Saving seats on Southwest

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SrGrumpy
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by SrGrumpy » Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:08 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:48 pm
I'd be curious to see how long this method of boarding compares time wise to assigned seats.
+1. People in the aisle and/or middle seats still have to get up and block the aisle to let someone into a middle and/or window seat.

michaeljc70
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:12 pm

SrGrumpy wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:08 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:48 pm
I'd be curious to see how long this method of boarding compares time wise to assigned seats.
+1. People in the aisle and/or middle seats still have to get up and block the aisle to let someone into a middle and/or window seat.
And I could see people blocking the aisle trying to decide what seat they want.

StandingRock
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by StandingRock » Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:12 pm

I've only flown Southwest a handful of times. Frankly I am surprised that it is orderly as it is all things considered. But for me, flying on that airline is only an emergency fallback situation.

deltaneutral83
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by deltaneutral83 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:36 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:48 pm

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.
I mean I agree with that but what would it hurt SW to say "before boarding we want to remind passengers that SW has no assigned seats and no policy on saving seats." Even reading this thread there are even BH who indicate that they have not just the option but the right to save seats. The ECBI is there for any and all who need to pay for it for whatever reason. SW could make more money than they already do on ECBI. I guess I always check in right at 24 hours so I always have plenty of aisle seats but I can imagine the frustration others have mentioned.

I think the concept may be the same for resorts and beach chairs but 4 hours in a tube with a specific policy of no assigned seats and no official policy on saving seats is asking for trouble IMO. But as mentioned, I haven't seen any video's where people throw down, perhaps the flight attendants are great at de-escalating?

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:52 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:04 am
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.
I love Spirit. After getting done with the nickle and dime on the site to get the seats assigned and pay for a checked bag for the family (yes, just one), I find the ticket is $200 per person cheaper than everyone else, including Southwest. Then I get on the plane and the non-reclining fiberglas seats allow about 4 extra inches of leg room and best of all, the annoying teenager in front of me who wants to ganster lean the seat back all the way into my lap can't. Greatest airline ever. And no, I'm not kidding.
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squirm
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by squirm » Tue Nov 12, 2019 4:06 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:52 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:04 am
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.
I love Spirit. After getting done with the nickle and dime on the site to get the seats assigned and pay for a checked bag for the family (yes, just one), I find the ticket is $200 per person cheaper than everyone else, including Southwest. Then I get on the plane and the non-reclining fiberglas seats allow about 4 extra inches of leg room and best of all, the annoying teenager in front of me who wants to ganster lean the seat back all the way into my lap can't. Greatest airline ever. And no, I'm not kidding.
Yes, I'd rather have no reclining seats. These seats only reclined two inches. The idiot in front of me tried to get it to recline more but no go. I'm surprised airlines still have reclining seats, but I'm sure there's a whole science behind it.

Paladin01
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by Paladin01 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 4:46 pm

I fly a lot for business so I automatically get in the A group. Yes, when flying with my family I save seats for them. This has only been an issue one time when a dude was bothered that I was saving seats and made a big fuss even thought there were rows and rows of empty seats. I thought he was being ridiculous. The thought of buying early-bird seats for my family members frankly has never occurred to me. I just don't see it as a big deal to allow a family to sit together.

Helo80
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by Helo80 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:21 pm

Xrayman69 wrote:
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.
Thanks for the info.... but A25-35 are still really good seats. I've been in B40-ish and had my choice of aisle or window seats on full flights.

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Elsebet
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by Elsebet » Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:25 pm

bumblebh wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:28 pm
I just flew SW in past 1-2 weeks. It was full flight each way. I didn't really notice people saving seats and I typically prefer SW b/c they have better prices and no bag fees, change fees etc as others have mentioned. I didn't buy early bird check-in so my first flight I was in C group and 2nd flight was in B group. I had a window seat each way which is my preference, but each time was a full row. My biggest complaint is on the return flight someone nearby farted every 15 minutes and it was horrible! That was poor airplane etiquette if I ever smelled it! Not a problem unique to SW by any means though I'm sure.
I am sorry you experienced this but it really made me laugh on a very stressful work day. :)
"...the man who adapts himself to his slender means and makes himself wealthy on a little sum, is the truly rich man..." ~Seneca

michaeljc70
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:27 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:52 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:04 am
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.
I love Spirit. After getting done with the nickle and dime on the site to get the seats assigned and pay for a checked bag for the family (yes, just one), I find the ticket is $200 per person cheaper than everyone else, including Southwest. Then I get on the plane and the non-reclining fiberglas seats allow about 4 extra inches of leg room and best of all, the annoying teenager in front of me who wants to ganster lean the seat back all the way into my lap can't. Greatest airline ever. And no, I'm not kidding.
Spirit is one of the worst domestic carriers for leg room in every article I read.

