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A MESSAGE FROM OUR CEO - OPEN SEASON ON ASSIGNED SEATING

gkelly1
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I’m new to this whole blogosphere thing but I have really enjoyed reading all of the comments and am humbled that so many people are as enthusiastic and nuts about Southwest as we are.

I wanted to address some of the recent comments about Southwest’s seating policy. There’s been quite a bit of buzz both in the media and on this blog about our current open seating policy and my recent comments (at Shareholder’s Day on May 17) about our consideration of changing to assigned seating in the future. So, as the saying goes, here’s the scoop “straight from the horse’s mouth.”

At Southwest, quick, efficient operations and our desire to give the Customer what they want have been the keys to our 35 years of success. Everything we do at Southwest takes into account maintaining the delicate balance between operational efficiency and providing the Positively Outrageous Service that our Customers have come to expect from Southwest. One of the most common requests for change from our Customers is to add assigned seating. Obviously, many of our current Customers enjoy the open seating, so it’s not a unanimous request. However, we do listen intently to our Customers and do our best to give them what they want so it only makes sense to extensively research and evaluate this possibility.

Open seating has allowed us to build a highly efficient operation by keeping the time our aircraft are sitting at our gate to a minimum. Aircraft on the ground don’t make money! But it’s no secret that all airlines – even Southwest – are facing extensive cost pressures due to the rising price of fuel and we have to find ways to generate additional revenue.

Our Customer Service technology has evolved to the point that assigning seats may prove to be an efficient way for Southwest to board the aircraft. Our computer reservation system is undergoing an upgrade and, while we are in the “remodeling” effort, we are adding the technical capability to assign seats. This does not mean we will; rather, it means we will be prepared to assign seats, if we so choose.

We are currently conducting extensive research and if our research and testing (which some of you may be involved with) proves that we can bring in more Customers (without alienating our existing Customers) and increase overall Customer satisfaction, but at the same time not increase our boarding times or our costs, then I don’t see a reason not to do it. I haven’t given any time frame – just that it won’t happen next year.

I know that several of you have commented that you don’t want the current seating policy to go away because you see it as a part of what makes Southwest “Southwest,” but I’ll remind you that many people felt the same way when we transitioned from plastic boarding cards to electronic boarding cards. Things change and we can’t ignore that fact. One thing that will never change, however, is our dedication to you – our Customer – and we will always make decisions with your best interests in mind.

So, stay tuned…we promise to keep you informed of this and all of the changes at Southwest. And keep telling us what you want, we LUV hearing from you and we appreciate your business!

655 Comments
Brian_Fierro
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I have a business account with SWA. I also am a business and holiday traveler and I see no reason to change to assigned seating. T I see more delays of boarding passengers than with the ABC system. I believe more education on the procedure will help as I have seen more people try and bring items onboard that exceed the airline policy and this leads to more time per person to board and seat themsleves. The ABC system is what I really enjoy about the airline and the system works fine. If its not broken don't fix it! Thanks.
Terry_Lessig
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Great idea, Bob. The boarding passes already are pre-numbered...make us line up in that order.
Stephen_Fox
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Please switch to assigned seating. The cattle call brings out the worst in people. I have been jostled, bumped in the back, and even knocked aside by people who want to get to their most preferred seat. Then there are the ones who rush in and demand to save seats for others in an effort to circumvent the present system entirely. In short, the present system brings out the worst in people. And how does it save boarding time? Perhaps at the ticket checking entry, but then everyone is held up by all the people first in line who also grab the first seats and then have to block the aisle as they stow their luggage, a serious bottleneck that brings access to a grinding halt. It's all tiresome, humiliating, uncivilized.
