This problem is probably resulting in loss of business to Southwest and rightfully so. A recent flight from Panama City reminded us why we usually fly on carriers that reserve seats. It was the WORST flight of our lives and nearly caused my wife a nervous breakdown the embarrassment we had to endure. The two of us purchased Earlybird check-in but still ended up in high-A group on the sold out flight that had a huge family boarding. When we boarded, we passed MANY saved seats and even rows. We ended up in a row where no single person sat next to us. Then, near the end of the family boarding there weren't enough UN-saved seats for families with small children to sit together so we were asked twice if one of us would mind moving. I referred them to the flight attendant. Then, a flight attendant asked if one of us would move and I told her I would if they reimburse the $40 we paid for Earlybird check-in and she said she couldn't do that but she would give us a free drink. We don't drink. A lady behind us with a teenager who could have moved started making rude comments about our lack of compassion. It continued throughout the flight. Then the final straw was when a young dad with one of the small children (who did get to sit with him when they moved another teenager) gave us a disgusted look and shouted "I hope you have bad karma today!) We told him that we paid for early boarding and they wouldn't reimburse us for it but he only shouted louder. This highly NEGATIVE situation could have been avoided if Southwest would enforce their policy on first come/first come seating. Our first choice going forward is to fly on carriers with reserved seating. If we have to fly on Southwest for reasons of economics or convenience, we WILL be taking the first available seats even if they are saved. It would be better to have one person sitting next to you upset rather than having the entire plane giving you an evil stare.
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