Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
WN's New Boarding Process  
User currently offlineTsaord From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2353 times:

I flew WN for the third time this past new years. I have NEVER had a problem with them and still find them to be a very reliable carrier with the best crews. But they have tried to fix something that wasn't broke. They have this new boarding process that still gives you a letter but now assigns you a sequential number. Like you can have an A pass with numbers 1-30 and 30-60. While I was at MDW this caused such confusion in the gate area because of the poles with the numbers on them. People didn't know where to stand or who went where. It was even worse in LAS because they have different poles, ones that spin in circles with the letter and numbers on them. We were trying to figure out should A stand here or B. The gate agent said we had to spin them once each letter and number were called so the next group could line up.

I like WN's old boarding process better than this crap. Each passenger was assigned a letter upon checking in and all we did was stand in line with the corresponding letter and board in order A, B, and then C. There was never any confusion and people boarded the plane just fine. Now they took it and made it so confusing that for the first time I heard WN passengers getting fussy. Then I do not understand why there needs to be "family boarding" after the A's and before the B's. WN's seating area's in MDW and LAS are not big enough to support this boarding process because everyone is confused on where to go. Then still we do not board in sequential order! In LAS I had the #4 on my boarding pass yet people with B and the # 30 were in front of me!

I will still continue to fly them because they offer good service but I hope this boarding process is only temporary. Some things that aren't broke do not need to be fixed!

[Edited 2008-01-07 12:45:38]

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineWNCrew From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1441 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2296 times:

I'm sorry you found the process confusing. The truth is that we ware still working out the kinks and eventually ALL stations will have the same numbered poles so pax will have a consistent experience. Once pax figure out the process they really like it! I hear WAY more good than bad about the new process. Most people just plug in their laptop at our new power stations, get food, USE THE LAVS, sit and read the paper...whatever, until it's their time to board. Remember as well that during the holidays we get not only travelers who aren't used to the new process, but also travelers who aren't used to flying AT ALL EVER.....so it doesn't take much to confuse them, some of these pax don't even know what "open seating" is.

Hopefully you'll continue to see improvement in the process and you'll be able to take advantage of the fact that you don't have to stand in line. I'd like to sincerely thank you for your continued business and I'm glad to know you have had mostly pleasant experiences onboard!

Sincerely, WNCrew



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6202 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2257 times:

I like the new system much better--you don't have to stand in line for an hour before the flight leaves to get a decent seat!


Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
User currently offlineGregarious119 From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 532 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2238 times:

Thanks WNCrew for your post, I didn't even consider the holiday rush confusing things.

I flew over the holiday break and I have to admit, it is a bit confusing the first time you look at it. However, the experience is SO SO SO much better than standing in line with anxiety wondering if people are going to cut the line in front of you.

There definitely are some kinks to work out, and I did here the same type of griping in CMH and PHL on our flights, but it was a way better experience than before.

Kudo's to WN for taking a system that already worked better than everyone else and improving it!


User currently offlineFutureatp From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 220 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2238 times:

I experienced this for the first time phx-mci Dec 27th and returning last night. I like it. Normally i would just get an A and be the last one to board in the A group( I hate standing lines). The lines would annoy me as often they would stretch out into walking areas. People standing around for an hour+. This new procedure also eliminates those who would show up at the gate area so early they are interfering with the previous flights boarding.

I did not see any confusion as the posts(designating places in 5's) point to where your place in line is and TV screens display when the A line is up and then B and C respectively. It keeps people in their seats and not taking up space. As for the family thing, just check in 24hrs early and get an A. I had a lap child with me last night. I boarded with A group and not with the pre boards. I also noticed the first 20 positions or so in the A line last night were never occupied(reserved for frequent fliers or business select). even though I had an #49pass it was more like I was #29. If you are unable get to a computer 24hrs in advance just do what I did and have a friend or relative check in for ya!

I noticed a lot less anxiety in the boarding area. I like it. I like Southwest. With most carriers i would be stuck in a middle seat as usually i book with less than a week in advance.


