I really like the change to letter-plus-number seating. In addition to reverting to letting children board first, here are a couple of other suggestions for faster and happier boarding:
1) Put a short section of "practice" overhead bin (with door) in the waiting area at each gate with a sign explaining "good bag etiquette and technique". Encourage waiting passengers to practice putting their bags in the quickest most space-efficient way and to check that the door can close. I know your bins vary somewhat between planes but hopefully not that much that it wouldn't still work. It would also allow people with extra large bags to check if they will fit know they have to check it. If people would just put their bags in end-wise if they fit and push them up against the wall or next bag, and therefore take up minimum space, we could reduce the all-too-frequent occurrence of late-B and C groupers holding up the process while they search for a bag space or someone having to rearrange previously-placed bags to make space. You also need to train your flight attendants better in looking for opportunities to rearrange bags slighly (usually turn and slide together) and make new spaces rather than closing the bin door when it appears at first glance to be full.
2) Work with bag manufacturers to affix a "LUVly Bag" tag to bags that will fit end-wise in the bins on all SWA planes. In addiiton to knowing this bag will have a better chance of squeezing into the last space in a bin, the bag purchaser can show the bag, and surrender the tag, to a SWA service counter agent at any airport for one Rapid Rewards credit (maximum one per RR account to prevent pilfering or trading of tags). You may be able to get some bag manufacturers to also affix a semi-permanent discreet LUVly Bag badge that the owner can leave there.
... View more
I'm a regular business and leisure traveler. Far from resenting children boarding first, I like it. That way, the kids are all together up front. If they board during and after the A group, they will be more scattered around the cabin, putting me at risk of being near a kicking or screaming child. It seems a win-win to let the kids board first.
... View more