https://www.businessinsider.com/america ... tch-2017-3

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/airlines ... 18784.html

"Like Frontier, Spirit has the skinniest rows of any American airline, with a seat pitch of 28 inches."

Not everyone likes sitting at the same angle for 2-5 hours but it sounds like you find the seats comfortable.
Last edited by michaeljc70 on Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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onthecusp
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by onthecusp » Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:28 pm

Frankly I don't see how any of this is a problem. How anyone still has expectations of "how things should go" in this world where there are explicit rules is beyond me.

Want to try and save some seats? Seems perfectly reasonable up until someone comes along and expresses a preference for that seat. Then give it to them. Move to an open row if there are so many.

Want to recline your seat? Do it. That is what the button is for. If the person in front did it and you now have less room, didn't you expect that? I've read articles proposing "rules" about when people should and should not recline. Ridiculous, I'm on my own time. If I'm reclined and trying to sleep during a time when others are moving about the cabin, I also expect my seatback to be bumped now and then. I get over it or book a higher class.

criticalmass
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by criticalmass » Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:50 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?
Southwest has had the same seating policy for the same decades that they have been profitable, and it is relevant as their seating policy is related to their profitability. This profitability has a fantastic and amazing history by airline standards, while their competitors have depended on bailouts and handouts from taxpayers to keep flying.

The one detail that changed is Southwest's current use of paper/electronic boarding passes, which replaced the reusable boarding passes. The same "issue" you mention has not changed, if there was any issue at all. Doing something stupid while aboard a 14 CFR Part 121 regulated airline has very serious consequences, much more than if you did similar behavior on a bench outside. Amtrak doesn't even enjoy the same regulatory protections and currently has an open seating policy, yet the sensational stories about passengers swinging at each other to obtain a seat continue to elude reality.

SR II
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by SR II » Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:52 pm

squirm wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:52 pm
Yeah, it's called doing the right thing - I'll continue to purchase earlybirds for all of us. It's the right thing and I doubt SW intended people to abuse the system. We're not starving either.
I agree. When I buy it, I buy it for the whole party.

H-Town
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by H-Town » Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:57 pm

SR II wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:52 pm
squirm wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:52 pm
Yeah, it's called doing the right thing - I'll continue to purchase earlybirds for all of us. It's the right thing and I doubt SW intended people to abuse the system. We're not starving either.
I agree. When I buy it, I buy it for the whole party.
What does EB give you then? Why don't you just check-in all together at the earliest time you can (24hr before boarding)? That's $25-$50 per EB that you don't have to spend.

Marylander1
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by Marylander1 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:05 pm

H-Town wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:57 pm
What does EB give you then? Why don't you just check-in all together at the earliest time you can (24hr before boarding)? That's $25-$50 per EB that you don't have to spend.
When I get it, it's to save the hassle of checking in 23.99 hours in advance, and sometimes I'm asleep or driving or skiing or out of cellular data coverage. Sometimes I still play the game and set an alarm 5 minutes ahead, but I've decided $25 is at times worth it to me, it's STILL usually cheaper than cranky legacy carriers and upstarts once you factor in their ridiculous fees, and I like Southwest's model.

Marylander1

Marylander1
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by Marylander1 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:17 pm

criticalmass wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:50 pm
Doing something stupid while aboard a 14 CFR Part 121 regulated airline has very serious consequences, much more than if you did similar behavior on a bench outside. Amtrak doesn't even enjoy the same regulatory protections and currently has an open seating policy, yet the sensational stories about passengers swinging at each other to obtain a seat continue to elude reality.
I've occasionally seen conversations about seats during boarding, but they've never escalated. When I think of violent escalation, perhaps it's news-selection bias but I'm more concerned about the airline than fellow passengers. Southwest's policy is to never break customers' nose and teeth forcibly dragging them from a reserved flight--they simply don't overbook. That strikes me as a lot more customer-friendly.

