It is a big deal when you pay extra to get preferred seating, especially if you expect to sit in the emergency row and someone is saving a couple of seats. I usually don't pay for early check in and don't care where I sit. On my last flight I did pay for early check in and encountered a group traveling together. A person ahead of me (A32) called her friend to come in front of her. The friend held up her pass and stated she had B16. She was told to come on anyway. The person checking the passess let her on anyway ahead of the majority of the A list. When I got on there were about 15-20 bags and backpacks on seats being saved by people from the group that had boarded ahead of me. On my return trip a middle aged couple sitting in front of me sat down next to each other initially. Soon thereafter the woman moved to the window seat, leaving the middle seat open. When a young man attempted to sit in the middle seat the man told him the seat was being saved and the young man moved on. The seat remained open the entire flight. I've had one gentleman state to me that "I paid $40 extra to get that seat you're sitting in." when he boarded on connecting flight and I was sitting in an emergency row seat. He was not happy. Some flight crew say they don't allow saving seats and other say they don't get involved. I've only had one encounter as such where I've asked the attendant if saving seats were allowed. She told me the she could not get involved but I could sit at the seat being saved and the passenger could not do anything about it. I did take the seat. So this may apply to you in the future if someone wants to sit in your saved seat. It obviously is "a big problem" to you since you are so guarded with your saved seat and claim you would not give up the empty seat without someone having to assault you. SW should not charge you extra to check in early. They should simply do away with it and announce that you can take any seat not being saved. But they choose to stick their head in the sand and would never do this. This is simply a way to make money for SW. One day you or some other person may end up in some type of altercation about saving a seat and SW will have to answer.
... View more