Southwest Airlines ditches family pre-boarding

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My husband and I enjoy traveling, and becoming parents hasn't changed our feelings towards air travel. In fact, my 13-month-old son has flown over 20 times. I never really had a favorite airline before the birth of my son, but in the past year we have exclusively flown on Southwest Airlines. Why? Well, they have (or had) a great pre-boarding policy for families and since Southwest doesn't issue seat assignments, you don't have to deal with the cattle call of crowded boarding group lines.

This policy has been extremely helpful for me, especially when I'm traveling without my husband. It's not the easiest of tasks getting through security with a baby in a car seat or stroller along with all of the diaper bags and essentials.

Beginning October 2, 2007, Southwest is eliminating pre-boarding for families in an effort to speed the boarding process. Families will now board in between the first and second boarding groups (Group A and Group B), unless they have an "A" boarding pass. Like before, boarding passes will be awarded on a first come, first served basis. Passengers can check in online 24 hours in advance in an attempt to secure the coveted "A" boarding pass.

I understand Southwest's inclination to level the playing field for all passengers, but I sure won't be clamoring to exclusively fly with them any longer.

What do you think of this new development? Does this affect whether or not you would choose to fly with Southwest?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.