LUVRSW
Topic Author
Posts: 481
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 11:15 pm

Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sat Aug 13, 2005 11:36 pm

Hi,

Just purchaced tix on SW for the first time, and noticed that I didn't recieve a seat assignment. I also didn't have the option of looking at a seat map, like on NWA.COM. After purchase, it said I can check in online after 1201am the day of flight. Will I recieve my assigned seats then? I saw on another thread that they use some sort of zone system? Also, I will have a baby (lap child)...any suggestions?

Thanks! Probably dumb questions, but I'm a newbie.
 
Scorpio
Posts: 4797
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2001 3:48 am

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sat Aug 13, 2005 11:40 pm

Southwest doesn't have seat assignments. You pretty much sit wherever you want. Though I do believe they indeed have some sort of system with different lines, but I don't exactly know how that works.
 
BigGSFO
Posts: 2214
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RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sat Aug 13, 2005 11:41 pm

WN does not assign seats. When you check in you will receive a boarding card assigning you a boarding group (on a first come, first served basis). Since you can check-in online, more than likely you will be assigned boarding group A. When your boarding group is called, you get on the plane and choose your own seat. This system works quite well for WN, but if you have never flown them before, get to the airport early especially if it is over a weekend. People line up in their respective boarding groups early (sometimes up to 45 mins. before boarding time) to make sure they get their favorite seat. If you have a lap child they will probably let you pre-board.
 
utapao
Posts: 546
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 10:19 pm

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sat Aug 13, 2005 11:42 pm

Southwest has no pre-assigned seating. It's first-come, first-served with boarding by group designation, so checking in online will help.
Sawasdee khrab!
 
dc10rules
Posts: 98
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 1:41 am

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sat Aug 13, 2005 11:47 pm

You will definitely want to check in online no later than 5 AM (on the day you leave) to get into the "A" boarding group. I believe there are only 40 per group so even if you arrive at the gate 30 min beforehand you should have your choice of what seat you want.

Have a nice flight

Cheers
 
LUVRSW
Topic Author
Posts: 481
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 11:15 pm

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sun Aug 14, 2005 12:05 am

Wow, that's interesting...must be a mad dash to the exit rows! I have never flown with a baby before, he will be about 6 months old. Any tips? Some friends said they gave their baby some benadryl, and he slept the whole way. Should I sit more towards the front, or the back? Is the seating on a 737 3 and 3? Maybe I should put the baby on my wife's lap, on the aisle, to discourage anyone from sitting next to us?

Thanks for all your help.
 
luisde8cd
Posts: 2444
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 12:02 am

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sun Aug 14, 2005 12:08 am

What happens if you checkin online but you need to check luggage?
 
LUVRSW
Topic Author
Posts: 481
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 11:15 pm

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sun Aug 14, 2005 12:10 am

Probably like NW, you go to the counter or kiosk and add luggage to your itinerary. An agent will tag your luggage.
 
wnsocal
Posts: 126
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RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sun Aug 14, 2005 1:12 am

If you have a lap child you can preboard.But preboard pax can not sit in the over wing EXIT row. We board in Groups of A(45),B(45),C(47)(32 on a dash500).
Airline Nut
 
Adam727
Posts: 105
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2003 3:56 am

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sun Aug 14, 2005 1:21 am

If you are boarding at one of SWA major Cities like PHX LAS get to the airport at least two hours before your flt. When I take SWA From PHX to MCI I get to PHX at least over two hours. and some times that is not enough.
 
LUVRSW
Topic Author
Posts: 481
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 11:15 pm

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sun Aug 14, 2005 1:39 am

I'll be going MDW-RSW. Do they allow planeside checks, such as a stroller?

Thanks
 
thegreatchecko
Posts: 689
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 3:34 pm

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sun Aug 14, 2005 3:26 am

Quoting LUVRSW (Reply 10):
I'll be going MDW-RSW. Do they allow planeside checks, such as a stroller?

Of course, ask the Ops agent when you preboard (thats the person that takes your ticket). Just make sure that its checked to where ever you want to use your stroller next. If you are making a connection, they could check it through to your final destination by accident. Oh and make sure it had a gate claim tag on it as well.

Quoting LUVRSW (Reply 5):
Should I sit more towards the front, or the back?

If you are preboarding, you'll have a pretty wide choice, if you want a smoother ride, sit in the front. If you want a better chance of having an empty seat, sit towards the back (way back).

Quoting LUVRSW (Reply 5):
Is the seating on a 737 3 and 3?

