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Boarding

rlw895
New Arrival

Here’s an idea:  Why doesn’t SW give priority boarding to people who don’t have carryons?  I ALWAYS check my bag and board with maybe a book.  I have to wait in the aisle as people stop to jam their oversized bag in the rows near the front.  Meanwhile, the SW staff are begging people to check bags on a full flight and even have to cut off carryons at some point. Why not incentivize people to do as I do and let us board in a priority class?

7 REPLIES 7

Re: Boarding

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

It is an interesting idea. I think Southwest probably wouldn't go for it due to the current prioritization based on frequency of flying, and the business travelers will tend to have a carry-on for work-related items and they don't want to discourage that.

 

I am surprised sometimes that people don't seem to be taking advantage of two free checked bags. I'll admit I check my clothes, but carry on my work-related items which is still either a roller bag or backpack.

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Boarding

rlw895
New Arrival

By “priority” I don’t mean ahead of A1-A15.  But let’s say there are some A1-A15 unsold.  How about giving those to carryonless passengers on a First come, first served or “lottery” basis?  It wouldn’t take much to have an impact on behavior.  No one expects too much, just some recognition would be nice, and effective.  SW can figure it out. 

Re: Boarding

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

I think any new category would have to be behind the A-list and A-list Preferred flyers.

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Boarding

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

Southwest wouldn't discourage carry-ons because if they did it would increase the amount of checked bags. More checked bags means more time spent checking them in, handling those bags, and more problems like lost and misdirected bags, all of which have to be dealt with by staff. Bags don't really "fly free" of course, there's a cost to processing them, and it would increase if there were more of them. Increased costs are bad. 😉

Re: Boarding

rlw895
New Arrival

Interesting point. SW would have to answer.  It’s just a guess on my part, but I don’t imagine the numbers would change much.  Boarding would be faster even if the numbers didn’t change at all.  Maybe priority boarding for light travelers would only be on full or close to full flights. 

Re: Boarding

rlw895
New Arrival

Agreed. 

Re: Boarding

erbain
New Arrival

This is a very interesting idea! I usually have a backpack, sometimes a roller bag too, but I'm quick to get it out of the way and avoid blocking traffic. (I know, I know--not everyone is as polite and conscientious.) I do see the point several others have made though, about how boarding numbers are assigned based on status and a number of other factors (I've been A-List or A-List Preferred for years, and I like my A boarding position).

 

What if there was an option for everyone without a carryon to board after the A group, before the B group--with family boarding and A-List who didn't get A boarding passes? This would add the least amount of potential complication to the boarding process (as people aren't too bright when it comes to boarding, in my experience, keeping the process simple makes it work more smoothly). Instead of adding a layer of complication, it would just enlarge who is eligible to board between A and B groups.

 

I don't think adding more checked bags would slow the flights down significantly. It would be much more efficient to have people check bags at check-in than to have to gate-check them, for example.