Pe@rson
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Why Are You Against Not Having An Assigned Seat?

Mon Dec 22, 2003 6:29 pm

Why are you against not having an assigned seat?

I am all for it and, despite flying many times with FR and U2, I have never experienced any problem with boarding. Indeed, no-one seems to push but rather board and que in an orderly fashion. Then again, it is customary in the UK to que properly - not push and shove. I suspect that it's the same in America, too. But it might be a problem in less developed countries, where it's generally accepted to push your way to the front of the que (from my backpacking experience).

Easyjet, for example, has a policy whereby its passengers board according to their boarding number. For example, passengers with infants or those requiring assistance go first, then it's passengers with boarding cards 1-30, then 31-60 and so forth. This obviously aids the boarding process.

With the boarding aid, above, in place, there is very little reason to have an assigned seat. If you are worried about not securing a 'good' seat, turn up at the airport early, for boarding is done on a first-come, first-served basis - and this is, to me, the best way of doing it.

[Edited 2003-12-22 10:34:25]
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
jwenting
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RE: What Figher Planes Would Have Been Available?

Mon Dec 22, 2003 6:48 pm

who says I'm against no assigned seats (except for special cases like disabled people)?

yes I prefer an aisle seat but that's no problem as most people are always fighting for windowseats instead  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
It's nice being able to pick your seat by checking in early, but then with boarding numbers that's pretty well possible as well as then it's a first-come first-serve basis and if I check in early I am among the first to board as well.

Personally I think people with small children should be the LAST to board, not the first.
They take inordinate amounts of time and block the aisles thus slowing down the boarding process. If all others are already seated that doesn't matter and the cabin crew can more easily assist them while the flightcrew prepares for pushback.
I wish I were flying
 
richardw
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RE: Why Are You Against Not Having An Assigned Seat?

Mon Dec 22, 2003 6:53 pm

Assigned seating is simply civilsed and sensible and avoids queues at the gate.
It is a total myth that unassigned seating leads to quicker turnaround times.
 
Pe@rson
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RE: Why Are You Against Not Having An Assigned Seat?

Mon Dec 22, 2003 7:02 pm

"Assigned seating is simply civilsed."

But in the UK it's civilsed to que in an orderly fashion anyway, so it's not an issue.

"It is a total myth that unassigned seating leads to quicker turnaround times."

If that was so, then LCCs would have assigned seating. I am aruging that it DOES lead to quicker turnaround times, because people aren't searching for their assigned seats. Instead, they find one and sit down - quickly.

Unassigned seating - on the first-come, first-served basis - is surely also implemented so that passengers arrive early and so do not delay the plane's departure which is, of course, done to aid an efficient and effective operation.

[Edited 2003-12-22 11:08:25]
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
Skymonster
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RE: Why Are You Against Not Having An Assigned Seat?

Mon Dec 22, 2003 7:29 pm

Most low cost airlines, even though they don't assign seats, regulate boarding by issuing those cards with a boarding sequence number. It amounts largely to the same thing, but for the LCCs it means slightly simpler systems. Unassigned seating might work on a 737, but would cause chaos on a full 747-400 as those who (for example) wanted window seats wandered around the huge cabin, not all of which is visible when entering through the boarding door, looking for the last one not occupied. Furthermore, whilst passengers may not be too picky about where they sit for a short hop on a 737 and thus will indeed sit down fairly quickly, on long haul flights they'd be much more likely to be looking for specific locations, resulting in chaos when those seats were occupied and they tried to move elsewhere against the boarding flow. I bet you passengers would be much less civilised about queuing if they knew that being last on would result in them being jammed up next to the rear lavs for 12 hours. There's also no grounds to suggest that late passengers delay flights - checkin cut-offs and commencing the boarding process with plenty of time sorts that out - and most civilised airlines with assigned seating have cabin staff at the doors who guide passengers towards assigned seats meaning there's relatively little searching for seats going on. Most of the delay in boarding is caused by passengers blocking isles whilst stowing carry ons.

Finally, I'd bet that assigned seating causes a far more civilised boarding process than unassigned, as passengers board at their leasure rather than have to stand in huge lines by the boarding door.

Andy
There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots
 
Pe@rson
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RE: Why Are You Against Not Having An Assigned Seat?

Mon Dec 22, 2003 7:45 pm

Andy - the situation is different on long-haul flights aboard full-frills airlines.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
GSPSPOT
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RE: Why Are You Against Not Having An Assigned Seat?

