Southwest Airlines Returns To Pre-Pandemic Boarding Policies

Here’s yet another sign that travel, particularly air travel , is getting back to normal.

Southwest Airlines has ditched its pandemic boarding process, which included more social distancing, and has returned to its pre-pandemic policy.

The carrier, which does not have assigned seats, has resumed boarding passengers in groups of 30. During much of the pandemic, Southwest was boarding in groups of 10 to promote social distancing since May.

“The majority of our customers are familiar with Southwest’s standard boarding style and have an expectation for the normal boarding process as they return to travel,'' Southwest spokeswoman Brandy King told USA Today in a statement .

King noted that Southwest, like all airlines, continues to have "physical distancing" reminders at the airport and requires passengers to wear masks at the airport and on its planes.

As is the case with the airline industry, this is another example of one carrier following another. Earlier this month, JetBlue changed its boarding policy back to its original protocol of bringing passengers on board in groups. During the pandemic, JetBlue had been boarding passengers from back to front.

"We continue to work within public health guidelines and take clinical guidance from our own medical experts to ensure we are doing everything we can to keep our customers and crewmembers safe in this next phase of our 'new normal,''' JetBlue spokesman Derek Dombrowski said in a statement. "With these resources as our guides, we are returning to our grouped boarding process.”

Southwest Airlines Returns To Pre-Pandemic Boarding Policies

Hongxia Sun