yeah, we're robots with no brains. we follow orders. don't question stupid rules and never use human judgement. we are humans, but we should be thought of as cattle.
Hold on...What you're saying suggests to me you may not understand how the process works. Whether or not the father of this family knew it, he was trying to game the system. Sure, he had frequent flyer privileges, but his kids did not. He could have paid extra for them to be up there with him, but he didn't. That's the deal with Southwest. If he doesn't like it, he can fly another airline. Maybe he didn't understand the policy, but the gate agent explained it to him. Here's the thing - he's a frequent flyer. He probably should have known better. Maybe other gate agents have made an exception for him, but they weren't required to. He wasn't entitled to that exception. On other airlines, it would be akin to you buying a first class ticket and two coach tickets and demanding that your coach companions get first class seats...probably bumping two other passengers who paid for those first class seats.
Who should the burden of thinking be shifted to, the airline employees or the traveler? What if you and your companion didn't get to sit together or had to check your bags because this guy's kids cut in line without paying for the privilege (even though you may have)?
I'm not saying that the gate agent acted correctly throughout the course of this (and I don't know if she didn't). In this situation, however, I'm inclined to give her more of the benefit of the doubt than this passenger, given the details of the story.