Okay first, did you mean to say several times a month? You need 25 flights in a year get that status. I can see that my definition of "frequent" and your definition of "several" are what is subjective! The fact that one can eventually obtain A-list status does not negate the argument. Secondly why would a person check in early if they didn't want to get a better boarding position? If you are a business traveler with a carry on, you buy EB to insure you will find bin space and perhaps a seat closer to the front so you can be off the plane before all the mouse ears. Southwest should just fix this. It is an easy fix too. In my opinion, they just want to continue to receive EB fees. I'm probably much more sensitive to this issue since my route is always BWI to MCO.
... View more
Very good data, and I agree with almost all of what you said; however,
A. Southwest could make this better with a software change by cutting off Early Bird purchases when all A Group boarding passes are gone.
B. Allow Early Bird people who have paid real $$ to board before family boarding.
It is that simple, but they won't because this is about income via the EB fees collected.
Purchasing EB amounts to "gambling". You are paying money and hoping you get an A Boarding pass and you have no idea if you will or not. Why should there be a gamble? S/W should just insure that you'll go as soon as possible over anyone else who didn't pay extra.
I also didn't touch on gate agents enforcement of Southwest policy for family boarding, although many others do on here.
Gate agents often send those needing extra time to get down the gangway first. Even before A Boarding. They also do not enforce the family boarding policy of two adults only with the child or children under 7. I see huge families line up, aunts, uncles, etc.
I just don't believe the company should sell Early Bird boarding if you don't board before families holding C boarding passes. If families want to sit close to each other, then they should have to buy that option.
... View more
I am a frequent S/W flier. Despite the complaints I'm going to make, I think that S/W is one of the best airlines to fly. That being said, there is a problem with the Early Bird system in general. I understand that on popular routes (i.e. Balt to Orlando) the flights are always full and the Early Bird policy does not guarantee a person to be in the A Boarding Group. The boarding policy; however, should be changed so that after A1-A60 board, the next group to board should be military (with ID) and Early Bird customers BEFORE family boarding. Why? Because family boarders traditionally have C Boarding passes and they did not pay Southwest Airlines a dime to board early. Early Bird customers did pay extra and should receive the benefit of those fees. Holding a B Boarding pass and then having to wait for family boarding when you are heading to a Disney destination is worthless. Either refund the money or allow Early Bird to board before family boarding. It makes sense. It is fair. If you are worried about families finding seats together, then limit the number of Early Bird tickets so someone can't even purchase one if they are filling up the plane too much.
... View more