No More Pre-Boarding For Families on Southwest Airlines

I’ve got some more Southwest Airlines news for you: Today CEO Gary Kelly announced his company’s decision to continue their open-seating boarding policy, but he failed to mention they will also ditch pre-boarding for families.

“Beginning Oct. 2, people traveling with small children will no longer be allowed to pre-board Southwest Airlines flights,” reports World Hum. “It’s all in the name of fairness, the airline says.”

There’s been no mention of this on the official Southwest Airlines blog, but one commenter responds negatively in a seperate thread: “I just heard on cnbc that families and adults with children will not be allowed to board 1st. If this is true, I have officially flown with southwest for the last time.”

I don’t have kids, so it doesn’t really affect me… but I can’t imagine why people would complain about families with children being able to board before the rest of the group. Maybe these are the same people who pick fights with 5-year-old kids? I’m not sure.

So, folks with kids: is this a deal-breaker?

Update: As many of our readers have pointed out, Southwest didn’t completely get rid of pre-boarding — but they did move it. With the new system, families with at least one child under 4-years-old who do not have an “A” boarding pass will be allowed to board in between the “A” and “B” groups. Which basically means that all families with small children will automatically have an “A” boarding pass. So technically they did get rid of pre-boarding, but they’re still accommodating families by allowing them to board before of 66% of the passengers on a full flight (when it really matters).

Our sister blog, ParentDish, has their own take on the situation. Click here to read what they have to say.