Saving seats on Southwest

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spitty
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by spitty » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:59 am

Having the VISA card, I fly SW a lot and have never confronted a seat saver and haven't even seen it much. Flying solo it's not difficult to get a window/aisle seat if you're A or B group. I'd never pay for early boarding unless I had a tight connection to make: I suspect lots of folks with no connection pay just to get off the plane earlier. Is it really worth $15-$25 to save 5-7 minutes? Not Boglehead-like at all! What bugs me is SW is getting way to liberal on carry-on size restrictions; this usually results in takeoff delays. SW probably figures if they ease size rules and let overhead bins fill to the max, they'll sell more early boarding passes to impatient travelers.

setancre
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by setancre » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:57 am

Southwest doesn't have a policy for or against saving seats. They've been very clear that it is neither prohibited nor encouraged. So it isn't against the rules to save seats, which is why the flight attendants won't step in unless seating issues are causing a disruption.

More information in their community forums:
https://www.southwestaircommunity.com/t ... td-p/70948

TravelforFun
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by TravelforFun » Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:23 pm

People bash SWA but I'm telling you it's one of my preferred airlines. Flights are cheap and on time, they don't penalize you if you have to make changes, and bags fly free. Plus if you play the credit cards right, buy one get one free for two years. Open seating is just a slight inconvenience.

TravelforFun

Topic Author
squirm
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by squirm » Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:29 pm

TravelforFun wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:23 pm
People bash SWA but I'm telling you it's one of my preferred airlines. Flights are cheap and on time, they don't penalize you if you have to make changes, and bags fly free. Plus if you play the credit cards right, buy one get one free for two years. Open seating is just a slight inconvenience.

TravelforFun
I like the open seating, you can always try and bail if someone with a screaming kid sits next to you. On assigned seats, obviously you can't.

However, when you're booking with other carriers and want to avoid sitting next to that, ask me where I'd sit and do the opposite. It's guaranteed I'll put myself next to a screaming kid.

Big Dog
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by Big Dog » Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:40 pm

fwiw: I googled the issue and it appears that SW management is ok with saving seats. People have been complaining about the issue for a long time and management says, 'yeah, we get it, but take the next available seat, sir/maam'. So, for families traveling together, just purchase one early bird boarding pass.....

akron1977
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by akron1977 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:57 pm

SW is my preferred airline, due to baggage and direct flights from STL. I get irritated by the "line jumpers"---how difficult is it to match up your boarding number/letter? When called on it, the last one was taken aback, since "it's no big deal--just a couple numbers"---sheesh!

Topic Author
squirm
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by squirm » Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:57 pm

Big Dog wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:40 pm
fwiw: I googled the issue and it appears that SW management is ok with saving seats. People have been complaining about the issue for a long time and management says, 'yeah, we get it, but take the next available seat, sir/maam'. So, for families traveling together, just purchase one early bird boarding pass.....
Is that the position of Southwest, that's it's ok? I read above that they have no position, therefore it comes down to, what is the right thing to do. I shower and make sure I don't reek when flying so the person next to me isn't offended and doesn't have to smell bo the whole time...I don't think airlines have a policy on showering. Then again, someone was passing gas big time on our last flight, totally uncool.

NJdad6
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by NJdad6 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:17 pm

anonsdca wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:58 pm
The seating cattle call is why I almost never fly SW. I travel 50% so sometimes I have no choice. What I found, especially boarding late, was that just taking the middle seat in the front of the plane almost always gets you an aisle or window. The reason is because the two people already sitting there (acting like they dont know each other) really are traveling together, and when you sit in the middle, they will always ask if you want one of their seats because they want to sit together. It is comical actually. I love doing it. Never once have I ever got stuck in the middle seat in the front.

Oh, and on the question at hand. I would just smile and take the seat. Put my headphone on and be done with it. There aren't any saved seats on that horrible airline.
Agree. Not a fan of SW and avoid when possible. The seating process and goofy staff does not make up for the minor savings.

1130Super
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by 1130Super » Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:22 pm

vested1 wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:16 am
We always fly SW because we have their Visa rewards card which equates to free flights, several this year for us. We always pay extra for early boarding for each ticket. Those who see no problem with saving seats for people who didn't pay for early boarding must not mind those drivers who see the "merge lane ahead" sign on the freeway yet stay in the closing lane until blocked to skip ahead of those who were more courteous.

From my perspective it's just another character test, one which some will pass while others fail. Putting aside the "saving money" aspect, those who chose to pay extra for early seating should get the full value of what they paid for. If the airlines fail to enforce it then they have failed the character test as well. Small potatoes in the big scheme of things IMHO. In the long run I believe Karma will prevail.

In my state Of Minnesota I have seen Commercials about the zipper method for merging, data has shown it speeds up traffic for everyone if cars took full advantage of extra lane for as long as possible.

redrocker
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by redrocker » Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:58 pm

I have to smirk when I see a post on Bogleheads that uses "cheapskate" like it's a bad word. On a forum dedicated to the principles of a man who's crowning achievement was "keeping costs low."

