Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

To Assign or Not to Assign, That is the Question

Not applicable
As many of you know, the question about whether to keep our open seating or to assign seats has been the Southwest question for the past couple of years.  Proponents of each process have been very vocal and heartfelt in support of their positions, and my post of last summer generated more than 700 comments (including those on a followup post).  To those who weighed in on this issue, thank you, and I assure you that your voices were heard. After much investigation, which included extensive "real life" testing in San Diego and San Antonio, we are ready to close the book on "the great seating experiment" and announce our decision.  (If we had drums, we could have a drum roll at this point, but we don't, so imagine one in your mind.)  Southwest has decided to keep open seating, but to adopt a new and improved boarding process.  These decisions were based on the input we got from you, our Customers, through this blog, written correspondence, and surveys taken during the tests.  While a substantial majority of our Customers prefer the ability to select their own seats onboard the aircraft, many of those folks have told us they don't like our existing boarding procedure that sometimes has Customers doing everything possible to be at the front of their boarding group.  Instead, many of you suggested, why not board the aircraft in the numerical order of the boarding pass? Well, we listened to you!  After initial tests in San Diego last fall, we conducted a full-scale evaluation in San Antonio last month, and the responses we received were very favorable.  Basically, the new boarding procedure divides the airplane into groups of five Customers, based upon the order in which a Customer checks in.  The first Customer gets an A 1 and so on, and they will line up to board in their group of five.  (To the extent possible, our gates will be modified with marked columns that reflect these new boarding groups.)  Customers will know where their boarding pass aligns in the process as soon as they check in, and this will eliminate the need to "camp out" and hold a spot in the boarding lines.  For a full description of the new process and to see the comments, click here to read Susie Boersma's August 23 post.              Our goal is to have the new boarding process up and running systemwide by early November.  I am fully aware that this news will excite many and disappoint others.  To those of you who are skeptical, I can only ask that you give the new boarding procedures a try.  After everyone gets used to it, I bet you will wonder why we didn't think of this years ago! (Click here to see a video of the new procedures.  Also, check out this helpful site.)
525 Comments
Not applicable
Way to go SW! All too often I have witnessed large families who are traveling together pre-board because there is just one child in the group. It is very unfair to those who wish to sit up front as these seats are usually dominated by the pre-boarders. I suspect that many people are upset with this new policy but then again if I had been treated preferentially all these years I'd be upset as well.
Not applicable
How about just letting everybody board first? 🙂 Seriously, the car seat contingent has a valid point. Southwest could probably afford to allow people with lap children and/or car seats to pre-board if they are required to sit in the last 4 rows of the aircraft. That's the noisiest area anyway, and the pre-boarders will have plenty of time to settle in back there before any other passengers get all the way to the back of the plane. As others have stated, this would allows the A boarders to avoid sitting next to an infant. The number of people eligible for pre-boarding under this rule would be lower what we see today out of airports like Orlando. In Orlando, your "A" was effectively a "B". What if a passenger with an infant or a car seat doesn't want to sit in the very back? Simple: the passenger will have the option to board after the A's or with his group.
Not applicable
Rollie, Just because a person is 5"6 or shorter doesn't mean he or she shouldn't get the emergency exit. The last time I sat in the emergency exit was with my girlfriend. She is a couple of inches shorter than me but she is the one that sat next to the window. I can hear you saying that's not right. Well, it was right. She has a bad knee. By sitting in the emergency row with the extra leg room, she was able to stretch out her leg and be much more comfortable. What I'm getting at is that you can't fault someone for sitting in the emergency row who is "short" without knowing her or his story. Everybody complaining about people with young children not preboarding. GIVE IT A CHANCE before complaining. Southwest didn't get to where it is today without some thinking before doing. I predict that this will be a great improvement for everyone. Besides, just because you have a kid why should you get special privileges?
Not applicable
I have flown Southwest for 99% of our family trips-4 trips a year 4 tickets each. I realize it won't affect Southwest if is just my family, however if all family travelers choose to fly on a different carrier,maybe they will reconsider family pre-boarding. If I am no longer able to pre-board with my small children I would prefer to fly another airline where I have an assigned seat. Bye-Bye Southwest!
