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Assigned Seating and First Class

RSE108
Explorer C

I've been a loyal customer of Southwest for over twenty years and have held a Companion Pass for at least ten years. My wife and I travel quite a bit. However, in the last three years we have switched to Alaska Airlines for several reasons: advanced assigned seating and first class. As Southwest's loyal customer base starts aging they are less likely, as a demographic, to travel on an airline were they cannot reserve a seat or upgrade to fist class. In Europe, all budget airlines allow for advanced seat reservations and offer first class seating by simply blocking the middle seat. My peer group (I'm 64) would gladly pay for those two upgrades. I suggest Southwest consider initiating a pilot program for six months to see if this concept gains traction. The cost to test this program would be minimal and allow Southwest to compete with Alaska and other similar carriers offering advanced seat selection and first class seating.

8 REPLIES 8

Re: Assigned Seating and First Class

TheMiddleSeat
Aviator A

I know I should never say never, but my belief is assigned seating and first class options fall into the never going to happen at Southwest bucket of ideas.  Since this is a customer to customer forum I encourage you to submit your feedback directly to Southwest.  Use the contact us link below and send a message.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Assigned Seating and First Class

dfwskier
Aviator A

Southwest has 52+ years experience that shows that open seating is far more operationally efficient than than assigned seating.

 

Operational efficiency = more flights/day per plane which in turn allows SW to keep fares low. It is unlikely that SW would abandon that premise given that the number of people that fly the airline keeps growing year after year after year. More people fly SW domestically than any other airline, so it must not be a big issue to those people.

 

I'm a 70+ year old that has been flying SW for 45 years. I don't need assigned seating.

 

That being said, you are always welcome to provide suggestions by clicking on "contact us" below and proceeding. 

Re: Assigned Seating and First Class

floridaguy
Aviator C

I guess I could ask General Motors to enhance their Chevrolet to be a Mercedes, but that is not going to happen.  They will tell me to buy the Mercedes (which I do).

 

Southwest was once described to me by a flight attendant as "The Walmart of the Skies" and they are not going to change their business model.

 

Of course, you want Southwest fares with Delta luxury.  I flew Delta for 20 years and always rode in first class.  Now, I use Southwest and yes, I miss the luxury of first class, but in those days, I didn't pay for anything, my company did.

 

So you need to choose which you want.  Myself, if I want a Mercedes I buy a Mercedes.

Re: Assigned Seating and First Class

tappingmom1
Frequent Flyer A

"...by a flight attendant..."

 

Yes!! 👍

Re: Assigned Seating and First Class

PettyIntrigues
Adventurer A

Here’s how I would like Southwest to start competing with Alaska: by flying to Alaska. Everything else works well for me.

Re: Assigned Seating and First Class

N82EZ
Adventurer B

73's are the workhorse of Alaska Air SWA checks that box... Hawaii came into the picture; we can only hope!?

Re: Assigned Seating and First Class

DancingDavidE
Aviator A

@PettyIntrigues wrote:

Here’s how I would like Southwest to start competing with Alaska: by flying to Alaska. Everything else works well for me.


Are there gates available at the most likely airport(s)?

 

My guess is the challenge would be without having a hub and spoke model that there are too many Alaskans coming from various areas to the main airport and connecting to the mainland where Southwest won't have capacity to serve the smaller feeder airports, therefore people will be pre-disposed to take whatever Alaska offers to get started and then stick with it for their trip to the mainland.

 

 

 

 

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

Re: Assigned Seating and First Class

dfwskier
Aviator A

@DancingDavidE wrote:

@PettyIntrigues wrote:

Here’s how I would like Southwest to start competing with Alaska: by flying to Alaska. Everything else works well for me.


Are there gates available at the most likely airport(s)?

 

My guess is the challenge would be without having a hub and spoke model that there are too many Alaskans coming from various areas to the main airport and connecting to the mainland where Southwest won't have capacity to serve the smaller feeder airports, therefore people will be pre-disposed to take whatever Alaska offers to get started and then stick with it for their trip to the mainland.

 

I would think that DEN would be the most likely candidate, and with the addition of 24 new gates, DEN is projected to have 500+ SW flights/day soon. That sounds pretty hub and spokey to me 

 

Within Alaska, Anchorage would work for daily departures. The   other cities are much too small for daily flights. Juneau and Fairbanks might get a few flights a week. IMO, that's it.