I had a Companion Pass this year so I took many more flights than I usually do. Almost 100% of flights were on time or within 10 minutes of scheduled departure. I haven't timed it but I do think their open seating policy leads to faster boarding which I don't know who could possibly complain about. No change fees. No baggage fees.

I did see a fair amount of seat saving. I saw one particular woman save FIVE seats and while I didn't shame her...looking back I regret not doing so. I understand why SWA doesn't intervene, it doesn't benefit them or their reputation to be an arbiter between entitled people and escalate a situation where everyone has to sit in a confined space for the next couple of hours, when the vast majority of the rest of the passengers just want to get there on time.

I don't fly first class. I'm not quite a cheapskate but I'm definitely thrifty. Southwest is my choice for domestic flights even though they often *aren't* the cheapest.

BeneIRA
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by BeneIRA » Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:05 pm

I have flown quite a few Southwest flights in the last couple of years. I want to say I am over 60 or so individual flights, but I lost track a while back. In any case, I paid for Early Bird years ago, but haven't probably since 2015. It's not worth it, especially if you are in a non hub city with a connection. Why? Because that means on your second leg, you get to check in before everyone else who is already starting their journey in that city.

Example: Portland, Maine -> Chicago Midway -> Albuquerque.

For this leg, when you check in, the Portland, Maine flight you may get a lower boarding position, but for Chicago -> ABQ, you get to check in before all of the Chicago flyers because you checked in at the Portland, Maine flight.

If you check in at exactly the minute check in opens, you should be at the lowest in the B 31-60 grouping, especially in a non hub city. I have occasionally been in the high C's and still got seats together. Don't pay for early bird. Save the money. A trick use that I read a while back is to keep a $20 bill in my pocket. If my wife and I don't get seats together, I can use my $20 bill as motivation to get someone to move. If I have to use my $20 bill after declining early bird, I am at about the same point. If we still sit together, I save $20. I have never used my $20.

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HomerJ
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by HomerJ » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:35 pm

NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 7:35 pm
It may not be a huge deal, but if I paid $20 for early seat selection, and you are trying to block me from benefitting from that purchase so that someone who could have paid extra but chose not to can have that benefit, that is plainly rude. Not the biggest event in anyone's week, but I would not hesitate to assert my selection choice.
The point is, early-bird selection means you're getting on the plane when there are still empty rows.

So, unless we're talking about the exit row (which I agree should never be "saved"), there is no impact to an early-bird flyer on Southwest. If you pay extra, you will have free rows to choose from.

When we "save" seats for our family members, there's usually like 10 people between us. My wife might get B-2, and I'll get B-11 when we sign on at the same time... We've never had anyone want to sit next to her before I got there, because there are always still ten empty rows behind her instead.

One person buying early-bird, and then saving a seat for someone who has C-45 is indeed problematic, since one hundred people will walk by. and the plane will be fairly full with few seats left by the time C-45 gets on.
The J stands for Jay

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:47 pm

hightower wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:50 am
Easy solution: don't fly Southwest. Spend a few dollars more and fly an airline that lets you pick your seats in advance. And don't buy "economy class" tickets. Buy main cabin so you can pick your seats in advance and don't have to deal with all that bs of fighting with psycho people in line (the guy who commented about throwing a fit because one person in a couple is waiting in line for the wife). It's insane to me that anyone would put up with that unnecessary drama just to save a few dollars.
Easier solution - learn to deal with minor irritations without letting them ruin your day. I prefer Southwest for short domestic flights, the other carriers end up costing more with added fees to get to anything near Southwest level comfort and convenience.

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:50 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:38 am
goblue100 wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:24 am
Dottie57 wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:44 am
I travel infrequently. From the stories here, SWA is not an option for me. I’ll pay more for a less aggravating airline and seat assignment.
It just depends on what is more aggravating to you. It's aggravating to me to have to pay $30 to $50 for either a checked bag or a carry on large enough for my wife. Plus maybe $15 more to pick a seat.

I fly only occasionally for pleasure, but I prefer SW, all things considered. I've never run into most of the issues most of the people in this thread are up in arms about, but maybe I have a higher tolerance for social injustice. And a pre flight Xanex doesn't hurt. :happy
I prefer a stiff drink in first class ( or something above general seating). :D

Last time I flew(2013) I paid for for first class on Delta. It was a luxurious experience. If I fly again, I will try to replicate. Everyone spends their money differently.
First class on Delta from Atlanta to London is nice. First class on Delta from Atlanta to Dallas is a waste of money/miles. You could fly Southwest, pay for Early Bird Check-in and a drink and be just as comfortable most days.

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Watty
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by Watty » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:54 pm

1130Super wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:22 pm
vested1 wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:16 am
We always fly SW because we have their Visa rewards card which equates to free flights, several this year for us. We always pay extra for early boarding for each ticket. Those who see no problem with saving seats for people who didn't pay for early boarding must not mind those drivers who see the "merge lane ahead" sign on the freeway yet stay in the closing lane until blocked to skip ahead of those who were more courteous.

