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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy
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    New Southwest boarding policy

    Ugh, I am not happy right now. I got an email from Southwest Airlines which explains that they will be changing their boarding policy. For those of you who are not familiar with Southwest, with their old policy people with children got to board first if I'm not mistaken. And then everyone would line up and get on board in whatever order (no assigned seats). Now they are assigning boarding groups (A,B, or C) depending on when you check in.

    Regarding people flying with children, they state that: "Beginning October 2, 2007, an adult traveling with a child four years old or younger will board between the "A" and "B" boarding groups, unless you have an "A" boarding pass. Those Customers holding an "A" boarding pass should board with the "A" boarding group."

    I just really liked the idea of being able to board first with my son; it makes my life a little easier. I guess now I will just have to try to check in really early and get in the "A" group!
    Last edited by heathernick06; 11-07-2007 at 03:23 PM.

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician
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    Re: New Southwest boarding policy

    That's the way they did it a couple weeks ago when we flew with them.

    Also you'll line up by number within your boarding groups.....so A-1, A-2, ect.

    I've heard rumors that they will be assigning seats soon
    Susan
    Mommy to my angel, Ethan Daniel (8/5/07-8/6/07)
    Mommy to Nicholas (12-29-08) RF'ed to 2.75 yrs in Graco MyRide(crashed) and a True Fit Primier. FF in the TFP and a Graco Nautilus Elite. Nicholas is 2.75 yrs old, 32 lbs and 36" tall.
    Child Passenger Safety Tech

  4. #3
    CPS Technician
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    Re: New Southwest boarding policy

    So you know what you do? Smack the flight attendents and other passengers in the heads with the car seats as you board. Eventually they will get the idea and switch it back.

    Johnathon 10yrs, 76 lbs, 5-steps
    Seth, 6yrs, 43lbs in Clek Oobr
    River, 4yrs, 38lbs in FR85 and Clek Foonf

  5. #4
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: New Southwest boarding policy

    Hmm, that's too bad about the assigned seats. I kinda liked it the way it was.


    Quote Originally Posted by myboysmylife View Post
    So you know what you do? Smack the flight attendents and other passengers in the heads with the car seats as you board. Eventually they will get the idea and switch it back.

    Good plan!

  6. #5
    CPS Technician An Aurora's Avatar
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    Re: New Southwest boarding policy

    I liked the idea of assigned seats, but even when we would pre-board to try and get the bulkhead row, we would always find one person in each of the middle seats of the bulkhead. That's so lame.

    I wish parents with children would automatically get the first row, and get to board last. Preboarding is nice when you have to install seats, but who wants to sit on a plane with 2 kids a second longer than absolutely necessary?!
    Anna~ RN and expired CPST (hoping to recert soon!)

  7. #6
    CPS Technician
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    Mar 2007
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    Re: New Southwest boarding policy

    Southwest is our preferred airline, and I am now dreading our trip to CA this Thanksgiving. They were one of the few airlines still allowing preboarding for small children. It will be fun to see how they force people to shuffle seats so that car seats are in the window seat, since we all know that the HAVE to be by the window

    I wonder what they would do if I ever traveled alone with 2 children in car seats. I bet they'd try to make me check my seat for my 3.5yo. No way man, I paid way too much money for my seats to let them toss them around. I wish they'd educate their flight attendants so that more of them were aware that you can have more than 1 car seat in a row.
    Mommy to my 3 beautiful children:
    Noah 5yo, 34#, RF Boulevard
    Maddie 7yo, 50#, FF Radian
    Nathan 9yo, 58#, FF Frontier

  8. #7
    Senior Community Member
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    Re: New Southwest boarding policy

    Definitely do the online check-in 24 hours in advance, down to the minute!

    You get your "A" pass, plus you can check your bags at the counter same as usual! It's so worth it.
    DD - 7yrs

  9. #8
    CPS Technician An Aurora's Avatar
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    Alaska
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    Re: New Southwest boarding policy

    I just flew alone with 2 kids several times in the past 3 months, and i had 2 kids in car seats with no problem. I had DD1 FF in her Radian by the window, and the baby RF in her bucket in the middle. Nobody had a problem with it.
    Anna~ RN and expired CPST (hoping to recert soon!)

