Friday, November 9, 2007


SouthWest has just graduated from a crappy boarding procedure to a super-crappy-shitty boarding procedure. Instead of the ass-numbing (because you had to sit on the floor for half an hour before boarding if you wanted a decent seat) yet understandable A, B or C boarding procedure, you now have a number assignment (not a seat assignment mind you). Mine was Group B Position 30. So I had to locate the 8-square foot staging area for B26-30. No I'm not kidding. But wait, there's more. B1-5, 6-10, 11-15 etc. don't exist until A1-5, 6-10, etc. have boarded. Once A is on the plane, they rotate the sign and A staging area becomes B. And the confusion begins again.

Just to make things more fun, they boarded the flights to SJC and to SFO at the exact same time, at gates 11 and 13, for which the gates are about 6 inches apart. For the first time in my life I nearly got on the wrong plane.

The only levity to the situation was the hysterical mass confusion of two Bay Area bound flights trying to make sense of this madness. People were actually yelling to the attendants that "this system sucks" or that "we hate this!".

Someone's gonna get fired over this one.


Anonymous said...

It never ceases to amaze me how folks such as yourself want everything dummyed down. It is really that hard for you to read the simple signs? Are you kidding? If you have trouble with that how do you drive with stop signs and green, yellow and red lights. You musy be in a state of constant shock!!
It is a system designed to help you and I continue to get a great seat. And also help SW make money. Do you think they fly for you? No, they fly to run a business. This way they are being true to you the customer and also to the simple fact that costs are rising and they figured what I feel is an excellent way to see to a win win.
In my experience people complain about anything and everything. There is no reason for it. I also know folks who complain like you do not have a better answer. Why not try to see the positive side and expect people to have at the very least a 4th grade education with the ability to stand by a number. I mean how stupid are you?

Anonymous said...

I prefer the new southwest boarding policy over the old system, but it has a few bugs. For example, I was number 19, was first to arrive to the 16 - 20 section, and took my place at the front of the section. A fellow came along, asked what number I was, then stood in front of me (he had number 16). He didn't seem terribly bright, so I didn't make an issue of it, but it's my understanding that it's still first-come first-served within each designated section. I don't believe southwest intended for everyone to swap information and align themselves in exact numeric sequence. But I was a bit surprised that when it came time to board, they called for 1 - 30. It's just a matter of time before the 15 - 30 people try to slip into the lower numbered sections since they are all called to board at the same time.