User currently offlineN471WN From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1516 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2238 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

I take over 100 SWA flights each year and I find the new SWA Boarding process SPECTACULAR!! My only regret is that they did not do it sooner as I stood in a lot of lines. On the flights after the new boarding process was put into place, the passengers are 100% happier and they say so--in fact have not found one person who did not like it!! It is simply a brilliant "fix" and trust me THE OLD PROCESS WAS INDEED BROKEN!!

User currently offlineTsaord From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2225 times:

In my case I never saw people lining up until maybe 5 minutes before they called boarding. You had the few who sat in the area but that never bothered me. Actually I do not see why that bothered anyone else. When it came time to actually board everything went smoothly.

User currently offlineConcorde1518 From United States of America, joined May 2001, 746 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2189 times:

I think it just needs some teething. I flew the new system the first time over Thanksgiving, and it was a pretty good cluster**ck, but I reason that between the Holiday travel season and the teething process, things will smooth over. The only potentially bad thing is that it seems more of a rush to get your boarding pass online since your number matters more now... I've been logged in the minute it becomes available, only to be #30!

User currently offlineLH459 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 886 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2156 times:

I flew WN for the first time in about 8 years this past week. The new boarding process caused confusion on three out of the four flights I was on. The worst was in LAS, but maybe people forget how to count after losing so much $? Even though it's WN's home base, people in DAL hadn't got the hang of things yet either! Nonetheless, I'm still impressed by the efficiency of WN's operation.


"I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is temporary; the evil it does is permanent" - Ghandi
User currently offlineWNCrew From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1441 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2137 times:



Quoting Concorde1518 (Reply 7):
I've been logged in the minute it becomes available, only to be #30!

If you're not one of our VERY frequent flyers, OR traveling on a Business Select Fare, then you won't get anything in A before #30 or so. Those first 30 or so numbers are reserved for Business Select pax and A-List pax. If none are present then it's possible for your A30 to be one of the first on the A line!



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineBreaker1011 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 938 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 1922 times:

Love the new process and think it was the answer to a prayer. The #1 goal was to give higher-paying customers a bit of an advantage, and to eliminate that terrible, awful, ugly, annoying, and frustrating camp-out that used to have to occur starting 45 mins before the door opened! It did the trick. Great job WN - my legs thank you the most for not having to stand there.

But I can see where you are coming from with some passenger confusion about what to do. It's up to the gate agents to explain it correctly and completely.



Life's tough. It's even tougher if you're stupid. J. Wayne
User currently offlineTsaord From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 1909 times:



Quoting Breaker1011 (Reply 10):
It's up to the gate agents to explain it correctly and completely

Which both stations failed to do or do a good job of.

Quoting WNCrew (Reply 9):
If none are present then it's possible for your A30 to be one of the first on the A line!

I wonder about that though. I had B04 on the way back to MDW yet someone with B30 was in front of me. I didn't it as a big deal to complain but I wonder how WN will ensure the "sequential order" like it says on the website.


User currently offlineBreaker1011 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 938 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 1879 times:

I remember on my first trip with the new process - I stood there with my partner and looked at the pillars - confused as hell, and thinking "if they don't get on that PA and explain this to everyone" there would be a RIOT on their hands (100% full flight to Vegas on NY Eve) No one knew what to do.

Here was the cause of the fog - we were A49 and A50, but at PHX, the numbers >30 are on a side of the pillar that faces the window 5 feet behind it, so you cannot even see numbers above 30 from the main seating area. Was like they didn't exist.

We couldn't see our numbers anywhere. Dumb placement.



Life's tough. It's even tougher if you're stupid. J. Wayne
User currently offlineGsosbee From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 825 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 1860 times:

Of course if you assigned seats all of this would be unecesary, and you could still meet your turn around times.

User currently offlineTugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5418 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1811 times:



Quoting Tsaord (Reply 11):
I wonder about that though. I had B04 on the way back to MDW yet someone with B30 was in front of me. I didn't it as a big deal to complain but I wonder how WN will ensure the "sequential order" like it says on the website.

