Yesterday departing from SMF, I got to experience the new boarding process which is to board from the front and the rear of the plane simultaneously. I have been part of this with other airlines and it has run smoothly; however, this is due to they have assigned seats at the rear of the plane. Yesterday's boarding was chaotic and nerve wracking...and I am a frequent traveler. When boarding from the rear, passengers were not choosing seats in the rear of the plane (exit row and beyond) and there were passengers trying to "crisscross" each other in order to find that perfect seat. I would think this does indeed load the plane faster, but at what expense to the sanity to the passenger? It did take me upwards of 15+ minutes to board the plane (boarding position A27) and did over hear a passenger indicate she had paid for early bird boarding and ultimately ended up in a middle seat. Is this process working else where? Curious, because this is definitely giving me pause.
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