Not applicable
I will now fly other carriers whenever price allows. I realize I can get my family in the "A" group but with all the other A's behind me breathing down my neck it will be more stressful than ever to get 2 little ones stowed away with all of their stuff. The competition 24 hours before the flight to get the best A slot will now be horrendous; I know I'll get on their 24 hrs in advance adn still be way down the A list when people catch on to the new system. And the farther back families go, the slower they will board. I also fly alone a lot, and when I do, I don't want to be near anyone's kids - its best to have them seated and settled so I know where they are. Other carriers may not allow preboarding, but they assign seats and if you book early enough you can pick out your own online. Your system was better, now it is worse. This plan will make a lot of business people happy, but will be hard on familiies so I suggest you stop flying to Orlando all together. (and remember, that family traveller you're shunning is tomorrow's business traveler.) I also just read you tried to force families behind row 18 once. Once our kids turn 2, we pay the same as an adult for their ticket. I would have totally objected to that. Wow By the way, I've been thinking about getting the credit card, but won't bother.
Not applicable
I think I'll like the changes - I hated the camping lines, but always felt the need to line up because if you didn't, you ended up at the back of the line no matter how early you showed up at the gate. As to families preboarding - I'm glad it'll be over (and I have 4 kids & 2 grandchildren). I'm tired of seeing it abused. I don't mind if it's a mother traveling alone with an infant or toddler, but It's ridiculous to see half a dozen adults traveling with one 3-year old stroll in late and walk up to the preboard line for priority seating. But, what is more amazing are all the complaints... I don't understand why those who've enjoyed preboarding aren't willing to check in early for an A boarding pass... like everyone else has had to do for years.
Not applicable
Brian Lusk wrote: >About four or five years ago, we did require preboarding families to sit behind Row 18, but it was almmost impossible to enforce. That experience showed us that designated areas are impractical. The new system offers an opportunity to make this work. Here's how: Announce that families board AFTER the A's. Then announce that anyone with an infant or car seat who AGREES to sit in row 18 or higher is permitted to pre-board. Make it their CHOICE, and be clear in the announcement that the row restriction will be STRICTLY enforced. In this situation, very very few of the pre-boarders will violate the deal they just accepted. If they do, just have the cops take them off the plane. Don't accept belated apologies. They will tell all their friends what happened. That's what we want. Why doesn't anybody try to board with a "C" pass in the "A" line? Because you enforced it strictly from the beginning, people learn that they can't cheat the system and they stop trying. Same here. There's some up-front effort, but it pays off pretty quickly.
Not applicable
Brian, thanks for continuing to lend a voice and respond to comments on this site. It is nice to see that the company is dedicating effort to reading and attempting to respond where appropriate. After reading messages from the CEO and COO in the past, I have no doubt that the concerns and feedback are being listened to and while we all won't agree with the policy... at least the debate is allowed to continue. I'm hoping that a more formal message from Gary, or preferably Collen (let's face it... she has a really disarming style to her writing) will be forthcoming on the blog to acknowledge the conversation. I see that a lot of the comments here are the same... we all agree that the "cattle call" had to go and "bingo boarding" has its merits and I know I would have ranked it such if I had experienced it and had a chance to participate in the survey. Changing the family preboard at the same time just seems to be too much too soon. They really are two different issues. And let's be honest... family preboard is actually being changed prior to bingo boarding... so that still leaves open the question that Southwest is saying that it feels that family preboarding has been a problem. Most of the voices here appear to favor the new line up concept. They are just opposed to the change of preboards for family. Personally, I would have liked to have seen the company express some consideration to keeping some accommodations for passengers that are flying with children 4 and under (age verified of course).
