I just got an email that says Southwest Airlines (the airline I usually fly to trade shows because it's often the best option) is changing the way you board the plane! It's a good-new/bad-news scenario for me. I am THAT PERSON who gets the A boarding pass exactly 24 hours before the flight, shows up at the gate before the previous plane leaves and then the minute the A boarding area empties for the previous flight, I throw my stuff down and CAMP. Usually that gets people up out of their chairs and they begrudgingly plop down behind me - the jockying for the best seats has BEGUN! It always annoys Mark, but I am fine sitting on the floor reading magazines for an hour. If he's with me - he will wander around and come back from time to time.
So, NOW, they have changed it. You can print your boarding pass out 24 hours in advance, but now your pass will have A, B, or C and you will also have a "postition" number. Click HERE for a cute webpage about it. There's a group of poles at the boarding door with numbers by the 5's (1-5, 6-10, etc). You go stand by your pole when your group is called. THAT'S how you get your seat. They call the group and then you get on and pick a seat. It's not a seat number, but a boarding order.
I like it because it means no more camping. But, I don't like it because it means getting the best seats will be more competitive. Anyone can sit at home and print their ticket out 24 hours in advance and get A1. I can't show up early and camp out anymore. It's a better system, really. I always disliked the competition at the gate with Southwest. Now I am "free to move about the airport" rather than sitting on a hard floor for over an hour.
And, I won't get anymore dirty looks for starting the line-up too soon!
Just a little travel tip as you get warmed up for CHA Winter or PMA/Memory Trends (my choice next year). I already have my hotel, now I'm starting to hunt for the best flight. I assume Southwest will be my choice.