Southwest Airlines Sticks with Open Seating, With Changes to Boarding Order - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/19/07

Southwest Airlines Sticks with Open Seating, With Changes to Boarding Order

Southwest Airlines is sticking with letting passengers find their own seats instead of getting an assigned one. Dallas-based Southwest Wednesday said its 36-year policy of "open-seating" is faster, and customers like it.

But the airline in November will tinker with the current system and assign passengers in the three boarding groups A, B, and C into subgroups. They'll be assigned numbers for getting on the plane.

Southwest says that will reduce the time passengers must stand in line at the gate.

Also, Southwest, as of October 2nd, will stop automatically boarding families with young children first. Unless they have a coveted "A" boarding pass, families will board after the first 60 passengers.

Chief Executive Gary Kelly says it wasn't fair for families who arrived just before takeoff to jump ahead of other passengers already in line.

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