Southwest announced new boarding format

Old Sep 21st, 2007, 09:38 AM
  #21  
 
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Sorry, forgot to paste the quote from Owen's blog:

"Basically, the new boarding procedure divides the airplane into groups of five Customers, based upon the order in which a Customer checks in. The first Customer gets an A 1 and so on, and they will line up to board in their group of five."
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Old Sep 21st, 2007, 10:03 AM
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If you go to SW web site, they have a video showing signs with 1-5, 6-10, etc for people to line up next to when the flight is called for boarding. The web site talks about "eliminating the need for Customers to “camp-out” in their boarding line at the gate."
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Old Sep 21st, 2007, 10:24 AM
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Now, if I'm understanding it correctly now:

Basically they divided passengers into 5 large groups: A1-30, A31-60, B61-90, B91-120 and C121-end; then within each group of 30, they subdivide them into 6 groups of 5 passengers each.

This sounds pretty confusing on paper, but I hope it'll work better at the actual gate.
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Old Sep 21st, 2007, 10:34 AM
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I can imagine the confusion if I get a B1-5, my elderly parents get B6-10... they will panic to be a yard away from me
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Old Sep 21st, 2007, 10:46 AM
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See, they could have done A, B, C, D and E. But who wants an "E"? No one even wants a "C" now.

So, with the new system, 120 of the typical 137 passengers will be "A" or "B". Makes more of their parents happy.

<i>&quot;...where all the children are above average&quot;.</i>
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Old Sep 21st, 2007, 07:43 PM
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Faina: the way rkkwan's initial post says is that those needing assistance, like families and people with young kids, will board between Groups A and B.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2007, 03:28 PM
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Thank goodness. No more having to stand in line for an hour just to get a good seat. Now all you have to do is be one of the first ones to check in online, which is becoming a little more difficult now that there are companies doing this with computers for people for a fee.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 10:24 AM
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AAFF, good that you got a saver award, but does AA not have a one-way award at half the rt mileage for upper tier elites?
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 10:30 AM
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No.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 10:54 AM
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I flew on SW 2 or 3 trips a month for the last 15 years and I love the airline. (I was even the featured flyer in the magazine one month.) Sometime a while back, maybe earlier this year, i received a request from SW to complete a survey regarding seat assignment and various permutations of checkin and boarding plans. I don't know how many surverys were completed, and whether they were sent to every single person who gets email from SW or belongs to Rapid Rewards OR whether only the most frequent flyers were surveyed. Clearly the majority of its frequent flyers preferred some version of open seating, as do I, and this may have been mentioned in the news release. &quot;We&quot; asked for it, and we got it. I, fo one, am glad they are not going to just let all the latecoming &quot;C&quot; familes with small kids (and this should be kids under 5 yrs old!!) cut in front of everyone else who made a point of getting there early.
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Old Sep 24th, 2007, 06:19 AM
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Of course if they ask their current flyers if they want open seating or seat assignments, they'll get that the majority likes open seating. Those who want seat assignments aren't with them anyways!

What they need to find out is that how much business they're NOT GETTING right now because of no seat assignments, and how many of their current customers THEY'LL LOSE if they switch.
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 08:46 AM
  #32  
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AAFF, you're exactly on target. I flew WN last minute (booked 3 hrs. prior to departure) earlier this year, and, as I have mentioned elsewhere, I paid the highest possible fare &amp; got a &quot;C&quot; boarding pass, where I was relegated to a middle seat. As I’ve said, WN is the only airline where, when you pay more, you get less. It’s been my experience that on most legacy carriers, most pax still get seat assignments at check-in; thus, while you certainly have no guarantee of a good seat, you have a better chance than on WN. Also, many legacies offer F upgrades for next to nothing for full-fare Y pax (when available, of course) – something WN can’t offer.

As far as their “new” seating system, it’s just the same, old, crappo “A-B-C” system” with some minor modifications. I still think people are going to camp out in the boarding area in order to fight for a seat, and thus, it doesn’t make me want to fly them.

And, eliminating family pre-boards seems like idiocy at it’s best.

And, rkkwan, as usual, you’re right on target. Since their fuel hedges are eroding, they’d better start worrying about what the pax who don’t fly them want!!
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 02:16 PM
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What possible difference could the seat selection method, or lack of it, be with regards to the overall odds of landing in a bad seat, over the entire population of passengers? If the plane is full, then all the bad seats will be filled, and if the plane isn't full, then the bad seats will be the last to be filled, regardless of the seat selection method.

Because of an indivdual's particular circumstances, one or another airline's method may work better for him or her. For example, if someone has status on an airline, he may want to preferentially book on that airline because he can &quot;jump the line&quot; and book better seats than are available to the general public.

But overall, no scheme can give better seats to everybody.

Ed

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Old Sep 26th, 2007, 12:01 PM
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I like it. Some airlines in the past used to hand you numbers as you got the gate. Worked ok. Recently I had 4 seat assignments on 2 legs and didn't get any of the seats I had been told I had. USAirways. Return trip we had all of our assigned seats.
In this case planning ahead pays off.
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