Marylander1

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squirm
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by squirm » Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:01 pm

onthecusp wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:28 pm
Frankly I don't see how any of this is a problem. How anyone still has expectations of "how things should go" in this world where there are explicit rules is beyond me.

Want to try and save some seats? Seems perfectly reasonable up until someone comes along and expresses a preference for that seat. Then give it to them. Move to an open row if there are so many.

Want to recline your seat? Do it. That is what the button is for. If the person in front did it and you now have less room, didn't you expect that? I've read articles proposing "rules" about when people should and should not recline. Ridiculous, I'm on my own time. If I'm reclined and trying to sleep during a time when others are moving about the cabin, I also expect my seatback to be bumped now and then. I get over it or book a higher class.
As far as reclining goes, with airlines reducing seat pitch it becomes a real problem for us tall guys. I'm 6'4" and when the dude in front reclines and there's only a pathetic 28 or 30" seat pitch it make a uncomfortable flight even more so. If the person behind me is rather big like me, I usually don't recline or will at least ask. I figure it's common courtesy.

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squirm
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by squirm » Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:02 pm

H-Town wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:57 pm
SR II wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:52 pm
squirm wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:52 pm
Yeah, it's called doing the right thing - I'll continue to purchase earlybirds for all of us. It's the right thing and I doubt SW intended people to abuse the system. We're not starving either.
I agree. When I buy it, I buy it for the whole party.
What does EB give you then? Why don't you just check-in all together at the earliest time you can (24hr before boarding)? That's $25-$50 per EB that you don't have to spend.
Because I'm at work probably or out and about.

DaftInvestor
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:15 pm

My solution is simple. I don't fly SouthWest - especially if I am traveling with my family.

H-Town
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by H-Town » Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:19 pm

squirm wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:02 pm
H-Town wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:57 pm
SR II wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:52 pm
squirm wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:52 pm
Yeah, it's called doing the right thing - I'll continue to purchase earlybirds for all of us. It's the right thing and I doubt SW intended people to abuse the system. We're not starving either.
I agree. When I buy it, I buy it for the whole party.
What does EB give you then? Why don't you just check-in all together at the earliest time you can (24hr before boarding)? That's $25-$50 per EB that you don't have to spend.
Because I'm at work probably or out and about.
I'm not pushing back, just want to clarify. Why would you want to pay for something that you don't get much value out of it? The EB doesn't guarantee seats for your family. It might just make you feel like you're entitled to good seats.

I'm as busy as the next guy. Yet, I find time or make plan to check-in early. That effort is rewarded by boarding in the A group. It feels better than paying for EB and might not get what you hope for.

TravelforFun
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by TravelforFun » Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:09 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've flown SWA for years and never once seen an incident caused by a 'save' seat. It's not a problem.

TravelforFun

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onthecusp
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by onthecusp » Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:38 pm

squirm wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:01 pm
onthecusp wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:28 pm
Frankly I don't see how any of this is a problem. How anyone still has expectations of "how things should go" in this world where there are explicit rules is beyond me.

Want to try and save some seats? Seems perfectly reasonable up until someone comes along and expresses a preference for that seat. Then give it to them. Move to an open row if there are so many.

Want to recline your seat? Do it. That is what the button is for. If the person in front did it and you now have less room, didn't you expect that? I've read articles proposing "rules" about when people should and should not recline. Ridiculous, I'm on my own time. If I'm reclined and trying to sleep during a time when others are moving about the cabin, I also expect my seatback to be bumped now and then. I get over it or book a higher class.
As far as reclining goes, with airlines reducing seat pitch it becomes a real problem for us tall guys. I'm 6'4" and when the dude in front reclines and there's only a pathetic 28 or 30" seat pitch it make a uncomfortable flight even more so. If the person behind me is rather big like me, I usually don't recline or will at least ask. I figure it's common courtesy.
You hit the nail on the head, common courtesy. I don't slam my seat back, but I admit that I rarely notice who is behind me. If some one asked I would gladly sit back up. I'm pretty tall, not thin but not huge either, things are tight but tolerable. I'm sure there are many body types where uncomfortably quickly becomes unbearable. I've read other versions of this discussion where people with back problems felt they had to recline whenever they could or else have to crawl off the plane.