From my perspective it's just another character test, one which some will pass while others fail. Putting aside the "saving money" aspect, those who chose to pay extra for early seating should get the full value of what they paid for. If the airlines fail to enforce it then they have failed the character test as well. Small potatoes in the big scheme of things IMHO. In the long run I believe Karma will prevail.

In my state Of Minnesota I have seen Commercials about the zipper method for merging, data has shown it speeds up traffic for everyone if cars took full advantage of extra lane for as long as possible.
+1

I have actually seen road signs that said to use both lanes until the lane ends.

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Kitty Telltales
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by Kitty Telltales » Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:30 pm

We're talking about domestic flights which only last a few hours of your life, at most. What's wrong with sitting next to a stranger, even if your family are on the plane? It might lead to an interesting conversation. My husband is also quite chatty and I know I would hear him from where ever he might end up on the plane.

Actually I take a little pleasure in plopping down in "saved seats", and not just on planes, also at open seating concerts too. I head to the front and squeeze myself in between all those early birds.

On Southwest, I've also sat in those strategically-held open middle seats between husbands and wives, especially if near the exit. Oh boy you get looks, but ends up okay. The first open seat is mine. I wonder about all those people who bothered to walk way in the back in the plane.

Overnight flights are another story.

H-Town
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by H-Town » Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:50 pm

squirm wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:46 pm
Just had a flight on Southwest, seems like half the people who were on the plane were saving their seats. I admit, I don't fly Southwest often, but my family and I just took a flight. I bought the earlybird for all of us. When we boarded people were saying "sorry this seat is saved". What's the point of buying earlybird? Are they being cheapskates and just buying one earlybird and saving the row for their friends/family? Is that the boglehead thing to do?
I never pay for early bird. I see zero value out of it. I travel with my wife and had no issues with picking available seats for both of us.

Why don't ya'll just travel together and pick available seats next to each other? If not, it isn't the end of the world, right?

I just think if I were to face idiots who saving seats for other people, I would really enjoy being a jerk back to them. I'd just say: "Well.. this is your unlucky day because you're stuck with me for the rest of the flight". :twisted:

poker27
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by poker27 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:00 pm

I typically fly SW for business since I don’t fly a ton, and their rewards program is simple. I don’t mind if people save seats for their other guests, assuming they aren’t in an exit row or another premium location.

However, a few weeks back I noticed a man saving the middle seat between him and his daughter. I figured his wife was boarding and didn’t think much of it. However nobody ever say there, so this guy saved a seat for no one, just to have an open seat in the middle.

TN_Boy
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by TN_Boy » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:13 pm

1130Super wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:22 pm
vested1 wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:16 am
We always fly SW because we have their Visa rewards card which equates to free flights, several this year for us. We always pay extra for early boarding for each ticket. Those who see no problem with saving seats for people who didn't pay for early boarding must not mind those drivers who see the "merge lane ahead" sign on the freeway yet stay in the closing lane until blocked to skip ahead of those who were more courteous.

From my perspective it's just another character test, one which some will pass while others fail. Putting aside the "saving money" aspect, those who chose to pay extra for early seating should get the full value of what they paid for. If the airlines fail to enforce it then they have failed the character test as well. Small potatoes in the big scheme of things IMHO. In the long run I believe Karma will prevail.

In my state Of Minnesota I have seen Commercials about the zipper method for merging, data has shown it speeds up traffic for everyone if cars took full advantage of extra lane for as long as possible.
Yes, if everyone merges early you just waste miles of the extra lane (people have actually studied this as I recall). Using all the lanes as long as possible is the best solution.

dknightd
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by dknightd » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:30 pm

I'd pay the $15 per person just so we could wait in line together, and hopefully sit together.

MDfan
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by MDfan » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:34 pm

stlutz wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:08 pm
This is one of those classic topics that generates a lot of anger on the internet that doesn't translate to real life.

I fly SW a fair amount and I can't say that I've ever seen visible seat saving. SW has "family boarding" between the A&B boarding groups. Seems like the logical time for families to board, and that is in fact when most do unless EB was purchased for the entire family. Always plenty of open rows at that point (albeit not at the front of the plane).

In the family situation, I don't see EB as a wise purchase since you are essentially guaranteed a B1 boarding position.
Me too. We fly SW a lot. I have never bought early bird. And I have never had any issues.

Xrayman69
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by Xrayman69 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:01 pm

Helo80 wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:14 am
NewMoneyMustBeSmart wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:55 pm
I fly frequently and usually board A15. When I travel with my wife and kids, I will save seats. When people see my seats save, they ask me if they can sit there. I say "My family is traveling with me and I'd like them to sit there." I have never had a problem with people choosing other seats.

....

Life is short - is this the biggest problem you have to worry about?

The flipside is that there is usually plenty of room in the back of the plane. You're free to hold space back there for your family with an A15 boarding pass.

