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Southwest to test assigned seating this summer

Yesterday, I told you about changes that Northwest is making to its boarding policy. Today, there's news that Southwest is serious about changing its infamous "cattle call" policy as well.

The Dallas Morning News reports that Southwest will begin testing assigned seats departing from San Diego on flights later this summer. The test will begin July 10 and last for about six to eight weeks. Its success will be measured by the airline's ability to load passengers and baggage in a timely manner. Southwest has resisted assigning seats to its customers in the past because of fears it could lead to delays. This isn't the first time we've heard Southwest say it would examine other boarding options, but it is the first tangible evidence we have that shows the airline moving forward with the plan.

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Earlier this month Southwest filed a lawsuit against at least one company that helps flyers circumvent the airline's tiered boarding policy. This move may be another way of regaining control of its own boarding practices.

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