Tom_in_Nashvill
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I have been flying Southwest for most of the past thirty-five years. Junes Spirit sumed up what has made Southwest the best and most profitable air line, they take care of their customers. Going to assigned seating would be a mistake and I feel slow down the boarding process. Have you thought about what SW would gain? The last 6 flights I have been on were all full so why change for the few who refuse to fly Southwest because there is no assigned seating? Someone above mentioned that restricting carry on luggage would do more to speed things up, and I agree. There are always young familys along with frail men and women that have trouble lifting and placing their bags in the carry on racks. There needs to be more attention paid to those waiting at the gate. Some airports have seats in the group boarding area and some do not. It would be nice to be consistant. People also have a tendency to "mark their spot" by putting luggage down then finding a seat somewhere else. I thought this was not allowed by TSA. If they want to be first in line they can stand like I do. Thanks for listening
TC4
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So, you all love open seating...great. Good for you. Let me tell you what I think of open seating: I live 20 minutes from BWI, an airport I love, yet I drive an hour to Dulles--an airport I loathe--to fly jetBlue instead. Not only do they offer assigned seating, they have on-board entertainment. Crazy, you say? Well, I'm not flying 45 minutes to Albany. I'm flying trans-con. And I don't want to be crammed in the middle of two fat people for six hours, with nothing to do except stare at the in-flight magazine. And before you tell me that that's my own fault for not gaming the General Admission seating, I'll explain that I also have better things to do than stay up until midnight the night before to print my boarding pass, so I can stand in line for an hour in the "A" group. Clearly SWA is a great airline for those flying short-haul (especially if you think flying to Long Island is a great way to get to Manhattan), or for those who think that the Greyhound-in-the-air experience is some lind of a lark. But for those of us who want a little comfort in our travel, and are trying to go someplace farther than Buffalo, there's plenty of quality LCC competition (jetBlue, AirTran) that offers the same low prices, but with a superior product--including assigned seating. So that's where I'll be. That should leave plenty of room for you guys to wax poetically about how wonderful it is to be treated like schoolkids on a field trip.
HAROLD_HERZLICH
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DEAR SOUTHWEST ..... AS A VERY FREQUENT BUSINESS FLIER OUT OF LAS VEGAS, MY BUSINESS MODEL INCLUDES EASY ACCESS TO AIRLINE TRAVEL. I AM ALWAYS AMAZED AND PLEASED ABOUT HOW EASY IT IS TO DO BUSINESS WITH YOUR FRIENDLY PEOPLE. LAST MINUTE CHANGES ARE COMMON FOR BSINESS PEOPLE AND YOUR SYSTEM HANDLES THEM WITH EASE. I HAVE NOW DECIDED NOT TO TAKE NEW CLIENTS THAT ARE IN AREAS NOT SERVED BY SW NON-STOP OR NO CHANGE FLIGHTS. YOUR OPEN SEATING IS A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR FRIENDLINESS TO US LAST MINUTE FULL FARE BUSINESS PEOPLE. CLASS A BOARDING IS VERY VALUABLE TO THOSE OF US WHO CANNOT RISK BEING SEPARATED FROM OUR CARRY-ONS FOR SECURITY REASONS OR TIME DELAYS CAUSED BY BAGGAGE AREA WAITING. YOU MUST NOT START THE RESERVED SEATING MONSTOR THAT WILL IN THE LONG RUN COST YOU THE LOYALTY OF YOUR BUSINESS PEOPLE (YOUR MOST LOYAL/FULL FARE CLIENTS) WHO NEED EARLY OPEN BOARDING OPPORTUNITY. I DO SUGGEST THAT YOU LIMIT THE 24 HOUR PRIOR BOARDING PASS OPPORTUNITY TO THESE FULL FARE PASSENGERS WHO DESERVE SPECIAL CONSIDERATION SINCE THEY ARE PAYING THE HIGHER FARES. IN FACT I WOULD HAPPILY PAY FULL FARE FARE TO BE MORE ABLE TO GET THE EARLIER CLASS A BOARDING PASS IF YOU REALLY WANT TO SPEED UP THE TURN-AROUND TIME, THE PEOPLE WHO GET EARLY BOARDING BECAUSE OF PHYSICAL PROBLEMS SHOULD BE THE LAST TO GET OFF THE PLANE. BECAUSE OF THEIR DIFFICULTIES THEY ARE SOMETIMES VERY SLOW AND THE BLOCK THE PROCESS. FAKE EARLY BOARDING REQUESTS WILL GO DOWN AND BE USED BY THE PEOPLE WHO REALLY NEED IT. UNLOADING THE PLANE WILL GO FASTER AND FOCUS MORE ON THE TRUE DISABILY PEOPLE ( WHO WON'T FEEL AS PRESSURED BY HOLDING UP THE LINE) I HAVE A NEW BUSINESS VENTURE FOR SOME OF THE FAKERS OUT THERE. THEY CAN SELL INFLATABLE BABIES FOR EARLY BOARDING PRIVILEGES. AS ANOTHER BLOGGER SAID, YOU DON'T HAVE TO JUMP OFF A BRIDGE BECAUSE EVERYBODY ELSE IS DOING IT.. THE SW BUSINESS MODEL IS DIFFERENT AND IS BETTER. THAT'S WHY YOU'RE SUCCESSFUL. BEING TREATED LIKE CATTLE IS NOT TRUE. YOUR SUCCESS IS BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE BEST MAINTAINED EQUIPMENT, THE BEST PEOPLE AND WHEN SAFELY POSSIBLE, YOU'RE ON TIME.
