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Acceptable Behavior In Southwest Seating?  
User currently offlineWoody71 From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 85 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 15609 times:

My wife just flew MCO - BWI. It was her first time flying WN. She called me when she got seated and told me what was going on. Apparently, families with children that get boarded first, save seats for family members still waiting to be called. Is this ok?? I have never flown WN so I am vaguely familiar with the seating rules. However, I was under the impression that the earlier you checked in, the better chance you had of getting a seat. Saving seats because you can get on first due to having small children is just unacceptable to me. I would be interested to see how you all feel, especially the WN regulars.

56 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineArcrftLvr From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 826 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 15576 times:

WN does not permit passenegers to save seats. However, people do it all the time. For me, it's usually no big deal, I'll just go to the next open window and sit there. I know people love to make a big deal out of it. Oddly enough, it seems on the shorter flights it's a bigger deal. On those flights, I couldn't care less if they strapped me to the wing.

User currently offlineMauiman31 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 450 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 15518 times:
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I fly WN frequently. Families with children on WN now board after the Business Elite fare pax and the rest of the A group pax. Before the B and C groups. Since WN is open seating available -- "saving seats" is unavoidable in many ways. I have once or twice "saved" a seat for a colleague who was behind me in the boarding groups. When someone says - "this seat is taken" it is difficult to dispute that during the boarding process. With that said -- people do have obivious "methods" of trying to keep that middle seat open to enjoy what I call WN "First Class" lol. Ultimately, never works on a full flight. A choice example was last week on my way back from LAX to MCI. A stretched out across two seats with his head in his wife or GF's lap and they both pretended to be asleep. Nice try. . . the flight was full and an FA came up and asked " did you buy all three of these seats?" Of course, they hadn't

User currently offlineJbernie From Australia, joined Jan 2007, 880 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 14905 times:

I wont necessarily agree with what they are doing but unless you are in group C and are scraping the bottom of the barrel on available seats on a full flight I can't see the point with disputing the availability of that seat and then actually sitting next to the person you just had the dispute with for the next hour or 2 or 3. Given it is a single aisle jet, just move along to the next seat and relax.

Now in the case of Mauiman31 there is no option but to make the seat available.

I really enjoyed my day trip (DEN-SEA) on WN in January, both ways the flights had no more than about 20 people on both flights so it was all board at once and everyone got 3 seats unless they were traveling with someone in which case they got 1.5  Smile


User currently offlineWoody71 From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 85 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 14868 times:

Before I get flamed again, let me clarify what I meant. I have no problem with a couple or two couples saving seats so that the children can sit with their parents. I have issues with people using their children to save rows of seats so that cousins, aunts, etc. can all sit together. Are there any seating rules with WN that keep people from saving too many seats?

User currently offlinePITops From United States of America, joined May 2007, 1442 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 14826 times:



Quoting Woody71 (Reply 4):
Before I get flamed again, let me clarify what I meant. I have no problem with a couple or two couples saving seats so that the children can sit with their parents. I have issues with people using their children to save rows of seats so that cousins, aunts, etc. can all sit together. Are there any seating rules with WN that keep people from saving too many seats?

I've never heard of a rule. It's typically not allowed but we all know it happens. The flight attendants would have to go around and make people stop. That would be the only way around it.



Ground Ops, Southwest Airlines, CMH
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21571 posts, RR: 55
Reply 6, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 14816 times:

If there's a family with small children that wants to sit together, then they need to get on together. That way there's no saving of seats, and the gate agents can determine whether to let the entire family tree on as opposed to just the parents.

My two cents.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinePITops From United States of America, joined May 2007, 1442 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 14720 times:



Quoting Mir (Reply 6):
If there's a family with small children that wants to sit together, then they need to get on together. That way there's no saving of seats, and the gate agents can determine whether to let the entire family tree on as opposed to just the parents.

But when you are boarding an MCO flight and you have ENTIRE families flying, the people behind them probably wouldn't like 15 people boarding in front of them when they are entitled to their position they got.



Ground Ops, Southwest Airlines, CMH
User currently offlineTugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5523 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 14646 times:

I have seen seat saving when I fly Southwest, either families or just passengers who want their friend to sit next them them for the trip. I generally don't have a problem except when a group spreads out one to each row and saves a few rows all together at the front of the plane. I have seen this and seen the attendants tell the "savers" to do it at the rear of the plane if they are going to try as their is no formal "seat saving" allowed.