I have switched seats to let a family sit together too. My wife and I have also sat window and aisle hoping no one takes the middle. It worked once (helped that we were only one row off the back) and once we offered them the aisle, which they obviously took.

The bus I take every day is usually half full so most everyone gets an empty seat next to them. If it happens to be more full when I get on, I usually look for an open window seat and ask nicely but firmly to let me in there. Am I being rude or is the person sitting in the aisle hoping to block the open seat? I don't care but I like the window.

It is just daily life in crowds, not comfortable but much better if you don't expect too much.

z91
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by z91 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:17 am

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.
:sharebeer I saw this exact thing happen on a flight a while back. Too bad for them a passenger sat down, buckled up, and said they really enjoyed the middle seat, LOL..

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JMacDonald
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by JMacDonald » Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:55 am

z91 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:17 am
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.
:sharebeer I saw this exact thing happen on a flight a while back. Too bad for them a passenger sat down, buckled up, and said they really enjoyed the middle seat, LOL..
That is funny. I will do that if it is a short flight.
Best Wishes, | Joe

westie
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by westie » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:50 am

I always ask at the gate how full the flight is. Many times they are full these days. With SWA, if you call a millisecond after check-in starts, you're going to be no better than the middle of the B group at best. If I'm in C group on a full flight, traveling alone, I take the first seat I see closest to the front of the plane.

ponyboy
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by ponyboy » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:21 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:52 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:04 am
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.
I love Spirit. After getting done with the nickle and dime on the site to get the seats assigned and pay for a checked bag for the family (yes, just one), I find the ticket is $200 per person cheaper than everyone else, including Southwest. Then I get on the plane and the non-reclining fiberglas seats allow about 4 extra inches of leg room and best of all, the annoying teenager in front of me who wants to ganster lean the seat back all the way into my lap can't. Greatest airline ever. And no, I'm not kidding.
I dont know what all the hate is about spirit either. I always travel light...to the point of only needing a backpack, which is free to carry on the plane. I never found the seats that uncomfortable, couldnt care less about reclining. I do wish they had in flight entertainment. Prices are always great. And I like the fact that you're assigned a seat whether you purchase one or not. No seat saving crap, no lining up and everyone asking what number you are so they can board in the exact order. Its lame. Surprised southwest still does that garbage.

People like southwest because they can check bags for free. Thats about it.

Also, this thread will probably be locked in 3...2...1...

Gill
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by Gill » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:26 am

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.
Totally agree.
Gill
Cost basis is redundant. One has a basis in an investment | One advises and gives advice | One should follow the principle of investing one's principal

MichCPA
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by MichCPA » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:42 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.
The primary issue is when a passenger avoids a fee by making another passenger pay for it. Saving seats on SW or asking a person to switch with you if you booked basic economy, is just asking another person to pay for part of your ticket.

I don't understand how paying up to pick two aisle seats across from each other (not SW) would be considered rude. I just did that myself.

rkhusky
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by rkhusky » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:28 am

MichCPA wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:42 am
I don't understand how paying up to pick two aisle seats across from each other (not SW) would be considered rude. I just did that myself.
Booking two aisles is not the same as picking them on SWA. Perhaps rude is too harsh, consider inconsiderate or indifferent or lack of empathy. Imagine a mom with 2 children looking for 3 contiguous seats and every row has a couple taking all the aisle seats (admittedly unlikely, but it's a thought experiment after all). When booking tickets, she could see the available seats and make a choice. But walking down a SWA aisle looking for seats is a different matter. If you are sitting in one of those aisle seats, do you have empathy or are you smug because you got there first?

michaeljc70
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:40 am

rkhusky wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:28 am
MichCPA wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:42 am
I don't understand how paying up to pick two aisle seats across from each other (not SW) would be considered rude. I just did that myself.
Booking two aisles is not the same as picking them on SWA. Perhaps rude is too harsh, consider inconsiderate or indifferent or lack of empathy. Imagine a mom with 2 children looking for 3 contiguous seats and every row has a couple taking all the aisle seats (admittedly unlikely, but it's a thought experiment after all). When booking tickets, she could see the available seats and make a choice. But walking down a SWA aisle looking for seats is a different matter. If you are sitting in one of those aisle seats, do you have empathy or are you smug because you got there first?
Why should what one passenger (and family) wants be more important than what another passenger wants? If you have small children and want to sit together a) go on airline where you can pre-pick your seats or 2) pay for the earlybird. Further, not taking the seat(s) you want over some hypothetical situation that may not happen doesn't make sense to me. Yes, it would be nice if you and your spouse took the 2 aisle seats and saw the family had nowhere to go to offer to move. Most likely in that situation the flight attendant would ask for people to volunteer to move.

