A reader recently posted a troubling comment on my post from earlier this year about preboarding with children. While traveling on Delta yesterday, she was told that families with infants and small children were not allowed to preboard on Delta anymore. The gate agent told her that, under new Delta policy, preboarding would only be reserved for families needing extra time to install a car seat.
It seems as if her experience was not a one-off situation. According to this thread on FlyerTalk, at least a few others have been told the same this week. Delta has not yet posted any information about this policy on its website (including in its special section about travel with kids) that I can locate.
Delta was one of the few legacy airlines that still preboarded kids, so this is a disappointing development if this turns out to be true. Even without a car seat, it can take time to get your young children settled or carryons stowed when you have an infant in arms. Yet another reason I’m continuing to prefer the low cost carriers and smaller airlines like Virgin America, Southwest, JetBlue, and Alaska. Preboarding causes me less stress and allows me to get out of the way of others who might be a little faster-moving!