Southwest stops boarding families first

For as long as most of have been flying on airplanes, we’ve heard the initial call at the beginning of boarding that families with small children can go ahead and get on the plane. Southwest Airlines, which has a first-come-first-served open seating policy has decided to change those old rules. Families now have to board at the same time as everyone else.

Families, of course, are frustrated with the change. Families with young children need to be able to find seats located together. They fly Southwest because it’s an inexpensive way to take the kids somewhere. However, they might start looking at other options if boarding becomes too difficult.

In most cases, families will find that they are able to get passengers to switch around with them in order to get the family seated together on the plane. However, this causes agitation to other passengers who want to be able to just sit down and get the plane going. Making moves around the plane with kids takes up everyone’s time.

It is believed that the change is due to an interest by Southwest in targeting business travelers as customers. Business travelers may be happy that they don’t have to wait for families to board but will experience the same impatience as everyone else when everyone is juggling seats to get situated.

How long is the change likely to last?

By: Stuart SeegerCreative Commons License