I was extremely disappointed when I read you will no longer allow families with small children to pre-board. In fact my husband and I had just purchased our Christmas traveling tickets with Southwest Airlines for no other reason than the ability to board ahead of time.
In my opinion the pre-boarding policy worked out for both families as well as people not traveling with children. This is because not only did the service decrease the extremely stressful experience of traveling with small children for the parents, but it also allowed people who are not traveling with children to decide whether they would like to sit near those families. For me personally, this was a life saver. Before I had children there was no way I wanted to sit near one on a flight. Now that I have a nine month old baby, I am very concerned for that unlucky person who gets stuck sitting next to us. Under Southwest's old policy, I was assured that the person sitting next to us was more likely than not, someone who liked children. This was our experience the last time we flew with SW and had led us to continue flying with SW. However, I highly doubt we will ever fly SW again with the new policy. The prices are the same as any other airline and the present boarding policy is far worse than other airlines. At least with an assigned seat you don't have to wait in lines and you have a guarantee of sitting with your family!!
Please reconsider your decision of no longer allowing families to pre-board. I think SW had a niche in offering a service that no other airline offered. I also believed that by removing this service, SW will feel the squeeze when families turn elsewhere in favor of easier seating options, lower fares, or other services, when they would have chosen SW simply for the convenience of pre-boarding with children.
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