NotWhoYouThink
Posts: 2751
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:19 pm

Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:44 am

rkhusky wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:28 am
MichCPA wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:42 am
I don't understand how paying up to pick two aisle seats across from each other (not SW) would be considered rude. I just did that myself.
Booking two aisles is not the same as picking them on SWA. Perhaps rude is too harsh, consider inconsiderate or indifferent or lack of empathy. Imagine a mom with 2 children looking for 3 contiguous seats and every row has a couple taking all the aisle seats (admittedly unlikely, but it's a thought experiment after all). When booking tickets, she could see the available seats and make a choice. But walking down a SWA aisle looking for seats is a different matter. If you are sitting in one of those aisle seats, do you have empathy or are you smug because you got there first?
Why are the people in the aisle seats accused of being smug? If they paid to board early to get the seats they wanted, and they got those seats, that sounds like a fair deal for all. And the mom with the kids has the same choice - pay for what she wants or try to bully/shame people into giving her what they paid for.

HomeStretch
Posts: 2934
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:06 pm

Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by HomeStretch » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:45 am

rkhusky wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:28 am
MichCPA wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:42 am
I don't understand how paying up to pick two aisle seats across from each other (not SW) would be considered rude. I just did that myself.
Booking two aisles is not the same as picking them on SWA. Perhaps rude is too harsh, consider inconsiderate or indifferent or lack of empathy. Imagine a mom with 2 children looking for 3 contiguous seats and every row has a couple taking all the aisle seats (admittedly unlikely, but it's a thought experiment after all). When booking tickets, she could see the available seats and make a choice. But walking down a SWA aisle looking for seats is a different matter. If you are sitting in one of those aisle seats, do you have empathy or are you smug because you got there first?
The mom with two kids picked the wrong airline IMO. When I traveled with minor children I ALWAYS chose a flight (even if more expensive) where I could book seats in advance so we all sat together. I would never take the chance that we would be separated and my kid might have to sit alone next to some stranger that could be a weirdo.

IMO it’s unfair to label strangers like the couples sitting in two aisle seats as inconsiderate or with any other label. The couples shouldn’t have to defend their seats selected out of choice or by necessity. They could have not readily apparent medical issues requiring a bathroom, claustrophobia, motion sickness, etc.

There was a thread awhile back about people being asked to move from booked seats so a family could sit together. It turned out the family decided not to spend extra money to get seats together as their plan was to inconvenience other travelers so the family could save money on flights.

aquaman
Posts: 97
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:13 pm

Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by aquaman » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:51 am

Kitty Telltales wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:30 pm
Actually I take a little pleasure in plopping down in "saved seats"
How exactly do you do that? If a seat saver is in an aisle seat and then has stuff in the other two open seats to indicate that they are being saved, do you jump over him or her to get to the other two seats that are being saved, and then physically move the seat saver's stuff out of that seat? That's quite an escalation and can easily get you thrown off the plane.

The open seating policy is the primary reason that I also stay away from Southwest. I don't know any business travelers who fly Southwest either, as the open seating policy requires them to get to the gate earlier than they would otherwise, there are no upgrades, it's a pretty limited network, in case your flight is cancelled, Southwest will not put you on another airline, etc...

krafty81
Posts: 241
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:01 pm
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by krafty81 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:09 pm

I guess I feel differently than many on this board about SW. I have tons of miles due to international business flights, but I choose SW for domestic flights for the following reasons.