  10. #9
    CPS Technician
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    Re: New Southwest boarding policy

    Quote Originally Posted by JessicaS View Post
    Definitely do the online check-in 24 hours in advance, down to the minute!

    You get your "A" pass, plus you can check your bags at the counter same as usual! It's so worth it.
    That's what we did---but for our return flight we had to print passes at the hotel---and we had to pay to use the computers with printers. We had a laptop with a wireless card.

    Susan
    Mommy to my angel, Ethan Daniel (8/5/07-8/6/07)
    Mommy to Nicholas (12-29-08) RF'ed to 2.75 yrs in Graco MyRide(crashed) and a True Fit Primier. FF in the TFP and a Graco Nautilus Elite. Nicholas is 2.75 yrs old, 32 lbs and 36" tall.
    Child Passenger Safety Tech

  11. #10
    CPS Technician
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    Re: New Southwest boarding policy

    I think I must be in an extreme minority on this issue. I don't want my kids on the plane any more than they have to be so when I fly with DH I board when I am allowed with the car seats (when they call our row) and then DH waits until the very end and boards with the kids, that way the kids aren't stuck on the plane any longer then they have to be. I have the car seats all ready to go when they board we just strap the girls in.
    Meg
    DD#1 Maggie
    DD#2 Libby

  12. #11
    CPS Technician Connor's Mom's Avatar
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    ATX
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    Re: New Southwest boarding policy

    Quote Originally Posted by JessicaS View Post
    Definitely do the online check-in 24 hours in advance, down to the minute!

    You get your "A" pass, plus you can check your bags at the counter same as usual! It's so worth it.
    That was exactly what I was going to post.
    Peggy, RN-Critical Care and Emergency Medicine, CPST and Mommy to Connor (2/05) in a Graco Highback TurboBooster with Safety Surround

  13. #12
    CPS Technician strollerfreak's Avatar
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    Re: New Southwest boarding policy

    I just flew Southwest this past weekend and this is how they are doing it.

    We were "B" on our outbound leg and out flight was pretty empty so we had no problems getting 6 seats together.

    We were "A" on our inbound leg (well my 3yo and 4yo were "B", but yeah they boarded with us) and it wasn't any easier than when we were "B".

    I used a CARES harness for my 3yo and my 7month old was in his SS1 baseless. Crap I'd post pix of my DD but my friend borrowed the camera that those pix are on for a school project.
    ~Mel, Ex-CPST, Triathlete & Mom of 5ReiKids + 1E!!!

  14. #13
    Senior Community Member
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    Re: New Southwest boarding policy

    Quote Originally Posted by clothdiapermom View Post
    I think I must be in an extreme minority on this issue. I don't want my kids on the plane any more than they have to be so when I fly with DH I board when I am allowed with the car seats (when they call our row) and then DH waits until the very end and boards with the kids, that way the kids aren't stuck on the plane any longer then they have to be. I have the car seats all ready to go when they board we just strap the girls in.
    This is what we do as well when dh is flying with us. Usually we fly Sun Country and I preboard with carseats and as much other stuff as I can carry and boards last, or pretty close to it. with both of us it only takes a min. to get them in their seats and us sitting. When I fly alone though, (which I do 3-4 times a year) we pretty much have to preboard or at least get on as sonn as possible because it is a pain getting 2 kids and 2 carseats on a plane full of people. I dislike southwest's non assigned seats though. I like being able to reserve my seats when I purchase my tickets.
    Former CPST and Mom to
    C-13 years old, B-11 years old
    A-8 years old riding in a Harmony Youth Booster or Graco TurboBooster

  15. #14
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    Re: New Southwest boarding policy

    Most kids over 4 really are fine without a carseat on the plane (gatecheck) or if they're small, then the CARES would be a good choice.... I personally don't see this new policy as a problem because a lot of kids would rather not sit on the plane waiting that extra time & the rest of the passengers really appreciate it when kids aren't fussing
    TIFF ~ doula & all hours childcare provider
    SCARLA: winter '02 . . . Jr. Roller Derby level III
    BEAR: spring '11 ... Recaro Sport + Clek Oobr
    RAHNE: summer '17 ... MicoMax30 + RadianRXT
    childcare: 0-7yrs... Contender + Frontier Clicktight
    {emergencies: Scenera Next, Highback, Topside}

  16. #15
    CPS Technician
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    Re: New Southwest boarding policy

    Southwest has been doing the A, B, C thing here for years. They did allow pre-boarding for small children and people in wheel chairs though.

