I am packing my bags as well. From my point of view, this new boarding procedure sucks for the following reasons:
I am one of the loyal customers for over 15 years who helped all those "on time departures" by showing up early and waiting in line. Before, I was rewarded for that by getting first pick at seats. Now, it does not matter that I show up early because all the first spots in line have been sold or given away and there I stand waiting for all the Johnny come lately's come strolling in an hour later with higher boarding passes than me! From what I see this Slows down the boarding process.
Are there really people out there who can not stand for 1 hour at most for something they want? You are going to be sitting for hours on end and it would kill you to stand for 45 minutes to an hour? What's next, SWA going to carry these people from their cars to the gate?
Fine, I bought my ticket month's ago, got my boarding pass on line, am at the airport hours ahead of time and still, I am at the end of the A list. Why am I here? Why don't I now fly any other airline that actually rewards "first come first serve"?
Now I am on the plane, 5 flights and still can not get any of my favorite seats. By the way I too, would always brag that flying SWA was the best because of it "fair" first come first serve policy. Now, I am cozy. Then comes the kids, babies and their baggage. Then comes the musical chairs. "Can you move?" "Do you mind giving up that aisle seat to I can seat next to my child?" "There is a lovely middle seat I can offer you"
Before, when I boarded, it was great. I knew exactly where the kids were and if I was not in the mood to seat next to them, I simply wouldn't. Simple.
Now, SWA has gone backwards! What is the big deal? Let the families board first. This way everybody knows were they are, they can sit together, no musical seats and everyone is happy. Are there really that many jerks that can not stand the fact that kids board first? I don't have kids and all I know that traveling with them looks hard enough. Why make it even more difficult? No one wins this way.
All I know is that SWA has popped my traveling balloon. I was alway excited to travel. Now I hate it. It is stressful, uncomfortable and I can not give away my rapid reward tickets and change my new year's itinerary fast enough.
Why would anyone buy a Business Ticket costing almost as much as first class on nother airlines when there are no special seats, no special sections, no food, movies, or perks. Just what I used to get when I showed up early and waited my turn!
So... Good bye old friend, SWA. We have been though alot, weddings, funerals, births, holidays, gem shows, sking lots if wonderful trips. I will return if you return to the simple boarding procedure that made you the best airline ever.
If you need money because of higher fuel costs, I would gladly pay a little extra for each ticket.
Simply put your new boarding procedure SUCKS, is a slap in the face to all of us who made you great and I will only return when you return to the fair and simple boarding procedure and let the kids on first.
Signed, Not afraid to stand in line for what I want.
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