I'm not sure how you board with A15 and the rest of your family gets much lower numbers. Unless, you're saying that you get priority with Southwest because of how much you fly. In that case, you are free to pay the upgrade fee on their boarding passes as well.
Even as an A list companion level Elite status flier on southwest your boarding number is not going to be in line with your family. In the days when I had to fly southwest I was typically A1-5. When my family would fly with me I would pay for them To have EB and they would typically be A25-35.

dknightd
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by dknightd » Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:32 pm

sounds like a good idea, that went bad

Dottie57
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:02 pm

NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:50 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:38 am
goblue100 wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:24 am
Dottie57 wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:44 am
I travel infrequently. From the stories here, SWA is not an option for me. I’ll pay more for a less aggravating airline and seat assignment.
It just depends on what is more aggravating to you. It's aggravating to me to have to pay $30 to $50 for either a checked bag or a carry on large enough for my wife. Plus maybe $15 more to pick a seat.

I fly only occasionally for pleasure, but I prefer SW, all things considered. I've never run into most of the issues most of the people in this thread are up in arms about, but maybe I have a higher tolerance for social injustice. And a pre flight Xanex doesn't hurt. :happy
I prefer a stiff drink in first class ( or something above general seating). :D

Last time I flew(2013) I paid for for first class on Delta. It was a luxurious experience. If I fly again, I will try to replicate. Everyone spends their money differently.
First class on Delta from Atlanta to London is nice. First class on Delta from Atlanta to Dallas is a waste of money/miles. You could fly Southwest, pay for Early Bird Check-in and a drink and be just as comfortable most days.
Different folks enjqy different aspects of traveling.

KFBR392
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by KFBR392 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:10 pm

In my experience the people who really hate Southwest are those used to elite status with other airlines who don't like being lumped in with the rest of us normals. Studies have shown Southwest's boarding process is actually the fastest. Yes, it's annoying when people save seats but as many have pointed out, it's not explicitly against the rules. Life is too short. If you want an assigned seat, fly a different airline. Southwest isn't my favorite but the customer service is pretty good by airline standards and I appreciate their baggage/ticket change policies.

We like flying Southwest out of Burbank because we can avoid LAX (itself worth a more expensive ticket) and they let you board/deplane from the front and back simultaneously. Very speedy.

criticalmass
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by criticalmass » Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:24 am

rkhusky wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:51 pm
Bfwolf wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:49 pm
rkhusky wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:39 pm
How about the couples that choose the two aisle seats across from each other, hogging both 3 seat groups?
What's wrong with that? It's open seating. If they both like aisles, they should do exactly this.
Same as the rudeness of saving seats or choosing the aisle and window, hoping no one sits in the middles. Or buying basic fare and then asking people who paid main cabin fare to switch with you.

Just because you can do something, doesn't mean that you should.
Southwest is an open seating airline. In other words, Every passenger is free to take an open seat. It is not rude to follow the policy, nor is this “saving seats.” There is no requirement that two people must sit next to each other, whether they know each other or not. If you fly southwest and are concerned that the policy is “rudeness,” just ask a cabin crew member. They’ll straighten everything out.

criticalmass
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by criticalmass » Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:33 am

vested1 wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:16 am
We always fly SW because we have their Visa rewards card which equates to free flights, several this year for us. We always pay extra for early boarding for each ticket. Those who see no problem with saving seats for people who didn't pay for early boarding must not mind those drivers who see the "merge lane ahead" sign on the freeway yet stay in the closing lane until blocked to skip ahead of those who were more courteous.
Leaving a highway lane empty before a merge isn’t “courteous,” it is inefficient and slows everyone else down. Many states (e.g. Pennsylvania, where Vanguard is based) use “use both lanes until merge point” and “merge point/merge here” signs to explain this to folks who don’t understand efficient zipper merges.

For more information, I recommend reading the book, “Traffic” by T. Vanderbilt, which cites the efficient lane merging science and uses Pennsylvania as a case study. Fortunately, you can practice efficient zipper merges even without signs.

UpperNwGuy
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by UpperNwGuy » Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:21 am

I hate open seating, and that’s the main reason I never fly Southwest.

Gnirk
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by Gnirk » Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:24 am

HomeStretch wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:54 pm
rkhusky wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:39 pm
How about the couples that choose the two aisle seats across from each other, hogging both 3 seat groups?
Spouse and I book aisle seats across from each other all the time as we both prefer the aisle. Our consciences are clear. :D
We do the same when we fly. But we don’t fly Southwest...we like to reserve our aisle seats, even if that costs a bit more because we want to be as comfortable as possible when we fly coach.

