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Southwest Airlines Community

New Gate Areas

blusk
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Yesterday  (October 10), we unveiled our gate design at Dallas Love Field.  To read about the details, click here.   For our interactive page at southwest.com that shows all of the new gate areas' features click here.  Below are some photos showing the new family areas, the seats with power units, the charging stations, and the new boarding columns. family-gate-area.jpg   seats-with-power-stations.jpg   charging-stations.jpg   boarding-columns.jpg
40 Comments
drew
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It all looks great! Hopefully there are enough seats for everyone since staking out line positions will no longer be necessary. Hurry up and get PHX done already! 😄
joe-mdw-plane-d
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Looks nice. Hopefully you wont need to do this @ dtw until the new terminal is open in 2008. Office hours are posted elsewhere on the internet. Ding! boy joe
Going_Like_Sixt1
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I remember this! I'm so disappointed you didn't take my suggestion to add winglets to the table! Ah well, I think I recognize a couple other suggestions incorporated. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Leah4
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This looks very nice! I wish they'd do something like this in TUL! 🙂
Anonymous3519
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I can't wait until this is implemented system-wide. I'm curious to see how the setup is going to work in our little corner of the system!
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[...] As part of the new boarding experience, Southwest has unveiled a redesigned gate area. Part of the redesign will be the installation of stainless steel columns and television monitors to support the new boarding process. Other new elements include a family area containing small-sized tables and chairs, “kid friendly” programming displayed on a flat screen television, and low to the ground power stations for charging electric devices; and a business/leisure section with padded seats, tables with power outlets, power stations with stools, and flat screen televisions with news programming. The makeover will be implemented at all airports by the first half of 2008. For some pictures and other media of the gate remodel…check out the report on the Nuts about Southwest blog. [...]
Anonymous548
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I like the new gate area seating, I just hope that the people who don't need the power outlets will choose the other seats. Also, it doesn't look like there's room there for 137 customers....
blusk
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Hi Brian, (Great name, by the way!), I had a similar question, so I got the answers. The new gate areas will only reduce seating options by three or four seats. However, in San Antronio where we have gone to the new enhanced boarding system with groups of five (it rolls out in Dallas on Monday), more people are spending time in the airport concessions than in the gate areas because they are freed from the need to stake out a place in line. Brian
David_Ross3
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Is there a schedule available for when each airport is to be done? Any chance that OAK will be done in time for my OAK-HOU flight on 2 Nov and HOU on 4 Nov for my return? Now, if only Southwest can do something about the walkway to the new gates at OAK. Some idiot thought it was cute to cover up the windows with designs and thus blocked the view of the ramp.
David43
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Looks great! Good design ideas SWA! Thanks for separating the lap-top and Blackberry crowd from the rug rats. These will be welcome changes when they come to my home base in ABQ.
Anonymous548
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Brian, Great to hear, I'm glad that there won't be a seating shortage. I think those work seats for the corporate crowd will be a big help with attracting ancillary revenue in the coming years... I can see two years from now, a customer paying one fee for wi-fi in the gate area with continuing service inflight. The future is looking good! Please feel free to hire me, my resume' is in the database. 🙂
Bill13
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i just want to express my dissatisfaction with the new boarding policy. As a business person who flies on southwest, I frankly like allowing families to preboard as then i can choose to sit away from crying infants. I think this is a foolish policy and because of this will probably look for other options as I pay close to full fare anyways. I am sure you will hear plenty of these opinions as more and more business people have screaming infants sit next to them on the plane.