- Most importantly - they are dependable. The arrive on time or early so I do not sweat a 45 minute turnaround. Less total time for my trip.
- My wife flies for free as a companion anywhere I go
- I never have a seat past A20 no matter when I check in (A list preferred)
- I usually grab the seat with no seat in front of it - SW first class! :)
- Free wi-fi
- All airline domestic flights are so crowded, I rarely get upgraded even though I am the highest level with United and American
- They don't take themselves too seriously and the flight attendants are fun people.
- No charge for bags and no fees for changes

bradpevans
Posts: 595
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by bradpevans » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:13 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:52 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:04 am
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.
I love Spirit. After getting done with the nickle and dime on the site to get the seats assigned and pay for a checked bag for the family (yes, just one), I find the ticket is $200 per person cheaper than everyone else, including Southwest. Then I get on the plane and the non-reclining fiberglas seats allow about 4 extra inches of leg room and best of all, the annoying teenager in front of me who wants to ganster lean the seat back all the way into my lap can't. Greatest airline ever. And no, I'm not kidding.
until they have mechanical difficulties .. and the only option they give you:
wait until the next Spirit flight (the next day)
get your own hotel

When they work, they work. When you have issues its not so great

aquaman
Posts: 97
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:13 pm

Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by aquaman » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:18 pm

HomeStretch wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:45 am
rkhusky wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:28 am
MichCPA wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:42 am
I don't understand how paying up to pick two aisle seats across from each other (not SW) would be considered rude. I just did that myself.
Booking two aisles is not the same as picking them on SWA. Perhaps rude is too harsh, consider inconsiderate or indifferent or lack of empathy. Imagine a mom with 2 children looking for 3 contiguous seats and every row has a couple taking all the aisle seats (admittedly unlikely, but it's a thought experiment after all). When booking tickets, she could see the available seats and make a choice. But walking down a SWA aisle looking for seats is a different matter. If you are sitting in one of those aisle seats, do you have empathy or are you smug because you got there first?
The mom with two kids picked the wrong airline IMO. When I traveled with minor children I ALWAYS chose a flight (even if more expensive) where I could book seats in advance so we all sat together. I would never take the chance that we would be separated and my kid might have to sit alone next to some stranger that could be a weirdo.

IMO it’s unfair to label strangers like the couples sitting in two aisle seats as inconsiderate or with any other label. The couples shouldn’t have to defend their seats selected out of choice or by necessity. They could have not readily apparent medical issues requiring a bathroom, claustrophobia, motion sickness, etc.
What you just said is all true, but would the solution be to teach the hapless mom a lesson and to refuse to move just to prove a point, particularly in a situation when you don't have a compelling medical reason to be in that seat? Personally, if I happened to be in that aisle seat and saw a mom with 2 kids looking for an open row, unless my condition was quite severe (in which case, why in the world am I flying Southwest, where I don't know my seat in advance), I would immediately move and let her sit with her two kids.

You don't have to agree with my values, and I certainly recognize that there are also situations out there where these types of decisions can be more difficult, but in the situation you've described I think that it would come down to basic human decency. There is simply no need to be a jerk and try to teach the mom a lesson by potentially forcing her to sit away from her two kids.

Even if I am well within my rights to say no to the mom with her two kids, just showing a little bit of kindness is what makes us decent human beings.
There was a thread awhile back about people being asked to move from booked seats so a family could sit together. It turned out the family decided not to spend extra money to get seats together as their plan was to inconvenience other travelers so the family could save money on flights.
This is not an entirely fair characterization of that discussion, which was more nuanced than that.

unmesh
Posts: 24
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by unmesh » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:19 pm

Some people asked about the speed of boarding an aircraft using different methods. Here's an article on that topic.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/comm ... d-a-plane/

tl;dr: Southwest's method is the fastest but not well liked!

HomeStretch
Posts: 2934
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:06 pm

Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by HomeStretch » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:33 pm

aquaman wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:18 pm
There is simply no need to be a jerk and try to teach the mom a lesson by potentially forcing her to sit away from her two kids.
I don’t believe anyone was advocating anyone be a “jerk” or refuse to move if asked politely in the hypothetical situation presented by another poster. My points are that (1) empathy rather than labels should be applied to the hypothetical couples, and (2) hypothetical travelers with kids should consider their (non-emergency) situation when determining how best to book their travel rather than figuring it out when they board.