brian_bartow
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Its about time! Welcome to the rest of the world.
Beverly_Hoeftma
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I absolutely LOATHE the lack of assigned seating. More than anything else, I hate having to stand in line for an hour before boarding, to avoid having the last choice of seats. I almost got into a fight in Tampa when some fatass who arrived late & sat till the last minute tried to cut in front of me. I love Southwest's prices & schedule. But if JetBlue ever starts using BWI, you'll have seen the last of me, and the lack of assigned seating is the only reason.
Lisa_H1
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Please assign seats. I have been on so many Southwest flights that a family with small children is boarding late because of delayed flights and the whole plane has to rearrange to allow them to sit together. I have actually had people offer me cash for a seat so families can sit together. Open seating is the stupidest thing I have ever seen and not because I grew up on assigned seating, but have you had to listen to a screaming kid. I was actually on a flight that a woman had given up an isle seat for take-off only to seat a parent and child and then create a rucus to get the isle seat back after take-off.....I hate flying as it is and this makes it more unpleaseant. Since your airline operates like a bus with wings at least assigned seating will had back some of the pleasantness of flying. There are times when you can't get to the airport a week early to get that A pass or don't have access to a computer, having an assigned seat will
Stephen_Rosenbe
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Assigned seating is DEFINITELY preferable. Trying to arrange one's schedule to be online 24 hours prior to flight time in order to get "A" is a royal pain.
Bill_Reuter
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Count me in as another frequent Southwest flyer that doesn't want to see you go to assigned seating. Having an assigned seat is highly over rated and certainly not worth the extra effort and time it takes to board.
David_Brod
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How about assigning seats in the boarding area? If not numbering them, have them labeled by letter. This way the overachievers in the front of their respective lines wouldn't have to stand the whole time to save their seat!
mikey1
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I refuse to fly Southwest because Southwest is a cattle plane and offers cramped seats. I prefer assigned seating. It will be faster if you allow everyone to board planes. I will never choose Southwest.
Ed2
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Open seating is the main reason why I have never flown SouthWest. I am a consultant (gypsy) and travel every week is norm for me. I figured I better speak up or you might get the wrong impression that the majority LIKE open seating. Most of the comments I see here are from people who routinely fly SouthWest and of course they like open seating or they would be flying another airline. People like myself never fly SouthWest; so, you do not have a clue that we exist. I would not have known to leave a comment here if it were not for being mentioned by Ben Mutzabaugh in his daily column. So, put in reserved seating and I will be very happy to fly SouthWest. Thanks.
Joe_Moore
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It seems that you are fighting 2 classes of people. As a business traveler the open seating is perfect but on vacation travel booked well in advance it is nice and comforting to have an assigned seat when you have 6 or 7 people traveling together. I have talked with people who have bigger families and they say that it's one more thing to worry about getting in line and hoping they can sit together. Maybe a hybrid method can be implemented Southwest has always been a leader so I have no doubt they will come up with a unique solution to this problem.
