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Re: Early Boarding vs Saving Seats

New Arrival

Linsey...Your response is essentially a no response as you don't address the issue being discussed. The issue isn't getting the exact seat that one wants but is the fact that SW charges an EB fee and has an "Open seating" policy. Yet when travelers circumvents the Open seating policy by paying for a single EB and having that person save seats for traveling companions who have not paid the EB fee thus preventing other customers not to have their choice of an open seat. I experienced this situation on my most recent flight where I paid for EB for myself and spouse. When I boarded there were two empty seats in a particular row but when I went to sit in one of the seats, I was told by a traveler in the 3rd seat that one of the seats was being saved. I said that there is open seating and saving is not allowed. A nearby flight attendant then interjected that that was not true. When I asked the flight attendant for an explanation, she said that the company doesn't have a policy against saving seats and if I didn't like that I could contact corporate headquarters. Please respond to the question "Does SW permit the saving of seats?" If the answer is "Yes" then I will only purchase a single EB on future flights and save the seats that I need for my traveling companions. Why pay extra when I don't have to!! I will also make this well-known through the various social media platforms so that other customers can play the same game. Needless to say, SW's condoning the saving of seats will have an impact on its income from EB fees as others may follow suite and pay for a single EB as opposed to numerous. In closing I would like to state this is a bigger problem than SW may believe it is and will negatively reflect in passenger satisfaction and choice of SW as a carrier. Other similar carriers offer a "choice seating" fee which would be a viable alternative to SW and its EB fees.

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Re: Early Boarding vs Saving Seats

New Arrival

Totally agree, allowing seat saving is not fair to passengers who are playing by the rule and buying EB 

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Re: Early Boarding vs Saving Seats

New Arrival

My husband and I recently flew SWA (BTW I love SWA for the most part). We paid for early bird and|or A-list.  As we approached the exit row seating, only one person was sitting in the aisle seat.  I asked if two other seats were open, he stated he was “saving” seats.  I turned to the flight attendant to ask if saving seats was allowed, and was told by the passenger, in a very smug fashion, that “yes”, saving seats is allowed.  The attendant did not dispute, and, after I confirmed with SWA, this is true.

it is sad to think that a few, self absorbed individuals, can make a an airline look bad for having a customer friendly policy.

IF YOU ARE GOING TO SAVE MORE THAN ONE SEAT, move to the back of the plane!!!

 

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Re: Early Boarding vs Saving Seats

New Arrival

Hard to believe this has been an issue for several years now.

 

We just had an, apparently all too common, rather unpleasant experience with seat saving on two SWA flights in a row over the Thanksgiving holiday.  This issue is really begining to bring out the worst in people and and most undoubtedly inviting a hazardous situation when difficult personalities get involved.  To make matters worse, our flight attendant was absolutely no help when she saw that things were escalating quickly.  While the holidays coupled to the stress of flying can be challenging, adding the stress of competition for seating is only a recipe for disaster.

 

Given how shaken up we were about our encounter, we contacted SWA customer service to get some kind of clarity if not explaination for why the attendant clearly depressed her situational awareness for the issue despite a very clear dispute being underway.  The response we got was that while there is no defined policy in either direction, attendants are reportedly instructed to diffuse these situations by enforcing the idea of no seat saving by making suggestions to disarm these kinds of sitations. 

 

The recomendation to us was to immediately call over an attendant, if needed, and if the seat saving issue is not resolved by the attendant, kindly request the flight attendants name and last 4 numbers of his/her employee number so that you can later report them as they are not following the SWA flight attendant training guidelines.  There was a clear understanding that this is a customer service issue and SWA is fully responsible and apparently working toward a solution.

 

I'm not sure why we got this kind of response and not many others have.  Perhaps the shear volume of disatisfaction with how SWA has handled the issue to date is helping to shape thier response?  Perhaps social media is finally begining to have an impact on these kinds of encounters (facebook, twitter, youtube documentation of the disatisfied customers?).  Not sure exactly, but the issue is certainly not painting a very pretty picture and I'd be lying if I'm not already begining to alter my future flight plans away from SWA...shame, because I think they are a great company save for this small, but very significant customer service shortcoming.  A shortcoming I'm hoping does not end up getting someone seriously injured or worse.

 

 

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Re: Early Boarding vs Saving Seats

Active Member

Mcoverda

 

 

Ignore them and just sit there.

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Re: Early Boarding vs Saving Seats

New Arrival

This is on the flight attendants that don't enforce the Southwest policies.  I fly a lot on Southwest and see people saving seats all the time.  I've never seen a flight attendant call the passenger on this even though it must be obvious to them.  I get it that no one wants to be the bad guy but by not doing their job they are being the bad guy.  I actually saw a guy save a whole row, both sides of the aisle, for his family.  I was sitting in the row behind him and told him that I'd be amazed if he can pull this off.  He was successful.  The lesson learned here is that you only need one person in your travelling party to have a good boarding position.

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Re: Early Boarding vs Saving Seats

Top Contributor

@tpegan1 wrote:

This is on the flight attendants that don't enforce the Southwest policies.  I fly a lot on Southwest and see people saving seats all the time.  I've never seen a flight attendant call the passenger on this even though it must be obvious to them.  I get it that no one wants to be the bad guy but by not doing their job they are being the bad guy.  I actually saw a guy save a whole row, both sides of the aisle, for his family.  I was sitting in the row behind him and told him that I'd be amazed if he can pull this off.  He was successful.  The lesson learned here is that you only need one person in your travelling party to have a good boarding position.


 

Actually, no. There's no policy against seat saving for FAs to enforce. Southwest allows seat saving, including the saving of multiple seats. Officially, they state that they "have no policy for or against seat saving." Yes, this makes no sense. And yes, this creates a problematic situation. But that's just how it is.