Southwest Is Testing out a Speedier Boarding and Deplaning Process

Nov 7, 2018

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Southwest Airlines is reimagining what boarding could look like on its flights in the future. The airline, which is known for its standard three-group, No. 1 to No. 60 boarding procedure, is looking to speed up the process.

As detailed on its website, Southwest is opening up another option for both boarding and deplaning at select airports. So, what’s different about the new process? Well, not all too much is changing with the letter and number you’ll see on your boarding pass, which varies based on what kind of fare you buy and when you check-in. However, Southwest says that it’s opening two doors to the aircraft instead of one — you’ll have the choice to board or deplane out of the front or the rear door.

If you’re flying in to, out of or connecting through Burbank (BUR), Long Beach (LGB), Sacramento (SMF) or San Jose (SJC) with Southwest, you might be able to test out the new boarding and deplaning process on your next flight.

Southwest says that the new option is intended to make the boarding and deplaning process faster for passengers. With the new process, the carrier is informing passengers that those choosing to board or deplane through the rear door may have to go up (or down) a set of stairs and walk outside. The carrier also says that preboard passengers will be required to use the jetbridge.

As a reminder, Southwest utilizes a three-group boarding process (A, B and C). In each of the groups, passengers are assigned a number 1-60 — both of which are based on when you check-in. The earlier you check-in, the lower your boarding group and position will be. Once a boarding group is called, passengers are invited to board in numerical order in an open seating plan — there are no assigned seats. Southwest offers several products to guarantee you an earlier boarding spot, either by purchasing a Business Select Fare (guaranteed A1-A15 boarding) or EarlyBird Check-In. Additionally, A-List and A-List Preferred Rapid Rewards members get preferred boarding.

H/T: Doctor of Credit

Featured image by Robert Alexander/Getty Images.

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