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Article in the Arizona Republic 12-20-2017 -This Seat is Taken!!!

New Arrival
We experience this 1st hand on a SW flight from Newark to Phoenix in Oct this year. My husband and I after paying $60 for RT 'early bird' boarding, got the middle and window seat on the 4th row from the back of the plane. There were NO aisle seats available and many of them had 'personal items' on them as we walked through the plane. My husband is 6'2" with some back issues and needs aisle seats. When we reached this row and there was a sweater on the aisle seat I asked the 2 flight attendants standing in the back "where is the person who is sitting here" as there was no one else standing. They acted 'dumb' and said they didn't know.....some woman sitting up a row on the opposite side said, "She's coming"!!! UNACCEPTABLE!!!! This was no child...she was in her 20s .............I wrote SW CS and received an unacceptable response that flight attendants don't want to get into issues involving seating between passengers! WHAT!!!! Then don't SELL early boarding to passengers if you are allowing people to circumvent this process...PERIOD!
Southwest needs to STOP SELLING EARLY BOARD BOARDING if they are allowing seat saving and as this article reveals - Flight Attendants encourage families to have one person pay for early bird boarding and then save seats for the other family members!!!!   This completely negates their Early Bird Boarding Process!

Re: Article in the Arizona Republic 12-20-2017 -This Seat is Taken!!!

New Arrival

I've seen a whole row occupied by one person but there were items on the other 5 seats.  I asked the guy if he knew what this was all about? His response was he was saving seats for his family.  I sat in the row behind because I wanted to witness how this played out.  Luckily for him it was a fairly empty flight, rare occurrence so he got away with it.  Had it been the typical full flight there would definitely have been some confrontation.  IMO, Southwest's lack of a policy just invites confrontation.  Is that what they're striving for?