It all comes down to seat choice, right? Just think about the difference in what SWA offers versus other airlines. Picture this......you buy a ticket on SWA 2 days before departure. You pay $10 each way on top of your ticket price, and you have the opportunity to be checked-in automatically with a pretty good boarding position....probably an A. Go try and buy a ticket on American, Delta, AirTran or whomever, 2 days before departure. Have fun choosing from the 5-10 middle seat assignments that are left. YOU HAVE NO CHOICE on other airlines. Do you not see how the SWA system is better in many regards?????? Even if you do nothing more than just check in 10-12 hours before the flight and print your boarding pass, chances are that you will end up with a window or aisle seat.
Have you ever seen a family of 4 try to sit together on an airline that has assigned seating? It's virtually impossible unless you buy your 4 tickets a year in advance. Every family runs up to the ticket counter of other airlines to beg for seat change requests only to be denied time and time again. On Southwest, families board after the A group, which is 60 boarding positions. There are 137 seats on most SWA planes. I've never had a problem finding seats together on the plane for my family with SWA's family boarding style.....with almost 80 seats left to choose from. Just head to the back of the plane. Sure, you may want to front row, but who cares, as long as you are all together. The business guys on the front row don't want to sit by you anyway! When I have to begrudgingly fly AA, I've never once seen a family of 4 sit together. They are all over the plane and bargaining to try and switch seats, etc, as I watch the clock and see my departure time come and go time and time again while every passenger stuffs two bags in the overhead bin to try and avoid the bag fees.
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I really like this idea. I'd rather have the choice of being checked-in automatically 24 hours in advance as opposed to having to sit by the computer and do it myself. And if I don't want to pay $10 for this service, I don't have to. That's the big difference between Southwest and everyone else.......they are giving me options. The other airlines are continually taking away things that used to be free and charging me fees for it. That's a big difference......at least to me anyway! And, just check around on the plane.......everyone you are sitting around didn't pay the same price for their ticket; it's been that way forever. So, why shouldn't I get a few extra perks for paying more? It's my choice!
Whether you like the boarding procedure or not, Southwest is the only airline that I have found that consistently boards the plane faster and pushes back quicker than any of the other airlines with assigned seating. And, with every flight being different, at least I have the option of being strategic and choosing my seat at the last minute. And, I don't mind a middle seat as long as I can pick which two people I want to sit between. :-)
Great job, Southwest. And, thanks for carrying my two checked bags for free too!
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