Methinks it would be up to you and personal responsibility (that great quality that so many are complaining is lacking nowadays) to say politely "Excuse me, I'm in the wrong spot? My number is B04, silly me." Now if the person is stubborn no big deal, there will always be a few people that board out of sequence for a myriad of good and not so good reasons (on any airline, I've been "group 5" before and seated with group 2) it shouldn't be too big a deal.

Quoting Breaker1011 (Reply 10):
But I can see where you are coming from with some passenger confusion about what to do. It's up to the gate agents to explain it correctly and completely.

 checkmark  Agreed. I suspect that Southwest needs to stay aware and possibly beef up its boarding/gate personnel at stations as this is introduced to keep things happy and make this new process one that is well received. It'll certainly be worth it in the end for all concerned.

Tug



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineBreaker1011 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 938 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1777 times:

Speaking of that - if any WN employees in PHX are on... tell the station mgr to at least put a sign up on the windows say ing "If you are numbers 31-60, walk forward, smash your face into this big window, turn around, and look up high - there's your number." The more I think about it the more I think it is a poor setup. Vegas was setup better.


Life's tough. It's even tougher if you're stupid. J. Wayne
User currently offlineTsaord From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1709 times:



Quoting Breaker1011 (Reply 12):
100% full flight to Vegas on NY Eve

You were in Vegas this past NYE? So was I!! I got there on the 30th. *sings" Its a small world affffffffter all!!"


User currently offlineAloha73G From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2354 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1694 times:

Experienced it for the 1st time last week flying from DAL to MSY on New Years Eve. LOVED the new procedure. No one lined up until the boarding agent gave an announcement AFTER the arriving flight had deplaned. Didn't seem to be much confsuion, except a guy on board looking for "Seat 47A."

-Aloha!



Aloha Airlines - The Spirit Moves Us. Gone but NEVER Forgotten. Aloha, A Hui Hou!
User currently offlineBreaker1011 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 938 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1679 times:

Sure was - what a madhouse the whole town was - but fun fun fun!

I did learn one thing on that getaway: Stay away from $25 blackjack tables. They are evil, and should be destroyed.



Life's tough. It's even tougher if you're stupid. J. Wayne
User currently offlineRedFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4315 posts, RR: 28
Reply 19, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1651 times:



Quoting Tsaord (Thread starter):
While I was at MDW this caused such confusion in the gate area because of the poles with the numbers on them. People didn't know where to stand or who went where.

I fly a lot and, in my opinion, 90% of the problems at a gate for ANY airline can be eliminated if the gate agents were better trained in people management. Perhaps a little more "spine" in their announcements and definitely some more repetition (and louder) in their announcements. With regards to WN's new system, I love it personally but I've seen it cause a lot of confusion on a couple of flights I've taken. All of them were the result of gate agents not properly managing the "herd".

Quoting Breaker1011 (Reply 12):
Here was the cause of the fog - we were A49 and A50, but at PHX, the numbers >30 are on a side of the pillar that faces the window 5 feet behind it, so you cannot even see numbers above 30 from the main seating area. Was like they didn't exist.

The signs definitely were not thought out (tested?) properly.



I'm not a racist...I hate Biden, too.
User currently offlineONTFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 380 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1632 times:

I agree with what a few have already said. I fly WN frequently and in the past month, I've flown to/from and through LAS 7 times and for whatever reason that seems to be the station with the most confusion amongst both the pax and gate agents. I have no idea why this is? It may be coincidence but no other location seems to have the head-scrathing announcements from the agents. A couple of things in their defense though, LAS is the busiest city in the system so there's gotta be more stress there than say my airport, ONT. And the signs for boarding are just horrid there. I hope they get the new ones soon. That should alleviate most of the confusion. But aside from that, I love the new boarding process. It's a good upgrade over an already efficient system


Doin' just fine thanks...
User currently offlineTsaord From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1602 times:



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 19):
(and louder) in their announcements.

