Coming home from Chicago, Part 2.
I’ve already shared the first etiquette issue I witnessed on Saturday. Well, here is the second. Southwest had the best flight times for Saturday (had to get home for my nephew’s first birthday!), so I flew them home. I really like Southwest—the flight attendants are usually pretty happy, the seats are a little bit bigger, and I typically can get a window seat without too much trouble. Other business travelers I’ve talked to don’t really like their boarding system, but I don’t have a problem with it. Especially now that they have the numbers to go along with the boarding groups.
(For those of you who aren’t familiar, here’s how it works. When you check in, you are assigned a boarding group (A, B, or C) and a number for your place in line. They have everyone line up basically in order for each boarding group, and then once you’re on the plane you choose whatever seat you want. This has always worked fine for me in the past, with no significant issues.)
However, on the last two Southwest flights I’ve taken, there have been issues. Flying to LA, I had place A30. Our group was boarding, the line was moving along, and then it just stopped. I waited a minute, and realized the lady two people in front of me wasn’t moving. “Excuse me,” I said, “are you in the A group?” “No, I’m a B,” she said. Okeydokey. I walked around her and boarded. Of course, it turned out the woman in front of me was also an A, so she followed me. At the time, I just thought, that was weird and kind of rude, but whatever.
Then Saturday happened. I was B23, not a great spot, but what can you do. I was behind a large family, and our group was boarding. And same as last time, it stopped. The family and I waited patiently, as there were several people in front of us waiting to board. Or so we thought. After a couple of minutes, the gate agent said, “Any more B1-30? Nope? Okay, B 31-60 come on down.” I waved my arm. “Wait!” I said. “There are more of us!” Still the line didn’t move, so I just went in front of everyone and boarded. The family followed close behind. Turns out yet another family had gotten in front of them, that were part of the C group. What the heck, people?
Friends, please wait until the gate agent tells you to line up before getting in line. It is frustrating for those of us waiting to board for people to jump in line and then keep us from getting on the plane during our group. This goes for other airlines too. If you are flying American, and you’re in boarding Group 4, please don’t stand up and clog the boarding area until it’s closer to your turn. It is very difficult to maneuver a suitcase through a hundred people to board, when those people won’t be boarding for like ten minutes anyway!
Readers, what are your thoughts on this? Have you experienced people not waiting their turn to board?