First, yes - the "Cattle class", unique to Southwest remains, but with some minor changes. The airline will start giving passengers an assigned number within the current A, B and C boarding groups and then have you line up in your respective group and board together. To this point in Southwest's history, passengers simply queued according to their assigned group.
A "Business Select Class" will be created, whereby those paying the highest fares (often last minute and/or refundable) pay an extra $10-$30 and receive a guaranteed "A" boarding pass (first on the plane), free cocktail and ability to earn RapidReward credits a bit faster.
All members of its RapidRewards program who have flown 32 one-way flights or 16 round-trips in 12 months will be placed on the carrier's "A-List," where they will be automatically checked in for their flight in advance, and will most likely receive an "A" boarding pass.
Although the airline has operated on a one-class system - no first class cabin and no elite levels in the RapidRewards program, quite unlike most other U.S airlines, the changes announced yesterday begin to erode away at a single class Southwest society many people are use to.