Not applicable
Sean's suggestion that I ask a ticket attendant for long legroom seating has been done and rejected every time. Granted, I am "only" 6'-6" and not your example of the 7'-6" person you observed get special treatment, however, it is unfair to people sitting on either side of me to have to sit at a 45 degree angle so that my legs will fit. Some people have offered to let me sit in the aisle seat, however that requires me to sit at a 45 degree angle in the seat with my knees in the aisle to where the snack and drink carts cannot get by without my having to unbuckle and stand up to let them by (not to mention the agony of sitting for hours at an angle in a seat that was not designed for it). I once confronted a priest who had preboarded, limping with a cane, and upon arrival was sprinting off the plane. I asked him if there had been a miraculous recovery in his leg. He confessed (there's a switch) that he was feigning the injury to get more legroom. He wasn't even tall, he just likes to "stretch out". When even a PRIEST is forced to lie to get a seat, you need to look at how many other preboarders are pretending to be handicapped. What is the problem with assigned seating?
Not applicable
Please, please please rethink your decision to do away with preboarding for families with children! If you read the entire comments section, as I am sure you do, you have many loyal customers who have made many excellent points about why you should keep it. I think overall the new boarding sounds great, or at least worth a try. I will try boarding with my 2 kids under 5 the new way, too, but if it's as bad as I think it might be I will look for another airline. I would spend some more money to have the convenience of assigned seating if I cannot preboard with small children. I love Southwest, I just think it's a really really bad idea to do away with preboarding for families. Do you have any idea how difficult it is when you are a single adult trying to get 2 small children on a plane and settled into their seats, even when they are well-behaved? And both those seats are paid for: my children are too old to fly free! And there are some real concerns about not getting seats together for you and your kids. I would like to think that many people would move their seat so that a mother could sit with her two children, but if you have ever ridden a bus in a major city, you know that this doesn't happen sometimes, and trying to jockey for this seems like it would hold up boarding a lot more than just letting the people with kids pre-board. The most I have ever seen are about 9 familes with kids preboard on one flight, and that was on Thanksgiving Day. They are never more than 15% of the total passengers, so why do away with the pre-boarding if it's going to make so many of your customer's upset? Southwest is great and does have a long-standing tradition of responding to thier customer's wants and needs. Please take these many comments to heart and re-think your decision to discontinue the preboarding for familes with small children.
Not applicable
While I agree that eliminating the "cattle call" is welcome, I am VERY disappointed that Southwest is doing away with preboarding for families with young children. I think this is just another example of how our culture is becoming increasingly child-unfriendly. I do believe this will be a short-lived policy, however--it will undoubtedly frustrate both parents and those stuck behind them when parents are trying to hustle toddlers, car seats, and--carry ons down the aisle. I too will be seeking another, more child-friendly airline unless this policy changes.
Not applicable
EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED TO HEAR OF SOUTHWEST'S PLANS TO DO AWAY WITH FAMILY BOARDING. I HAVE TOUTED THIS PREVIOUSLY TO OTHER PARENTS. IT'S STRESSFUL TRAVELING WITH CHILDREN- TRYING TO KEEP THEM CALM FOR THE BENEFIT OF OTHER PASSENGERS. FAMILY BOARDING DOES HELP EASE THE STRESS. WITHOUT FAMILY BOARDING, WILL HAVE TO PATRONIZE THE OTHER AIRLINES.
Not applicable
I heard the announcement concerning the new seating arrangements on Southwest Airlines. I don't fly Southwest because you waste my time. Downtown Dallas rather than DFW is not convenient unless you work downtown. The traffic to get to Love field is not worth the wait. Next the cattle car boarding wastes time because you have to get there super early to get a good seat that I could have gotten without the wait if the seating was assigned. Travel is bad enough these days because of the new homeland security measures put in place due to 9/11. Although the security rules are necessary it adds time to travel. I don't want to add more, my time is worth something to me. I flew Southwest airlines once, never again. I wouldn't fly Southwest even if it was free, it just isn't worth all the time wasted. I guess at age 57 I'm not one of the new generation travelers you want to attract. I've only traveled about a dozen times this year anyway, and two of those trips were out of the country. Since you don't fly to Europe there is another reason to continue with another airline. I wish you luck, I know there are those who will fly with no one else.
Not applicable
My husband & I welcome this change and look forward to our Vegas trip in December.