Yes, and the seat pitch is consistant throughout, except in the exit rows of course, but as was said earlier, you will not be allowed to sit there if you preboard.

Quoting LUVRSW (Reply 5):
Maybe I should put the baby on my wife's lap, on the aisle, to discourage anyone from sitting next to us?

If the flight isn't full, this shouldn't be a problem. However, if your flight is on a Friday, Sunday, or Monday, there is a better chance of it being full. Again, I'd recommend sitting in the back for a better shot at keeping an empty seat.

BTW, make sure your reservation indicates that you will have a lap child. It'll give everyone a heads up.

Quoting LUVRSW (Reply 7):
Probably like NW, you go to the counter or kiosk and add luggage to your itinerary. An agent will tag your luggage.

Just did it a couple days ago. Works like a charm.

You don't even have to print your boarding pass out! Yes, you read that right. Just check in online and go to the ticket counter when you check your bags and ask to have your boarding passes reprinted. Works like a charm.

BTW, I checked in at 9AM for a 5PM flight. It was on a Wednesday, so it wasn't full, but I was #22 in line.

Enjoy WN!b

GreatChecko
"A pilot's plane she is. She will love you if you deserve it, and try to kill you if you don't...She is the Mighty Q400"
 
AirRyan
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RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sun Aug 14, 2005 3:34 am

You lick it - it's yours! That's how it works at SWA!  Smile
 
FlyingTexan
Posts: 2998
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2003 8:30 am

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sun Aug 14, 2005 3:38 am

LUVRSW –

Welcome to a.net!

As you know by now, SWA - and unfortunately we can’t call them SW because people jump in and scream Air Namibia. You see, Southwest’s code is WN (as in you can’t spell Win without WN). Air Namibia’s code is SW - does not assign seats.

Enjoy your trip down to Fort Myers. And once you complete your journey, you’ll realize you can sit in an unassigned seat and not die (although you’d never know it from reading this forum).

Cheers – FlyingTexan, the independent, unaffiliated Southwest Stalwart
"Wouldn't your boss like to fly home nonstop at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon?" -Airline Exec to Congressional Staffer
 
AirRyan
Posts: 2398
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:57 am

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sun Aug 14, 2005 3:57 am

Unassigned seats - does that mean I can get dibs on the jumpseat if I sign a no-terrorist clause?!  Smile
 
N766UA
Posts: 7843
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 1999 3:50 am

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sun Aug 14, 2005 4:05 am

Quoting LUVRSW (Reply 5):
I have never flown with a baby before, he will be about 6 months old. Any tips?

Use that kid to beat the rush! You can pre-board as a person travelling with a small child and have your pick of the seats!
This Website Censors Me
 
luv2fly
Posts: 11056
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 2:57 am

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sun Aug 14, 2005 4:41 am

Quoting N766UA (Reply 15):
Use that kid to beat the rush! You can pre-board as a person travelling with a small child and have your pick of the seats!

With the exception of bulk head and exit row, they are not offered to pre-boards, makes it fair for every other passenger that way.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
FlyingTexan
Posts: 2998
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2003 8:30 am

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sun Aug 14, 2005 4:57 am

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 16):
With the exception of bulk head and exit row, they are not offered to pre-boards

I pre-board (walk with a cane) and sit in the bulkhead 90% of the time. What gives?
"Wouldn't your boss like to fly home nonstop at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon?" -Airline Exec to Congressional Staffer
 
Mainliner
Posts: 360
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 6:34 am

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sun Aug 14, 2005 4:59 am

They use three boarding groups: A, B, and C. Once they call your group, you can pick any open seat. Most people who check in early enough get the A group, but it sometimes seems sort of random. I've checked into my flights in IND over an hour ahead of departure and received a C card, while I've seen people check in after me and get an A card. Just hope you get an A card and are one of the first people in the line so that you can grab an exit row, if that's important to you. By the time they get to C on a full flight, you're lucky if you can find something other than a middle seat.
Every flight counts.
 
luv2fly
Posts: 11056
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 2:57 am

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sun Aug 14, 2005 5:07 am

Quoting FlyingTexan (Reply 17):
I pre-board (walk with a cane) and sit in the bulkhead 90% of the time. What gives?

They are starting to enforce the rule that pre-boards will not take the bulk head and exit row seats, you get to pre-board and take any seat except those.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
N200WN
Posts: 695
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 7:09 am

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sun Aug 14, 2005 5:22 am

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 19):
They are starting to enforce the rule that pre-boards will not take the bulk head and exit row seats, you get to pre-board and take any seat except those.

