In defense of Southwest’s new boarding procedure

Justin blogged a few months ago about the nightmares that the new Southwest Airlines boarding procedures were apparently causing. Some travelers were freaking out, and seemed to be pining for the days when you had to arrive at the gate four days early just to make sure you didn’t get a middle seat.

So I feel like a veritable voice crying out in the wilderness when I say that, having just returned from a couple flights on Southwest, I like their new boarding procedure. It goes like this. Those who check in the earliest online are assigned a number from A-1 to A-30. When all those numbers have been given away, they switch over and assign numbers from B-1 to B-30, and the system continues until everyone has a number, which is printed on your boarding pass.

When boarding begins at the gate, all those with “A” passes line up in order and board immediately. When they are all on, the “B” people then line up, and so on. It’s actually quite efficient, and it obviates the need for standing in line for hours at a time.

So, hooray for Southwest. Now if only I could get a whole can of soda.