N202PA From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1551 posts, RR: 3 Reply 1, posted (12 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 166 times:
1.) Southwest uses colored, numbered boarding passes that you pick up when you check in at the gate or counter. The color corresponds to the flight you're taking. The numbers go from 1 to however many seats there are on the airplane and are given out on a first come, first serve basis. If you get to the counter early, you can get a lower number. WN boards in groups of 30, first boarding group 1-30, then 31-60, then 61-90, then 91+. Many Southwest gates have signs for seperate queue areas where passengers in each boarding group are to line up, in order to organize the boarding process.
If you'll search the archive for "Southwest Boarding Policy" within the last year, you will find several discussions on this topic.
2.) Some of them, but not a whole lot. Since Southwest does not publish aircraft information for individual flights, it's impossible to tell you exactly which flights they're used on. However, from my personal experience, there seemed to be several of the 200s operating flights out of CLE and BWI.
N202PA From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1551 posts, RR: 3 Reply 3, posted (12 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 156 times:
As far as I know, no other airline uses this boarding procedure. Westjet, as I read, uses assigned seating obtained at the check-in counter. Vanguard also uses assigned seating. AirTran gives seat assignments at the gate.
WN boy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 4, posted (12 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 137 times:
Because they are increasingly rare in the fleet, WN has taken to flying the remaining 732's through DAL and HOU in order to keep up the pilot hours. Also, DAL and (?) HOU do not have any noise restrictions that would apply to the -200.
If you do not want someone to sit next to you, look mildly insane as people pass you along the aisles. I find that muttering to myself about the voices and clutching my carry-on works well. Whatever you do, do not talk to the person in the aisle seat if you are in the window, or vice versa. If you make this critical mistake, people coming down the aisle will assume that you might be together and will ask to take the middle seat in hopes that your companion on the aisle will move to the middle rather than be separated from you, thereby surrendering the much coveted aisle seat to the newcomer.
I admit, it is a strange seating procedure at first. But once you get used to it, you start to resent the authoritiarian seating regime implemented by other airlines (What do you mean I am ASSIGNED to the worst seat on the aircraft!?)