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Re: Saving Seats

Active Member
@
@SWDigits wrote:

The comment about through passengers caught my eye. What would you propose given the open seating policy and tight turn times on these flights?

Good question!

 

Not a simple solution, but as numerous Flight Attendents have offered coversation, the only good answer is for all non-Business Select passengers to disembark from the aircraft and reboard using their original boarding number. Upside for SWA - More Business Select tickets would possibly be sold and those few passengers might not drag so much baggage on the plane (the largest single slow-down in the boarding process). Seldom is there more than a handful of "throughs" on a flight anyway, and the ones that do move, usually move all the way forward, not realizing the downside of the front seats, nor recognizing the comfort of the wind seats.

 

Tight turns? Apparently you haven't been around long enough with to remember ten, yes (10), minute turns on the old 100's, 200's and 300's. Common, believe me. Turns today are not tight, I'd guess, from experience, absolutely no less than 20 minutes to deplane, 10 minutes to clean, and 30 minutes to board, IF disembarking and boarding can happen in those time frames. At least an hour scheduled time. Too many BS pre-boards, and so many people dragging oversize and too heavy of bags onto the plane. Oh, and the lolly-gagging! Smiley LOL

 

And then there is the time built into the gate to gate sheduled time, significantly more than the actual wheels up to wheels down and anticipated taxiing time. You didn't notice one hour flights jump to 1hr20 or two hour flights jump to 2hr30, or three hour flights jump to 3hr45 several years back? All about on time ratings. You have to understand the mentality of the average flyer today - doesn't matter how late a flight takes off, as long as it pulls up to the gate early or no later than the exact minute it is scheduled.

 

@
@SWDigits also wrote:

I'm genuinely curious to understand the logic and the root cause of the frustration.

The logic, simple. We don't spend the 3x a Wanna Get Away fare to simply lay claim to being first in line, amass hundreds of thousands of points, or have free Wi-Fi. We enjoy the ability to have an open selection of where we sit. Very few Business Select's are not also A-List Preferred's with Companion Passes, and we enjoy the recognition we get from both ground, and flight, crews, as loyal SWA fans. And the unstated perks.

 

The frustration, none! Rarely do I not get my seat, 12D (700), and 14C or D (800), probably the most popular seats among frequent flyers on SWA. Sit there and you'll understand why! But I do have second and third choices "on the wings". Sometimes I book last minute and find myself A6 or higher or I sometimes find these seats occupied by Throughs, Business Selects? Maybe. To avoid the "Through" issue I try to always book on an originating flight. 

 

The point, any seat, that a Business Select customer would like, occupied by anyone other than another Business Select customer is a travesty of the design and purpose of the fare.

But not being a Business Select customer, a flyer who has no issue with the saving of seats, certainly would not understand so I'm not surprised by your questions.

 

While generally air travel has been on the down hill slide since deregulation, what I have seen over the years, is an improvement in the courtesy of the non-frequent flyer as they become more and more aware of the unwritten etiquette rules of flying. Perhaps the web, and blogs such as this one play a factor. I truly can't even remember the last time I had someone recline a seat in front of me, and it used to be all the time.

 

 

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Re: Saving Seats

Rising Star

@RSH_Houston wrote:

the only good answer is for all non-Business Select passengers to disembark from the aircraft and reboard using their original boarding number.


The point, any seat, that a Business Select customer would like, occupied by anyone other than another Business Select customer is a travesty of the design and purpose of the fare.

 


Thanks @RSH_Houston, this is what I was looking for! I'm a problem solver by nature so trying to gather a list of potential seating solutions when I see folks comment on seating.

You make me laugh with some of your assumptions 🙂 My first flight on Southwest was in the early 90's out of BWI (I love this blog post by the way, see the second route map) but my family took an "extended" break from Southwest due to... wait for it... a seating issue (it's not a complaint, just a statement of fact). The short story is that my wife was travelling with our two young sons in 2000 (I was flying in the Navy, a 1310 in Navy speak, and deployed, she was going to visit my family while I was gone) with a connection in Phoenix and the first flight was late but she was able to make the connection. Barely. There were some not so helpful passengers on the flight and there were helpful passengers on the flight.

I hope you would have been a helpful passenger, though I'm guessing you would have been because you're here sharing your experience to help others!


Customer | Home airport DCA
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Re: Saving Seats

Top Contributor

This discussion, while entertaining, is purely academic as long as Southwest continues to have "no policy" regarding seat saving.

 

Economics are the only factor that will drive any changes in boarding policy.

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Re: Saving Seats

Rising Star

@chgoflyer wrote:

This discussion, while entertaining, is purely academic as long as Southwest continues to have "no policy" regarding seat saving.

 

Economics are the only factor that will drive any changes in boarding policy.


I agree though it's something I can't help but think about 🙂

Customer | Home airport DCA
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Re: Saving Seats

Active Member

@chgoflyer wrote:

This discussion, while entertaining, is purely academic as long as Southwest continues to have "no policy" regarding seat saving.

 

Economics are the only factor that will drive any changes in boarding policy.


Agreed, whole heartedly. However, with that said, if complaints aren't made, certainly no action will ever be taken. And I understand this forum is not the place for those complaints.

 

Hopefully, however, new flyers or new readers, will read and perhaps understand why people such as myself might SIT in their "reserved" seat, or explain to them that the attempt to save a seat makes them an entitled ahole. Smiley Wink

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Re: Saving Seats

New Arrival

Maybe it’s the tl;dr in me but the economy of the additional lost revenue from those for whole seats are being saved who should have bought early bird or higher fares might be of consideration.  I just boarded a flight where 3 individuals with A single earlybird ticket saved 2 or more seats for fellow travelers with C boarding.  In this flight alone that could have amounted to ~$105 in earlybird fees at the very least (and I’m certain the lost revenue based on tickets with priority boarding would be significantly higher).

