Two Florida dads traveling with their three children say that Southwest Airlines staff would not allow their group to pre-board a flight with other families traveling on the same plane.
One of the fathers says he flies on Southwest between Buffalo and Fort Lauderdale often, and has not had a problem using family boarding, reports WGRZ.com.
But this time, he says, when the family approached the gate at Buffalo Niagara International Airport, an airline employee prevented them from boarding and said, “this is for family boarding only.”
“And my spouse looked up and said, ‘Well, we are a family. It’s myself, my spouse, and our three children,’ he told WGRZ.com. “She said it’s family boarding only and got very sarcastic.”
He says he feels like his family was “profiled” as soon as they walked up to board.
When reached for comment by WGRZ, a spokesperson said Southwest had just heard about the incident, and referred to the airline’s family boarding policy, which reads:
“An adult traveling with a child six years old or younger may board during Family Boarding, which occurs after the ‘A’ group has boarded and before the ‘B’ group begins boarding.”
The spokesperson says that means that one adult can board with children under six years old, but the policy could also be read as though one adult can board per every one child under that age.
While the man acknowledges that the policy could be open to interpretation, he says the employee didn’t note that initially, and just said only families can board.
We’ve reached out to Southwest for additional information and will update this post if we hear back.