10/13/22 Traveling for his fall break, my son, a college freshman, asked the Southwest Gate Agent in Indianapolis about being allowed to pre-board before his flight – and they refused.
When I learned just a few days before his flight that the food allergy preboarding policy had recently changed, I added “EarlyBird check-in” to his ticket – with that, he was placed at the end of the A boarding group (EarlyBird check-in was our “backup plan” if he was refused preboarding – though food allergies are covered under ADA).
This caused my son unneeded stress. It is such a shame – we have had a good run with Southwest. We have been flying with them since my son was 5 years old with multiple food allergies and we have always been allowed to preboard with him – until now. On my son’s very first flight with Southwest in 2009, it was such a great experience for him – he received “Southwest wings”, sat in the cockpit, and met the pilots. Since 2009, my son and I have flown Southwest throughout the country – Buffalo, Baltimore, Orlando, Indianapolis, Denver, Phoenix, and San Jose – to name a few.
My son has never flown on another airline. We are extremely disappointed. I sincerely hope Southwest reconsiders this policy change. Otherwise, we may need to look for a new airline.