The world is huge

Don't miss any of it

Travel news, itineraries, and inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.

By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Wing of Southwest Airlines plane as seen from plane window
Joni | Adobe Stock

Southwest Airlines Experiments With New Boarding Processes

Southwest Airlines recently concluded a series of tests designed to speed up flight boarding, and you could see some changes to the boarding process in the near future. A spokesperson for Southwest told SmarterTravel that the tests were conducted over the past several weeks at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Here are some of the changes that were trialed:

Designated Boarding Area

Families and passengers that need extra time are generally always the first group to board airplanes. Southwest is considering adding a color-coded area that designates where those priority flyers should stand, so they can easily be boarded first. 

More Signage

Struggling to hear or make sense of the latest gate announcement? Southwest may soon add more signage to the gate area to help make information easier to access. The airline tested out adding digital signs that display flight information and announcements relating to the boarding process. 

Self-Service Kiosks

In an effort to eliminate lines at the gate caused by passengers who need help with simple tasks, Southwest tested out adding self-service kiosks to the gate area that allowed flyers to print their own boarding passes and bag tags. 

Jet Bridge Music

Could upbeat music help you board a flight faster? Southwest tested out this theory by adding jaunty music to the jet bridge during the boarding and deplaning process.

Posters with tips on airplane etiquette, seating tips, and baggage suggestions were also tried out in the jet bridge area.  

You Might Also Like:

The 20 Worst US Airports for Delayed Flights
The Best and Worst Airlines in America, Ranked
Delayed or Canceled Flight? Airlines Now Owe You Cash
United Airlines Is Changing Its Boarding Process
This Airline Is Renting Clothing to Passengers Who Want to Travel Light

We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Top Fares From