Yet another reason I am glad we cancelled our flights and decided to drive. You put some shiny "wax" on a lump of coal....and it is still a lump of coal.
You surely have lost sight of the original philosophy of Southwest Airlines, and have decided to cater to the business traveler while kicking working families to the curb. As a traveller for both business and pleasure(family), I continue to be more and more disappointed in the changes which disadvantage families and persons not traveling on a "business account".
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As a customer who flew the very first day they tested this change in San Antonio, and who was NOT notified of the testing process until I arrived to my flight,and who was flying alone with a 2 year old child and a carseat...I can honestly say that the elimination of pre-boarding was devistating. You try carring a car seat, a 2 year old, and a diaper bag down a narrow aisleway past 10 or 20 rows of people without hitting the aisle row people in the face with either your child, your carseat, or your diaper bag along the way. Never mind the fact that the airline staff never once offered to help or assist. They didn't bother to tell the 5 families standing in line at the pre-board area who weren't informed when they arrived that there was no pre-board.
As a very very frequent flier on Southwest with two Southwest credit cards, one for business one for home, and a companion pass for having so many points through Southwest I am sincerely disappointed.
Pre-boarding for families with very small children who require a car seat and diaper bag for a flight has nothing to do with getting "prized seats". It has to do with safely boarding a small child who is helpless, without causing harm and/or discomfort to others. There is absolutely NO way to avoid bumping or hitting an aisle seat passenger while carrying a child, a diaper bag and a car seat alone on an airplane. THAT is why you pre-board families with small children.
Go ahead and only make it for children who require car seats....or families with only one parent boarding with a child under 4 or something. If you can't at least do that, offer a service to carry the car-seat down the crowded aisleway so that I don't get sued by the angry child hater who gets hit by the carseat as I go down the aisle as carefully as I can.
Oh, and just a side note....my child is a frequent flier, he does NOT cry on airplanes, he is quiet...reads books, plays with soft toys, and sleeps through flights. Not all toddlers are noisy travelers, not if you know the tricks how to keep them happy!
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