Quoting Woody71 (Reply 4):
I have issues with people using their children to save rows of seats so that cousins, aunts, etc. can all sit together.

In general I don't mind if families want to sit together and on other airlines when there are families that are spread out I have seen parents (etc.) seeking to trade seats to get their group together. I certainly don;t mind when they do that so why would I mind it on Southwest (barring the exception I noted above)? Also if families want to sit together it means the center seats get used so more window a aisle seats for others.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21571 posts, RR: 55
Reply 9, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 14636 times:



Quoting PITops (Reply 7):
But when you are boarding an MCO flight and you have ENTIRE families flying, the people behind them probably wouldn't like 15 people boarding in front of them when they are entitled to their position they got.

That's why it's gate agent's discretion.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5692 posts, RR: 52
Reply 10, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 14574 times:

The typical rule is ONLY the Mother, Father and any children at the age of 5 or under may board in the family group after A and before B.

So because of that, Aunt, Uncles, and such must board in the regular boarding.

To answer the question, no WN doesn't have a rule, to enforce that no saving is allowed, or isn't allowed. As it has been voiced, sometimes you just can't stop it.

Either way the entire plane is going to get there at the same time so, it is a waste of time and fuss to try to dispute it.

Alex



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently offlineWoody71 From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 85 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 14524 times:



Quoting Tugger (Reply 9):
Also if families want to sit together it means the center seats get used so more window a aisle seats for others.

You know, that's a really good point. I never thought about it like that. Is it too late to rescind what I said in my posts?  ashamed 


User currently offlineBrilondon From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 4218 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 14457 times:



Quoting Woody71 (Reply 4):
Before I get flamed again, let me clarify what I meant. I have no problem with a couple or two couples saving seats so that the children can sit with their parents. I have issues with people using their children to save rows of seats so that cousins, aunts, etc. can all sit together. Are there any seating rules with WN that keep people from saving too many seats?



Quoting PITops (Reply 5):
I've never heard of a rule. It's typically not allowed but we all know it happens. The flight attendants would have to go around and make people stop. That would be the only way around it.



Quoting PITops (Reply 7):
But when you are boarding an MCO flight and you have ENTIRE families flying, the people behind them probably wouldn't like 15 people boarding in front of them when they are entitled to their position they got.

I will address all of the above with two statements.

1) It is up to WN to police these events, if they see it as an acceptable practice then you have to deal with it.

2) Fly a different airline if you don't want this problem.

Don't these planes seat up to about 170 passengers? Surely you could find two seats together somewhere on the plane.



Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15735 posts, RR: 27
Reply 13, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 14394 times:

I would think that the airline would dislike the practice of saving seats more than other pax. Part of the beauty of open seating is that it encourages that pax board quickly. Allowing people to save seats defeats this a bit.


Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offline777STL From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 3624 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 14371 times:

Yeah, they're not supposed to do it, but how are you going to police it? There's no way the F/As can do anything about it on a single aisle aircraft in the middle of the boarding process.


PHX based
User currently offlineKGAIflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 4270 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 14354 times:
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Quoting ArcrftLvr (Reply 1):
WN does not permit passengers to save seats. However, people do it all the time.

The only WN route I fly with any regularity is BWI-SAN-BWI. Westbound, no one wants families broken up for 5 hours so kids are screaming for their mommies or are in a window seat not able to get to the bathroom or are general discipline problems. People trade seats on the plane (I've had this happen on UA's SAN-IAD overnight redeye, also) to get moms and kids resituated.

Flying eastbound, enlisted men try their best to save *whole rows* in the back for their friends. That's okay since many of us prefer to sit in the front and *far away* from these rowdy grunt Marines and Navy seamen.  boggled 


User currently offlineSASD209 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Oct 2007, 642 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 14326 times:



Quoting Brilondon (Reply 13):
Fly a different airline if you don't want this problem.

I most certainly do, and have not had this issue on my preferred airline. If sitting together is apparently important to some folks, then flying an airline that assigns seats would be a better option than WN, no? I thought some of the attraction of WN's process was that the next person through the cabin door would have his/her choice of whatever empty seat was available..


