I flew on Southwest Airlines yesterday, and despite their recent mishaps, everything was — as expected — perfectly fine, save for the peanuts. But more on that in a bit.
First, I had the opportunity to try out their newest boarding system, and it worked quite well. Instead of the cattle-call and line sitters of the past, the new system organizes passengers by their boarding pass group (A, B, C) as well as their unique boarding pass number, which are dealt out in the order that you check in. My girlfriend and I were in the A-20s and were the first group (30 and below) to board.
I realized, however, that no matter how straightforward and easy you make the process, there will still be people who are confused. One lady held A-15, and became flustered when they called for anyone with a boarding pass between A-1 and A-30 to board the plane. Really, you can’t devise a system to help these types of people.
But back to the peanuts — this was a first for me. We had a short flight between Chicago’s Midway and St. Louis, and as we taxied, the flight attendant explained that we’d be given drinks but no peanuts. The reason? “Someone on board has a severe peanut allergy,” she explained.
Are peanut allergies so strong that one can’t even be near them in confinement? Was that person afraid a rogue nut would hop out of a bag and into their mouth? I’m not sure, but SWA took the anti-utilitarian route and deprived us all of our salty snacks for the sake of someone’s life. They really do have safety in mind!
I guess I’ll let it slide… this time.