Northwest changes boarding procedure

The AP reports that Northwest has done away with its row-by-row boarding policy for coach class and instead now allows passengers to "simply get on when they [are] ready." The move, says Northwest, saves an average of five to 10 minutes.

Unlike Southwest, which uses the "cattle call" approach (that is, no assigned seats, every man/woman/child for himself/herself), Northwest still has assigned seats. Then again, of course it does—otherwise how could the airline charge extra for the right to sit in previously free assigned seats?

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