User currently offlineBrons2 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3013 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 14263 times:

I don't have a problem with people saving seats, unless it's an exit row or other seat with more legroom. I'm 6'7" and I could really use the room. So far I've never had to make a scene though, nobody's ever tried to pull the "this seat is saved" on exit rows. But I would make an issue of it in a heartbeat.

Now, if the exit rows are already full of breathing passengers, then that's tough luck for me and I'll just have to deal.



Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5692 posts, RR: 52
Reply 18, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 14211 times:



Quoting Brilondon (Reply 13):
Don't these planes seat up to about 170 passengers? Surely you could find two seats together somewhere on the plane.

No not even close haha.

733/73G seats 137, the 735 seats 122.

Alex



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently offlineLexy From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 2515 posts, RR: 8
Reply 19, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 14106 times:



Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 21):
No not even close haha.

733/73G seats 137, the 735 seats 122.

I was about to say, 170 pax is basically a 739 or 757!! LOL!!!


Sometimes it feels like that many people are on the plane though.



Nashville, Tennessee KBNA
User currently onlineCaryjack From United States of America, joined May 2007, 322 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 14046 times:



Quoting Woody71 (Thread starter):
I am vaguely familiar with the seating rules.

I've never flown WN so I'm not familiar them or their boarding rules. Could someone please give us a quick sketch?

Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 11):
The typical rule is ONLY the Mother, Father and any children at the age of 5 or under may board in the family group after A and before B.

How many groups are there and how are they organized? First to arrive at the ticket counter are in groups A & B and last are in C & D?
Thanks,
Cary


User currently offlineNWADC9 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4896 posts, RR: 10
Reply 21, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 14014 times:



Quoting Caryjack (Reply 23):
I've never flown WN so I'm not familiar them or their boarding rules. Could someone please give us a quick sketch?

Those who paid business fares (more perks) board first
Group A
Families with small children
Group B
Group C



Flying an aeroplane with only a single propeller to keep you in the air. Can you imagine that? -Capt. Picard
User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5692 posts, RR: 52
Reply 22, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 14003 times:



Quoting Caryjack (Reply 23):
First to arrive at the ticket counter are in groups A & B and last are in C & D?

NWADC9 explained it pretty well but to break it down more...

Typically A1-15 are Business Select folks, A16-A60 are regular.

Basically the earlier you check in starting at the 24 hr markl before flight, the better chance you have of getting the A Card, and as the spots fill up based on time of check in, it goes down A1-60 then B1-60 and then C1-30.

So checking in at the ticket counter will probably get you very late in the check in spot/line.

Alex



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently onlineCaryjack From United States of America, joined May 2007, 322 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 14146 times:



Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 25):
NWADC9 explained it pretty well but to break it down more...

Typically A1-15 are Business Select folks, A16-A60 are regular.

Basically the earlier you check in starting at the 24 hr markl before flight, the better chance you have of getting the A Card, and as the spots fill up based on time of check in, it goes down A1-60 then B1-60 and then C1-30.

Think you both. thumbsup   thumbsup  So it looks like I can run down to SEA the day before my flight, check in at the ticket counter and be assured of a good boarding position. The return may be a different story. I most likely would be unable to make an early trip to the airport so I'll just get what I get.
These guys don't seem to pop up on Orbitz much so what's the best way to buy WN tickets, on their web site?
Thanks,
Cary  Smile


User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5692 posts, RR: 52
Reply 24, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 14106 times:



Quoting Caryjack (Reply 26):
So it looks like I can run down to SEA the day before my flight, check in at the ticket counter and be assured of a good boarding position. The return may be a different story. I most likely would be unable to make an early trip to the airport so I'll just get what I get.

You can do that yes, but keep in mind, to ensure the BEST boarding card which is typically A16-A60, you must check in at the ticket counter EXACTLY at the 24 hour mark, so if you have a 7:20am departure on Wednesday, be sure to check in at 7:20am, on Tuesday at SEA.

You can check in with your phone, if you have mobile access on your phone, or have a friend check in online for you at www.southwest.com if they will be at a computer at the 24 hour mark.

Quoting Caryjack (Reply 26):
These guys don't seem to pop up on Orbitz much so what's the best way to buy WN tickets, on their web site?
Thanks,
Cary Smile

Correct, SWA does not sell their tickets to 3rd party online booking websites like orbitz, exedia, travelocity, etc etc. Only way to book SWA tickets are at www.southwest.com or through a travel agency and such.