Mon Dec 22, 2003 9:50 pm

BTW, I know for a fact that in the U.S., Airtran assigns seats, probably others too, so not ALL LCC's use unassigned seating. I like to know before I go!
Finally made it to an airline mecca!
 
pixuk
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RE: Why Are You Against Not Having An Assigned Seat?

Mon Dec 22, 2003 10:02 pm

I would argue that non-assigned seating is for the benefit of the airline, not the passenger. I've done those EasyJet flights and don't find anything enjoyable about the queuing. Sure, I like to get to the airport early - but that's so I can check in, confirm my seat choice and then go sit in the lounge. Not so I can spend half the time standing in a queue.

The 'wipe-clean' numbered boarding card doesn't exactly add to the glamour of flying, either.

Mind you, I stopped flying EasyJet years ago and now stick to either BMI or BA for my short haul flights. These days there's getting to be very little difference in price for where I want to fly anyway.

Pix.
 
Pe@rson
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RE: Why Are You Against Not Having An Assigned Seat?

Mon Dec 22, 2003 10:08 pm

Not so I can spend half the time standing in a queue."

I've flown U2 and FR probably well over 50 times, and I've never experienced that. Funny, eh? In fact, it normally takes 10 minutes max. to load all the pax.

"Sure, I like to get to the airport early - but that's so I can check in, confirm my seat choice and then go sit in the lounge."

Check-in for your U2 flight 2 hours before departure. Be issued with boarding card 1 or 2 and then go to the lounge. Once boarding has commenced, say 25-20 minutes before departure, you'll be the first or one of the first on. Hmm... so long to stand in que, eh?

"Glamour of flying."

The days of glamourous flying are - thankfully - long gone.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
johnboy
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RE: Why Are You Against Not Having An Assigned Seat?

Mon Dec 22, 2003 11:10 pm

I've found that either with assigned or unassigned seats, everyone jumps up toward the jetway at the same time anyway, crowding around the entrance.

I find that having an assigned seat takes away some of the fear of whether or not you'll get that "aisle" or "window" seat you desire greatly. There is less stress involved, as you know beforehand what seat you have. The only stress is wondering what your seatmate will be like.

Flying on Southwest primarily for domestic flights, I find myself going into "Plan A or Plan B" mode depending on which boarding group I'm in. There is a certain "kill or be killed" mentality involved, so to speak. The advantage is that you get to choose that particular seat if you're early enough or hopefully sit next to a friendly face if you're not.
 
XJFA
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RE: Why Are You Against Not Having An Assigned Seat?

Mon Dec 22, 2003 11:22 pm

Problems i have against not having assigned seats...
1. For the people in the last boarding group, there are never any seats together b/c everyone wants to spread out and you end up getting stuck in a middle seat and the ppl you have to sit between give you a nasty look like you just peed in their coffee.
2. As for the childern board last idea, most familys with children need to sit together, and if they have a car seat, it has to be placed in the window. Even with assigned seats, i have problems with people moving around before everyone is on board. Then when the family gets on at the end, the person has to move from their seats and usually give s "huff" b/c he is inconviened that he couldn't have a whole row. So if i have this problem with assigned seats, i can just imange what the prob would be without assiged seats.
3. Also with making childern ppl bored last, we can't close the door until eveyone is seated and all bags are stowed. If you put a family at the end that tkaes 5 mintes to get situated, then you are going to cause a delay and the airlines don't like that.
3. I know that people in the US always want to be the first on board to get their seat, even if its assigned. I watch flights bored and if its not boarding exactly 30 minutes prior, they are harrassing the gate agent why she isn't boarding. Then if a boarding group is called everyone goes running up like cattle to get on first.
 
Pe@rson
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RE: Why Are You Against Not Having An Assigned Seat?

Mon Dec 22, 2003 11:30 pm

"For the people in the last boarding group, there are never any seats together."

If a group of, say, 5 are the last to check-in for a full flight, the chances of sitting together as a whole are slim, no?

In the West, we are civilised and so should act as such. If we have checked in, we are all guaranteed a seat - be it next to the window or elsewhere. Perhaps we should not be so fussy but rather grateful that we got on the flight.

Do we care if we don't get the window seat on a train or bus? No.

Do we care if we are not first-in-line for the bus or train - even with the possibility of not getting a seat? No.

Perhaps we should remember this for when we fly and act civilised instead of selfishly.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
united4ever
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RE: Why Are You Against Not Having An Assigned Seat?