Another_Mark
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Bill, Your comment was discussed many times on this blog when the new policy was announced. May other comments were also made about other parts of the new policy, but this is one part that management didn't comment on. All of us faithful business fliers are still scratching our head on this one. However, I am listening to Brian and giving the whole new plan a chance. I'm anxious to try it here in MCO. Brian, thanks for all the good info you have provide us concerning the new boarding policy. You have risen above and beyond with this.
blusk
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Mark, Thanks for the kind words, and especially for the open mind. I am flying out of Dallas this morning, and this is the first day of the new procedures at Love Field. Brian
o1ive12
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Hi! I am so thrilled by the new gate redesign! I saw it leaving San Antonio recently and i was very impressed!!! I can't wait until these new gates are finished across the system. Thank you for keeping open seating and making the travel experience all that much better. I give you super high marks for installing charging stations. We need them!!! Now my only wish...install power plugs at each seat on the plane! That's a far cry, but, I can wish! Peace! Oliver
Jen2
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The new seating area looks really nice, but I have one problem with the set up as shown. It looks like the kiddy area is the only seating by the windows. I would like for there to still be seating for "grown-ups" by the windows, because I enjoy sitting by the windows and watching the planes go by, and I would hate to have to sit in the family area to do so.
Mary15
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I couldn't be more unhappy with the new boarding policy, both from my perspective as an adult passenger and on behalf of those traveling with small children. Just as the special needs of an adult with a physical challenge or a child travelling alone are addressed, so too should be the special needs of families traveling with small children. Pre-boarding provides them an opportunity to choose the seats most conducive to their travel needs, and get themselves and their children settled. Additionally, I personally strongly prefer to board after families with small children so I can choose a seat near or far from them; that was an option when they pre-boarded, and is not an option now. I know of families and adult passengers who are considering discontinuing flying with SWA solely because of the new policy and I think that's unfortunate for them and for the airline. While I am not aware of what prompted this boarding policy change, I can't believe that Southwest, of all airlines, couldn't arrive at a better solution than this one. Let me say I do appreciate the new procedure of boarding with letters and numbers; I think that has a number of benefits.
Troy_Kannegiete
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I tried the new boarding in San Antonio it looks great, but I have been thinking about it and for those of us that are not able to log in 23hrs and 59min to get our boarding passes but do make it to the airport 2 hrs early it is not such a great improvement.
Sara2
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I have a question? I know people are upset with our new boarding process because now families with screming children are spread out more in the cabin where as with the old boarding process they mainly sat up front. But, my question is with the other airlines that assign seats you don't know who you will be sitting by correct? So, when you go to book your flight, assigned a seat, and arrive to only find out that there is a family sitting right behind you with a screaming and kicking child what do you do? You can't move right? Your probably stuck there listening to the child. At least with our boarding process, if you do get stuck next to a screaming child you do have the option of changing seats and trying to move further away given that you are not the last person on the plane and the plane is not full.
Connie2
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I think the new boarding process is great. I hated standing in line and hoping that the person in front of me didn't have 16 friends they were saving space for. And nothing is more disgusting than seeing someone spralled all over the floor with all their luggage because they didn't want to check it. I also don't mind the families too much, although I know my grandchildren can be a pest...... ! The new design is great also and to let you know, we only fly SW unless absoutley necessary to fly something else, and wouldn't change for anything. We have always had wonderful service from all the employees. Thank you Southwest.
Vince2
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Will we ever see an end to the abc lanes and get a real seat. As a Security Professional open seating is not safe and secure at any airport.
Glenn_Andersen
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I fly 2 or more times per week and generally to/from Orlando. Disney is the main destination for the screaming kids but I have my iPod and isolator earphones and just tune them out. I think the new family insertion between A and B is more fair and I am looking forward to the new boarding process next month. I use the cell phone to get the A pass if I am away from the computer and I never wait on a line anyway. I sit and read until the A line is boarding and if I am the last A I still get a seat on the aisle in the front of the plane. I think the new process sounds great and it will be nice to be able to walk through the airport without cutting through the lines of people waiting to board at the other gates! Kudos to Southwest. They are the best run airline I have ever flown and I fly enough to earn a Companion Pass each year plus loads of free Rapid Rewards flights.
