During a recent discussion with a group of wheelchair travelers in the unified States, ns posed the question — which airline is your favorite? The participants called a variety of carriers, but the majority preferred Southwest Airlines.

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This wasn’t the an initial time that ns heard worship for Southwest indigenous wheelchair users, but I want to dig deeper. What around the airline’s business offering set them apart? The answer might (or may not) surprised you.

Southwest airlines aircraft parked top top tarmac.

Southwest supplies two free checked bags through every fare — was the the difference? “Southwest’s fares are typically greater than other airlines I’ve checked,” stated one respondent. Indeed, in my own experience, Southwest is seldom the much better deal ~ above airfare. With the advent of simple Economy, American wait or Delta almost always victory out top top price, and no-frills carriers like Frontier and also Spirit can also present a an excellent value proposition.

Does Southwest treat wheelchairs much better than various other carriers? Multiple world recalled occurrences of wheelchair damage when paris on Southwest, and data from the DOT suggests that Southwest is just one of the worst abusers of wheelchairs and also scooters. But no one complained around the airline’s dealing with of repairs. “The staff construed that it to be a priority,” stated one participant.

Iconic Southwest heart emblem ~ above aircraft’s bulkhead wall.

For an airline that uses a love in that is logo, girlfriend would expect customer business to it is in high-quality. But one lasignoralaura.com reader, that was not component of this panel, reported a shocking experience with the carrier previously this year. Southwest refused to deliver a crucial piece of mobility equipment, in what I think was an ACAA violation. Fortunately, JetBlue stepped in to save the day.

Southwest’s mystery sauce isn’t low price fares (there are better deals elsewhere), better handling the wheelchairs (they’re second worst) or enhanced customer service, so what provides them popular?

Cabin interior of Southwest airlines aircraft.

Southwest Airlines has actually only one course of business (economy) and does not concern seat assignments. It’s a first come, an initial serve free-for-all through seat selection. If you board early, you’ll have actually your choose of the cabin. And, as it happens, disabled flyers room entitled come preboard the aircraft prior to all other passengers.

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That method wheelchair customers can select the seat that works best for them, without having to salary an extra dues or argue through gate agents about the waiting Carrier access Act. Manual wheelchair users deserve to roll ideal onto the aircraft and also transfer right into a seat in the very first row. Window, aisle, an initial row, last row, left side, right side — it’s the disabled passenger’s choice.