 

TBH though my opinion is what it is because I dislike people who abuse freedoms as it generally leads to less freedoms for all.

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Re: Saving Seats

Top Contributor

I agree. 

 

Unfortunately, there are some people that abuse the process.

 

On the other hand consider a family flying on the same flight. They'd like to sit together, but because of different boarding position numbers, the only way that happens is if someone saves seats. It is not prohibited by the airline.

 

The only way to fix is to go with assigned seating, and Southwest isn't likely to go that direction as open seating helps the airline operate more efficiently.

 

Yeah the situation irks some people, but aparently not enough to get the airline to do something about it.

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Re: Saving Seats

Active Member

@SWDigits wrote:

You make me laugh with some of your assumptions 🙂


First SWDigits, thank you for your service!

 

My assumption was made, not in an effort to offend you. As I have read in the forum, there are many SWA flyers who attain A-List/Preferred staus by flight count and not by points. Not everyone can afford to spend the big bucks for Business Select, I can do it because I own my business and the expense is a billable expense to my customer. My arguments against seat saving and throughs jumping seats are solely based on that premium fare I pay. One not paying that fare may not fully understand.

 

I read with a great deal of nostalgic happiness your link, and so many good meories of SW can rushing in. Reading that link lead me to start searching the forums for SW history and I just kept reading, and reading. And while this isn't really the place, I must share a piece of my SW history.

 

I started flying SW in 1978, HOU/DAL/HOU, as in the late seventies I had many suppliers in Dallas, and visited them quite often. Having already been a seasoned flyer (I flew with my family as an infant starting in the early '50's, and on throughout my early years), I immediately fell in love with THIS airline. 

 

The route was brutally competitive, SWA, Texas International, and Braniff. The "200" was the SW mainstay, with the Lounges (Oh, how I miss those friendly Lounges and those memories). Later, the early 300's also had the lounges. 

A 200 Forward Lounge, looking forward. Note the rear facing and opposing forward facing seats. A great place for making "friends" and afternoon Happy Hours. Unlimited (limited and free drinks! Thanks Herb, for the memories!A 200 Forward Lounge, looking forward. Note the rear facing and opposing forward facing seats. A great place for making "friends" and afternoon Happy Hours. Unlimited (limited and free drinks! Thanks Herb, for the memories!The 300 Midcabin Lounges on the wings, looking aft. Both the 200's and 300's had these. "When Southwest introduced the 737-700 in January 1998, new federal safety regulations doomed the lounge areas.  No rear-facing seats could meet this new safety requirement, and the -700s were delivered with all forward facing seating.  Lounges in the -300s and -500s were phased out, and only the -200 retained lounges until they were retired at the start of 2005."The 300 Midcabin Lounges on the wings, looking aft. Both the 200's and 300's had these. "When Southwest introduced the 737-700 in January 1998, new federal safety regulations doomed the lounge areas. No rear-facing seats could meet this new safety requirement, and the -700s were delivered with all forward facing seating. Lounges in the -300s and -500s were phased out, and only the -200 retained lounges until they were retired at the start of 2005."Fares were $19 or less each way, we were served drinks before we pushed and the booze flowed (not sure if that was competitively driven or Herb's influence!), everyone had a good time, passengers and crew alike. Most flyers were still business, dressed appropriately, acted with proper unwritten airline etiquette, and took most everything with a grain, fully understanding equipment, crew change, weather, and air traffic delays. They still held flights back then for tardy passengers or sent someone to the terminal lounge to get them. We new many of the crew and many of them knew us by name.

 

Your mentioning PHX brought back great memories of traveling in the late '80's with SW. Starting in '88, I communted DAILY from PHX to ONT, for a year, and then after finally moving to SoCal, spent the next couple years returning to Phoenix weekly for business. The entire PHX ground crew were phenominal, so I'm not surprised you family was able to make their flight. They would have been accomodating beyond anything imaginable. I held the ONT people in the same esteem.

 

I have made many friends within the SW family over the years, most notably Suzanne in HOU, who retired as #2 there, several years ago, and Sheree in Phx, who I believe was #1, there. I just learned flying through PHX a month ago, Sheree has now transfered to the air, and I missed seeing her on her way flying out by just minutes.

 

I love flying and reminiscing with older crews members, sharing great stories about the "good old days".

 

When I sign off to this post with my first name, should any of the PHX or ONT ground crews from those years read this, they will know exactly who I am.

 

Continued safe travels, my friend!

 

Roger

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Re: Saving Seats

Active Member

BTW, off to PIT tomorrow, out of HOU, non-stop Flt 1987. If the path of today's jetstream holds we should catch a light tailwind most of the flight path. Non-originating flight starting out 0630 tomorrow morning at LGA (not much chance of any throughs), coming through BNA (a chance of picking up a few throughs). Scheduled equipment 700.

 

You should find me in seat 12D, if the load is heavy, maybe 11B (extra tray and no middle seat) and no, I won't save you a seat!

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Re: Saving Seats

Rising Star
@RSH_Houston -- Thank you for sharing, I can only imagine what it must have been like in the early days! Southwest is lucky to have you as such a loyal, life-long customer. Safe travels and may your business continue to thrive!

Customer | Home airport DCA