starting in early November, Southwest is going to automatically give passengers an assigned number within in its current boarding groups: A, B and C. They'll get the number and the group when they check in, which can be done within 24 hours of a flight. Another change: A and B groups will also be expanded to 60 passengers.
The new policy means you don't have to squat a place in line to have a chance to grab your preferred seat. [Via USA Today.]
More disturbingly, Southwest is also ending its policy of allowing families with children to pre-board. Details, here.