I've used the new boarding process in a couple of airports now, and I really like it. I think it accomplishes everything it set out to, and I'm very happy that Southwest would go to the trouble of making such a big change to their system just to please customers. Based on the earlier comments here though, I get the idea that some people feel that they should line up in numerical order even within their 5-person group. Personally I just assumed that if you were in the 5-10 group, you'd just not worry about the exact order from 5 to 10, but maybe the gate agents should explicitly clarify whether that's the intent or not. Or maybe someone can comment about that here.
I'm deeply disappointed by the whole Business Select idea. I've always loved how Southwest always tended towards equality among their customers, and didn't succumb to the pressures of having different seating classes or even seating assignments. I loved how everything was open and equal -- if you booked earlier, your ticket would be cheaper. And if you checked in via the web site earlier, you'd have a better boarding position -- no need to rush to the airport to be there several hours before, to get a better seat. And with that, I also knew that if I changed my flight at the last minute on the day of departure, I'd probably switch from the A group to the C group, but at least it was a purely fair way of doing things. But now, if I fly less than 32 one-ways per year, and therefore don't qualify for the new A-List, I can be the first to check in on the web and still get a boarding position that's quite a ways back, depending on how many people on my flight are getting preferential treatment because they either paid more (or their company paid more), or happen to fly a lot as part of their job.
I know this is a losing battle because Southwest has already gone to a lot of trouble to promote this new plan, but I've been waiting for a good opportunity to give my feedback, so this is as good a place as any I suppose. (oh, and that reminds me... C'mon Southwest, get into the 21st century and start accepting email!)
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