Southwest Working to Revamp Its Boarding Process

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Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Except for the people meandering up and down the aisle towards the end of boarding looking for something that is not a middle seat.

  2. I love pushing and shoving to get a seat
    Speeding it up should turn it into a mob riot onboard
    Time to fly Southwest of course
    And it’s very attractive to see hundreds sitting on the floor in Las Vegas with no airline.clubs
    Very premium experience

  3. The first 2/3rds of Southwest boarding is easy and fast

    The last 1/3rd takes forever and is very stressful

    I’ll fly them if they’re cheap and easy AND I get the A boarding group

    Otherwise, no thanks

  4. Unless its a short haul I find SW overpriced on many awards and do much better in competing programs .I do like their cancellation policy for that they truly deserve some LUV 😉 🙂
    And their FAs are pretty awesome and for sure they offer a value in some select markets to their credit.But rarely a discount airline they try and position themselves as
    I would def fly them more if they had seat assignments

  5. “Southwest is flying infinitely more flights”. I hate to be the boring math guy, but that would really be awkward to see in practice. Note that if every millionth of a second there were a departure from every blade of grass in the world, that would be a lot of flights, but would not be “infinitely” more flights.

    In any case, I don’t mind Southwest’s boarding procedures if I’m in group A, or even early in group B, but otherwise they’re not so great. On the other hand they have other policies I do like, so it’s not necessarily a go-to airline, but I don’t avoid it either.

  6. Real value added (sarcasm) — BIG headline about SW supposedly revamping its boarding policy. But then no details, no hints, no clues whatsoever as to what may or may not be afoot. (except that they won’t go to assigned seats)

  7. I MUCH prefer WN’s boarding process over that of the conventional airlines. I usually fly for business and a lot of trips are booked only 2 or 3 weeks out. Nor is the company going to pay for business class (which is the norm for 99% of us). Thus, without elite status, you end up getting assigned some crap seat like 38B – despite having plunked down $700 for a 90 minute flight.

    Southwest doesn’t do me like that: I generally can get an A boarding position and after that it’s up to me to board on time and to choose a seat with the legroom I need. Even traveling with family really hasn’t been a problem with them. Those who whine about their process are either spoiled elites from other airlines or they simply don’t understand how it works and how it can be very beneficial.

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