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JMacDonald
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by JMacDonald » Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:22 am

This is an interesting conversation. I was getting ready to book a fight with Southwest, then I read this article:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/tr ... story.html
Maybe that is why Southwest fares are cheaper.
Best Wishes, | Joe

anonsdca
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by anonsdca » Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:28 am

JMacDonald wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:22 am
This is an interesting conversation. I was getting ready to book a fight with Southwest, then I read this article:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/tr ... story.html
Maybe that is why Southwest fares are cheaper.
Well, but if its cheaper and you dont have to pay for a bag....??? :confused

vested1
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by vested1 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:31 am

Watty wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:54 pm
1130Super wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:22 pm
vested1 wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:16 am
We always fly SW because we have their Visa rewards card which equates to free flights, several this year for us. We always pay extra for early boarding for each ticket. Those who see no problem with saving seats for people who didn't pay for early boarding must not mind those drivers who see the "merge lane ahead" sign on the freeway yet stay in the closing lane until blocked to skip ahead of those who were more courteous.

From my perspective it's just another character test, one which some will pass while others fail. Putting aside the "saving money" aspect, those who chose to pay extra for early seating should get the full value of what they paid for. If the airlines fail to enforce it then they have failed the character test as well. Small potatoes in the big scheme of things IMHO. In the long run I believe Karma will prevail.

In my state Of Minnesota I have seen Commercials about the zipper method for merging, data has shown it speeds up traffic for everyone if cars took full advantage of extra lane for as long as possible.
+1

I have actually seen road signs that said to use both lanes until the lane ends.
Thanks for the permission. You'll see me fling by in the right lane getting 20 cars ahead of you.

MDfan
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by MDfan » Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:50 am

rkhusky wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:00 pm
8foot7 wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:58 pm
there is no problem. They both bought tickets and both prefer aisle seats. They don't owe any other passengers anything.
Neither do the parents that don't control their kids or try to comfort their crying babies. Or those that bring smelly food on the plane. Or those that talk loudly on their cell phones.
I'm pretty sure most parents of crying babies are doing their best to comfort them. I suggest some of you invest in noise-cancelling headphones (or drive) if you're so bothered by everything on a plane.

rkhusky
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by rkhusky » Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:01 am

MDfan wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:50 am
rkhusky wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:00 pm
8foot7 wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:58 pm
there is no problem. They both bought tickets and both prefer aisle seats. They don't owe any other passengers anything.
Neither do the parents that don't control their kids or try to comfort their crying babies. Or those that bring smelly food on the plane. Or those that talk loudly on their cell phones.
I'm pretty sure most parents of crying babies are doing their best to comfort them. I suggest some of you invest in noise-cancelling headphones (or drive) if you're so bothered by everything on a plane.
Most do, but there are those few that are twiddling on their phones or have their own noise-cancelling headphones on and letting the kid bawl or kick the seats ahead of them or run down the aisle. Most people are polite and courteous.

michaeljc70
Posts: 5786
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:04 am

TravelforFun wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:23 pm
People bash SWA but I'm telling you it's one of my preferred airlines. Flights are cheap and on time, they don't penalize you if you have to make changes, and bags fly free. Plus if you play the credit cards right, buy one get one free for two years. Open seating is just a slight inconvenience.

TravelforFun
I was thinking people bashing SW must have never been on Spirit. The last time I took Spirit, the plane looked very new and none of the seats reclined. That was my last flight on Spirit.

rkhusky
Posts: 7578
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:09 pm

Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by rkhusky » Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:06 am

criticalmass wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:24 am
rkhusky wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:51 pm
Bfwolf wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:49 pm
rkhusky wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:39 pm
How about the couples that choose the two aisle seats across from each other, hogging both 3 seat groups?
What's wrong with that? It's open seating. If they both like aisles, they should do exactly this.
Same as the rudeness of saving seats or choosing the aisle and window, hoping no one sits in the middles. Or buying basic fare and then asking people who paid main cabin fare to switch with you.

Just because you can do something, doesn't mean that you should.
Southwest is an open seating airline. In other words, Every passenger is free to take an open seat. It is not rude to follow the policy, nor is this “saving seats.” There is no requirement that two people must sit next to each other, whether they know each other or not. If you fly southwest and are concerned that the policy is “rudeness,” just ask a cabin crew member. They’ll straighten everything out.
And saving seats is apparently not against the rules either. Or choosing the aisle and window, hoping no one sits in the middle. Or buying basic fare and then asking people who paid main cabin fare to switch with you. Or putting your bag above someone else's seat when there is space above your row.

Being rude or discourteous or inconsiderate is not about breaking rules or the law. But then I'm someone who slides to the window seat when on a bus, rather than sitting on the aisle and daring someone to ask me to me over. (And SWA is sort of like riding the bus.)

deltaneutral83
Posts: 1338
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:25 pm

Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by deltaneutral83 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:00 am

What is the business rationale for why SW doesn't state before boarding that there are no assigned nor saved seats? It seems like SW is inviting an incident because cheapskates will throw down over $50 like there' s no tomorrow. I find the idea quite comical that someone would try to save a seat and invent a policy on the go. But then I see the video's online and it's not so funny. SW really needs to clean this up.
And saving seats is apparently not against the rules either.
Well it may not be a technical rule but there is also a rule that you do not have to honor some cheapskate trying to save a seat. Again, SW should probably rectify this.
But then I'm someone who slides to the window seat when on a bus, rather than sitting on the aisle and daring someone to ask me to me over. (And SWA is sort of like riding the bus.)
Going to bet you aren't 6'6"

UpperNwGuy
Posts: 2657
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by UpperNwGuy » Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:47 am

michaeljc70 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:04 am
TravelforFun wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:23 pm
People bash SWA but I'm telling you it's one of my preferred airlines. Flights are cheap and on time, they don't penalize you if you have to make changes, and bags fly free. Plus if you play the credit cards right, buy one get one free for two years. Open seating is just a slight inconvenience.

