Great - more meaningless paperwork and increased opportunities for the identity thieves.
Concur with the person above noting the huge variety of ID name structures. My driver's license includes a hypenated last name, but SW's system can't accept a hypen. So I'll show up at the gate with my non-matching boarding pass and ID - what then?
I know all this is a TSA mandate, but it was announced months ago. Surely SW has had time to update its system to accommodate the increasing numbers of people with hyphenated last names - especially if the edict from the feds was to match boarding passes and IDs!
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I'm a frequent SWA flyer. I have a 3,000-mile commute, so I see Burbank, Las Vegas, Phoenix, BWI, Raleigh, and Manchester operations up close pretty frequently.
I'll second comments from Jo-Ann, Mike and others: The new process works much better if the gate agents enforce the sequential numbering. When they do not, or when they do cattle call - "All As 1 through 60!" - the process falters. The same people who cheated on the old system do the same with the new system. It's annoying to see some guy with A 50 waved onto the plane first when I have A17.
One of the reasons people complained so much about the old system was that it was left to the passengers to police themselves. Some guy who casually drifted toward the front of the A line five minutes before boarding? He got away with it if the other passengers didn't want to have a confrontation.
Same with the new system. The guy with A50 standing in the A5-10 position needs to get bounced by the gate agent when he tries to board, not waved on with a wink. SWA needs to monitor and enforce its own system. (I'm talking about major line jumps, not turning back A19 if A18 hasn't boarded yet...)
Thanks for the opportunity to provide feedback.
P.S. I've received eight separate e-mails in two days about SWA's schedule opening up through August. Not sure if your servers are stuttering or someone's just over-eager with the "send" button, but eight e-mails is a little much.
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I fly SWA a lot during my commute from L.A. to New Hampshire. I like SWA, but I loathe the festival seating arrangement. SWA occasionally mentions that it's testing assigned seating, but the latest I heard was the whole effort had been abandoned.
I flew from Manchester to Las Vegas on Friday. At the Manchester gate, the agent moved a tall teenager to the front of the A group five minutes before boarding.
Several of the leading A group passengers - including two men who topped out at more than six feet tall themselves - cried foul. The gate agent refused to address the customers' complaints. His action took two exit row seats away from passengers who played by the rules. (Of course, the flight was an hour late leaving, too.)
I was about sixth in line for the A group, and this tall kid and I checked in right next to each other. He could have played by the rules and stood in the A group line with the rest of us. Instead, he had the gate agent make his rudeness official.
I've been flying SWA dozens of times a year since 2003, but I've recently had much more pleasant experiences at similar price points with JetBlue. I hope SWA continues to examine assigned seating. And I genuinely hope that SWA gate agents stop rewarding rude behavior.
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