The "advantages" of assigned seating

Old May 14, 17, 10:45 pm
  #31  
nsx
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Originally Posted by rsteinmetz70112 View Post

Lining up and boarding starts 30 minutes before departure.
It does on a 737-800. On a 737-700 it's 20 minutes.
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Old May 14, 17, 11:22 pm
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Boarding Passes A line up and board 20 minutes early. They call A group, then let preboards on. Because you have an actual Boarding Line Position Number, you don't have to line up until boarding for your group begins. There can be some jumble within the groups of 5 (who cares), but nobody's cutting lines beyond 5 positions.
Assigned seats or not, WN's boarding system - the one they've been using in this century - is the most efficient and best one out there. In fact I'd say it's the only 21st century system around. And it could easily be adapted to assigned seating planes.
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Old May 15, 17, 1:02 am
  #33  
 
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My favorite setup was the one that Allegiant used to use (now they sell seats like Spirit).

At the time of booking and at check-in, you had the choice of whether you wanted to pay for a seat assignment, or save the ten bucks or whatever it is, and take "open seating". You get a boarding pass that says: "seat assignment: OPEN"

When they start boarding, they board people with seat assignments. Then they board people without seat assignments. Obviously the people without seat assignments just take whatever open seats there are. It's about half-full at that point as I recall.

It was the best of both worlds -- your choice of paying for a seat assignment, or taking your chances with open seating for free -- and as an added bonus, you CANNOT save seats with this setup ^ . It was a rule that when people without seat assignments board, and this includes people with seat assignments that didn't board when they were supposed to (i.e., your seat assignment disappears once open seating beings), they take any open seat. A saved seat costs money to get a seat assignment, and the person who bought it would already be sitting in it, ergo no seat saving is possible. If you want two or three seats together, then either buy them or take your chances.
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Old May 15, 17, 5:57 am
  #34  
 
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southwest's process is so much less stressful for me, I line up next to my mark and then walk on. It's orderly

American has a crush of a crowd trying to figure out when to board and I have to fight through the gate lice get on. And I want to be on early to make sure there is overhead space. If all I have is a backpack, then I agree wth another poster that I can wait to be the last on and relax. But not true if i need overhead space. The new boarding groups on aa helps, but they still need a board to show what groups are boarding at what time.

family board generally means I'm in row. 15 or so and can get 3 across easily.

Most of my travel is point to point
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Old May 15, 17, 6:51 am
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by toomanybooks View Post
Well, yeah.

As has been stated in this forum probably 10000 times over the years, if you have status on a legacy it's probably better than WN for you. And if you don't, WN is often preferable.
This is one thing brought up and if you have low travel needs I think this applies. When it doesn't is people that earn the top tiers but choose Southwest. In that case I don't think it makes sense. The only time it does is if you constantly are changing flying times a lot(and not just same day) the savings ind dollars there would be worth it.


Originally Posted by rickg523 View Post
Boarding Passes A line up and board 20 minutes early. They call A group, then let preboards on. Because you have an actual Boarding Line Position Number, you don't have to line up until boarding for your group begins. There can be some jumble within the groups of 5 (who cares), but nobody's cutting lines beyond 5 positions.
Assigned seats or not, WN's boarding system - the one they've been using in this century - is the most efficient and best one out there. In fact I'd say it's the only 21st century system around. And it could easily be adapted to assigned seating planes.
It does work well. No doubt about that.

The others WOULD work well if the actual process was enforced and altered slightly. The biggest problem is none of the legacies with any type of frequency enforce their boarding rules. Where as Southwest will tell my wife to wait when trying to board in A zone. Delta I have seen people with Zone 2 or 3 board during PREM(FC and Diamonds). Right on their boarding pass. They scan and walk on. No one says a thing.

Then they should board SKY and then board back to front. Zone 1 is all AMEX holders and Silver Medallion. It means a LOT of people and they are going all over the plane. This is a huge slow down.
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Old May 15, 17, 8:28 am
  #36  
 
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I'd be surprised if "low travel needs" is the coming wave. Posters here becalmed by any aisle seat did not drive WNs $500 million IT upgrade.

Corporate, if logic has any sway, is about to become more creative in generating revenues beyond just the ticket fare. The low hanging and very profitable ancillary fruit of advance seat reservations, extra legroom seats and last-minute upgrades are now in their headlights.

Passengers want options for more comfort at a time when seat density is increasing and load factors are high.

Open seating handcuffs that.
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Old May 15, 17, 9:09 am
  #37  
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The advantages are numerous. Not all seats are created equally, and I like to know where I am sitting before I even get on the aircraft. It eliminates the competition of 24 check in and jockeying for position, as well as the tendency for groups travelling together to line jump in the WN line. And the seat saving issue becomes moot as well.

No status? Get some. .....ing about it is like complaining when others have a nicer car than you because they can afford it an you can't.

You may think you get a wide variety of seats to choose from, but the variety of seats available is different for each pax. Many on the flight..EVERY flight..get very little to choose from.. there are always people at the tail end who board to find a choice between the port middle seat near the lavs or the starboard middle seat near the lavs. One day it may be you.