The other thread I referenced, whether nuanced or not, pointed to the higher ticket cost as being a determining factor whether the family with minor children booked reserved seats together or not. That’s their prerogative to save the money but it may not always work out when on the plane and other passengers may have (private) reasons for not accommodating the family.
Last edited by HomeStretch on Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BogleMelon
Posts: 2158
Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:49 am

Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by BogleMelon » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:37 pm

I don't get the thread, I was under the impression that the check-in agent/machine is the one/thing that decides your seat number and it is printed on the boarding pass!
Is SW following a different protocol? Sorry for the stupid question.
"One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

aquaman
Posts: 97
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:13 pm

Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by aquaman » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:38 pm

krafty81 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:09 pm
- Most importantly - they are dependable. The arrive on time or early so I do not sweat a 45 minute turnaround. Less total time for my trip.
You've been very lucky with Southwest. At the time of this article's publication (https://www.inc.com/bill-murphy-jr/here ... nited.html), Southwest's on time percentage was 78.0%. The percentage itself is fine and places it in the middle of the pack and actually behind Spirit's on time percentage of 80.2%.

Most importantly, as I mentioned above, when Southwest (or other discount airlines) cancel their flights, you're on your own, as they won't put you on another airline.
- All airline domestic flights are so crowded, I rarely get upgraded even though I am the highest level with United and American
- No charge for bags and no fees for changes
I don't understand this. If you are Executive Platinum with AA (I am assuming you are not a Concierge Key holder with them), for instance, you automatically get complimentary main cabin extra and preferred seats. You also get 3 free checked bags, free same day standby and free same day flight changes. So, even if you don't get first class upgrades, with AA you should be in more comfortable seats and shouldn't be paying for bags or for ticket changes.
Last edited by aquaman on Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

stoptothink
Posts: 6523
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by stoptothink » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:38 pm

BogleMelon wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:37 pm
I don't get the thread, I was under the impression that the check-in agent/machine is the one/thing that decides your seat number and it is printed on the boarding pass!
Is SW following a different protocol? Sorry for the stupid question.
Yes, there are no assigned seats with SW.

michaeljc70
Posts: 5793
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:52 pm

aquaman wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:18 pm
HomeStretch wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:45 am
rkhusky wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:28 am
MichCPA wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:42 am
I don't understand how paying up to pick two aisle seats across from each other (not SW) would be considered rude. I just did that myself.
Booking two aisles is not the same as picking them on SWA. Perhaps rude is too harsh, consider inconsiderate or indifferent or lack of empathy. Imagine a mom with 2 children looking for 3 contiguous seats and every row has a couple taking all the aisle seats (admittedly unlikely, but it's a thought experiment after all). When booking tickets, she could see the available seats and make a choice. But walking down a SWA aisle looking for seats is a different matter. If you are sitting in one of those aisle seats, do you have empathy or are you smug because you got there first?
The mom with two kids picked the wrong airline IMO. When I traveled with minor children I ALWAYS chose a flight (even if more expensive) where I could book seats in advance so we all sat together. I would never take the chance that we would be separated and my kid might have to sit alone next to some stranger that could be a weirdo.

IMO it’s unfair to label strangers like the couples sitting in two aisle seats as inconsiderate or with any other label. The couples shouldn’t have to defend their seats selected out of choice or by necessity. They could have not readily apparent medical issues requiring a bathroom, claustrophobia, motion sickness, etc.
What you just said is all true, but would the solution be to teach the hapless mom a lesson and to refuse to move just to prove a point, particularly in a situation when you don't have a compelling medical reason to be in that seat? Personally, if I happened to be in that aisle seat and saw a mom with 2 kids looking for an open row, unless my condition was quite severe (in which case, why in the world am I flying Southwest, where I don't know my seat in advance), I would immediately move and let her sit with her two kids.

You don't have to agree with my values, and I certainly recognize that there are also situations out there where these types of decisions can be more difficult, but in the situation you've described I think that it would come down to basic human decency. There is simply no need to be a jerk and try to teach the mom a lesson by potentially forcing her to sit away from her two kids.

Even if I am well within my rights to say no to the mom with her two kids, just showing a little bit of kindness is what makes us decent human beings.
There was a thread awhile back about people being asked to move from booked seats so a family could sit together. It turned out the family decided not to spend extra money to get seats together as their plan was to inconvenience other travelers so the family could save money on flights.
This is not an entirely fair characterization of that discussion, which was more nuanced than that.
One time a flight attendant asked my spouse and I if we would move because there was a "family situation". I don't remember the airline. We agreed to be split up. When I saw the family it was 2 parents and their daughter that looked to be 18 years old. I kind of felt taken advantage of.

