Southwest may stick with cattle-call seating

Keep those cattle prods handy, folks. Low-cost king Southwest has yet to determine if it will abandon its first-come, first-served boarding approach and begin offering assigned seats, reports the Baltimore Sun (free registration required). The newspaper says that the airline will not make a decision until at least 2007.

You'll recall that earlier this year Southwest created quite the stir by announcing it would test assigned seats. The experiment yielded mixed results according to Southwest CEO Gary Kelly. "Some boarding methods were a little faster, most were a little slower," he told reporters last week.

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The airline now plans to conduct more research, including customer surveys, before it proceeds.

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