TravelforFun
I was thinking people bashing SW must have never been on Spirit. The last time I took Spirit, the plane looked very new and none of the seats reclined. That was my last flight on Spirit.
None of the seats reclined? I love it! I hate reclining seats. When the person in front reclines, it’s almost impossible to use a laptop on the tray table, and if the recline during a meal, it’s hard to eat your food.

deltaneutral83
Posts: 1338
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:25 pm

Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by deltaneutral83 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:52 am

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:47 am
michaeljc70 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:04 am
TravelforFun wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:23 pm
People bash SWA but I'm telling you it's one of my preferred airlines. Flights are cheap and on time, they don't penalize you if you have to make changes, and bags fly free. Plus if you play the credit cards right, buy one get one free for two years. Open seating is just a slight inconvenience.

TravelforFun
I was thinking people bashing SW must have never been on Spirit. The last time I took Spirit, the plane looked very new and none of the seats reclined. That was my last flight on Spirit.
None of the seats reclined? I love it! I hate reclining seats. When the person in front reclines, it’s almost impossible to use a laptop on the tray table, and if the recline during a meal, it’s hard to eat your food.
He is referring to the first of the two exit rows beside the wing(s). Those rows do not recline for obvious reasons. The second exit row does recline.

michaeljc70
Posts: 5786
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:57 am

deltaneutral83 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:52 am
UpperNwGuy wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:47 am
michaeljc70 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:04 am
TravelforFun wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:23 pm
People bash SWA but I'm telling you it's one of my preferred airlines. Flights are cheap and on time, they don't penalize you if you have to make changes, and bags fly free. Plus if you play the credit cards right, buy one get one free for two years. Open seating is just a slight inconvenience.

TravelforFun
I was thinking people bashing SW must have never been on Spirit. The last time I took Spirit, the plane looked very new and none of the seats reclined. That was my last flight on Spirit.
None of the seats reclined? I love it! I hate reclining seats. When the person in front reclines, it’s almost impossible to use a laptop on the tray table, and if the recline during a meal, it’s hard to eat your food.
He is referring to the first of the two exit rows beside the wing(s). Those rows do not recline for obvious reasons. The second exit row does recline.
No, it was the whole plane (well, at least coach).

https://slate.com/business/2014/09/recl ... -them.html

"On both Spirit Airlines and Allegiant Air, there are no reclining seats to be found. Allegiant was the first to convert to stationary seats in 2006; Spirit followed in 2009. The business reasons behind the decision are straightforward. First, nonreclining seats are simpler to construct and far less likely to break and be taken out of service, leading to costly repairs and lost revenues on that seat. Second, taking the recline mechanism out of seats makes them lighter and allows the plane to carry additional weight in passengers and spend less on fuel. Allegiant estimates that eliminating reclining seats saves it $3.5 million a year on maintenance and conserves 110,000 gallons of fuel (or about $350,000 worth, depending on prices)."

Topic Author
squirm
Posts: 1940
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by squirm » Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:16 pm

The flight we were on, the seats only reclined about two inches which was awesome. I hate reclining seats.

criticalmass
Posts: 1318
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:58 pm

Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by criticalmass » Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:56 pm

rkhusky wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:06 am
criticalmass wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:24 am
rkhusky wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:51 pm
Bfwolf wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:49 pm
rkhusky wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:39 pm
How about the couples that choose the two aisle seats across from each other, hogging both 3 seat groups?
What's wrong with that? It's open seating. If they both like aisles, they should do exactly this.
Same as the rudeness of saving seats or choosing the aisle and window, hoping no one sits in the middles. Or buying basic fare and then asking people who paid main cabin fare to switch with you.

Just because you can do something, doesn't mean that you should.
Southwest is an open seating airline. In other words, Every passenger is free to take an open seat. It is not rude to follow the policy, nor is this “saving seats.” There is no requirement that two people must sit next to each other, whether they know each other or not. If you fly southwest and are concerned that the policy is “rudeness,” just ask a cabin crew member. They’ll straighten everything out.
And saving seats is apparently not against the rules either. Or choosing the aisle and window, hoping no one sits in the middle. Or buying basic fare and then asking people who paid main cabin fare to switch with you. Or putting your bag above someone else's seat when there is space above your row.