Anymore questions leave 'em here or give me a PM!

Alex



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
25 Jbernie : assuming you don't have some kind of paper ticket (we got one doing a airfrare/hotel/car booking with them) then check in online the day before and p
26 CanyonBlue17 : Don't forget the preboarding pax, they always board first. This group includes pax in wheelchairs and pax with disabilities that require specific sea
27 BMI727 : This isn't a big deal since these people won't take up exit rows. As much of a pain as people saving seats can be, nobody wants to be stuck sitting w
28 MMEPHX : lucky you! I fly WN typically twice a week and almost always the flight is 100% full. So saving an open seat is usually impossible. I see seat saving
29 Fltplanr : Fly an airline that assigns seats then if it's a problem. We'd be happy to serve you and would appreciate your business.
30 Jcs17 : Funny story: During the New York Islanders cheapskate owner years ('97-'00), there is a story about them having to fly Southwest from Raleigh/Durham t
31 Jhooper : Sometimes I'll get a row to myself just by being the first in the row and taking up the middle seat. For some reason, that makes people move on
32 SirSheldon : One solution: fly an airline that lets you choose your seat in advance.
33 Justloveplanes : Agree, WN's is the subject of constant examiniation over their different way of doing things, and the bottom line is: They are the most successful Ai
34 BayAreaBlue : If I am not mistaken, the ticket counter will only check you in for a flight day of. You might want to call and ask Southwest. The other alternative,
35 GARUDAROD : If you want a seat empty next to you, go to the very back of the plane. Unless you have tight connection at the destination airport, it really doesnt
36 Atrude777 : As a WN CSA from STL, I have been able to check people in at the airport, 24 hrs in advance, however that was under the old reservation-SAAS. I have
37 AirRyan : Flown WN many times: if the flight is full or going to be tight, before I'm gonna sit in the middle, I'd ask if them if their saving a seat for their
38 Mayor : In case you hadn't noticed, their business model is changing, more along the lines of the legacies.
39 Cschleic : Good point, so having kids board first gives those later a chance to sit somewhere else if they want.
40 Justloveplanes : It don't think it will ever get there. Southwest will always have higher utilization rates of aircraft and the point to point structure vs. legacies
41 Mayor : That may be, but the business model that has made them so successful IS changing. I don't think you can deny that. I really don't think there is any
42 Contrails15 : This is a horrible way of boarding an a/c. I've flown WN several times and its like a damn free for all. You should be assigned a seat when you pay fo
43 Chrisair : Funny. Every time I fly AS (and I love AS), everyone pushes to the door at once, even before F and MVPG get onboard. This seems to be more of a probl
44 Jbernie : well the only other time I flew them was with my wife when we both did DEN-SEA-DEN and on the flight out we were in the very last row on the right, b
45 Luvfa : I previously worked at a carrier with assigned seating. Many times two people had seat 21D and the second person who got to the seat was left standin
46 Luvfa : As a WN FA, I can tell you our company's position has been more or less neutral. Our main goal is to please as many people as possible; and sometimes
47 BMI727 : This is probably best. When you have someone saving a seat you can either let them have it or not. If you don't you will most likely be faced with si
48 GT4EZY : Well i'm surprised no one has mentioned my airline....Easyjet. Like WN, EZY operates an open seating policy with a boarding process as follows.... "Sp
49 Contrails15 : Gate agents are suppose to make sure everyone boards in the order that is stated in that airlines policy. To rush a plane when your already assigned
50 Caryjack : Just curious, what are "speedy boarders" and how do you become one? Thanks, Cary
51 Lufthansa747 : You pay a fee or buy a card for a year.
52 Contrails : I'm not sure what you mean by "saving seats", but allowing people with kids to board ahead of everybody else is pretty much a standard practice with
53 RussianJet : He is not complaining about people who are allowed to board first with children. Let me try and explain - the 'seat saving' complaint relates to thos
54 Lexy : No. I don't want to connect in a hub that is out of my way and pay twice as much for the ticket than I typically would on WN. Plus, chances are (as l
55 Lexy : Now, I agree that assigned seating on WN would be a nice "perk" for those who travel them frequently like myself. But, in the grand scheme of things,
56 FrmrCAPCADET : because of fees for first check in bag the free for all for bin space is true of most of the legacies.
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