk past AA gates to get to most SWA gates, and they have the same issue.

FF often call them GATE LICE.
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Old Sep 13, 2023, 4:10 pm
  #50  
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Originally Posted by WillCAD
Apparently, WN has been experimenting with bringing family boarding up ahead of A group, essentially making them preboarders again, following those with special needs.

The catch is, preboarded families are supposed to be prohibited from sitting in rows 1 thru 15.
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I get it, family travel is tough. When my kids were young we got virtually no breaks as the airlines were not as child-friendly particularly once they hit age 5.

But this is a completely self-inflicted problem, and the airline would be foolish to shaft the high rev customers. Other carriers have the same problems, even with pre-assigned seats, because Joe Kettle buys the BE cheapo fare and is happy to leave the FAs to fix the mess when he is assigned 6 middle seats.

I don't know what the solution is. But increasing the # of pre-boards it is NOT.

Originally Posted by dmbolp
Flew Delta a couple weeks ago, the boarding process was even more of a mess. GA had to announce multiple times thru the boarding process "if you attempt to board before your zone is called, you will be required to check your carry on bags". And everyone standing right on top of the gate entrance waiting for their zone to be called, blocking everyone trying to board in order.

I'll take the Southwest boarding process any day and walk past all the preboarders in rows 1-4 and head right for the exit row.
For sure the gate lice situation at UA is arguably worse. Not to mention you have 25 "pre-board" elites etc. before you even get to the 50 in group 1 who have to line up way in advance if they want to be at the front of Group 1. WN is definitely better except for the lack of an E+ and F product which is a disqualifier for some of us.
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Old Sep 13, 2023, 4:51 pm
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Originally Posted by nsx
It matters if you are in a hurry to exit the plane and get to an appointment.
Thing is, on so many occasions I see the "out early" folks (based on seeing them up front) standing in the same rideshare/rental car bus/pickup curbs as me, who's always way in the back.

Originally Posted by Boraxo
... before you even get to the 50 in group 1 who have to line up way in advance if they want to be at the front of Group 1.
Why does it matter where you are in your boarding order on the legacies, since you have an assigned seat?

(And again, God Bless the people who pay extra to sit up front, as you help create pure profit that (hopefully) keeps fares low, holds off "fine print" devaluations, and keeps schedules fat.)
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Old Sep 13, 2023, 5:46 pm
  #52  
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Originally Posted by kennycrudup
T
Why does it matter where you are in your boarding order on the legacies, since you have an assigned seat?
(1) Overhead space. When 33-50% of the passengers board in front of you, overhead space starts to get tight particularly towards the front, which is where my E+ seats are. I don't gate check and I don't want my bags 20 rows back.

(2) Seat poachers. There are many threads on the scammers who try to cheat people out of their assigned seats with all manner of lame excuses. It's much less work to say No when you are already in your seat than to hail a harried FA to eject someone.
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Old Sep 14, 2023, 2:18 am
  #53  
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Southwest needs to get rid of the open seating policy for rows in front of the exit row. On the legacy airlines, you don't get to sit in first class just because you are a preboarder or disabled. You don't get to pick your seat until after checkin just because you are disabled with the ultra cheap basic economy fares. With the fewer flights today, it is hard to get an A boarding card anyway without elite status or pay for Early Bird or use a credit card benefit. Might as well reward those who pay more with Southwest's new premium section just like the legacy airlines are treating cheapos like dirt with no seat assignment (AKA near guaranteed middle seat for singles) and make Early Bird or elite status much more attractive.

Preboards make quick turnaround impossible due to wheelchairs so open seating for the whole plane isn't working anymore like it did in the 1970s. Make the front half premium class A group only until B1. Then the front is converted to open seating once B1 is boarded. So seat enforcement only takes place during preboard to make sure you have an A boarding card when sitting in the front half. With this system, letting non-disabled families with younger children preboard is fine too because they also have to pay up to sit at the front half. I'm not a lawyer so I don't know if that is enough to get around federal law or if Congress still needs to act to get rid of this problem.
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Old Sep 14, 2023, 2:27 am
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Originally Posted by jmw
Southwest needs to get rid of the open seating policy for rows in front of the exit row
Oh, FFS 🤣🤣 ...!
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Old Sep 14, 2023, 7:31 am
  #55  
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Originally Posted by Boraxo
I get it, family travel is tough. When my kids were young we got virtually no breaks as the airlines were not as child-friendly particularly once they hit age 5.