Being rude or discourteous or inconsiderate is not about breaking rules or the law. But then I'm someone who slides to the window seat when on a bus, rather than sitting on the aisle and daring someone to ask me to me over. (And SWA is sort of like riding the bus.)
My comment is about boarding the airplane and sitting down in a seat. My comment is not about "saving" a seat by attempting to prevent another body from sitting in an empty seat. You are free to sit in any empty seat. It is not "discourteous" to choose an empty aisle seat. Ask the Southwest cabin crew if you have questions. Choosing and empty aisle seat is fine for you, and for me.

As for bags, there is no reserved overhead space for people in one row or another on Southwest (like most carriers worldwide). Ask the cabin crew if you are not sure about this. Even the cabin crew will happily put bags in the overhead bins, far from the customer's seat, if that is the closest location.

criticalmass
Posts: 1318
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:58 pm

Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by criticalmass » Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:58 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:38 am
goblue100 wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:24 am
Dottie57 wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:44 am
I travel infrequently. From the stories here, SWA is not an option for me. I’ll pay more for a less aggravating airline and seat assignment.
It just depends on what is more aggravating to you. It's aggravating to me to have to pay $30 to $50 for either a checked bag or a carry on large enough for my wife. Plus maybe $15 more to pick a seat.

I fly only occasionally for pleasure, but I prefer SW, all things considered. I've never run into most of the issues most of the people in this thread are up in arms about, but maybe I have a higher tolerance for social injustice. And a pre flight Xanex doesn't hurt. :happy
I prefer a stiff drink in first class ( or something above general seating). :D

Last time I flew(2013) I paid for for first class on Delta. It was a luxurious experience. If I fly again, I will try to replicate. Everyone spends their money differently.
Delta first class is nice, but even nicer is getting upgrades. The extra room in F is very much appreciated when traveling with young children.

rkhusky
Posts: 7578
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:09 pm

Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by rkhusky » Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:05 pm

criticalmass wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:56 pm
rkhusky wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:06 am

And saving seats is apparently not against the rules either. Or choosing the aisle and window, hoping no one sits in the middle. Or buying basic fare and then asking people who paid main cabin fare to switch with you. Or putting your bag above someone else's seat when there is space above your row.

Being rude or discourteous or inconsiderate is not about breaking rules or the law. But then I'm someone who slides to the window seat when on a bus, rather than sitting on the aisle and daring someone to ask me to me over. (And SWA is sort of like riding the bus.)
My comment is about boarding the airplane and sitting down in a seat. My comment is not about "saving" a seat by attempting to prevent another body from sitting in an empty seat. You are free to sit in any empty seat. It is not "discourteous" to choose an empty aisle seat. Ask the Southwest cabin crew if you have questions. Choosing and empty aisle seat is fine for you, and for me.

As for bags, there is no reserved overhead space for people in one row or another on Southwest (like most carriers worldwide). Ask the cabin crew if you are not sure about this. Even the cabin crew will happily put bags in the overhead bins, far from the customer's seat, if that is the closest location.
What's allowed and what's courteous are two different things. Ask one of the flight attendants if you are confused between the two. I certainly don't intend to ask the flight crew if it is okay to pass gas. My parents taught me better.

criticalmass
Posts: 1318
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:58 pm

Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by criticalmass » Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:07 pm

deltaneutral83 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:00 am
What is the business rationale for why SW doesn't state before boarding that there are no assigned nor saved seats? It seems like SW is inviting an incident because cheapskates will throw down over $50 like there' s no tomorrow. I find the idea quite comical that someone would try to save a seat and invent a policy on the go. But then I see the video's online and it's not so funny. SW really needs to clean this up.
What needs to be "cleaned up?" Do you actually fly with them? Southwest is excellent as-is, and is my preferred carrier for certain destinations, like skiing. The free two bag + ski equipment baggage policy is excellent. Southwest has been profitable year after year for many decades, with maybe one or two outlying years. Compare that to the likes of Delta/Northwest, Continental/United, TWA/AmericaWest/USAirways/American, Eastern, Pan American, Braniff, Aloha, Atlantic Coast Airlines/Independence Air, etc. which have either relied on taxpayers to bail out them out repeatedly with billions of dollars of taxpayer money and/or have failed completely while requiring taxpayer pension bailouts.

criticalmass
Posts: 1318
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:58 pm

Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by criticalmass » Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:10 pm

rkhusky wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:05 pm
criticalmass wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:56 pm
rkhusky wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:06 am

And saving seats is apparently not against the rules either. Or choosing the aisle and window, hoping no one sits in the middle. Or buying basic fare and then asking people who paid main cabin fare to switch with you. Or putting your bag above someone else's seat when there is space above your row.

Being rude or discourteous or inconsiderate is not about breaking rules or the law. But then I'm someone who slides to the window seat when on a bus, rather than sitting on the aisle and daring someone to ask me to me over. (And SWA is sort of like riding the bus.)
My comment is about boarding the airplane and sitting down in a seat. My comment is not about "saving" a seat by attempting to prevent another body from sitting in an empty seat. You are free to sit in any empty seat. It is not "discourteous" to choose an empty aisle seat. Ask the Southwest cabin crew if you have questions. Choosing and empty aisle seat is fine for you, and for me.