User avatar
Raymond
Posts: 1465
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by Raymond » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:53 pm

BogleMelon wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:37 pm
I don't get the thread, I was under the impression that the check-in agent/machine is the one/thing that decides your seat number and it is printed on the boarding pass!
Is SW following a different protocol? Sorry for the stupid question.
Southwest Airlines boarding system: "Boarding the Plane" - southwest.com
"Ritter, Tod und Teufel"

randomguy
Posts: 8402
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:00 am

Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by randomguy » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:55 pm

Gill wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:26 am
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.
Totally agree.
Gill
As long as they don't talk to each other (you need to talk a lot louder to someone across an aisle versus next to you and the sound broadcasts a lot more. And yes it is very noticeable) and otherwise spend the whole flight sticking body parts into the aisle I doubt many people complain. Course you would never notice those couples.

H-Town
Posts: 2113
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:08 pm

Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by H-Town » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:59 pm

randomguy wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:55 pm
Gill wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:26 am
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.
Totally agree.
Gill
As long as they don't talk to each other (you need to talk a lot louder to someone across an aisle versus next to you and the sound broadcasts a lot more. And yes it is very noticeable) and otherwise spend the whole flight sticking body parts into the aisle I doubt many people complain. Course you would never notice those couples.
There is a virtue in not letting yourself be bothered by other people and what they do. Those people who rise above those every day issues will find it easy to be happy.

It's the first world problem. In some parts of the world, some people have worse traveling conditions.

User avatar
Tamarind
Posts: 1787
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by Tamarind » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:07 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:38 pm
BogleMelon wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:37 pm
I don't get the thread, I was under the impression that the check-in agent/machine is the one/thing that decides your seat number and it is printed on the boarding pass!
Is SW following a different protocol? Sorry for the stupid question.
Yes, there are no assigned seats with SW.
BogleMelon, with Southwest your check-in decides only one thing, your place in line. You board in that order and select any seat that is doesn't have a person in it.

This allows SW to turn around planes faster because on average people spend a little less time standing in the aisle.

But when occasionally someone tries to game the system by "saving" a seat for someone who has a later boarding number, it generates enough rancor to fuel this thread. ;)

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Tamarind
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by Tamarind » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:21 pm

aquaman wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:51 am
The open seating policy is the primary reason that I also stay away from Southwest. I don't know any business travelers who fly Southwest either, as the open seating policy requires them to get to the gate earlier than they would otherwise, there are no upgrades, it's a pretty limited network, in case your flight is cancelled, Southwest will not put you on another airline, etc...
Well, now you do. :D Hi!

I love the open seating policy because it incentivizes everyone to show up on time resulting in reasonably good on-time departure numbers. Frequent business travelers are going to have pre-check anyway which has much more impact on time at airport than boarding.

I often have to travel for work on short notice and I can't express how much I appreciate that where I get to sit is not related to when I bought my ticket, but to how promptly I check in and show up to board. I want to be as far forward as possible for my first flight to reduce connection risk and I can always get a seat in the first 5-6 rows on SW if I'm willing to take a middle seat.

You do have a point about network in the event of cancellations. I have not yet had a SW flight cancelled on me so we'll see.

The Companion Pass benefit is also very valuable for business travelers who can be assured of racking up a lot of miles or using a SW credit card for business expenses. I would rather have free flights for my wife when we go on vacation than a business/first class upgrade when I'm traveling for work.

DoubleClick
Posts: 391
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 1:12 am

Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by DoubleClick » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:32 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:48 pm
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.
Way faster, according to research on the topic. 24min vs 14min, says this article:
https://www.rd.com/advice/travel/fastes ... -airplane/

Unassigned seating also ranks lowest in customer satisfaction.

This article shows a slightly faster way that's too complex to implement:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/201 ... n/10077338

fposte
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by fposte » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:35 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:12 pm

And I could see people blocking the aisle trying to decide what seat they want.
I believe Southwest informally calls these passengers "spinners" (since they're spinning around to look in all directions for a seat). The fact that there's a term suggests that it's a known factor and it's still not enough to make it worth it to the airline to change their protocol.

NewPhoneWhoDis
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Re: Saving seats on Southwest

Post by NewPhoneWhoDis » Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:32 pm

Who knew there was so much passion about airline choice? Bogleheads gave me knowledge on how to wisely prepare myself for retirement, but other than that, I've found that Bogleheads really really really love to whine about inconsequential things.

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