Hello, I am a big fan of SWA. I don't think it's reasonable to ask to be "reseated" thus spliting up persons traveling together that are following SWA rules and guidlines. I'm looking for some direction on what to do when a "person of size" sits next to me and is clearly not fitting in their seat and is encroaching into my seat. On my last trip I was flying with my girlfriend and we were sitting at a window and center seat. We were in the "A" boarding group and seated towards the rear of the plane which I often do. The flight was very full and some of the last few people boarding were two very large people that clearly would not fit into a 17" wide space. One of the two large people took the aisle seat next to me. Since these people clearly did not follow SWA guidelines for "people of size", I was forced to lean towards my girlfriend the entire flight which was okay however if I was traveling alone, this would have created a miserable situation. My question is that I have no idea what to do in the future when this happens? I do not want to create an "uncomfortable situation" but I am a paying passenger that follows the rules. The "person of size" is not following the SWA website guidelines. I am also reluctant to say anything based on "airline behavior" of kicking people off planes for virtually any reason. This is NOT just a SWA problem but I believe a common problem with US carriers in general. I do often fly international as well and am very impressed with carriers like Air China and other Asian carriers. With a large percentage of the US population considered to be "obese", I think SWA needs to clarify protocol on how the paying public, large, medium or small should handle "people of size" situations without creating a very uncomfortable situation on the airplane. Probably best handled before boarding? I think it would be very helpful if the SWA website could give some additional direction on this. I have included the SWA "Customer of Size" policy below. Thank you "Customer of Size" What is Southwest Airlines' policy for Customers of size? Customers who encroach upon any part of the neighboring seat(s) may proactively purchase the needed number of seats prior to travel in order to ensure the additional seat(s) is available. The armrest is considered to be the definitive boundary between seats; the width of the narrowest and widest passenger seats (in inches) is available on our Flying Southwest page. The purchase of additional seats serves as a notification to Southwest of a special seating need, and allows us to adequately plan for the number of seats that will be occupied on the aircraft. In turn, this helps to ensure we can accommodate all Customers on the flight/aircraft for which they purchased a ticket and avoid asking Customers to relinquish their seats for an unplanned accommodation. Most importantly, it ensures that all Customers onboard have access to safe and comfortable seating. You may contact us for a refund of the cost of additional seating after travel. Customers of size who prefer not to purchase an additional seat in advance have the option of purchasing just one seat and then discussing their seating needs with the Customer Service Agent at their departure gate. If it is determined that a second (or third) seat is needed, they will be accommodated with a complimentary additional seat.
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Hello, I recently had the same experience and agree with what you are saying. What I'm wondering is does anyone know what to do when the "person of size" encroaches on a seat that we have paid for? Do "people of size" care about our comfort or the money we paid for our seat? No one wants to create a scene so what are the options? I'm going to contact SWA to see if I can get an answer.
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