The open seating policy forces people who would like a better seat to stand for an hour or more before boarding begins. Why is this needed? While other comments indicate the policy is beneficial for people with small children, if one follows the rules, and doesn't pre-board after the kids are over 4 years of age, they run the risk of not being able to sit with their children unless they go through this hour standing in line routine. I recently traveled with my two kids aged 5 and 7, and unfortunately only boarded in group B. I was forced to sit my 7 year old by herself with strangers several rows away, as no one was willing to move.
I fly other airlines that don't use open seating and out of curiosity time the boarding process. The Southwest policy doesn't load any faster as far as I can tell.
Lets move on!
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