familes with small children after zone 2

 
Old Jul 17, 13, 8:01 am
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Question familes with small children after zone 2

my random thought when boarding last nite--what if you are a mastercard holder and you have small kids, or you have zone 1 boarding due to status and you are traveling with small kids.
I dont travel with small children but the "you can board after zone 2" seems mean-spirited to me....I always thought wheelchairs went on first, then pre-board or families with small children?
Although last nite boarding in denver, a wheelchair went on before first class and really slowed down the process......
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Old Jul 17, 13, 8:14 am
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To me, the worst part is that the script "Families traveling with small children can board ..." seems to incite any normal person to move toward boarding, and they have to keep listening (when they are probably working already on managing the kids forward) to hear "... can board after Zone 2." It's adding injury to insult. Or insult to insult. Or something.
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Old Jul 17, 13, 8:23 am
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Extra time, active military, FC, Zone 1, Zone 2, Families with children, Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 ....

Been like this for a while I think.
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Old Jul 17, 13, 8:30 am
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Seems like airlines have been moving families down the process.....

Southwest now boards families after group A. (Unless you have an A pass.)

With US, I think if you have an infant and all of the things that go with a baby, you can preboard. I see that a lot. Its 2, 3, 4 year olds. The "After Zone 2" applies to people with higher than zone 2. So they can get on more quickly.

But, you are right. It doesn't sound very friendly.
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Old Jul 17, 13, 8:57 am
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I believe it used to be that all families with small children could board with those needing more time. Then they changed it to only families with infants, with the families with older but still small children after zone 2.

They probably do the announcement this way to make sure those who were used to board early, or board early on other airlines, know that they no longer can board first. But I think that rule changed over a year ago, so maybe people should be used to it by now. I basically just see it as a reminder that they changed a policy.
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Old Jul 17, 13, 9:52 am
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Originally Posted by Mr. Vker View Post
But, you are right. It doesn't sound very friendly.
I never understood why you would board families first. If they go on first, and hog up the aisle while getting situated, then it backs up the entire boarding process.

Board families last, after every non-family passenger has boarded.
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Old Jul 17, 13, 10:00 am
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Originally Posted by bkafrick View Post
I never understood why you would board families first. If they go on first, and hog up the aisle while getting situated, then it backs up the entire boarding process.

Board families last, after every non-family passenger has boarded.
Yes, it holds up those not traveling with children, but getting a child seat buckled in and all the odds and ends such travel entails stowed takes even longer if the family has to get others to move to accomplish those tasks. The end result is that boarding families with small children early in the process keeps you from settling in sooner but results in everyone being boarded quicker.

Jim
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Old Jul 17, 13, 10:32 am
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Originally Posted by BoeingBoy View Post
Yes, it holds up those not traveling with children, but getting a child seat buckled in and all the odds and ends such travel entails stowed takes even longer if the family has to get others to move to accomplish those tasks. The end result is that boarding families with small children early in the process keeps you from settling in sooner but results in everyone being boarded quicker.

Jim
Buckling in a child seat requires time and space that is easier when the parent pre-boards. I'd happily let those installing car seats pre-board with those requiring extra time.

My concern is the general announcement of "families traveling with small children board...". This results in families with older kids, or large groups all claiming they need to board with one child. If the GA controls it to young children (under 5? maybe 8?) and especially those who are gate checking strollers or car seats then it makes sense. It's when the gate agent starts letting the 15 year old board with a 4 or 5 adults that it gets out of control.
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Old Jul 17, 13, 10:41 am
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The 15 year old boarding as a "child" is an agent problem, not a policy problem. Of course, US (and most carriers) have variables that result in out of order boarding. Maybe the 15 year old is traveling with someone who qualifies for zone 2.

Jim
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Old Jul 17, 13, 12:39 pm
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Originally Posted by bkafrick View Post
I never understood why you would board families first. If they go on first, and hog up the aisle while getting situated, then it backs up the entire boarding process.

Board families last, after every non-family passenger has boarded.
As someone who has kids, I can say it is more than getting to your seat putting a seat belt on. There are certain toys, foods, blankets, etc that you need to get situated for easy access during takeoff and in flight.

It may also be a child's first time flying which is an exciting and scary experience in itself.
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Old Jul 17, 13, 2:41 pm
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I agree with the person who says the statement builds people up and then they hear "after zone 2".
but noone has answered my question--if you are zone 1 but traveling with children, what do you do? I know what I would do
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Old Jul 17, 13, 2:48 pm
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Originally Posted by nlkm9 View Post
but noone has answered my question--if you are zone 1 but traveling with children, what do you do? I know what I would do
US policy is that the family (group) can board with the person having the highest zone number -or would that be lowest zone # - so zone 1 in the case you give.

Jim
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Old Jul 17, 13, 2:55 pm
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It was a problem boarding families early. Sometimes the younger kids would run down the jetway and endanger the handicapped and others with difficulty walking. I've seen more than one get hit by excited toddlers.
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Old Jul 17, 13, 3:29 pm
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Originally Posted by BoeingBoy View Post
US policy is that the family (group) can board with the person having the highest zone number -or would that be lowest zone # - so zone 1 in the case you give.

Jim
As usual, Jim is right on. Anyone traveling in a group can board with the highest zone number. I've seen a few times were parents will be traveling in F and kids in Y and they all board with F.
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Old Jul 17, 13, 5:20 pm
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Originally Posted by BoeingBoy View Post
The 15 year old boarding as a "child" is an agent problem, not a policy problem. Of course, US (and most carriers) have variables that result in out of order boarding. Maybe the 15 year old is traveling with someone who qualifies for zone 2.

Jim
Agreed
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