Southwest Airlines has more miracles than any religious figure in modern history!

While watching the  “group that needs extra time”  pre-board I noted one man with a cane ,who when we arrived at our destination left the cane in the baggage area, forgetting he needed it– a miracle! There was another passenger who had a soft cervical collar, which on arriving in hot Phoenix had removed it in the jetway – another miracle! Another man, who was assisted by his wife as they shuffled down the jetway to take the bulkhead seats bounded off the plane and easily picked up their luggage. I understand that some elderly just can’t walk that far and are assisted with a wheelchair, but was amazed when those same elderly didn’t need it when they got to Phoenix.

Here is what I didn’t see: the women who was traveling with infants still struggled to get their children, diaper bags, wait for their strollers, and somehow carry more than the average Sherpa – these mothers still, when they left the plane, had to carry all that gear.

Southwest Airlines it is time to change your boarding policy. The number of people who pre board because of disabilities is more than any other airline. While sitting at the terminal in Portland I watched several Southwest planes board and decided to count the pre-boarding groups: Four Southwest planes boarded with 9,7, 10, and 12 passengers who boarded before the “A” group.  So I decided to check  Alaska Airlines, and watching four flights I counted: 2, 2, 4, 5 individuals who pre-boarded – similar size planes – all nearly full.  So I checked US Airways – 2,3,5,5 pre-boards.

As a physician, with a keen eye, I noticed that two people on Southwest Airlines with canes who didn’t know which side they were injured on (they used the cane in the opposite manner someone with their limp). Soft cervical collars are not used by any physicians these days- they do no good, so when someone wears them they are usually either in a courtroom  for whiplash, and now on Southwest airlines.

Southwest current policy is to allow those who need extra time to board first, but they cannot sit in exit rows. Then Southwest will board the “A” group, which include the first 15 who paid a premium.  Then they board families with infants and then go onto the  B group.

No wonder people with disabilities travel on Southwest Airlines- you board in one condition, and leave in another. Unless of course you are a mom- still with kids, diaper bags, strollers and you don’t grow new arms.

We are not the first to note this: nor do we expect employees of Southwest to make medical judgments – but if people who have infants can wait until the A group has gone, so can people who have to take extra  time.  My guess is that if Southwest Airlines changes to that boarding policy you will see fewer passengers needing more time, and Southwest will sell more “A” seats.

It is ironic to note that someone can buy a cane for less money than buying business select on Southwest Airlines, and take advantage of a system that was put in place for those who really need it. Of course I could be wrong- it could be that Southwest Airlines serves water from Fatima.

No one with a real injury uses these soft neck collars anymore. And apparently on Southwest Airlines they are only needed for a flight because the necks magically get better