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Southwest mulls assigned seats

The Washington Post reports that Southwest is considering adopting assigned seats for its flights. The airline has spent about $5 million to improve its reservations system as a first step toward that end, although Southwest stresses no decision has been made.

“We’re very much in the investigative mode as of now,” says spokesperson Beth Hardin. Southwest is looking into the issue because of customer complaints that its boarding process resembles a cattle call. The airline has typically resisted the standard boarding process because it would cost more to print boarding passes, as well as increase the risk of departure delays.

There’s no indication yet when Southwest would implement a new boarding process if it decides to go this route. I’ll keep you posted here as soon as there’s news.

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