Wednesday, September 19, 2007

That's Crap!

As of October 2, 2007, families with children under the age of four will no longer be able to board before other passengers on Southwest Airlines. Those with “A” boarding passes will board first, and then families who do not have “A” boarding passes will be allowed to board the airplane before passengers with “B” and “C” boarding passes. This is presumably in accordance with Southwest’s first-come, first-served boarding pass and seating procedure, but probably has a little more to do with appeasing business travelers, who are more apt to purchase last-minute higher-fare tickets.

While I understand Southwest’s desire to make a buck, and I love Southwest Airlines in general, this is a bunch of bulls#!%. Does anybody in charge of these decisions actually travel with their kids? I’ve never flown with Danica by myself, but Kindra has, and I’m sure it’s pretty difficult. I’m sure it’s worse if you’ve got more than one small child. Giving families a small advantage is a nice way of taking care of them.

However, I will admit that if the “A” group isn’t too large, there probably will be ample seating for families to stay together if they board before the last two groups. I’ll also admit that I don’t really see the point of getting on a plane super early, since all you’ll be doing is sitting around and waiting for everybody else to get seated. It’s almost easier to let Danica run around the waiting area before we get on the plane than try to keep her in the seat once we get on the plane. The only advantages are not having to cram your stuff into the overhead compartment and being able to find the seat that you really want. Of course, all of this applies to business travelers as well, so why do they care so much about when they can get on a plane? They’re still going to have to sit on their butts and listen to any kids that happen to be whining… I also notice that a lot of them like the aisle seats, so do they really want to be knocked and bumped by parents carrying all the crap that you have to have when you travel with a child?

Still… Southwest allows check-in online twenty-four hours prior to departure, so I’m pretty sure if we fly with them that I’ll be doing that. It still irks me, though, so for now I’m boycotting Southwest.

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