Michael_Rainier
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I'm an infrequent flyer of southwest but when I have flown I've always enjoyed my experience. I usually fly southwest when I need to get somewhere quick and can book a non-stop flight. When I first flew southwest I was shocked to find that there are no assigned seats but as long as you checked in early you could get a decent seat. Well my first flight I did just that and ended up with a nice bulkhead seat right up front. The trip was great and the flight attendants were fantastic and lived up to everything southwest plugs. I can see the reasoning behind wanting to switch to assigned seating, I know I like the knowledge of having an assigned seat when I get to my plane but I also like the fact that if you book late and check in early you can still get a decent seat. That said I feel that Southwest should keep the ABC boarding policy. It's what makes you different from the rest of the airlines. Notice all the airlines with assigned seating are the ones struggling. Hmmm? Co-incidence? I think not. I think southwest needs to keep some of what makes it unique. Sure change is inevitable but don't make change to attract new customers and possibly alienate your current ones. Make change because it works for the company then explain that in depth to your customers because some of your customers are stockholders too. I've only flown southwest twice but my experience each time is what prompted me to make an investment in your stock.
carol_Ann
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I would much prefer assigned seating. I am able to print a boarding pass when I am home with the hope of securing an A seat. However, on the return flight, I do not have access to a computer and have to sit in the worst seats. I hate standing on line, even with the A boarding pass because I am in pain as a result of foot problems. Please institute assigned seating. Some people I know will not fly SW due to non-assigned seating.
Kay_Allen
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Southwest - don't change your seating arrangements. The first time I flew Southwest, I too was surprised by the open seating. Because I was expecting the same arrangements as with other airlines I did not check in early. I was in time for the flight and in no danger of being left behind but I also did not get the best seat on the plane. I liked (actually enjoyed) the care, attention and even entertainment that was that flight. I learned - get there early - that requires planning. If you get there early you have a chance to get the BEST seat on the plane, whatever you might consider that to be. Why should I and other passengers run the risk of having to pay more and get less service because other passengers don't plan and get there just in time. Remember the old saying "lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part." Southwest - LEAVE THE SEATING ALONE!!!.
Brent_Leatherma
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I'm thowing my vote in with unassigned seating; I make 4-5 roundtrip flights a month and, as stated by many others here, most are booked with in a week or two of the flight time. Without open seating, I'd be in back in the cheap seats most of the time, and so would likely switch to another carrier where I could build frequent flyer status and this gain preferred seating. My two cents. thanks, Brent
Bob_Smith1
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I think it would be good for Southwest to assign seats. This would make boarding faster and more business travelers would like.
Randy
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I've flown Southwest for 10 years. I love the seating arrangement as is. Checking in 24 hours on line is a breeze and I always get an n A an A or B seat. Leave it alone and stay as profitable as you have been!
Laura_Marshall
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Swimming against the tide...I would be THRILLED to have assigned seating on Southwest. The lack of same is one reason why--even though I love the casualness of your crew, the sense of humor, the friendliness of the airline--I don't fly SW more often. I truly hate the get-there-two-hours-early-sit-on-the-floor waiting in line; the push to get the "best" seats; the insider tricks one has to know to get the A passes. I've seen a couple of recommendations in these comments that I would echo. Truly, really, honestly enforce the "under the seat in front of you" rule, and don't let somebody on with more than 2 carryon pieces. Just don't let 'em do that. And board from the back, no exceptions. I fly United on business much of the time, and the seats that are left after all the Premier, PExec, and 1K passengers load are hard to get to and in the back--while the privileged class is still standing in the aisles trying to stuff their 3 pieces of carryon luggage all in the overhead bin. So...yes to assigned seats, but board from the back and don't let big carryons on or more than 2. Of course, you could let my boyfriend load your planes; he was a sergeant in the Army and says he could get people on in 2 minutes if he could board 'em like soldiers. I have a hunch that would not go over well with your customers.
Bill10
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Appreciate the unassigned seating offered by Southwest. On a recent flight there was a SCREAMING child in the front section. We were able to find a seat in the rear of the aircraft - thank goodness! The flight would have been unbearable if not for that option. I find it very convenient to check-in on-line within the 24 hours prior to departure. PLEASE do not change this much appreciated policy.
