Seats and Southwest Airlines

Old Oct 4, 12, 8:07 pm
  #1  
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Seats and Southwest Airlines

I looked but could not find a post on this, I am sure there is one.

However, I am flying with family and while we purchased our tickets I do not understand the non seat assignment.

How do we ensure we are all sitting by each other?
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Old Oct 4, 12, 8:35 pm
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Seats and Southwest Airlines

As people check in, they receive a number on their boarding pass. Passengers line up in numerical order and board in that order. Once you board, you pick any open seat. The way to get a lower boarding number is to buy Early Bird Check in ($10), or get on-line and check-in 24 hours before your flight.

If you wait until you get to the airport to check-in, the odds are higher that you won't be sitting together. My impression is that if you don't buy Early Check In, you'll be able to sit together but will probably be in the back of the plane.
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Old Oct 4, 12, 8:36 pm
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You pay the extra money it takes to get in the first boarding group (A). You still won't have a seat assignment but you will be among the first 30 or so to board. It truly is open seating. But keep in mind, even on other carriers where you can choose seats, you have no guarantee that you will keep those seats.
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Old Oct 4, 12, 9:24 pm
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Google "southwest airlines boarding procedure" and you will get about 75,000 hits, including videos etc.
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Old Oct 4, 12, 9:37 pm
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Have to say that my husband and I fly SW a lot, have never paid for Early Bird Check in, and have never had problems sitting together. But we do check in exactly 24 hr in advance, and prefer to sit in the rear of the plane.
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Old Oct 4, 12, 9:42 pm
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Mods alerted, you know there's a Southwest Airlines forum in Miles/Points, right?
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Old Oct 4, 12, 9:45 pm
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Originally Posted by SWCPHX View Post
Mods alerted, you know there's a Southwest Airlines forum in Miles/Points, right?
Thanks. I am now moving this Thread to the FT Southwest Airlines Forum.
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Old Oct 4, 12, 10:18 pm
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Buying EarlyBird does not guarantee that you'll be in Group A; there is a discussion here of what number people have gotten with it; you're pretty sure to be able to sit together with it.

If your group includes children under 5, you can board between groups A and B in any case (although if there are several adults, there may be a limit).

Last edited by rove312; Oct 4, 12 at 10:22 pm Reason: Adding link to EBCI number thread
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Old Oct 4, 12, 10:23 pm
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Originally Posted by MarianR View Post
Have to say that my husband and I fly SW a lot, have never paid for Early Bird Check in, and have never had problems sitting together. But we do check in exactly 24 hr in advance, and prefer to sit in the rear of the plane.
if i could only remember to check in on the return trip
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Old Oct 4, 12, 10:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Stars4SA View Post
I looked but could not find a post on this, I am sure there is one.

However, I am flying with family and while we purchased our tickets I do not understand the non seat assignment.

How do we ensure we are all sitting by each other?
check in as close to 24 hours as you can and you will be fine.. if you find yourself in back of the line and you have kids they will make sure you sit together..
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Old Oct 4, 12, 10:58 pm
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A bit off topic but I was chatting with a flight attendant last week during a stopover. The FA told me that they understood assigned seating was coming within the next year or two, driven by the expansion of the network to include international flights. Wonder how this will mutate EBCI; pay the $10 to "buy up" to A-list level of seat selection? Guess I'll have to enjoy whatever time is left to board B-35 and still have a decent shot at seat 11B.
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Old Oct 5, 12, 4:36 am
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Originally Posted by rove312 View Post
If your group includes children under 5, you can board between groups A and B in any case (although if there are several adults, there may be a limit).
I have a seen a number of people stretching that age limit...esp in MCO runs.
We are a family of five and are almost always able to sit "together" ie 3/2 nearish each other. Once when we did not purchase EarlyBird and had a problem and checked in at T-23, we did get split up 2-2-1. I could't entice anyone to swap an aisle for my window seat, even with a drink coupon offered up. Kids sitting on their own were 9 yrs old. They were fine but I do actually enjoy hanging with them on flights.
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Old Oct 5, 12, 6:14 am
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Originally Posted by jtaft View Post
A bit off topic but I was chatting with a flight attendant last week during a stopover. The FA told me that they understood assigned seating was coming within the next year or two,
FA's do not have any knowledge of upcoming policy changes. The FA's speculation on this is as valid as your speculation.
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Old Oct 5, 12, 6:55 am
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Originally Posted by mr_edward_p View Post
or get on-line and check-in 24 hours before your flight.
Just to reiterate, ideally exactly 24 hours before flight time. I open a window with the NIST clock and try to get it to the second.

One more point not mentioned is that originating flights will usually have better seating options than through flights. The latter will have passengers from the prior segment filling the more desired seats before boarding starts.
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Old Oct 5, 12, 7:06 am
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Originally Posted by Stars4SA View Post
However, I am flying with family and while we purchased our tickets I do not understand the non seat assignment.

How do we ensure we are all sitting by each other?
You don't.

You pay extra to get a reasonable shot.
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