Not applicable
I would like to encourage those flying with toddlers just give it a try. The less time they spend stuck in that seat the better! I know my babies and I are on board! Nicole.......still applying 😉
Not applicable
WHY NOT BOARD A PLANE FROM THE BACK TO THE FRONT
Not applicable
This is a great system. We love flying Southwest because of the competitive rates. We live in an area that does not offer Southwest, but we make the 3 hour drive to an airport that does, just for the friendly staff and inexpensive flights. But, if you seat the passengers according to when they check in and get their boarding pass, does that mean you will eliminate the online check-in? And as far as the boarding for families with small children, I have mixed feelings. Our family traveled this summer to Orlando, there were 4 of us together. I was able to get my mother in-law and my 11 year old daughter a boarding pass in group B, but my husband and I were both in C, we were not able to sit with our daughter and his mom, nor were we able to sit together, but with her being 11 would that have qualified us to pre-board? We tried to do everything right, I was able to check-in on line the day before for my mother in-law and daughter, but was unable to do so with my husband and myself. Also we arrived at the airport 2 1/2 hours before our flight, so that we could try to get checked in early enough to possibly be in the same boarding group, but that didn;t work. And unlike some of the other posts, no one offered to move so that we could sit together.
Not applicable
I have been flying for business and personal extensively for years. I chose the airline I flew based upon the convenience of the flight schedule, until 2 years ago. That is when my daugter arrived. After flying several airlines I have become a Southwest loyal flyer due to the ease of traveling with a child. With preboarding I was usually able to sit within the first few rows which was great since I travel alone with my daughter and am usually carrying a diaper bag, a car seat and of course my daughter. I will no longer fly Southwest since I have no guarantee of where we sit and no guarantee of when I can board. If you think the boarding after Group A is good enough it's not! I will not subject my toddler to getting pushed by a bunch of crazy adults carrying oversized carry ons and boarding a plane. At least if I fly other airlines with assigned seats we can board near the end without be pushed by a crowd will be guaranteed seats together..
Not applicable
Before you getting upset about the pre-boarding with children, why not give it a try first. Some people don't like change of any kind and go into it with a negative attitude. Have an open mind going into it and maybe you'll be surprised. FYI, I have two kids of my own.
Not applicable
I've always loved the Southwest boarding policy and I'm disappointed that they've deemed it necessary to make any change at all. While the switch to assigning numbers within each boarding group will probably take some getting used to, it will make little difference in terms of convenience in the long run. Seriously, anything in the A group assures you of sitting pretty much wherever you want (unless you insist on sitting in the front of the plane), and it's incredibly easy to assure that you're in the A group. But eliminating pre-board for rugrats? That's got potential problem written all over it. What justification does Southwest have for this move? Nothing about it improves efficiency of boarding in any way. Is this change simply the result of complaints about "special treatment" for families? Hell, I'm all for giving them that special treatment if it means they're seated before I even get on the plane, and can then choose to sit as far away from them as I want.
Not applicable
BINGO SEATING , Do people really get paided to think this stuff up? I never fly SWA and this is just seals the deal for me. Shoot charge an extra $5 to get an assigned seat , now you have BINGO SEATING... stupid
Not applicable
Thanks for nothing Southwest. With this decision, you've just lost a long-time customer that has traveled on your airline on business trips and family vacations. I cannot fathom traveling on Southwest with my family (including a young toddler) if I can't pre-board and guarantee that we'll all be seated together. I'll miss Southwest's friendly, on-time service, but will now have to switch to a carrier with assigned seating or risk having my toddler stranded, sitting next so some stranger on Southwest. You'll lose me as a business traveler, too, since I no longer have the incentive of accruing rewards on Southwest for my family trips. I think your new boarding procedure is otherwise an improvement, so I hope that you'll re-consider your changes to the pre-boarding procedure for families with small children.
Not applicable
I love Southwest. I travel for business and pleasure and the best about Southwest is that I can sit where I want , with who I want or around who I want. So I was dreading assigned seating. I love the new seating arrrangement HOWEVER am I to understand that families with young children will board after the A group? The beauty of the families boarding first is that I knew where the children were sitting. I am a mother and grandmother who often choses to sit elsewhere.
