To all those who say, "Give it a try": Did you read Rachel's post a few posts back? She has already gone through the trial at San Antonio with a toddler, and she said that, while the new boarding is mostly great, the lack of preboarding with a baby was terrible. They were in the A group and still did NOT get to sit together because the plane was so full with people traveling through! This is exactly what people are worried about.
Southwest, are you listening?
As a parent of 2 small children, who I have to buy seats for, seats that cost the same as everyone elses, I would be in favor of sitting at the rear of the plane if i pre-board. I would also be in favor of only 2 adults being able to preboard with children (no 9 family members for 1 kid type of thing, but I really don't see that sort of abuse much anyway). Honestly, why couldn't you try something like that first instead of dicthing it altogether? The more I think about it the more I am disappointed. It just seems like a monumentally stupid decision. I really hope you change it or you will be losing a lot of business.
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Please, please please rethink your decision to do away with preboarding for families with children! If you read the entire comments section, as I am sure you do, you have many loyal customers who have made many excellent points about why you should keep it.
I think overall the new boarding sounds great, or at least worth a try. I will try boarding with my 2 kids under 5 the new way, too, but if it's as bad as I think it might be I will look for another airline. I would spend some more money to have the convenience of assigned seating if I cannot preboard with small children. I love Southwest, I just think it's a really really bad idea to do away with preboarding for families. Do you have any idea how difficult it is when you are a single adult trying to get 2 small children on a plane and settled into their seats, even when they are well-behaved? And both those seats are paid for: my children are too old to fly free!
And there are some real concerns about not getting seats together for you and your kids. I would like to think that many people would move their seat so that a mother could sit with her two children, but if you have ever ridden a bus in a major city, you know that this doesn't happen sometimes, and trying to jockey for this seems like it would hold up boarding a lot more than just letting the people with kids pre-board. The most I have ever seen are about 9 familes with kids preboard on one flight, and that was on Thanksgiving Day. They are never more than 15% of the total passengers, so why do away with the pre-boarding if it's going to make so many of your customer's upset?
Southwest is great and does have a long-standing tradition of responding to thier customer's wants and needs. Please take these many comments to heart and re-think your decision to discontinue the preboarding for familes with small children.
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