The new "Exit Seating Program" started on August 1st. It states:

"Customers who preboard will no longer be allowed to sit in exit seating. This change is necessary to improve consistency, as well as increase the comfort and safety for our Customers who occupy exit seating. In addition, this change will help Flight Attendents ensure that only qualified individuals occupy exit seating."

There is no reference whatsoever about "bulkhead seating" in the new program.
 
N200WN
Posts: 695
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 7:09 am

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sun Aug 14, 2005 5:41 am

Quoting BigGSFO (Reply 2):
If you have a lap child they will probably let you pre-board.

You will most definately be allowed to preboard...disabled Customers and Unaccompanied Minors will preboard first, then those traveling with kids under the age of five. To make this whole process easier I would do the following:

- Check-in online and print your boarding passes

- Get to the airport nice and early and check your luggage at the ticket counter. Also let the agent at the counter know that you have a lap child - have a copy of the baby's birth Certificate with you - not such a big deal now since the baby is only 6 months old - but when junior is 23 months old it becomes real important for SWA to be able to verify the baby's age. Watch reruns of "Airline" for proof. The agent will have you fill out a "Boarding Verfication Document - BVD" so that the lap child will be on the manifest.

- Bring your stroller to the gate and at preboard - or just before - the Ops Agent will tag it up for you with a "claim at gate" tag.

- A day or two before you leave, ask one of us SWA A-Net people here to check your flight to see how high its booked. If it looks good you can also bring a carseat to use for the baby. We always let people use an open seat for a lap child if the flight is not full. I have a lot of experience traveling alone with babies on SWA so if you want any other helpful hints from what I've learned over the last seven years feel free to IM me.
 
thegreatchecko
Posts: 689
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 3:34 pm

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sun Aug 14, 2005 7:34 am

Quoting N200WN (Reply 21):
If it looks good you can also bring a carseat to use for the baby.

As long as it is a car seat (no a booster seat), and I assume that won't be a problem now, and that its approved for aircraft use.

The aircraft use approval will be on a sticker or tag somewhere on the seat. If its not approved, then it can't be used to restrain a baby onboard the aircraft.

GreatChecko
"A pilot's plane she is. She will love you if you deserve it, and try to kill you if you don't...She is the Mighty Q400"
 
1MillionFlyer
Posts: 1937
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 8:55 am

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sun Aug 14, 2005 7:38 am

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 16):
With the exception of bulk head and exit row

I wish they enforcred that a few months back, there was almost a fight when some pre-boards took the exit rows and the 6'5" foot guy that was number 1 in the A group couldn't get that seat.

I always wondered how people that were physically challenged could be allowed to sit in the exit row.
Golf Foxtrot you are cleared for departure
 
thegreatchecko
Posts: 689
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 3:34 pm

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sun Aug 14, 2005 7:58 am

Quoting N200WN (Reply 21):
If it looks good you can also bring a carseat to use for the baby.

As long as it is a car seat (no a booster seat), and I assume that won't be a problem now, and that its approved for aircraft use.

The aircraft use approval will be on a sticker or tag somewhere on the seat. If its not approved, then it can't be used to restrain a baby onboard the aircraft.

GreatChecko
"A pilot's plane she is. She will love you if you deserve it, and try to kill you if you don't...She is the Mighty Q400"
 
SWALoveField
Posts: 151
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 2:49 pm

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:07 am

Quoting Mainliner (Reply 18):
but it sometimes seems sort of random. I've checked into my flights in IND over an hour ahead of departure and received a C card, while I've seen people check in after me and get an A card

Mainliner, It isn't random. You most likely saw someone getting a RE-PRINT boarding pass. Someone who checked in much earlier online, but didn't print the boarding pass.

I do it all of the time because I check in online, but don't print my boarding pass if I'm not near a printer. (Like if I'm traveling and checking in on my laptop in the hotel.)

When I get to the ticket counter, I simply ask the agent to reprint my boarding pass.

Robb
Dallas, TX
 
dc10rules
Posts: 98
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 1:41 am

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sun Aug 14, 2005 12:53 pm

SWALoveField...If I check in at 12:15 lets say and dont print my boarding pass (no printer) can I go to the self service kiosk and print one 90 min prior?

I have always inconvenienced a friend very early in the morning to print one for me and it would be nice If I didnt have to rely on that.

