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Southwest Moves About The Country But The Terminal? Forget It

southwest_airlines.jpg
AP

I fly Southwest a lot. I like it. Very low expectations, just cheap, reliable service. But they have a new boarding system which is supposed to be an improvement over the one that's worked fine for decades.

Southwest does not assign seats. Instead, when you check in you get a boarding pass stamped A, B, or C. The A's board first, then the B's, then the C's. And each letter has its own line to stand in.

Now, though, the lettered lines are gone, replaced by numerical signs spaced every five feet along the boarding area. When you check in, you still get a letter, but also a number. So if you have A-26, you're supposed to line up below a numerical marker saying 26-30 when they call for the "A's."

Can I tell you how confused people are? It's worse than going metric overnight. The customer service rep has to spend ten minutes explaining where people need to stand, and people are still puzzled. It doesn't seem to speed boarding either.

I suspect we'll be hearing the ten-minute explanation for the next ten years and people STILL won't get it (do you know there are people who still show up at the airport and don't know they have to have liquids in small containers in a plastic bag?)

I sure hope someone didn't earn their Six Sigma Black Belt on this one.

The airline's slogan has been "You are free to move about the country." Moving about the terminal is another matter.

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