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Southwest Airlines Community

Re: Saving Seats

Frequent Flyer A

Seeing six or more people together always makes me a little envious because I know it has to be a special trip to get that many people to go somewhere together.


The Southwest planes used to have the perfect setting for that with the three seats that faced backwards which made little nooks for conversation.  (And they weren't so great when one was forced to face unpleasant folks for an entire trip.)


Sorry this happened to you, and hopefully it won't happen again to this level. If traveling with children, I would never move the other person's clothing.  If it escalates and security gets involved, the children could be frightened or even be stranded without a grown-up.  A few hours of flying time is not worth that risk to me because I cannot assume what reaction the other person is going to have. 


I wonder if planes often have large groups traveling on the same plane at the same time?  Probably happens more often on flights to Orlando and Las Vegas.


Hopefully the rest of your trip went better.

Re: Saving Seats

Adventurer C

First off, sorry your family did not get to sit together.  Really, sorry.


But, keep in mind that if their entire family had purchased the EB, you would have still been unable to sit together.  Sometimes it just happens.


In this situation, I may have just sat down.  Easier for me to say than actually doing it.


Re: Saving Seats

Adventurer C

Thanks.  At the time I wasn't aware this happens so frequently so I just thought it was an isolated incident.  But after googling and seeing the posts on the forum I can see it's a regular issue. 


I didn't go into detail because I wanted to keep the story on track of saving seats, but my daughter had a panic attack during the flight (first one she's ever had), couldn't feel her legs and was shaking really bad.  It was a night flight, it was dark in the cabin, she didn't know how to control lighting above, the plane was pretty turbulent, she felt sick to her stomach and felt like she was going to throw-up - which added to her anxety because she didn't want to puke, all while being surrounded by people she has never seen before.  I felt like a horrible Dad afterward for not just taking the seats the guy had saved.  But like you said I didn't want to raise it to a security issue or anything else.  After hearing about my daughters experience after, I was pissed off as a parent - especially since the other family had upper aged teenagers (17,18ish) who could have likely better coped.  Besides that I was before them in boarding order. 


If Southwest isn't going to allow (or not take a stance on) saving of seats, why not just have the entire party of 6 load with the one person who paid $15?  I tell ya why, because that's not how it's supposed to work - hence they wouldn't allow that.  

Re: Saving Seats

Explorer B

I've done this; simply sit down and hand the article saving the seat to the person in the aisle. When they complain simply note the any open seat policy. One time a woman called me rude and moved; so be it.

Re: Saving Seats

Explorer C

This is exactly why I am going to stop using Southwest,The hell with bags flying free and the cheap price of the flight, Policy and custuomer service is everything.

Re: Saving Seats

Explorer C

I find this whole boarding process very stressful!  In order, but not guaranteed, to get a decent boarding position, you must set an alarm to remind you to check in at exactly 24 hours in advance.  It seems we always fly the earliest flights so the day before my vacation, I get to get up at the crack of dawn just to check in.  And that certainly doesn't guarantee you an A boarding position.  And while you are on vacation, you need to be somewhere where you have WiFi or internet service so you can check in yet again.  Sometimes, it's not feasible.  And purchasing Early Bird does not guarantee an A boarding.  I just had a flight where I purchased Early Bird 7 months in advance and I received B13 boarding round trip !!  Just up the ticket price and let me pick my seat in advance!!

Re: Saving Seats

Aviator A

EarlyBird doesn't guarantee an A position, but it does get you a better boarding position than the folks that check in manually 24 hours prior AND doesn't make you get up early. Getting extra sleep and not having to stress about having WiFi or the timing is well worth the $15 per person in my book.



Re: Saving Seats

Aviator A

I always purchase EarlyBird Check-In, but I'll think harder about it if they raise the fee again (as many suspect is coming). For me, the convenience is worth the (current) cost. 


It's important to keep in mind though that EarlyBird Check-In does not mean you'll necessarily be ahead of everyone checking in at T-24. 


Southwest reissues the boarding positions of passengers who have checked in and then cancel or change their flight. Often these are A-listers who have more flexibility due to free standby, and who were originally given very low A positions.


Random passengers who did not pay the extra fee for EarlyBird Check-In can receive these low A positions simply by being the next person to check in manually after they become available.


While there's no way to predict when that will occur, this has happened to my traveling companions on more than one occasion, and it's a frequent complaint of those with EarlyBird positions who see someone without it board ahead of them.



Re: Saving Seats

Explorer C

I don’t have an issue with someone saving 1 seat.  Saving entire rows or multiple seats is too much.  My bigger issue is with how SWA deals with companions using a companion pass.  The Companion should board with their partner.  I will always get an A boarding pass because I am A list preferred but whenever my wife uses the Companion pass she has to check in 24 hours before and take her chances with which boarding group she gets.  I’ll usually save her the middle seat next to me and it’s never been a problem.  These people who get all upset because someone is saving a seat need to get over themselves.  What’s the big deal?

Re: Saving Seats

Explorer C

I fully agree that an A-List/ A-List Preferred member with companion pass should have their companion board with them. Yes - I will always save the middle seat for my companion, but out of all my flights, he only comes on about 10% of them. Unlike in your experience, this has become a problem for me and I believe it is because I am a small woman who looks and dresses in a fairly youthful manner.


It's a bit rude to save any more than that 1 undesirable middle seat, but some people do it, and hey it's open seating, do what you want. I've been questioned on more than one occasion by the person seated in the window seat as I asked if they minded if I saved the middle seat for my spouse while I sit in the aisle. Of course if no one is in the window seat yet and I have two seats open, I've gotten an earful for "saving seats," so I've given my saved seat up many times, too.


But the worst of all occasions was just this week - On my birthday on a flight to Costa Rica I had the middle seat saved, but no one took the window yet because on international flights so many families are flying together, therefore so many seats are being saved. Well... One couple asked to sit in the seats, I said no, my spouse is sitting with me and he is right behind you. Instead of finding other seats they literally physically plowed over me and took those 2 seats.


As it turns out they had a worse boarding position than my partner, but he was getting me a coffee and boarded later than he should have always save him a seat.


I couldn't sit with them after that embarassment, so I found another seat, as did my partner, but I was in the back of the plane so I couldn't go against traffic, and as it turns out there was a family saving rows of seats for all their children.


SO: On my birthday I sat alone with no one to buy me drinks (I can afford it, but you get the point) feeling about an inch tall and humiliated. I cried the whole time.