I appreciate Kevin's and the F/As' explanations and view from the front lines. But I still don't fully understand two things:
(1) These changes are presented as win-win for everyone. I see how business travelers benefit, and why Southwest needs to make more money from them. How are these changes a "win" for non-business travelers? Aside from a streamlined online reservation page, I truly don't see how non-business travelers benefit, but I sure see how they lose out.
(2) Family boarding policy: I really appreciate CK and SWAFA's descriptions about how the new policy has been working well. But that's not what I've seen and heard, and many other blog entries say the same.
I followed the new policy as CK describes it: "Families with 'A' boarding passes can still board with the 'A' group." I checked in my family 24 hrs early and was #A1 and A2; When my 2-year-old and I, and his stroller, and car seat, and carry-ons, were lined up in the middle of the A group, between all the business travelers and other 'A' holders, it certainly didn't make things faster. No one in line could understand why a family should line up in the middle of 'A' group, and everyone I spoke with in line on all four legs of that trip--leisure and business travelers alike--felt strongly that families with young kids should pre-board as everyone was accustomed to.
Does it really speed things up and make things fairer to have families with kids, carseats, etc., boarding both during and after Group A? If things are really working better, I'd appreciate seeing passengers' comments to that effect.
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