Not applicable
Goodbye SWA!! For the first time in 10 years, I have booked a flight for my family of four with another airline due to SWA's change. Although I understand the change may be a good business decision for SWA (targeting a different audience), without pre-boarding for families with young children, I am now better off going with assigned seats for the same price at US Airlines/Am.West (matching your prices is the best move they made to benefit from this policy change). No worries about online check-in at midnight or standing in the long lines. Now instead of complaints from the latecomers who have to sit next to the children which everyone knows is up front, the screaming kids will be spread out throughout the plane to irritate everyone--I know, I used to be one of those single business people. Sorry to see the change.
Not applicable
I guess if I had just read Jeff's comments before the post I could of said "I absolutely agree, couldn't have and didn't say it better my self!
Not applicable
I am extremely disappointed with the end of family pre-boarding. It is quite shortsighted. The rule only applies (er, applied) to families with children under four years old, and it is ridiculous to imagine that Southwest would expect any child under four to sit separated from his or her parent/adult companion. You are injecting a lot of unneeded stress for families (will we be able to find two seats together?) and your hallowed business travelers (will I get stuck with a 3 year old in the middle seat?) for no good reason. It cannot posssibly save time to have parents and flight attendants begging people who already found a seat they are happy with to rearrange to accommodate C group families -- thus getting a C group seat -- rather then letting the families board first. In all of my experiences flying Southwest both with my family of three and later four, and as a business traveler, I have never seen more than 3-4 families pre-boarding. Those families are not taking up solely "prime" seats, they are usually occupying an entire row and taking middle seats. To the people who say "give it a try" -- I have seen families with kids just over the cut off really struggle and go through a lot of agony trying to get seats together when they are in the C group. A five year old is really no better prepared to be in a middle seat between two strangers than a 4 year old, and I have always felt that that the 4 year old cut off is too low. Going through that same struggle with car seats and diaper bags in tow will be horrible. I plan on cancelling my Southwest credit card and going back to Delta. Sorry Southwest.
Not applicable
With families with small children being the 2nd group on board, I doubt anyone would have to strand their toddler with strangers! I'd like to see how long it would take a stranger to offer to move seats so that THEY don't have to sit next to your child. I'd guess about 2 seconds! 🙂
Not applicable
I'm adding my support to the long list of people disappointed with the change in family boarding policies. I have been flying SWA because of the family pre-board policy, even when the tickets were more expensive on other airlines. I will be taking my business elsewhere, where I can be assured of sitting together with my infant in an aisle seat - where my infant will have the freedom to move around without bothering nearby travelers.
Not applicable
I am in my mid 50's and have flown with my grandson MANY times, boarding before some and after others. I had NO problem getting us on the plane. If Andrew D can't manage his children to even get them onto a plane perhaps he should drive with them. I raised 5 children all together and never expected extra considerations for it. If I couldn't manage them in a situation, we just stayed home. It's too bad today people can bear children but don't know what to do with them when they get here. Grow up and take charge! Whose's raising whom these days?
Not applicable
Two problems with the elimination of family pre-boarding: 1. Most people hate to sit next to kids on airplanes. Under the new policy, kids will be scattered all over the airplane, not concentrated in the front as usual. The same people who complain about families getting the "privilege" of preboarding are the people who will be complaining when they end up having to sit next to kids. 2. It will definitely slow down the boarding process. When I travel with my two small children and two carseats, I have to get both carseats installed and kids settled and snacks and toys out before the plane is ready to take off. Even when I get on first and go to the very first open seat I see, this takes up the entire boarding time and I just barely get my own seatbelt buckled before the plane starts to roll. If I have to lug those kids and carseats halfway down the aisle and then somehow stash both kids and one carseat in the seat row while installing the other carseat, you are high if you think that isn't going to stop up the entire boarding process. I will be blocking the aisle and trying to keep the kids from escaping. I'm sure all those anti-kid flyers are going to love me even more than they already do. I'm not too worried about getting to sit together; I can lose some sleep camping on the computer to try to score an A pass (at least until the next kid is born and is a lap child for a couple of years, eliminating the possibility of online checkin.) But everyone who is in line behind me is going to be annoyed. I only hope they are as annoyed at Southwest as they are at me.
Not applicable
Oh and Jeff? Perhaps a "road trip" in the car would suit you as well.
Not applicable
And as for seat assignments? Look at your boarding pass folks.......you HAVE been assigned a seat.......Why am I the only one who has realized that?