David5
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I am really excited to see that you are giving the kids an area to keep them entertained. However, I am very disgusted that you have chosen to not allow preboarding for the families. As a father of two that recently chose Southwest for a family trip, not being able to preboard was a very big turn off. You really need the extra couple of minutes to get car seats buckled in and make sure everyone is sitting together, etc. We had A boarding passes, but it is extremely difficult to get a 5 year old and 20 month old rounded up into a line an hour before your flight. This policy change has me thinking that I should choose an airline that wants kids on their plane. I use SWA for business as well as personal, but I may have to reconsider both.
BWI_Dave
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For years passengers were allowed to use GPS on SWA. I would pass the time with my Airmap 2000. In June the policy was changed and GPS is now listed on the never allowed column in Spirit magazine. The Flight AttendantÃ
blusk
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David, I did some checking for you. When we were recently revising our list of approved electronic devices, It turns out that GPS devices should never have been included on that list. Here's why: According to our Maintenance and Engineering folks, these devices have not been approved. That doesn't mean that GPS deviceshave an affect navigation, it just means that we haven't conducted the tests to show their interference (or lack of interference) on the aircraft navigation instruments. (The FAA leaves it up to each airline to conduct the tests.) I hope this clears up your question. Brian
blusk
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Ooops, My apologies to Tom I think. There was a comment for this post that wound up on the spam queue, and I was trying to restore it as a regular post and deleted it by mistake. If that was you, I am so sorry and hope you will repost. Bumbling Blog Boy
Jon_Lutter
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How many cities (64 I believe) and total gates will be updated in the SW system and over what period of time?.
Jon_Lutter
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How many cities (64 I believe) and total gates will be updated in the SW system and over what period of time?.
blusk
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Jon, We hope to have every airport done as soon as we can, and before the end of the year, if not sooner. However, there may be some gates at some airports where this won't be possible due to facility contraints. I just don't know which ones those are. Brian
Dan35
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The new gates look great! Add that to the many other reasons I only fly southwest.
Kyle3
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I really dig the new look, and especially like the new boarding system... I like the idea that now when I'm waiting at the airport, if I want a cup of coffee I don't have to worry about someone taking my place in line. Now if we could only get SWA to fly out of Springfield MO life would be perfect for me. However for the time being, it's totally worth the 4 hour drive to STL . I've had to fly several different airlines with my job and I've never found anyone who can compete with Southwest. I have to also say, it's a very bold and brave move to start a blog allowing peoples comments to be posted in a (realatively) uncensored manner, and I feel that shows further proof of SWA's commitment to their patrons, and confidence in their employees to provide the absolute best service. Cheers to you SWA! See you in the air!
James2
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i like everything except i think the families should just go back to pre-boarding. im not sure why it was switched to where it is now, i haven't seen an explaination, but i think everyone would be fine with it being swithced back. let them have their extra time to get seats together, and get car seats or w/e in, and get settled into their seat, then let everyone else start boarding the plane. other than that, keep everything the way you changed it to. do you have more of a specific timeline for implimenting the new gate area's? i assume DTW will be one of the last places to get these, since the building of the new terminal is suppose to be completed in spring '08 i believe.
Bill21
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Here is the problems I see. 1 - If you are an alister and your wife or co-worker isn't., you woul have a low a number and your wife or co-worker could have b or c numbers. You would be separated during boarding and may not be able to sit next to each other??? 2 - When the kids come on after you board, you are stuck if they sit next to you.