Mon Dec 22, 2003 11:58 pm

The one (and first and last) time I travelled with FR a group of 40 people travelling together pushed straight to the front of the queue on boarding (in front of those who were already queuing) then dashed on and immediately snapped up a window seat each.

Assigned seating would prevent this and also allows people travelling together to be guaranteed seats together.

Mike
 
Pe@rson
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RE: Why Are You Against Not Having An Assigned Seat?

Tue Dec 23, 2003 12:02 am

'Assigned seating ... allow people travelling together to be guaranteed seats together.'

In terms of assigned seating, what if a group of 5 people checked-in right before the closure of a totally full aircraft. Will they all be sat together? I think not.

The key is arriving at the airport EARLY! If the group of 5 arrived at the airport 2 hours before their flight, they'd be in the first group of people to board and so would be able to sit together.

People should take personal responsibility and arrive at the airport with plenty of time prior to departure. That way, they shouldn't be inconvenienced. Indeed, if a passenger arrived just as check-in was closing, then he or she would have to board with the last group of people and, so, would be limited in where he or she could sit.

[Edited 2003-12-22 16:18:29]
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
united4ever
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RE: Why Are You Against Not Having An Assigned Seat?

Tue Dec 23, 2003 12:17 am

"The key is arriving at the airport EARLY! If the group of 5 arrived at the airport 2 hours before their flight, they'd be in the first group of people to board and so would be able to sit together."

What if, for example, that group of 5 only have 1 hour between connecting flights?

The bigger point is why the heck should I have to stand and queue at the gate if I want a chance of a decent seat? Non-assigned seats are, IMO, for the benefit of the airline not the passenger.

The lack of assigned seats is one of the reasons that I pay the little extra to travel with, say, BA or BMI. In any case, it is by no means always more expensive to travel with the latter.

BTW, what's your argument against assigned seats?

Mike
 
Pe@rson
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RE: Why Are You Against Not Having An Assigned Seat?

Tue Dec 23, 2003 12:26 am

"The bigger point is why the heck should I have to stand and queue at the gate if I want a chance of a decent seat?"

You don't: with U2, for example, you get a number on your boarding card. This number reflects the group in which you will be boarding. It's done on a first-come, first-served basis, so the earlier you check-in the quicker you'll board. For example, on my most recent flight with U2 (LPL-BFS last Tues), I arrived at the airport 2 hours before departure and checked-in immediately. I held card no. 1 and, when it was time to board, I was on and sat down very quickly indeed. If, however, I had arrived just before check-in closed, I would have had limited seat options.

If you have an assigned seat, you still have to que at the gate before embarking. For example, on my most recent long-haul flight (LHR-CMB in Nov.), I had to wait 20 minutes in line before boarding.

Clearly, both assigned seating and non-assigned seating involves some queing - and this is to be expected.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
united4ever
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RE: Why Are You Against Not Having An Assigned Seat?

Tue Dec 23, 2003 12:36 am

Still not sure what your argument is against assigned seats. Or how to accommodate connecting passengers.

Mike
 
InnocuousFox
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RE: Why Are You Against Not Having An Assigned Seat?

Tue Dec 23, 2003 12:37 am

"Assigned seating is simply civilsed and sensible..."

What a ludicrous statement that is. Since "civilized" is an agregate of a population's perceptions, I find it hard that you would be able to rubber stamp YOUR opinion on that.

The only difference for me is that I would not want to HAVE to show up early to get a window seat if I can just choose one when I am booking over the internet.
Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
 
Pe@rson
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RE: Why Are You Against Not Having An Assigned Seat?

Tue Dec 23, 2003 12:44 am

"Or how to accommodate connecting passengers."

Currently, only LCCs have non-assigned seating. LCCs also don't have any facility for connecting passengers, so there is no need to accommodate such people. If someone wishes to connect, they have to go through customs and passport control and re-check-in.

Both assigned seating and non-assigned seating involve queing. It's unavoidable. But I am of the opinion that assigned seating is slower in terms of boarding than non-assigned seating and thus not as efficient as assigned seating. In addition to it improving and achieving turnaround times, it also hopefully makes people aware that, in order to get the better seats, they need to be at the airport early. This, too, aids an efficient and effective operation. Contrary to popular belief, non-assigned seating is indeed civilised, so long as the boarding aids (i.e. 0-30 first, then 31-60 second, etc.) are enforced.

[Edited 2003-12-22 16:45:43]
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
richardw
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RE: Why Are You Against Not Having An Assigned Seat?

Tue Dec 23, 2003 1:29 am

Enforced!

Exactly, because it very often isn't.