I experienced by first delay due to weather at MDW on the way back from LAS last week. I said in 2008 I was going to be more outspoken. I was sorely tested about it on that day. Our flight was delayed to due weather in Chicago which only delayed us about 40 minutes. So they gave our plane to the El Paso flight and all of their passengers came over to our gate with not one WN agent getting the passengers in order because the MDW bound passengers were still at that gate. Then they changed their minds and put the original flight to MDW back on. This one gate agent at LAS decided that even though he has a mic he would talk in the softest voice possible to address over 200 noisy passengers. People were going "shhhhhhhhh" but he just didn't want to raise his voice so all could be heard since all of us could not fit in the immediate gate area with those El Paso passengers over there as well who were lined up. I just so wanted to yell out "speak up gotdayumit". I just became so irritated with him lol. But I didn't want to be seen as the angry black man. Walking around ORD I can hear gate agents from two gates away.


You know.....I was thinking. WN's problem was not their ABC boarding concept, it was the poles! They gave people an incentive to camp out somewhere that was clearly marked. I think if they would stop having poles with letters and numbers on them taking up space and just board by calling groups ABC then people would just get up when they hear their letter called. Then again, at ORD everyday AA and UA have assigned seating yet I see herds of people just standing in front of the gate while people who's group/zone is called has to fight their way through the people who won't get somewhere and sit down!


User currently offlineTugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5418 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1587 times:



Quoting Tsaord (Reply 21):
People were going "shhhhhhhhh" but he just didn't want to raise his voice so all could be heard since all of us could not fit in the immediate gate area with those El Paso passengers over there as well who were lined up. I just so wanted to yell out "speak up gotdayumit". I just became so irritated with him lol. But I didn't want to be seen as the angry black man. Walking around ORD I can hear gate agents from two gates away.

You should go for it! I have many times in my life told people "doing their jobs" to:

"Speak louder please, we can't hear what you just said/are saying".

It has the marvelous triple effect of getting people in the crowd to stop talking ("Did you hear that? That guy just called out the person who we couldn't hear!"), getting the announcement repeated (though are hearing it for the first time), and actually getting the person making the announcement to speak loudly enough to be heard (and yes, I have had to interrupt a second time so they would actually speak loud enough to be heard)!

Amazingly, if you do this politely and forcefully enough it works every time and to the thanks of many people.

Tug



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineWNBob From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 166 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1579 times:

Quoting Tsaord (Reply 21):
You know.....I was thinking. WN's problem was not their ABC boarding concept, it was the poles! They gave people an incentive to camp out somewhere that was clearly marked. I think if they would stop having poles with letters and numbers on them taking up space and just board by calling groups ABC

Wo numbers, there will be no point to the Business Select and A-List products.

Some agents voices could be better. Hey, nothing wrong with pre-recorded instruction msg. Put a sultry voice in there and I wouldn't consider it impersonal at all. Better than hear some recent immigrant mumbles his way through.

[Edited 2008-01-07 23:28:22]

Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
WN's New (OR NOT) Seating Policy Announced posted Wed Sep 19 2007 19:40:19 by Mjlhou
WN New Type Aircraft? posted Wed Jul 18 2007 18:52:49 by Ssflyboy25
Frontier Adds Cabo Focus, Beating WN, New Gates posted Tue Feb 6 2007 19:51:00 by AirFrnt
WN New Routes + Expansion For 07 posted Thu Nov 16 2006 18:03:45 by R311music
WN New Nonstop Service Into Detroit posted Thu Sep 14 2006 14:17:16 by AirMailer
United Introduces New Boarding Equipment posted Thu Sep 7 2006 21:23:31 by Ca2ohHP
WN New Service ALB-TPA & RNO-MDW posted Thu Aug 17 2006 19:46:47 by Columbia409
Wilma Boarding Process posted Fri Mar 31 2006 22:44:12 by Dadoftyler
DL's New Boarding Structure & Initiatives posted Tue Feb 7 2006 21:09:34 by Ryanlock
WN's New Destination From PIT? posted Wed Jan 25 2006 22:54:35 by Kubus