Bonnie4
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LEAVE OPEN SEATING ALONE! IT WORKS. I love SWA and fly it whenever possible; seating is the fastest in the business. If you go to assigned seating, I would change my selection of airlines and only fly SWA if it were cheaper. And I have, on occasion, received a C pass and have sat in the middle on a full flight. But it is worth that gamble to have the option of choosing your seat. Even on other airlines , I have been forced to select a middle seat--even when booking weeks in advance--due to blocked out seats for "elite" customers or exit rows.
Robert_Borders
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My bookings on Southwest are well in advance of the flight, so, therefore, I would like to have the opportunity to reserve my desired seat seat well in advance also. I am very much in support of assigned seating, and would like to see it occur ASAP!
Brendan
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Assigned seating is the only way to go. The cattle call approach is bogus...I have never liked it. My main gripe is not getting on and actually finding a seat. It is wating at the gate before the flight. Everyone gets in the A, B, and C corrals about 30 minutes before the flight. The gate area becomes total disarray because people are trying to wrap lines around seats and through aisles. So I'm sitting there in a chair in the San Diego airport because I don't feel like waiting in line for 1/2 hour and there is NO room in the aisle because the aisle is flooded with people (and luggage) watingin to get on the plane. Then they get tired of waiting and just sit down on the floor, still keeping their place in line. Its mayhem, I tell you. Utter chaos. Is this the way you really want to prepare for a business trip of a nice vacation? What is so wrong with calling rows or sections? I want to pick my seat when I make the reservation, and show up the usual time before the flight - not have to get there as early as humanly possible so that I can get in line. If Southwest is going to keep the cattle call, I would recommend to make the gate areas larger and have a designated area for people who want to sit and relaax and those who need to get in line. The peanuts rule though.
Leo1
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I love open seating and hope that you don't change this policy. To me, open seating just seems to work. It truly is one of the major reasons I choose to fly SWA.
Christopher_Gre
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The open boarding used by SWA is a good system. I usually fly up and back from my mothers hosue half a dozen or more times a year, and I have never had an issue with the boarding. People complainign about standing in line with an A pass need to realize that every single A pass will get a window seat, even if every single person takes a window seat(Which doesn't happen). Wven with families most SWA passengers and attendents are able to accomadate with no issue. The open boarding system isn't broken. Even with my mother, she gets an A pass even though she doesn't use a computer, since I set up all her flights down here, I can sign in, and she picks up the ticket no problem(Have I mentioned the eletronic signin-pickuppassatairport is the greatest system ever, my mother refuses to fly any other carrier). I fear that if you switch to assigned seats, then the flights will lose their ability to adjust depending on the passenger load, and punish those of us who are mature adults. The system treats us like mature, responsible adults, while allowing those of us who 'need' a window seat to make steps to do just that.
James_Stanley
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I would welcome assigned seating. I have never and expect I never will fly SWA without assigned seating. I hate lines and have a medical problem that makes it difficult for me to stand for long times. What is better than sitting in the airline restaurant, lounge. or just a chair in the terminal... knowing a seat awaits you when you get on the plane. When I walk by SWA gates I am reminded of the unemployment line I once stood in years ago. Yuk. With computer check in and the need to get to the airport so early for security, how can SWA not get into the present. A suggestion. Why not board airplanes back to front with window seats first, center and then aisle. I see a lot of the delay in crowded aisles while people have to get out of seats to let people in. Also, how about those folks who stand in the aisles blocking boarding be given a shout from the flight attendats. Do we have to continue to tolerate rudeness with silence.
Steve_Danko
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The last three times I flew Southwest this year I had the following experiences: Flight #1: I was standing in line for seating area A and a woman walked past everyone in line, ducked under the rope between the lines and cut in line near the front. When one of the passengers confronted her, she said, "I didn't know all of you were standing in line". Flight #2: There was an empty middle seat in the row in front of me. A boarding passenger asked if the seat was occupied. The woman in the aisle seat said, "Yes, my niece is sitting there." The seat remained empty for the duration of the flight. Lesson: without assigned seating, people will lie in order to keep an empty seat next to them. Flight #3: I arrived at the gate and walked up to the line for seating area B. There was one person in front of me. As I stood there, a woman who was sitting down started screaming at me that I cut in line in front of her. I had no idea that I was supposed to stand behind all the people who were sitting down! How was I supposed to know that all the people sitting in chairs had "virtually" claimed a place in line? I'd love it if Southwest switched to assigned seating.
