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Re: saving seats

Explorer B

In the last 2 weeks I have been on 4 SW flights. On 2 of those flights, I encountered people saving seats. Last night, one man was saving an entire row for his family. If the policy were truly open seating, why is he allowed to save an entire row? My husband and I were forced further back in the plane to find seats together.


I have read the SW policies as I tweeted about them last night. So what I have learned from my experiences at SW over the last 2 weeks, is this:

  1. Save some money - only 1 person in your party needs earlybird check-in and they can save seats for the rest. - (I plan on sending this one out all over social media.)
  2. The gate attendants stress that if you want to board together, then you need to board with the higher numbers. This does not mean that you will all sit together based on where you can find seats with the "open seating" policy.
  3. Some flight attendants will aid in your saving a seat for someone with whom you are travelling. They will also not allow others to place their items in the overhead bin. RSW to BWI on March 24th.

My own experiences with SW over the last 2 weeks makes me truly believe that the "open seating" policy is a farce. As someone else stated, if it were truly open seating it is first come first served and saving seats would be taboo.

Re: saving seats

Explorer A

ARRRGGGG...was on a flights this past week where this very issue was a cause for frustration for MANY who had paid the additional $15.00 for "early bird" check in.  Row after row was saved by one family member "saving" seats for family members that had not paid the additional surcharge to board the flight in the first seating.  What a joke Lindsey....of course people are abusing this...are you mad????  I saw two guys almost physically come to blows over seat saving.  How on earth could anyone at Southwest think that this could possibly be a good idea?  Are you all brain dead? What a rip off.....

Re: saving seats

Explorer B

I wholeheartedly agree that this situation is ridiculous. Saving seats is completely contradictory to an open seating policy. And it is simply wrong to say otherwise. A reply from Southwest says "we rely on our passengers to be polite." Are you serious? In this society? That is a weak response. While I am not a frequent flyer, I am a consistent flyer and have made a point of choosing Southwest for every possible trip. But this policy - or non-policy - has gotten out of hand now that people have learned they will not be challenged and I will now be less loyal when choosing future flights. Having an assigned seat may become my new priority for choosing who I fly with. Because I am not going to count on people being "polite."

Re: saving seats

Retired Community Manager

Hey Everyone,


Thank you for sharing your thoughts and comments on this topic. We truly appreciate your willingness to be open about the things you like, and the things you'd like to see changed. At Southwest Airlines, we view Customer feedback as a gift. 


That said, we currently don't have plans to change our open seating policy, and since the original post has been addressed, I am disabling new comments on this thread. We welcome you to start new discussions if you have a thought, question, or idea to share with the Southwest Community.