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Stood for 1 hour at the back of the plane due to no seat available

Explorer C

Southwest prides itself for efficiency in operation and excellent customer service. My experience was exactly opposite. I had to stand at the back of the plane for more than 1 hour after boarding since there were no seats left. Two problems: 1. How come they had more passengers than number of seats? 2. How come folks who boarded behind me were able to get the seat, while I could not?


I am told by SW that there were operational issue due to which issue number 1 happened. One the way back again, there was once again mismatch at Midland TX. Ground crew had to verify Ids of all passengers in the flight again. Luckily, it was resolved early.


Issue #2 is a problem with Southwest system. It is open seating. Whoever check in early, get prior boarding group, therefore can board early. However, what happens inside the plane is bizarre. Folks boarding early, block the entire row for someone who may be in C boarding category. That is exactly what happened to me. I was left standing while folks boarding in C group were able to get a seat.


When I brought this up to customer care (Case #49059827), they mentioned that flight crew do not mind such behavior of passengers. I keep getting told that SouthWest has open seating. That is precisely my point. If that is the case, why make a big fuss at the gate that one cannot board together with fellow friend or family member. Why do they have such contradictions. They should allow family and friends to board together to avoid such a mess in the aircraft. Or, do not allow such behavior at all.


Oh, by the way, back in Dallas, our bag was supposed to arrive in Belt 1 (per monitor), We kept waiting for it, finally realized the bags arrived in Belt 2. 


In return Southwest offered by 100$ travel voucher. I would say, No, thank you! I would likely to politely decline the  offer, since I do not want to get tortured in a SouthWest flight again.





Re: Stood for 1 hour at the back of the plane due to no seat available

Aviator A

Open seating isn’t for everyone and you are welcome to fly other airlines who have their own issues that you will soon see. You’re welcome to send your comments directly to Southwest, use the contact us link at the bottom of the page and send a message.



Re: Stood for 1 hour at the back of the plane due to no seat available

Aviator A

If you aren’t going to use the voucher I’m sure you can donate it to a friend