I recently flew Southwest for the first time and enjoyed their boarding process. I am not a fan of the scrum involved in boarding the other airlines and found SW's lineup process a welcome respite from this. On the way home, though, I noticed something and wanted to ask the experts.
My husband and I were boarding position A30 and A31, so we were first on the terminal side of the boarding queue. As we waited for the folks A1-29 to board (the window side), we noticed that a person who had A38 on his boarding pass was boarding with the earlier group. I will call him A38. He was clearly with the people he was boarding with, and those people had A-twentysomething. My initial thought was that A38 was line jumping.
On the other hand, I have a credit card from a major airline which grants me the right to board in Group B, right after the first class folks. I book flights when I can on this card for the early boarding benefits. But when I book for hubby and me, only my boarding pass has Group B. The hubby is still in Group C. Gate attendants have universally told me that the hubby can board with me in Group B (and have announced the same over the loudspeaker). In other words, a person in a later boarding group can board with his/her party if the others in the party have an earlier boarding group.
Does Southwest work the same way? Is it totally legit that A38 (later boarding group) boarded with his party in the earlier boarding group? Or is the same policy not true at Southwest due to their unique boarding system - and I witnessed a line-jumper?
I didn't mind and certainly wasn't going to complain. I ask because I want to do things correctly. I purchased Early Bird Check in for both me and my husband so that we'd have a good boarding spot. It seems to me if "board with the earliest boarder in your party" is the rule, then only one person would ever purchase EBCI and expect their entire party to board with them.
I expect that Southwest does not adhere to the "board with the earliest in your party" rule for this reason, but I wanted to ask. Thanks for any input!