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Southwest is testing front and rear boarding/de-boarding at select airports

Photo: Tomás Del Coro/Flickr

Southwest Airlines already has a reputation for speedy boarding thanks to its open seating policy, but the airline is looking to shave off even more seconds at select cities.

The low cost carrier recently sent out emails to some customers informing them about a new boarding and deplaning procedure being trialed at four of its destinations. If you happen to be traveling in or out of Burbank (BUR), Long Beach (LGB), Sacramento (SMF), or San Jose (SJC), you may be offered the option to board via the front or the rear of the aircraft.

Those choosing to board via the front will still walk down the jet bridge that is attached to the aircraft, but for those wanting to snag a decent seat in the back, you will be required to walk down a set of stairs and onto the apron in order to board through the back entrance of the aircraft.

If you’re not a fan of climbing stairs, you still have the option of boarding or de-boarding through the front door.

As always, the open seating policy still applies once you get on board. If you some how end up being the unlucky person like myself and somehow manage to get a place in the mid section of group B, this may be the opportunity to grab a decent window or aisle seat if you’re traveling by yourself.

Depending how the trial goes, we may see this option being offered at even more cities.

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