Kevin_Chaney
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My vote would be to keep the 24 hour online checkin window but rather than assign A-B-C, allow the number of people that would make up the A and B groups to pick seats. The remaining folks (the C group) would just fill-in the empty seats when they board. P.S. - LUV the attitude, LUV the service, LUV the people and LUV the airline. Thanks for many past and future happy flights.
Steve25
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Gary. Why are trying Fix what is not broke keep the open seating Please keep it;;; Steve
Robert_Boyd
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Have you guys lost your minds? What does Herb think--I am certain the founder of your great airline would not want any part of assigned seating! I really like things exactly the way they are at Southwest. If you start acting all the others, I will fly with the others.I like to be rewarded with a choice seat by arriving early for check in ! Let the late comers sit in the center seats--they deserve it! Please just drop this plan!
kris_singleton
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Keep open seating. It works both for a single traveller and as a family traveller. I like being able to sit in the kids ghetto up front where other fliers will be less inconvenienced by my screaming kid unable to equalize the pressure in his ears (this trick is hard to teach a two year old). I always try to fly LUV out of BWI.
Steve_K_
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Add my name to the list of people who like the "open seating" system the way that it is. The main reason that I request Southwest for all of my business travel, even when other airlines are available, is (1) the ability to sit far away from crying children, and (2) the fact that Southwest is the only carrier that virtually always runs on time. And, when I have children of my own, I will feel much better if I am able to pre-board with them toward the front, so that other travelers can sit away from them if they wish. If Southwest were to go entirely to assigned seating, I would lose my incentive to use Southwest. I would, however, be open to a hybrid system, where the people who make up the usual pre-board class, including those with young children, can request seats toward the front of the plane and other can request seats far away from that section.
Michele10
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I absolutely LOVE Southwest and if Southwest doesn't fly to a destination, I don't go. Please, no assigned seats. Who cares what people call the system. You are on time, everyone can survive without a "meal", you have a wonderful safety record. Don't change.
Chris10
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I am a frequent flyer out of RDU (Raleigh/Durham) Since WN started flying out of the RDU market, I have shifted most of my east coast travel away from US Air (even as a Preferred flyer) This is because your Y fares/last minute fares are far superior compared to the competition. Also, the inflight service is actually BETTER than the other so-called full service airlines due to the friendly staff and attitudes. For short haul flights that originate at RDU, the open seating works great. However, I absolutely detest the open seating int he following scenarios: 1) Tight connection times: So what if you have an A zone if the flight is already boarded 2) Flights that do not originate from your city: Ie you aren't boarding an empty plane 3) Long haul flights: People seem to be more testy with the transcon flights 4) Too many "pre-boards" and too many "carry ons" I agree with a previous poster that certain airports seem to be worse when it comes to the cattle call. Personally, I would support assigned seating or at a very least offer it to those that unrestricted fares. Regardless of what you choose, you have essentially stolen my east coast flying away from the other carriers.
Dave_Lotz
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I am extremely opposed to the present "cattle car" system for boarding. What about the older people standing in line an hour or more? Older people have difficulty with their bladders and knees when made to stand in line for an hour or more. Also, this system is not fair to people who are not computer savvy. After all, was not your original idea to board people who are actually at the airport? I have flown Southwest from BWI to LAX a number of times. Another big problem Southwest has is when you arrive back at BWI, it takes up to an hour to get your luggage because the baggage handlers at BWI unload the U.S. Mail first, before the baggage.
Leonard_Lane
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I strongly urge you to leave your seating policy alone! It works better than any other system I've experienced on other airlines. The flexibility and speed of boarding is a valuable asset for the company and your passengers. Don't change a thing!
Dorothy_L__Patt
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Assigned seating will just take up more time and I can't believe it won't cost more in the long run! Less huge carryons would save time and stress. I fly Southwest because they get me to my destination faster than the other airlines. The seating arrangments are just fine. If it ain't broke don't fix it!