As for bags, there is no reserved overhead space for people in one row or another on Southwest (like most carriers worldwide). Ask the cabin crew if you are not sure about this. Even the cabin crew will happily put bags in the overhead bins, far from the customer's seat, if that is the closest location.
What's allowed and what's courteous are two different things. Ask one of the flight attendants if you are confused between the two. I certainly don't intend to ask the flight crew if it is okay to pass gas. My parents taught me better.
You seem quite confused--I did not post anything about "passing gas." If you ever fly Southwest, you will learn that they do not assign seats. Instead, passengers are asked to sit in whatever seat is available upon boarding. Sitting in an empty seat is not disallowed nor discourteous, in fact it is how you find a seat. If you like aisle seats and there is an aisle seat, great news! You may sit down. I will do the same.

deltaneutral83
Posts: 1338
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:25 pm

Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by deltaneutral83 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:40 pm

criticalmass wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:07 pm
deltaneutral83 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:00 am
What is the business rationale for why SW doesn't state before boarding that there are no assigned nor saved seats? It seems like SW is inviting an incident because cheapskates will throw down over $50 like there' s no tomorrow. I find the idea quite comical that someone would try to save a seat and invent a policy on the go. But then I see the video's online and it's not so funny. SW really needs to clean this up.
What needs to be "cleaned up?"
The potential issue for passengers to start swinging on each other because one thinks he can "save" a seat(s) (I guess he technically can, but another does not have to honor it per SW policy) and another passenger who knows there is no enforcement and just plops down in what passenger 1 assumed was his personal "saved" seat. The other comments you made were irrelevant as the profitability of the company is not what the topic pertains to. I guess to the point of others there haven't been many major issues with the "saved" seats as I'm sure they would be on video by now?

michaeljc70
Posts: 5786
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:48 pm

deltaneutral83 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:40 pm
criticalmass wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:07 pm
deltaneutral83 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:00 am
What is the business rationale for why SW doesn't state before boarding that there are no assigned nor saved seats? It seems like SW is inviting an incident because cheapskates will throw down over $50 like there' s no tomorrow. I find the idea quite comical that someone would try to save a seat and invent a policy on the go. But then I see the video's online and it's not so funny. SW really needs to clean this up.
What needs to be "cleaned up?"
The potential issue for passengers to start swinging on each other because one thinks he can "save" a seat(s) (I guess he technically can, but another does not have to honor it per SW policy) and another passenger who knows there is no enforcement and just plops down in what passenger 1 assumed was his personal "saved" seat. The other comments you made were irrelevant as the profitability of the company is not what the topic pertains to. I guess to the point of others there haven't been many major issues with the "saved" seats as I'm sure they would be on video by now?
I view this as more of a people issue than company/policy issue. The same nonsense happens at just about every resort I've been to and on every cruise ship I've been on with the pool chairs. It is even worse in those cases because the chair is going unused for part of the day.

I'd be curious to see how long this method of boarding compares time wise to assigned seats.

User avatar
LilyFleur
Posts: 740
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by LilyFleur » Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:48 pm

MDfan wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:50 am
rkhusky wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:00 pm
8foot7 wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:58 pm
there is no problem. They both bought tickets and both prefer aisle seats. They don't owe any other passengers anything.
Neither do the parents that don't control their kids or try to comfort their crying babies. Or those that bring smelly food on the plane. Or those that talk loudly on their cell phones.
I'm pretty sure most parents of crying babies are doing their best to comfort them. I suggest some of you invest in noise-cancelling headphones (or drive) if you're so bothered by everything on a plane.
Noise-cancelling headphones and some Netflix downloaded in advance to my tablet have made my flights so much more tolerable. As a former teacher, I see so many parents doing things that are simply not age-appropriate nor effective with their children. (ie, telling a toddler whose ears hurt from takeoff not to cry so as not to disturb the other people on the flight. Get the kid a drink and a snack, for goodness sakes, and their ears will feel better! Bring some toys and quiet things to keep the children entertained! (And, yes, children can wear headphones so that all the surrounding passengers don't have to listen to the annoying electronic games they play.) But oh my goodness, I would never say anything to these parents. So I just retreat to my own little world in my Bose noise-cancelling headphones and am happy as a clam.

straws46
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by straws46 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:07 pm

We travel to Asia and Australia on vacations a lot, and we are older so we always go first or business class. We use credit card points, so it is much easier to fly out of LA or Houston. Therefore, we leave a couple days early to get to our jumping off point and usually fly SW. When we come home there is nothing like the shock of going from first class to the SW boarding fiasco to bring us back to reality. We always pay to get priority boarding, but my best experiences have always been when we have a low B number. The A's go first, then all the families with small children. With the B group you can see where the infants are sitting a get as far away as possible.

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