I'm A-listed, so a lot of downside of this new program won't affect me directly, but by charging people an additional $10, Southwest is essentially highlighting three "rules" that it doesn't currently enforce:
1. on-board lugguge limits--many, many people bring on more than a carry-on and a personal item
2. cutting in line when boarding--since I'm A-listed, I see people all the time board after the Business Select who have A passes in the 40-50s or even B-C passes. Rarely, will the gate attendant deny them boarding.
3. saving seats--just this weekend on a oversold flight from SFO to Vegas, I saw a woman save two rows of seats for her family.
Before this new program, the only people paying to board before others were the Business Select people, and I think they do now receive what they are paying for. But when others start paying for the EarlyBird boarding, the fact that Southwest does not enforce these rules is going to cause conflict between passingers.
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