Southwest Updates Family Boarding Policy After Incident

Southwest Airlines has updated its family boarding policy. The change comes following an incident that passengers believed to be discriminatory.

Back in 2017, a gay couple were flying with their three children and one of the men’s mother. When they attempted to board their flight during “family boarding, they were not allowed to do so. They were not considered a family as per Southwest.

Southwest told Travel + Leisure that it launched an investigation into the incident and determined that the “confusion in the boarding area surrounded the number, not the gender of adults in our Family Boarding.” But the family continues to uphold that their treatment was homophobic.

Earlier this month, Southwest updated its policy to specify “two adults are permitted to board early with children who are six years old or younger. Never has Southwest’s Family Boarding Policy taken into account gender or marital status when determining the ability to board early.” Previosuly the wording of the rule was “families traveling with children 6 and under”.

The change is already reflected on the airlines’ website.


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