Todd_V_
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I must say that I am shocked at the support for the open seating. I've heard many complaints but I have never heard this much postive feedback. We are the evil family (2 adults, 2 children) vacation flyers that so many of you dread sitting next to. We fly two or three times a year between CMH and MCO. There is one other flight that I make solo. We make our reservations well in advance. I dislike the open seating policy. I fly Southwest because of the price and/or the non-stop service. Given the same flight for the same price, I would pick the airline with the assigned seating. As long as Southwest has a substantially lower price, I would probably put up with the open seating policy. Currently, we can preboard and, in attempt to save most of you here from having to be seated near us, we go to the very back of the plane if we can make it past the people who have carried 17 pieces of luggage on (13 of which won't fit in the overhead to begin with). I am one that does not care where I sit on a plane as long as my family of 4 can be together. I rue the day that we have to return to the A-B-C line and witness the rude behaviors that take place there on occasion. With everybody checking in 24 hours in advance, you could find yourself in the "C" boarding pass group pretty quickly.
Morris_King
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I live in Las Vegas. I am a Senior. I hate the fact that when one person stands up, then everyone jumps to get in line to get their choice seat. Standing in line in Las Vegas for thirty to forty minutes is no fun. Southwest has made it a little easier by letting me secure a boarding pass on line. I do fly Southwest most of the time because of the rates being cheaper. My vote is for assigned seating.
Brian_Donahue
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I vote to keep the system exactly how it is now. It's quick, simple and works great.
Tim19
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My company forces me to fly Southwest whenever I fly into the headquarters. I travel a lot for business and the only time I fly SWA is when my office makes me do it when visting the main office. The only reason for that is the open seating policy. I would use SWA for most of my travel, if the seating were assigned. Also, if I wouldn't fly SWA for business because of the open seating policy, I for sure wouldn't fly it with the family on vacation. I vote for the assigned seating policy. SWA is not defined by its seating policy. It's the employees and the spirit of the company that make the difference.
Warren2
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I recently flew on an oh-so-proper airline that is new/again out of Love Field and starts with an "A". (I know, I know, shame on me -- but I fly long distance out of Dallas, and sometimes I need them, and I'm about to take the Bride to Europe on a reward trip....) At 30 minutes before the flight, they began their assigned seating process. After a few minutes, they were on the airplane's speakers, pleading and bleating with the customers to "step out of the aisle, let others by, blah blah baa baa baa." It got to be practically militant! After a few more minutes of these impassioned announcements, the customers all found a way to store their stuff and sat in their seats. Time yet to wait for pushback? Fifteen more minutes!! They barked at their clients for 10 minutes to hurry, and then we all sat there fifteen more minutes before starting our journey. Please do not copy the other airlines and their assigned seating practice. I much prefer the service, respect, and process of SWA! You could say I LUV it.
Ken_Greenlee
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I'll keep this simple -- please go to assigned seating. I don't fly Southwest because of the cattle call. I'm a million mile flyer on another airline so air travel is nothing new to me. If I had assigned seating, I would fly Southwest.
Jim_H
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Just to let you add me to your tally....I have been a SWA customer for years (many years with over 100 credits). At first I didn't like the 'cattle car' approach but that feeling changed after lots of bad experiences on other airlines. I would rather endure the no assigned seating approach and leave and get to my destination on time than mess with assigned seats. The other advantage is you can pick and choose your flight seat partners easier (no noisy kids).
Billy_Houston
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GREAT!!! Moving forward toward reaching more customers. I fly over 200,000 miles a year on various airlines and I have had a few flights with SW. But I can't stand the cattle call, so my business goes else where.
Michael_Portner
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I have always chosen Southwest both for price and for no advanced seating. I rely on the assurance that early arrivel will allow me to find a window seat. Dont change! Please.
JC2
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August will mark the beginning of my eighth year on Southwest as an (almost) weekly flyer. I cast my vote for "no assigned" seating. I have to believe that assigned seating would slow the turnaround time, lead to more delays, and otherwise frustrate long term customers who have come to enjoy the "cattle call" approach.