And Even when I have had an A pass, I have boarded to find a huge number of Thru Pax and pre-boarders taking up a significant number of seats, reducing the availability of them.
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Old May 15, 17, 11:04 am
  #38  
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Old May 15, 17, 1:37 pm
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Originally Posted by toomanybooks View Post
...If you fly WN, don't gripe about open seating or losing your boarding position when your connection is late. Go elsewhere.

It's like buying a Smart car and complaining about not having room for 20 bags of mulch.

Vanilla, chocolate. Spicy, mild. Sedan, SUV. Choose.
I'm an analogy person; this one is great!
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Old May 15, 17, 2:03 pm
  #40  
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Originally Posted by dinanm3atl View Post
When it doesn't is people that earn the top tiers but choose Southwest.
I'd suggest that most of those people aren't making the decision based solely on open seating: they're probably doing so because Southwest has the nonstops they fly at the times they want them. Add in the fact that they do it in full-sized jets and have pretty straightforward processes across the board and I can see why people would fly them every week, even if they could theoretically reach EXP or 1K by connecting at ORD and riding a bunch of RJs in the process.

When I was top-tier, I slogged it on United because I wanted those long-haul F awards on SQ and LH. But I paid for it in terms of hours spent on lovely CR2s and E145s. These days, with access to the best F awards being more expensive or unattainable at all from partner miles, I can see why people just stick to WN and its general predictability.

For WN's model, I hope they don't change anything. Open seating works.
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Old May 15, 17, 3:36 pm
  #41  
 
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Originally Posted by dinanm3atl View Post
I flew it 2 years ago and the actual gate agents say it 2-3min before but the gate lice show up FAR earlier than that. 30+ minutes people in the A group are already there. I see it every time in ATL when I am in those terminals and walk past.
And that bothers you.... How?

Maybe they chose to get up and stand extra early because they know they're stuck in their seats for the next several hours? There's really no reason to get up and stand early; I usually get a BP under A-30 and if I get in line while BS is boarding my wait time is about thirty seconds.

I got tired real quick of all the seat poaching and sob-story seat-swap requests I used to get on AA and Delta. Good riddance. Assigned seating does nothing to stop that kind of drama; I think it only encourages it.
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Old May 15, 17, 3:51 pm
  #42  
 
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Open seating is a different argument than the MCI situation.

WN has a cult-like following of loyal fliers. Tossing elements which make flying on its jets unique would jeopardize that to some degree. But it can't take advantage of a bankable revenue stream if it cannot guarantee certain seats in the first place.

I believe demand for comfort in the cabin will break the tie.

40% of WN flyers surveyed a decade ago wanted open seating gone. Given seat density and load factors of today, it's hard to think that disposition shrank.
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Old May 15, 17, 3:55 pm
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by nsx View Post
It does on a 737-800. On a 737-700 it's 20 minutes.
All of my Boarding passes say 30 minutes before departure and even though it often doesn't start until 20 minutes before departure sometime if starts earlier.
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Old May 15, 17, 5:13 pm
  #44  
 
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Originally Posted by Peoriaman1 View Post
And that bothers you.... How?

Maybe they chose to get up and stand extra early because they know they're stuck in their seats for the next several hours? There's really no reason to get up and stand early; I usually get a BP under A-30 and if I get in line while BS is boarding my wait time is about thirty seconds.

I got tired real quick of all the seat poaching and sob-story seat-swap requests I used to get on AA and Delta. Good riddance. Assigned seating does nothing to stop that kind of drama; I think it only encourages it.
There are some advantages at certain airports sure. If you don't do any international travel ever I could see going with all those direct flights.

How often were you actually seeing 'seat poaching' or seat swap request? I was in Seat 3D IND-ATL on Saturday this week on an upgrade. The first time in at least two years I was asked to switch(to seat 2D). The guy wanted to sit next to his business partner.

And I haven't had someone trying to 'seat poach' in years if at all.

Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
I'd suggest that most of those people aren't making the decision based solely on open seating: they're probably doing so because Southwest has the nonstops they fly at the times they want them. Add in the fact that they do it in full-sized jets and have pretty straightforward processes across the board and I can see why people would fly them every week, even if they could theoretically reach EXP or 1K by connecting at ORD and riding a bunch of RJs in the process.

When I was top-tier, I slogged it on United because I wanted those long-haul F awards on SQ and LH. But I paid for it in terms of hours spent on lovely CR2s and E145s. These days, with access to the best F awards being more expensive or unattainable at all from partner miles, I can see why people just stick to WN and its general predictability.

For WN's model, I hope they don't change anything. Open seating works.
I was replying to the person saying someone had not flown WN in 20 years if he thinks people are lining up early. They are. From 5, 10 or 30min early. Whatever their reasoning is they are doing it.
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Old May 15, 17, 6:30 pm
  #45  
 
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I fly about 5 times a month or more, and I could probably get status on UA flying out of ORD. Both MDW and ORD are about the same distance away from where I live. But on Monday mornings, it would take me almost an hour to get to O'Hare as opposed to 20 minutes to get to Midway. That is why I fly Southwest.
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