Thanks for your help

D10rules
 
757223
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 2:59 pm

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sun Aug 14, 2005 2:01 pm

Check in at 12:01 AM of the day you are flying if you can. On WN, boarding card number (e.g. #1) is important if you are trying to fly standby. The other day I tried to get on a flight that was to arrive earlier due to WX and since I was boarding card #1, I was first on the standby list. WN does not give any preference to ticket price or FF Miles like other airlines.
A/C Flown: 727,737,747,757,767,777,A319/320,MD-80,DC-9,DC-10,L-1011,BAC-111,F-100,CRJ-200/700,EMB-135/140/145,SF-340
 
thegreatchecko
Posts: 689
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 3:34 pm

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sun Aug 14, 2005 2:12 pm

Quoting DC10rules (Reply 26):
.If I check in at 12:15 lets say and dont print my boarding pass (no printer) can I go to the self service kiosk and print one 90 min prior?

I don't know about a self serve kiosk, but curbside and the ticket counter can definitely reprint your pass.

Quoting 757223 (Reply 27):
On WN, boarding card number (e.g. #1) is important if you are trying to fly standby. The other day I tried to get on a flight that was to arrive earlier due to WX and since I was boarding card #1, I was first on the standby list.

Standby lists on WN are first come, first served. It has nothing to do with your boarding card number. What would they do if people from two different flights show up with a card #1.

If you want to go standby, show up early to the gate and get on the list. WN will have an agent at the gate at a minimum one hour before departure, however, one may be there from an earlier flight.

GreatChecko
"A pilot's plane she is. She will love you if you deserve it, and try to kill you if you don't...She is the Mighty Q400"
 
757223
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 2:59 pm

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sun Aug 14, 2005 2:20 pm

GreatChecko, I know for a fact there are times when boarding card number determines your place in standby order. I cannot speak for other airports, but at Love Field if you are trying to get on another flight to the same city, your boarding card number from your other flight is factored in. Now, this was due to a WX situation, so I cannot speak for general standby, but that was the procedure that was in effect for the day I was flying. I was card #1, so I was the first person called to the desk when standby was opened up.
A/C Flown: 727,737,747,757,767,777,A319/320,MD-80,DC-9,DC-10,L-1011,BAC-111,F-100,CRJ-200/700,EMB-135/140/145,SF-340
 
thegreatchecko
Posts: 689
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 3:34 pm

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sun Aug 14, 2005 3:24 pm

I obviously don't know all the details of what happened in your situation, however, I have seen the first come, first served rule for standbys in full force at both DAL and HOU on days when the lists were over two to three pages long. Never did I see one person jump ahead just because they were #1.

What probably occured in your situation was that due to your type of delay, you were reaccomodated on an earlier flight because you were the first to check in, thus the first served. CSC or the Customer Service Sup for the city was probably just trying to keep people moving as close to ontime as possible. In that case, yes, #1 would get taken care of earliest. This usually isnt called standby travel, its more a reaccomodation due to a delay, this may be why we are in disagreement.

However, for normal, my meeting ended early and I want to get home, standby, all that matters is when you show up at the gate and get on that all important list. There is little to nothing you can do to move up on this list beyond convincing people to give up their spots in line.

GreatChecko
"A pilot's plane she is. She will love you if you deserve it, and try to kill you if you don't...She is the Mighty Q400"
 
757223
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 2:59 pm

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sun Aug 14, 2005 3:32 pm

GreatChecko--Thank you for explaining that to me. Looking back, I was misleading in what I was trying to explain. You are correct.
A/C Flown: 727,737,747,757,767,777,A319/320,MD-80,DC-9,DC-10,L-1011,BAC-111,F-100,CRJ-200/700,EMB-135/140/145,SF-340
 
SWALoveField
Posts: 151
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 2:49 pm

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Sun Aug 14, 2005 4:21 pm

Quoting DC10rules (Reply 26):
SWALoveField...If I check in at 12:15 lets say and dont print my boarding pass (no printer) can I go to the self service kiosk and print one 90 min prior?

Yes. You can reprint from the kiosk 10 mins before the flight.  Smile

Once you swipe your ID or credit card, there will be an option if you have already checked in. "Reprint Boarding Pass?" Touch that and your boarding pass will appear like magic!

Robb
Dallas, TX
 
LUVRSW
Topic Author
Posts: 481
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 11:15 pm

RE: Southwest Seat Assignment Question

Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:30 am

Thanks for everone's help! I't's great to be a member of A-net!