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Open seating

New Arrival

I had to fly Southwest 4 times over the last week and I am very disappointed about their open seating policy. On all four of those flights, when I asked several people to move their bag so that I could take the empty seat next to them, they told me the seat was blocked for their spouse, friend, child etc. etc. So, assuming that I don't smell that bad, what am I supposed to do? Insist, confront, complain? The problem is that after you take a deep breath and continue watching, that spouse or whatever never shows and eventually people give up the seat. I reached out to their customer service and their response is like "open seating is not for everyone". Wow, really?!! It seems like this airline attracts a certain type of behavior and yes, it's not for me.

9 REPLIES 9
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Re: Open seating

Top Contributor

@emrem01 wrote:

I had to fly Southwest 4 times over the last week and I am very disappointed about their open seating policy. On all four of those flights, when I asked several people to move their bag so that I could take the empty seat next to them, they told me the seat was blocked for their spouse, friend, child etc. etc. So, assuming that I don't smell that bad, what am I supposed to do? Insist, confront, complain? The problem is that after you take a deep breath and continue watching, that spouse or whatever never shows and eventually people give up the seat. I reached out to their customer service and their response is like "open seating is not for everyone". Wow, really?!! It seems like this airline attracts a certain type of behavior and yes, it's not for me.


I have seen this a few times and have identified one fellow MDW passenger that will say someone is coming when no one actually does. Other than that one guy I had not noticed people saving a seat for someone that didn’t eventually show up.

 

Planes are often pretty full these days so there isn’t too much use to try and hold a seat if the flight is full - someone will be sitting there most likely.

 

Sorry to hear that it may not be for you. Make sure to check in as close to 24-hours as you can to improve your boarding position or consider Early Bird and you could avoid some of the congestion.

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.
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Re: Open seating

Top Contributor

@emrem01 wrote:

 On all four of those flights, when I asked several people to move their bag so that I could take the empty seat next to them, they told me the seat was blocked for their spouse, friend, child etc. etc. So, assuming that I don't smell that bad, what am I supposed to do? Insist, confront, complain?

 

I just find another seat. For me at least, life is too short to worry about a seat that is being saved. There are lots of good seas on a plane.

 

 

 

  I reached out to their customer service and their response is like "open seating is not for everyone". Wow, really?!! It seems like this airline attracts a certain type of behavior and yes, it's not for me.

 

Well, the CR rep could have been more tactful in the response, but essentially that is true. All airlines have pros and cons. When you choose an airline you get both. For SW

you get no fees to cancel or change your flight (I saved $80 yesterday by switching to lower priced options on flights that I had already booked. I can't do that on any other airline), no fees to check baggage, and no fees to reserve my seat. And, yes, you get the possibile hassle of seat savers.

 

For me, that's a no brainer. SW all the way.  Others  may see it differently. I think that's what the CR rep was saying


 

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Re: Open seating

Top Contributor

@dfwskier wrote:

 

For me, that's a no brainer. SW all the way.  Others  may see it differently. I think that's what the CR rep was saying


 


The rep should have said “maybe no change fees,  no luggage fees, and ability to reprice tickets isn’t for you” instead of focusing on the minor downside. 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.
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Re: Open seating

Active Member

Love this line: 

 

I just find another seat. For me at least, life is too short to worry about a seat that is being saved. There are lots of good seas on a plane.

 

Just Wing it as they say! 🙂


Community Champion | LGA based | Companion Pass Holder | Southwest Passenger
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Re: Open seating

Top Contributor

Of course, just "moving on and finding another seat" is what those saving a full row or multiple exit row seats are depending on, as this is what allows them to continue that behavior. 

 

 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

 

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Re: Open seating

Active Member

I do think Southwest should make an exception for Exit Row seat saving. I don't think that should be allowed, and they should enforce the inability to save those seats.

 

--Jessica

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Re: Open seating

New Arrival

I know people are just hoping that you will walk by the seats they are saving and continue on back.  But, maybe since I paid the extra for earlybird boarding I don’t want to continue walking down the back. My husband and I both paid for earlybird boarding and we will get an aisle seat and a middle seat together at times. Other times we will get two aisle seats across from each other. I don’t want to keep walking by people saving seats for people that did not pay for the earlybird boarding. Yes I can eventually find a seat towards the back, but I prefer to sit up closer.

Re: Open seating

Active Member

On all four of those flights, when I asked several people to move their bag so that I could take the empty seat next to them, they told me the seat was blocked for their spouse, friend, child etc. etc.

 

IMO @emrem01  - just move on. There's plenty of aisle and window seats on an airplane, assuming that's what you were going for. In my experience I can always get one in the first 10 rows of the airplane when I am in the A and even B groups. C group is a bit harder, but I have managed aisle/window a handful of times; most of the time I just head towards the back and find a seat there.

 

Unless I have a really tight connection to make (and I try to make my connections last at least an hour so I don't have to worry about it), there's no difference sitting in the front or back of the plane. The deplaning process is pretty quick regardless of where you sit. 

 

--Jessica

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Re: Open seating

New Arrival

My purse is more important than your comfort. I'm not going to move my purse for anyone unless the air marshal requires it.