We were flying from Boston to San Francisco with our toddler who has multiple food allergies. One of his scariest allergies is contact to dairy. We checked before buying the tickets that pre boarding was allowed. We had flown United before, so we knew it was, but it’s always good to double check.
When we arrived at the gate in Boston, I immediately went to the gate agent to ask how to best pre-board so I could wipe down our row, anything he might touch, and preinstall his car seat. The agent told me, quite coldly, that they didn’t allow people to pre-board because of car seats. I explained, again, that it was pre-approved and that I was installing a car seat, and cleaning their airplane so as to avoid anaphylaxis.”No. No preboarding is allowed!” Dismissed.
I didn’t leave, but nodded in approval, “Ok, I understand. No pre-boarding. So how can I get in touch with the pilot, you know, mid flight so he can make an instant emergency landing in case my baby has an anaphylactic reaction. Mid flight. At 30,000 feet. The epi Unitpens will probably buy us a few minutes, but we’ll need to land right away for medical attention.”
I got a confused look.
I repeated my request – how to alert the pilot that an instant emergency landing was necessary mid flight. That’s when the agent asked if all I needed to do was pre-board so I could clean the plane.
He finally let me on, and we had a completely uneventful flight. I did file a complaint with the airline though.
I guess it pays to be persistent and polite.