But this is a completely self-inflicted problem, and the airline would be foolish to shaft the high rev customers. Other carriers have the same problems, even with pre-assigned seats, because Joe Kettle buys the BE cheapo fare and is happy to leave the FAs to fix the mess when he is assigned 6 middle seats.

I don't know what the solution is. But increasing the # of pre-boards it is NOT.
Frontier goads families into buying seat assignments because they make it clear that if you do not buy a seat assignment now so you can sit together, you may be separated at check-in. The legacies aren't as good at that, even though their setups are very similar. I haven't witnessed any forced switching on board to accommodate small children and parents.

Originally Posted by jmw
Southwest needs to get rid of the open seating policy for rows in front of the exit row. On the legacy airlines, you don't get to sit in first class just because you are a preboarder or disabled. You don't get to pick your seat until after checkin just because you are disabled with the ultra cheap basic economy fares. With the fewer flights today, it is hard to get an A boarding card anyway without elite status or pay for Early Bird or use a credit card benefit. Might as well reward those who pay more with Southwest's new premium section just like the legacy aingirlines are treating cheapos like dirt with no seat assignment (AKA near guaranteed middle seat for singles) and make Early Bird or elite status much more attractive.
That's too complicated. The way it works on Allegiant, Frontier and Spirit is very simple -- you can pay for an advanced seat assignment if you like. If not, then you get a seat assignment from whatever's left at check-in. It doesn't matter if someone wants to fake a disability to pre-board. Go ahead and pre-board to your assigned center seat in row 37. Few people bother because there's no benefit.

Preboards make quick turnaround impossible due to wheelchairs so open seating for the whole plane isn't working anymore like it did in the 1970s. Make the front half premium class A group only until B1. Then the front is converted to open seating once B1 is boarded. So seat enforcement only takes place during preboard to make sure you have an A boarding card when sitting in the front half. With this system, letting non-disabled families with younger children preboard is fine too because they also have to pay up to sit at the front half. I'm not a lawyer so I don't know if that is enough to get around federal law or if Congress still needs to act to get rid of this problem.
The reason it worked in the 1970's was not the fake pre-boarders in wheelchairs. It was because Southwest's load factors were about 30%. A 737-200 can be turned in 20 minutes with open seating when it's only a third full. Those days are over, and I don't understand why Southwest has stuck to this ever since then.
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Old Sep 16, 2023, 10:31 am
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"Preboards make quick turnaround impossible due to wheelchairs so open seating for the whole plane isn't working anymore like it did in the 1970s. "

On a recent DEN -MSP there were 14 wheelchairs and ONE ops agent
Our flight took a 15 min delay because it took 25 min to load all those "preboarders"
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Old Sep 16, 2023, 11:05 pm
  #57  
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I'm OK with either assigned seating for the whole plane, assigned seating in the front half, or no preboards at the front half without an A. But open seating for the whole plane has to go. Tired of seeing 5 to 20+ wheelchairs on the leisure flights.
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Old Sep 17, 2023, 6:37 am
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Here's an idea: raise all fares by $20. After pre-boarding is complete, the flight attendants will hand a $20 bill to every person who boards thereafter.
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Old Sep 17, 2023, 6:58 am
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Originally Posted by Kevin AA
Here's an idea: raise all fares by $20. After pre-boarding is complete, the flight attendants will hand a $20 bill to every person who boards thereafter.
LOL...Probably never see preboarding again! Ok, maybe 1 or 2, at most.
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Old Sep 19, 2023, 11:31 am
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My favorite was a teenage boy and his dad pre-boarded. The dad leaned on his son the whole time who basically hobbled to his seat. i remember thinking that poor family that had a dad deteriorate so quickly with a teenage son.

Get off the plane and they are throwing 20 yard football passes in the terminal right outside the gate.
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