Posted by: shoji | September 19, 2007

Southwest Airlines commits to assigned seating

Southwest Airlines is famous for their lack of assigned seating. The cattle-call seating arrangement came to symbolize the no-frills approach to air travel.

More importantly, the no-frills approach proved to be more efficient at loading an airplane than particularly assigned seating/boarding group approaches. Sophisticated operations research studies were undertaken to squeeze even more efficiency from the system. And it appears that Southwest found a better way– and will deploy the new boarding approach system wide later this fall.

Southwest Airlines commits to assigned seating – Sep. 19, 2007
The Dallas-based airline says it is making changes to its longtime open seating policy to assign a specific pecking order to travelers waiting to board their Boeing 737 jets.

Starting in early November, customers of Southwest Airlines Co. will be assigned a letter-number combination on their boarding passes, which will reserve their spot in their boarding group. According to a Southwest statement, when a gate agent calls a boarding group, passengers will take their place in their numerical order.

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