By and large, the negative comments in this blog are directed at the new family boarding policy and at the priority boarding for A-list and Business Select customers. I largely agree with the folks complaining about families not being able to board first anymore. On a recent and full vacation flight from BNA to PHX, we were delayed at least 15 minutes as the FAs tried very hard (and ultimately succeeded) to get already-seated passengers to give up their seats so that at least three parent-child groups could travel together. As an A-lister and a Business Select customer, I have no problems whatsoever with families with young children boarding first, as it really did speed up the boarding process for everyone. As a 6'5" passenger who flies 45 to 48 weeks out of the year, though, I am most grateful for the new boarding privileges that reward those of us who really are Southwest's most frequent customers. It is unfortunate that the harsh economic circumstances and brutally competitive nature of the US airline industry have forced Southwest to give up their once egalitarian approach to flying. Having reluctantly flown a legacy carrier once this year and being treated very badly by another low-cost carrier, I can tell you that I will remain a loyal Southwest flyer for years to come. If those of you in this blog who are so opposed to the new frequent-flyer and business-first policies do in fact go back to legacy carriers, I wish you happy travels. If an assigned seat is worth flying most everywhere on a 50-seat and cramped regional jet on a bankrupt carrier with disillusioned flight attendants and 20-year-old flight crews, then I say go for it. What all of this negativity about the new policies is overlooking is that Southwest was and is the only US carrier that will get you where you're going reliably with better on-time performance, with the most professional and cheerful flight and cabin crews, and always on a full-size airliner, the Boeing 737. As some of the other blog posters said, please give these new policies a chance to work before flaming Southwest management.
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