Beth_Gartrell
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I have not had the pleasure of experiencing the new boarding process but will next month so I will keep an open mind - but my parents and brother and his family just flew Southwest to Tampa. My parents being in their 70's were given a Senior Citizen discount. But because they needed to prove their age, they were not allowed to check in online 24 hours in advance. They did get to the airport 2 hours early, but still received Group C and one of the last number groupings. Needless to say, they both ended up with middle seats in different parts of the airplane. Of course, they were not happy about this. They could understand that they needed to prove their age, but if Southwest is going to continue this type of boarding, then they should allow all passengers to check in online and to obtain the best possible seating. As I said before, I have not experienced the new boarding process, but with a small child, I do like to preboard so to get the stroller squared away and the car seat installed. I do not expect special services and actually my husband and I prefer the back of the plane with a child. That way, if he does get fussy, then we can get up and move around with him with minimal hassle of walking down the aisle. But until I experience this for myself, I will just complain on my parents behalf. Don't treat our Senior Citizens like second class citizens. They deserve more respect than that. Change your policy and allow this group to check in online so they have the same chance as everyone else to try to get 2 seats together.
Bob_Hudson1
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So far I love the new arrangement. I must admit it serves me well as I am in the "A" list! I hear people complain about not understanding the new line up but I have to be honest and say...um...it says the numbers right here! I mean, do they want a person to come take them aboard in a wheelchair and feed them through a feeding tube? It isn't difficult i the slightest...a 2nd grader or less could figure it out...which is why it may be difficult for some adults...you may need to dummy down to kindergarden for many adults:) I also love the set up with the bar like seats and counter at some airports. Though honor systems while good do not always work as the usual jerks just sit there and do not even use the plugins. But they are really nice and I use them every time a table is open. So far this year the pilots have been very good and in my opinion expert flyers. They take great care to stay out of the turbulent air and make every effort to insure a safe and comfortable flight. I really appreciate that as I am not big on moderate or worse turbulence. Like I had going into San Diego airport on Friday November 30h in the AM. It was wicked but the pilot did an excellenet job. A lesser pilot could have made that landing a lot worse and in fact several planes tried to land and couldn't. All in all I love Southwest and think their efforts to stay true to their mission statement and yet adapt to the rising costs to fly shows their integrity and sincere desire to make the passenger number one!
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lap top gps... That might be true in some cases......
MHTflyer
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First of all, those gates look AWESOME! ANd, I'm flying to MCO tomorrow, and I was wondering if the new gates are already in MHT? I really hope they are. If not, does anyone know when the gates in MHT will be retrofitted? Thanks in advance!
MHTflyer
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Well, first of all, thanks for another great trip, WN! My nonstop to MCO was great, and my PHL and MHT legs were great as well! Im kinda sad that MHT and PHL didn't have the new gates. But, at least MCO had some of the new features. I don't know what the problem with the gate agent saying "A1-30, A31-60 etc." is. All three of mine did, and the boarding process went quite smoothly. Although, with the gates equipped with the temporary "spinning letter poles," the letters were never spun. They always said "C." I hope to see the fully decked-out new gates this summer!
Stacy
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I agree with Kyle on SWA flying out of Springfield, MO. For years I used SWA to fly home when I could get a ride out St. Louis or Tulsa. Now it has become much more of an inconvenience, especially with gas prices. Unfortunately, it has been a few years since I have flown SWA because of this. Instead, I've been forced to switch to Northwest, which I'm not crazy about. However, they fly into Springfield AND they seem to be much less expensive. Whatever happened to SWA's BUDGET flights anyhow? I never manage to catch good fares when I need them, so I have all but given up trying. It's too bad, too, because SWA is still my favorite airline.
cmhflyer
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Hello all, I am not sure where to post this. Just joined. With Skybus flaming out and Delta cutting back big at CMH (Columbus), is there any hope that Southwest may pick up the pieces? I think flights to FLL, RSW and MCI would do quite well. MCI has about 90 PPDEW plus those wanting to connect to SEA, PDX, etc. RSW doesn't seem to be a very big op for WN, so that may be unlikely. I could even envision MSY working. And what about DEN??? It seems CMH is on the outside looking in there. IND gets 2 flights and now have 4 carriers flying IND-CMH! We have UN, and the prices aren't pretty. Come on, Southwest, CMH is there for the taking. We're begging you. You can even kick CO out of the A concourse and have it to yourselves! :) If someone knows a better spot for this post, let me know.