    We didn't get to pre-board on Air Tran even though I had a six week old baby. It wasn't pretty. I had strollers, car seats, big diaper bags, and another child. There were definitely people who got whacked with some of my gear getting on the plane!

  17. #16
    CPS Technician skipspin's Avatar
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    Re: New Southwest boarding policy

    I agree there's relaly no reason to preboard unless you are flying ALONE, especially with more than one child. If it was just me and DD, or just me and DS, or DH was with me with the two kids we wouldn't need to pre-board. However, when I flew alone with both kids and both of them in car seats (I had to take DD's seat and didn't want to check it- so we just used it on the plane) it was a good thing I got to preboard. I think I would have clobbered a few people getting in carrying an infant seat, DS on my back, and wheeling the RN all while telling DD to "keep going..."


    9 yr old in a pink zebra NBB and 5-stepping
    6 yr DS1 old in a Harmony
    4 yr old DS2 in a Nautilus and Radian
    18 mo DS3 rfing in a MyRide65

  18. #17
    CPS Technician Niea's Avatar
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    Re: New Southwest boarding policy

    I like their new boarding system, but dislike the fact that they eliminated pre-boarding. We've always taken advantage of it and it's worked out great. DD likes being on the airplane and is happy as a clam when strapped in, so it's no problem being on there longer than necessary. We fly Southwest whenever we can.

    This past week, though, we traveled with American Airlines and had a really hard time boarding. To me, assigned seats are overrated. On the way coming home they had to shuffle people around due to a flight cancellation and the three of us were supposed to sit apart. . .the FA had to move other people around because having a 2 year old sit by themselves doesn't make sense. We've had no such problems on Southwest. . .though pre-boarding pretty much guarantees you'll find seats together.

    Anyway, by the time we were allowed to board, on all four flights, we were struggling to get the carseat installed, keep DD wrangled in, deal with pushy people who were trying to get their bags overhead, etc. It was a chaotic and definitely stressful. But the pre-boarding. . able to get on, carseat installed, DD strapped in, and all of us relaxing before the plane started filling up.

  19. #18
    CPS Technician bp2002's Avatar
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    Massachusetts
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    Re: New Southwest boarding policy

    personally, I like not having children preboard for certain reasons. I fly constantly out of Orlando FL. Do you know how many people w/children 4 and under fly in and out of orlando? It kinda makes an A boarding useless. My frustration is not with a single parent or even 2 parents with kids and car seats, it was when 6 adults and one 4yr old w/o a car seat board early using their C boarding passes. I think carseat families should still be allowed to board early.

    Also, just so you know, you can check in to SWA online 24 hrs in advance, but you dont have to PRINT the boarding pass then. Just checking in online gives you a,b, or c boarding passes. save the fee to print at a hotel and have the SWA people at the airport print the boarding pass. You still get the same letter, just with an R by it, showing reprint that has been alife saver for me because i dont travel w/ a printer!
    Lauren
    NICU RN, CPST and Nanny

  20. #19
    Carseat Crazy
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    Feb 2007
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    Re: New Southwest boarding policy

    I'm with the posters who like preboarding, we've only flown once with out DS, and the flight was full, so walking down the full aisle with just a bag to the 23rd row, is hard enough, but with two bags, anda squirming child, it's nearly impossible, let alone a carseat, and yeah, people are soooo pushy.

    DS1 18/11/06 Radian and Nautilus, DS2 08/10/07 Evenflo Triumph Advance RFing

  21. #20
    CPST Instructor azgirl71's Avatar
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    Re: New Southwest boarding policy

    Quote Originally Posted by heathernick06 View Post
    Hmm, that's too bad about the assigned seats. I kinda liked it the way it was.
    It is actually not assigned seating. You still get to pick where you sit. It is assigned boarding order. YOu line up in A,B, or C line in order starting with A-1. They said this way people can't complain if they get booted from an oversold flight. They take you in order that you checked in ot printed online pass.
    Lisa - CPSTI
    Mom to Tucker, 5 years old, 29.2 lbs, 39.25 inches tall who has a variety of different carseats to ride in.
    My new grandson is my signature photo

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