Not applicable
Can I just respectfully ask, "What the HECK are you thinking?!" You might as well just say "Families, please don't fly with us." I'm a frequent Southwest traveler, and often fly with my toddler son (without my husband). He is very well behaved on planes, I am often told, but we definitely need a little extra time getting on. It isn't as much an issue walking down the aisle in the plane, but walking from the terminal TO the plane. Like many parents of very young children, I have my child in a big bulky stroller, which we are allowed to check at the plane. Once we get there, I have to unload him, take his diaper bag out, and keep my eye on him (since he can walk) while I'm trying to fold up the stroller for an attendant to take. So while having me board with folks in the A group will still mean I won't be separated from my son on the plane, it does mean that I'll being trying to unload his stroller and fold it up while others are standing right behind me. (And ten bucks says that many of them will cut in front of me if I try to politely do this on the side of the hallway). It's tough enough flying with very young kids these days. You just made it much tougher, and I'm not convinced you made it any quicker. I can't imagine that if a family boards in the C boarding group and can't get seats together, that a flight attendant won't be asking volunteers to swap seats so the family can sit together. That takes time. And if I see a young family get separated, you'll have lost my business for good. That's just wrong! And might I add that some travelers don't want to sit anywhere near a child. Last weekend I had the rare opportunity to travel by myself, leaving the munchkin at home. I took my book and headed for the peace and quiet toward the back of the plane. Now, if families aren't on the plane first, many of them will be sitting in the back next to people who would prefer to not sit with them... At any rate, I hope that if you find this great little experiment doesn't work, that you'll swallow your pride and allow families to preboard again. I CAN'T say I'll never fly Southwest again -- I just bought my tickets for Christmas a few weeks ago. But I will certainly remember, as your flight attendants say, "We know you have a choice." And in the future, I'll be less likely to choose Southwest. Thanks for your consideration.
Not applicable
Brian, Can you tell me what happens if you miss your boarding call? For example, if you are in the restroom when the first A group is called, and you are in that group? Do you have to wait for all groups to board, or (hopefully), just all the A groups? I'm interested to seeing how this all will work, but will withhold judgment until after I've tried it.
Not applicable
Having flown out of San Antonio twice under the new boarding system, I have to say I am totally in favor. I am a ten year business and vacation Southwest flyer, and rarely travel on another airline. Not having to stand in line to secure a good seat is a plus, especially when having to change planes en route. One comment I would make though: does one handicapped passenger require 10 family members assisting who also get to board early?
Not applicable
As a frequent flyer with Southwest I have enjoyed many many years of flying with them. However last week in San Antonio the new test of seating assigments were given. For the most part it's ok with me however I think not allowing families with small children to preboard is CRAZY!! They should definely preboard. Families with small children take longer to board the plane and delay the rest of us behind them. We fly a lot with our 18 month old and have enjoyed it until last week. We are normally in the A group as we always check in 24 hours in advance on the computer however even that isn't enough when you have a toddler. We were not able to seat together since they were already so many passengers on board flying through even though we did have an A boarding pass the seats were all filled up. The new policy isn't improving quickness by any means it still too the same about of time. It did improve on the cattle line that was normally there so I think the idea of the new system has hope I just think you need to reconsider your preboarding acceptance of allowing families to preboard. Why are you discriminating against families. You were once a friendly family airline and now I think you are just like everyone else. For those of us who enjoy traveling it sure was nice to preboard with our child so we didn't hold up the line. Please reconsider your preboard policy. What would it hurt to let us preboard if we already have an A boarding pass.
Not applicable
Laura . . . about your suggestion we take a road trip . . . road trips are fine and quite fun for shorter hauls, but they're not really a viable option for longer trips.
Not applicable
I've been reading some of the comments and the anger and hostility and threats are really unfounded. Are people not reading what the policy says? All the comments about " C" group seating for families and passengers being asked to move to allow them to sit togeather? I believe what I read said that families traveling with children under four will board after the " A" group, which gives them lots of seats togeather from which to choose. I've flown with three young children over the years, and I know it can be a trial, but it also did not make me entitled to special treatment by the airline or fellow passsengers. A crying child is no different in the front ,middle or rear of the plane.
