I was excited about moving to Chicago and being able to fly SWA at least once a month with my toddler and husband to visit his grandparents in other Midwestern states. I was impressed with the family pre-boarding policy in effect. I felt like SWA appreciated how difficult it is to fly with small children and that the airline would make parents' (and fellow passengers') lives easier.
With this change, there is not a chance in hell I will set foot on a Southwest plane. It's very nice that "switching babies" works for one of the parents here, but my toddler is a two-person job, and better those two people be his parents than me and a stranger. Flying is stressful enough. Since i'm already paying for my child's seat to install his carseat and get him settled (a fifteen-minute process when he *couldn't* walk on his own), I'll go with the airline that *assigns* me a seat so at least if we don't preboard, I know where I'm sitting.
Bad move, Southwest. Sugar-coat it all you like, but you've just lost five regular customers (since my mom won't fly with you either.)
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