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Re: saving seats

Explorer C

Consistency. SW policies need to be enforced consistently, not at the apparent whim of individual SW employees. While most people would agree there's always a bit of wiggle room in most rules (execept for traffic lights), there are limits. Allowing one early boarder to save upwards of 5 seats is over the limit. But SW folks apparently want to avoid confrontations so they look the other way, and in the process tick off numerous others who steam in silence.

Re: saving seats

Explorer A

I once boarded A-1 and saw a preboard couple -- Im not joking -- save 15 seats.  I had to wait for them to throw hats, scarfs, books magazines, etc, all over the first 3 rows!


I went back to my exit row and it was just fine.  But certainly annoying.


To the OP:  How does one save overhead bin space!?   I'd just take it if I needed it.  Sliding suitcases.


I'm A-list preferred plus companion pass and I have just taken seats.  E.g. someone saving an exit row, i just sit in it if it's unoccupied and *say nothing* beyond "I'm going to sit here since it's unoccupied."  Then say nothing else.  What are they going to do?



Re: saving seats

Explorer B

I agree with those that have posted about just sitting in any unoccupied seat. I won't say anything other than sitting down. It gets a little more awkward when they have something on the seat. In that case, I just ask who it belongs to and hand it to them when they indicate who it is. I then sit in the seat, put on my headphones, and proceed to watch whatever TV show I have queued up on my iPad. There isn't much that can be done at that point.


I also agree with those that have posted about saving a seat for a companion. When I have done so, I've always saved the middle seat and, as pointed out earlier, no one wants those, so it isn't a problem.

Re: saving seats

Explorer B

If you're on a full flight, saving seats for those in a later boarding group does have the potential to create problems with other passengers.   If I was in the last part of the A boarding group and a huge chunk of seats are being saved for those in other boarding groups, I would definitely be a bit irked.  By saving seats, you're giving preferential boarding to those with later boarding groups that didn't pay for Early Bird.  


As for saving overhead bin space, some people put all of their carry on items in the bin to fill it up and when the rest of their travel companions get onboard, they remove the items that will fit under the seat.  The overhead bin situation is even worse on airlines in which they charge checked bag fees.    A few years ago, I was flying on Delta and was sitting in the first row of Economy Comfort on a 757-200.  There is no underseat storage as the row is an exit row.  I get onboard and the bin over my row is already been filled by lower level SkyMiles Medallion members who got to board earlier than non-Medallion passengers sitting in Economy Comfort.  I ended up put my stuff in the overhead bin over the row of the people who put their stuff in the first open bin they came across instead of the one over their row.  

Re: saving seats

Explorer C

I agree with you all to an extent but let me ask this...I'm going to Las Vegas next spring with my best friend and sister, all on the same reservation and will most likely get early bird check-in so we should have back to back boarding numbers. On the off chance they are off by a bit, what do you all have to say about me saving the other two seats in the row I sit in for them, and let's say they're only three or four people behind me in the same boarding group. 

Re: saving seats

Aviator A

Option 1 - if you are just a few different spots, then just make arrangements while you are in line to let any people mixed in go ahead of you.


Option 2 - people are generally accomodating if you can point to the person you are saving a seat for, so that they see that you saved a spot for someone not too different in number than them...if it was even a problem, most of the time it won't be, especially at the early-bird stage of boarding. And on an emptier flight, sit in the middle to hold the row and people at the early-bird stage will go looking elsewhere.


I'll chime in with the rest of the people on the thread - saving one seat for your spouse or companion I'm pretty much okay with, and I will do it myself, expecting a middle for busy flights. Who cares which middle you have? If we're planning to get an exit row, then i usually spring for early bird for her so that it isn't as much of an issue. Certainly getting on and saving the whole exit row for someone who is way later doesn't seem okay, and like some of the other posters said if you aren't okay with it, then take one of the seats.


My experience is that the flight attendents do monitor this for "excessive" saving and would back you up, but it may be up to you to ask to start the conversation.

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: saving seats

Explorer B

I can understand understand the feelings and frustration from both sides on this issue.  Of course none of know the circumstances, financial, flight fears, flight connection etc of the group that had one person save five seats.      Being tall and not being able to sit in the bulkhead or exit row is a big problem.    You should be able to sit there over someone who is not as tall and no one should be offended.   I am 5"6" and sometimes sit there so I can straighten my legs because of joint issues (diagnosed) but only when in severe pain.   You wouldn't know that to look at me.  


My point is we don't know what is going on with anyone else, we do know what we need.  And I agree the rules should be enforced consistently however I do know I am thankful when an exception is made an I am allowed to preboard when I am having a medical flare up and don't have a doctor letter.  


The entire plane lands at the same time,  We all get the same service, and we can ask seat savers to move back a few rows and/or ask the flight attendants to ask them to if we really need those seats.  


If they will not move and you put your suitcase in the saved but empty overhead and your self in the seat I am guessing they will move or just glare at you the entire flight.    It is open seating.    🙂   


It is only a big deal if we the passengers make it one.    It is our choice to allow folks to save a seat or not.    I talk to people.   When I saved to seats - a middle and window I told everyone who asked who it was for and why I was saving it.     No one wanted to take them after that.   


My suggestion-  Ask- discuss,  point out that two rows in the front is alot and maybe nine or ten rows back would be better.   








Re: saving seats

Explorer C

I can see how this would frustrating, saving one seat, ok, but multiple? I think that's just greedy and unnecessary. I've flown many times, if I happen to board a plane in a later group, say C group and can't sit next to my travel partner, it's not too bad if it's an hour flight or so, but if it's over 2 hours, that's tough.But regardless, saving multiple seats should be discouraged by Southwest.

Re: saving seats

Explorer C

I have to admit to doing exactly the same thing, but only saved one seat. I think if they offer the $15 fee for early bird checkin and boarding, it's inevitable that this will happen. Perhaps the rule should be you can only save one seat for someone boarding after you.

Re: saving seats

Retired Community Manager

We've really appreciated all the comments on this thread, and we'll internally circulate the feedback we've received about the saving of seats. 


Thank you to everyone who has contributed. Since this topic has been "resolved," we're going to disable additional commenting. We know this topic will likely come up again, but on this particular thread it looks like we've covered the issue pretty thoroughly.