Not applicable
As a frequent business and pleasure traveler on Southwest ( a 3 time companion pass holder ), I am looking forward to the new boarding process. Having read a number of the previous posts, I am against having the families board between groups A and B. I don't think it takes that much time out of the boarding process to get them situated first. Also, as someone else pointed out, the kids will be dispersed throughout the cabin. Southwest seems willing to change it's procedures. My bet is the pre-boarding will soon revert back to the old way. I was relieved to see that they are not going to have assigned seats.
Not applicable
Hi Ann, Thanks for keeping an open mind. To answer your question: According to the info given to our Employees, a Customer who arrives at the gate after his/her boarding position has boarded can board the aircraft when he or she arrives at the gate. Brian
Not applicable
Laura, I'm going to assume your little jab was directed at the other Jeff who posted after me. That's the only way it makes any sense, since your initial post only reinforced my point. Otherwise, what crawled up your skirt?!? If you're one of the apparent few who is conscientious about your children's behavior in a public setting, then hats off to you. But, as you yourself wrote, that's apparently too much to ask of some people, and most of us would rather not get sucked into the dysfunction of others.
Not applicable
We are so sorry to hear that family pre-boarding is being eliminated. This distinction was really the only reason my wife was willing to fly Southwest on family trips - it more than made up for the unassigned seats and other inconveniences of flying no-frills with kids. Please reconsider this aspect of your changes to the boarding process.
Not applicable
About four or five years ago, we did require preboarding families to sit behind Row 18, but it was almmost impossible to enforce. That experience showed us that designated areas are impractical. Brian Brian - That seemed like a good plan. I know you said it turned out to be impractical, but do you know what the reasons were?
Not applicable
I LUVed the "Boarding School" tutorial that was sent out yesterday. SWA - you always crack me up. The straight ABC method was okay by me, anyway. I'll be flying with you to Idaho in a couple of weeks. I need up update my resume with SWA - I would LUV to be a family member!
Not applicable
Thank you Southwest! I think this is the answer we have all been waiting for. This will solve not having to stand in lines for a long time... and this plan should work out great for families as well! I already love this idea! Who thought of it? Give them a big bag of peanuts!
Not applicable
I find the discontinuing of the pre-board for families and adults with children under 4 disturbing for two reasons. One - the practical reason - is that time will be wasted with children blocking aisles as adults attempt to get them into their seats and the fact that a family seated together is less disrupting to other passengers (me being one of them, as I fly solo a lot). Two - social - is that this seems like a change that will make SW more of a singles only airline. Young children are being dissuaded from flying. That makes it better for single adults that find children annoying - you know, they cry, they talk loudly, they squirm. I will continue to fly SW when I'm my own, but I'll be flying other airlines when traveling as a family.
Not applicable
Oh, and Brian? I must have missed it. Exactly what is the rationale behind the change in preboard policy? As I noted earlier, it's not at all clear how this improves boarding efficiency in any way. And please don't just respond that it tested well in San Antonio.
Not applicable
I had twins and never had a free pass boarding. If people don't like it, take the kids, the other 10 members of their party, 1/2 of which are in wheelchairs faking a foot injury,(all of who moved to the head of the line in the security check points, why I don't know. Jeez, the wheelchair people are sitting down, for Christ sake) and take the bus.
Not applicable
I FLY SWA once or twice a week. My prioities are simple (a) a safe flight (b) being on time . If you do anything to impact your safety record or your on time record you'll see the back of my head as I walk to another airline ... Also I really like your flexibility. If you become one of those other tight butted airlines ... I may walk away as well. I love SWA. As my dearly departed Italian mother used to say ... "don't mess with the old family recipe!!!"
Not applicable
I am so sorry to hear that families with children will not be allowed to board first. While I no longer have small children it seem only prudent to let people with little kids and all of the stuff that goes with them to get seated and settled. It is so hard to travel now and the pre-boarding for this group is one less hassle in a long line of hassles. Plus, I actually think it speeds the process as they are already seated and not holding up the boarding process. Some how this seems mean spirited and not like Southwest. I hope you reconsider.