2 out of the last 3 un assigned seat flights I have taken the gate agent on the return to base flight has not bothered calling people in order, they just want to get people through the gate.

And if a group of five passengers travelling together get boarding nos 28, 29, 30, 31 and 32, you know there will be a problem.
 
Pe@rson
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RE: Why Are You Against Not Having An Assigned Seat?

Tue Dec 23, 2003 2:31 am

"Enforced!

Exactly, because it very often isn't."

Well, of 9 out of 10 of the flights I've flown aboard U2, the boarding process has been been enforced. If you have experienced boarding when there it has not been enforced, then this is a problem. However, if it was enforced, then there are no real problems from the passenger's point-of-view.


"And if a group of five passengers travelling together get boarding nos 28, 29, 30, 31 and 32, you know there will be a problem."

Not necessarily. If they get to the front of the second boarding group, all should be well. Even if they're at the back of the second group, there shouldn't be a problem: only a total of 60 - of 140-150 - people would have boarded. Who would intentionally sit next to strangers, when spare seats are available?

[Edited 2003-12-22 18:32:45]
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
richardw
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RE: Why Are You Against Not Having An Assigned Seat?

Tue Dec 23, 2003 3:38 am

How is WILMA working on Song?
 
RiverVisualNYC
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RE: Why Are You Against Not Having An Assigned Seat?

Tue Dec 23, 2003 5:05 am

This topic is not really worth discussing as soon I am sure LCCs will get permission to take the seats out entirely, enabling them to sell more tickets at those ridiculously low, often below-cost fares everyone seems to love. However, as long as I am still paying more than about 10 quid for a ticket, I want an assigned aisle seat and I don't want to have to fight with a backpacker or screaming baby to get it.
 
Leskova
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RE: Why Are You Against Not Having An Assigned Seat?

Tue Dec 23, 2003 5:18 am

Well, maybe I'm old fashioned, but I prefer assigned seating... although that might have to do with the fact that on the flights that I've taken that had free seating, I always got seats that were the onboard-equivalent to crap.

Which, then again, might have to do with the fact that the TSA (or whoever does these selections) seems to enjoy picking me out for secondary screenings at the gate (last year I had a "success rate" of around 80%), so even standing in the front of the queue has not helped me: sort of annoying when you're third in line, only to be the second-to-last person actually on the plane.

If you prefer non-assigned seating - fine, I have no problem with that... I'll prefer assigned seating anytime.
Smile - it confuses people!
 
goingboeing
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RE: Why Are You Against Not Having An Assigned Seat?

Tue Dec 23, 2003 5:36 am

I had heard that Southwest was going to start providing boarding passes for connecting passengers when they check in for their first flight. Has this been implemented yet?

Assigned seats guarantee nothing. I remember twice having bought tickets for me, my wife, and at the time my 3 year old daughter and getting the coveted assigned seat, only to show up at the airport (one hour prior to flight time - pre 9/11 the recommended time by the airlines) only to find that I was in seat 12B, my wife was in seat 15C and my 3 year old was assigned to seat 17A. It happened on TWA and Delta.

As far as folks looking like you "peed in their coffee" when you take a center seat in their row, are you saying that they DON'T harbor any ill will when a person is ASSIGNED the center seat in their row? Or do you get to pee in your own coffee in that situation??
 
pixuk
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RE: Why Are You Against Not Having An Assigned Seat?

Tue Dec 23, 2003 7:33 am

Pearson, you really are banging this particular drum unsually hard. Don't really understand why.

Non assigned seating is one of the features of a lot of the LCCs (in Europe at least), and as I prefer assigned seating that's one of the reasons I don't fly LCCs. One of the benefits of a 'civilised society' is we're both entitled to our own opinions and choices, and I quite like hanging on to the glamour of a bit of pampering whilst flying. If you like flying LCCs, fine - I like sitting in the Clubhouse sipping a G&T and maybe a massage on the flight.

Pix.
 
Pe@rson
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RE: Why Are You Against Not Having An Assigned Seat?

Tue Dec 23, 2003 7:41 am

"Pearson, you really are banging this particular drum unsually hard."

Nope: I'm merely rebutting arguments.

"One of the benefits of a 'civilised society' is we're both entitled to our own opinions and choices."

Yes, certainly.

"If you like flying LCCs, fine."

Indeed.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
VSGirl
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RE: Why Are You Against Not Having An Assigned Seat?

Tue Dec 23, 2003 7:48 am

Pe@rson, you banging again  Big grin

Kimberly

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