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Let's give floridaguy a laugh today ...

Aviator A

posted on the sotuhwestairlines sub reddit today




Not Today Seat Hoggers

Southwest Fun

This morning, we left BNA after attending DD15's dance nationals for 8.5 days, and I had booked the earliest non stop back to DEN to make DS12 last state baseball tourney. 5am flight.

Had A59/A60-was my luck of the draw as I didn't spring for early bird this go but did happen to wake up at 450am to check in. So I was happy.

Turns out, this is a full flight. Totally full. Service continuing to Spokane. GA & FA both say on repeat this is a FULLY FULL FLIGHT.

Daughter wants window so she can sleep, I like aisle so I can get up if needed. I tell her to take the very first open row there is. Get on, and first 4-5rows both sides are filled. Rows 6, 7 & 8 (except 8DEF was fully sat & plus a lap child) all have one person in each of them both sides of the aisle, and stuff on each open seat (one was in middle, one was aisle you get the picture).

9ABC had no one seating in it & stuff on ALL 3 seats, 9DEF had middle/window taken. I told my daughter stop, we are sitting here. I turned to row 8 & told the lady & teen who were chicken necking & eyes darting back & forth & very nervous to the fact that I had stopped, that I was going to sit in this row. The lady in 8D said, "Well, no, I'm saving them for my husband & child". I said, "Sorry-you can save more seats together in the back, but this row is open, first come, first serve." and started putting our carry-ons above us. Shocked muttering, denial & disbelief gasping I can hear behind me. I asked her "Do you want to grab your stuff?" And she said "You can do it yourself if you're really going to sit there." So I handed her back the 2 boarding passes that were in the window seat & her bag in the aisle seat. I didn't move the bag in the middle bc I didn't need the middle seat. The teen daughter in 8B says to me as she reaches over the seat to grab the backpack in 9B- "Just so you know, I'm going to throw up on you, bc I got sick last time." I smiled, chuckled & said, "It's ok, I'm a mom, I can handle it, but maybe you should tell the FA." And 8D says "She needs to be CLOSE TO THE BATHROOM!" I said "There are 2 AT THE BACK! That would probably be better for her!" More stuttering & muttering. I say "If you want to sit together, you can buy your entire party Early Bird together. Or, you can be courteous & save seats towards the back. We can get a FA to help us if you want?" Then 8D says "It's so unreal you are taking a seat from my DISABLED son & husband. Spilting up families, making a parent chose between kids. Do YOU HAVE A CHILD W A DISABILITY? DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT'S LIKE?!" And I said, "Yes, I DO. If you'd like to get the FAs opinion, you can ask them what we should do. It's FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE." (For context, DS12 has a history of seizures & is considered Epileptic. No rhyme or reason to them & has medications. But this is a hidden disability. So I'm 1000% being honest, but we don't ever bring this up unless it is a need to know basis etc.) She didn't reply directly to me when I responded yes to her though.

And then I guess someone in front of them said something about, "It's just common courteousy, I think that's rude." (I didn't hear anyone say this but 8D relayed it to me "That someone agreed with them that I was RUDE & had no courteousy!"

Again I say, "If you don't like it, you have the option to purchase early bird to all sit together." Teen 8B-"Well, SOME people don't have the MEANS to purchase that for everyone in their party!" I'm settling in to my seat as my DD is of course hoping that I shut up & don't keep causing a scene. Then husband walks on. 8D " I HAD SAVED YOU THOSE SEATS RIGHT THERE (pointing at terrible rude me) BUT THAT LADY (point point) DECIDED SHE WANTED THEM & WON'T LET OUR DISABLED CHILD & FAMILY SIT TOGETHER!"

I look up, the husband is hushing her & telling her it's fine, I barely had a chance to look at the child, who was probably 6-8yrs old. I glance to my right & 9EF are trying to get my attention. They say, quietly with hand gestures "We are on YOUR side. We agree with you! That's not right. You did the right thing." I said, "I know what's allowed, I'm not getting bullied over some seats-sit in the back if you want to be together." They agreed more, my daughter finally breathed bc it wasn't me aganist the whole plane at that point. And then I assume some grandparents of theirs sat in 8BC. The "sick teen" sat in the window, I guess climbing over 2 elderly people would have been fine if she had had an emergency & needed to quickly get out. Another note, the flight had non stop turbulance & the FA never even walked through the cabin until right before we landed. So there was no beverage service etc. So, for as sick as she was threatening-maybe last time was bc of food or something? Not flying? Just sayin'.....

So there it is. My SW policy win. Yes, I'm a smidge petty. But for the record-if the row had had someone IN it, I would have passed. But taking up an empty row w BOARDING passes holding spots was a hard limit for me. Nah. Not doing it.

And a good point my baseball family brought up, was if the kiddo had such a disabilty they would have pre boarded if necessary, right? Save a seat or 2 in your row. But don't save empty rows for your whole family. And later during the flight, the baby was being held by 8D & became very interested in me. I played peek a boo & made him smile & laugh & she turned to look to see what he was looking at & I felt her heart soften a bit....I'm actually a nice person in real life. Usually. "


Re: Let's give floridaguy a laugh today ...

Aviator A

Heck my flight from MSY to MCO had 70/175 passengers a guy wanted to sit right next to me rather than making a scene I just moved back a couple rows and had the row to myself that guy ended up having 2 strangers sit next to him on an empty flight. He tried to tell them to move the mom of the mom/daughter told the guy it’s open seating 

Re: Let's give floridaguy a laugh today ...

Aviator C

You did the right thing and I applaud you.  


This entire mess with SAVING SEATS, FAMILY BOARDING and so on has been created by Southwest gate agents and flight attendants not doing their jobs.


I proposed a flight announcement on another post which I would recommend that Southwest start doing at every gate.  For reference, is is my proposed boarding announcement:


As a reminder to all passengers, Southwest has a policy of open seating and all unoccupied seats during boarding are available to you.  Should another passenger limit your choice of seats by claiming that they are saved or otherwise dissuade you from making a seat selection, the individual limiting your choice will be asked to exit the airplane and their ticket will be cancelled without a refund or credit.  We want everyone to enjoy flying Southwest and respect the open seating policy.





Re: Let's give floridaguy a laugh today ...

Explorer C

The situation described highlights the challenges of seat-saving and the importance of clear policies and respectful communication. Finding a balance between accommodating passengers' needs and ensuring fairness for all can be complex in crowded flights.

Re: Let's give floridaguy a laugh today ...

Aviator C

There is no "balance".  You cannot save seats.  Period.

Re: Let's give floridaguy a laugh today ...

Aviator A

There are unwritten rules for seat saving and one of them is that a human being has to be in the row, either the aisle or middle. 

Putting their boarding passes on the row behind them is pretty poor effort in the seat saving industry. 


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

Re: Let's give floridaguy a laugh today ...

Aviator C

There is no such rule.  If the seat is unoccupied, it is available.