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Weekly Rant #4: Whiny passengers convince Southwest Airlines to screw families with small children

September 20, 2007

According to Southwest Airlines new boarding rules:

Beginning October 2, 2007, an adult traveling with a child four years old or younger will board between the “A” and “B” boarding groups, unless you have an “A” boarding pass. Those Customers holding an “A” boarding pass should board with the “A” boarding group. With an all-jet fleet outfitted with comfortable, leather seats, our families traveling with small children are easily accommodated together.

Why are they doing this?  Will it make boarding faster?  No.  There’s no way that parents boarding with small kids in a plane already 1/3rd loaded is going to be faster than a plane that’s nearly empty.  So why do it?  Because the “A” boarding pass nazis whined that they spastically clicked reload on their browser 24 hours before their flight so they could get an “A” boarding pass, and then some family can just waltz by them with their “C” passes and board first, just because they happen to have small kids!?!  OMG the trauma!

From now on, we’re targetting you, “A” pass boarders.  When we board between “A” and “B”, we are sitting our asses down in the seats right next to you, so our kids can spill their juices on you and cry louder than your iPod’s maximum volume.  And you’ll just have to suffer.  Hey, there wasn’t any kids there when you boarded?  How were you to know?  If only they had boarded first, you could have selected seats far away from them, huh?

I think some people need to be given a couple of kids under 4 and given tickets on a flight, so they can see how fun that is for parents.  First throw all your luggage into your car.  Then load up the kids and drive to the airport parking lot.  Spend 15 minutes trying to get their car seats out of your car, so you can bring those on your trip so they can safely ride in cars at your destination.  Make your way into the airport by shuttle or however with all your luggage and car seats, and go check it all (because you have waaay too much to carry it on).  Go through airport security with what you have to carry on (maybe diapers, formula, cups, wipes, games or things to keep the kids occupied, etc), making sure you take the kids shoes off, lest they be hiding knives or toe clippers.  Get them redressed on the other side of security.  Go find a restroom because they probably have to go, and you hope in vain that it will mean fewer trips down the narrow plane aisle with them during flight.  Find your gate and get them settled, probably with something to drink or eat, or something to do or look at.  And now wait for the “A” passengers to board, because they went to ALL the trouble of clicking their mouse at their desk exactly 24 hours before, while you were at your kid’s soccer practice??

Smart move, Southwest.  You can see the rest of their new boarding procedure here.

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