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Re: Saving Seats Problem - Here is what you can do

tnsplayer
Explorer C

Gee!  No wonder Early Bird check in has nearly doubled in cost!!!  So instead of addressing the situation of people who obviously game the system SWA has decided to let the rest of us who are willing to pay for this benefit subsidize the cheaters....sounds like the "new" American way of life unfortunately.  

 

I'm not that old (Gen X) but I remember when people took pride in taking care of themselves, paying their own way,  and doing the right thing.  

Re: Saving Seats Problem - Here is what you can do

Rocklintraveler
Explorer C
 

Southwest Airlines has a serious problem with people who try to save seats for traveling companions. The seats that they save are the seats that people try to obtain by paying extra fare for early boarding. Today (28 July 2019) two of the eight seats in the exit rows were saved by passengers on flight 5531 from LAX to SMF. My very tall, 21- year-old grandson had paid for early boarding and requires the exit row to be comfortable. After arguing with the woman saving the seat, we directed our grandson to sit in the seat and told her that we had paid the extra fare and were entitled to sit there and that she was ripping us off by saving a seat for her companion. The flight attendant did nothing. After the flight, the seat saver's companion cursed our son-in-law for imvoking the open-seat policy. These sort of altercations spoil the trips of tall passengers who pay for early boarding and are deprived of exit row seats by those who are too cheap to pay for early boarding and try to obtain the same result by collusion. The fact that flight attendants do not enforce the open seat policy shows that Southwest is not concerned with fairness and enforcement of its own rules. These altercations also spoil the trip for those who try to save seats and fail. As a result of not enforcing rules about open seating, the passengers are left to settle their own grievances and all parties involved can develop bad feelings about Southwest Airlines. This problem is occurring with greater frequency on our flights.

Re: Saving Seats Problem - Here is what you can do

chgoflyer
Aviator A

Just to be clear (which isn't a solution to your problem, unfortunately), the flight attendants do nothing because there is no policy to enforce. Southwest officially has no policy for or against seat saving. 

 

Your best bet is to contact Southwest directly to voice your concerns, using any of the methods shown at the bottom of this page. (This is a customer-to-customer forum.)

Re: Saving Seats Problem - Here is what you can do

CateK
Explorer C

I’d agree - and if you’ve paid for the early bird only to have your seat choices taken away by seat savers, perhaps call the airline to have your money refunded. It doesn’t solve the issue but maybe it will help if people start asking for their money back. No idea if they’ll honor a refund because of this, but it sure is worth asking the question 

Re: Saving Seats Problem - Here is what you can do

dfwskier
Aviator A

@CateK wrote:

I’d agree - and if you’ve paid for the early bird only to have your seat choices taken away by seat savers, perhaps call the airline to have your money refunded. It doesn’t solve the issue but maybe it will help if people start asking for their money back. No idea if they’ll honor a refund because of this, but it sure is worth asking the question 


Once purchased, Early Bird is non refundable unless the airline cancels your flight, so your suggestion won't work.

 

If you feel strongly about don't buy the product, and check in 24 hours before flight time.

Note: your boarding position will ALWAYS be worse than those that buy Early Bird because the airline assigns their boarding positions 36 hours before flight time.

 

The only thing Early Bird guarantees is that you'll have a better boarding position than those that check themselves in.

Re: Saving Seats Problem - Here is what you can do

Jokomo
Explorer C

I’ve experienced this problem on 3 of my last 4 flights. I always purchase early bird, and have been denied open seats because “they are being saved”, and the flight attendants won’t intercede. A fellow traveler suggested just taking the seat anyway. I agree in principal, but then I’m the **bleep**.  Southwest has always been my favorite airline, but not anymore.  The tension and hard feelings aren’t worth it.  I guess I’m moving on. Safe travels to everyone.

Re: Saving Seats Problem - Here is what you can do

abbeynormal
Explorer C

It is my understanding that boarding is done in numerical order so if you get on the plane and someone "saves" a seat - since there is no "official policy" there can be no "official seat saving" written or not and as I understand it you board with your number and if there is a seat you want to sit in and it is not occupied by a handicapped person (pre-boarder) then you can sit it in - there is no discussion.  The person "saving" the seat can accept it or move.  At 6'5" I will no longer move past a seat I want to sit in because it is saved for someone boarding after me. 

Re: Saving Seats Problem - Here is what you can do

dfwskier
Aviator A

There is no seat saving policy. Therefore it is not banned.

 

If you try to take a seat which is occupied with a bag or clothing, you are likely to run into significant problems. Even if you take the seat I hope you have a wonderful flight sitting next to people who are thoroughly pissed off at you.

Re: Saving Seats Problem - Here is what you can do

mouseluvr
Explorer C

This is actually not correct.  There are passengers who board the plane, take a row and mom takes little Jenny to the bathroom.  In that case they may put the items in the seat, but the reality is those seats are indeed already claimed, but nature required a trip to the potty.  Flight attendants absolutely will go against you.  I will make you find another seat while that family is taking care of business. 

Re: Saving Seats Problem - Here is what you can do

davidonelson
Explorer B

So be it.

 

You failed mention the people who say like "I'm saving the seat for my wife who is in the restroom", but then later the wife comes on the plane and takes the saved seat (which has happened to me).

 

Are you going to be equally fair in this situation, and make the person who cheated get out of that saved seat and give it to the proper person who is already seated and farther back in the plane???   I assume not.

 

Families should use the restroom before getting on the plane.  Trying to use the restroom while boarding causes unncessary delays.  Except for bathroom emergency, if the person wants to keep their seat, the person should wait a few minutes  until boarding is not in progress.