I am so happy with the new boarding process. I fly on Southwest every other week and, with the previous system, trying to get to the gate and stand in line (even knowing I was in the "A" group) would get stressful. One of the most frustrating things about the old system was that folks would place a small bag as a placeholder in line while they went about their business. When groups were called to board, anywhere between 1 and 10 people could "own" the bag that was used as a placeholder. Let me tell you, those were stressful times. After standing in line for an hour, believing that there were only 5 people in front of me, I would find that I was now 25th in line. I also do not have to step over people who have camped out in line (think about the dirty floors and carpet that the old process forced people to sit on). Not only is boarding more pleasant but deboarding has improved too. I do not have to fight to get through the gate area because people who are waiting to board can actually sit and relax not get in the way of those deboarding.
I will admit, that the first time I was a little nervous because I was unsure how to approach the people who were already in line but the Southwest employees did a great job of instructing folks. Now I find that those of us who travel often are more than willing to help out the infrequent Southwest travelers on the new boarding process.
Southwest's commercials have got it right. I no longer have to get in line stressed out. I can grab a coffee or a burger and board the plane when my group and number are called. Everyone in line has been polite (unlike the process before where I saw several screaming matches break out when folks were perceived to be cutting in line). All I have to say to Southwest is thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
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