The "advantages" of assigned seating

Old May 23, 17, 7:07 pm
  #91  
 
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Originally Posted by Poker2012chu View Post
For me, advantages of assigned seats include:

1) Ability to choose your seat in advance

2) ~95% chance you won't have trouble keeping your seat if you board late provided some other passenger doesn't decide to snatch it from you before you get on (see my write up on seat poaching below).

3) In many cases, some of the better seats cost more, but you get more leg room. In business and first class, you typically get more legroom and more services.

Disadvantages of assigned seats:

1) Equipment swaps. Probably won't be an issue on Southwest as much as other airlines because they uses 737's. However, if your plane goes from a 752 to a 739, for example, now the seats are all jumbled up, and that wonderful bulkhead aisle you booked in advanced is now a middle seat several rows back. I won't even begin to get into the whole kerfuffle with groups (usually families with children) who have been separated due to an equipment swap.

2) Seat poaching. This is where someone is sitting in your seat (and this is one reason I personally try to board ASAP on AA when I fly it so I am far less likely to deal with this). Sometimes it's a mistake, sometimes, they will sit there no matter what. If you have an unsympathetic flight attendant, you will be forced to sit where the poacher was supposed to sit, and it's usually the middle further back.

3) Drama surrounding "will you please trade me seats?" People will make up reasons or will try to guilt trip you in taking an inferior seat. Happens all the time.

Anyway, regarding seat poaching and seat trading, there are many threads outside of the Southwest RR subforum that are dedicated to these very issues. They span dozens of pages in many cases. Here is one of them:

Seat Swapping, Seat Poaching and Seating Etiquette: The Definitive Thread
Number 2 - What? You had an FA tell you 'sorry this seat poacher took your seat please take their seat'? I've never had anyone try and poach my seat. Ever. And I've never seen this happen(A FA to tell the actual seat owner to pound sand).

Number 3 - You can simply say "No". I've traded before and I've told people no before.

Certainly it happens but linking to a thread on FT isn't much of a broad stroke to say it happens a lot. People join this forum to make 1 post or we all travel a lot and see more stuff.
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Old May 24, 17, 10:02 am
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Originally Posted by Putnik View Post
Gluten free airfares?
And for some, your health will drastically improve!
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Old May 24, 17, 10:19 am
  #93  
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If someone doesn't fly enough for status on a legacy then the open seating on Southwest could work to their advantage if they are willing to check in at exactly t-24 and get a good boarding pass number and are at the gate when boarding starts, especially if they are checking bags.

A long time ago when I was doing mainly DTW/BNA, MDW or LGA flights that didn't amount to much mileage and when WN had a frequent flyer program that worked great for me and when spirit had a good business class product on DTW/LGA I would use NK for my LGA flights and WN for my MDW and BNA flights and since my long hauls back then were personal trips and WN was very generous with RR tickets back then I had no problem with no assigned seats on a free flight.

Since I'm doing a lot more long haul flying these days and use a Delta HUB I prefer them over WN since I have diamond status. I get upgraded a lot to first for free (which is nice on long hauls like DTW to LAX or SFO) and if I don't get upgraded I know I have an aisle C+ or exit row and can just stay in the skyclub during most of the boarding unless I have a bulkhead seat and know I need to be to the gate early for bin space (and even then there are reserved bins for the C+ and First cabins if the FA enforces it). For me the advantage to assigned seats is international. The four free international upgrades I get a year to business class make a world of difference on an overnight flight since they are flat bed seats. And if I am not in business class C+ is great with the power outlets.

The free same day changes are important to me and another reason I don't like using WN but for a lot of passengers it doesn't matter. Just like the no change fees or no bag fees aren't an issue for me but important to a lot of passengers.
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Old May 24, 17, 10:27 am
  #94  
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Originally Posted by dinanm3atl View Post
Number 2 - What? You had an FA tell you 'sorry this seat poacher took your seat please take their seat'? I've never had anyone try and poach my seat. Ever. And I've never seen this happen(A FA to tell the actual seat owner to pound sand).

Number 3 - You can simply say "No". I've traded before and I've told people no before.

Certainly it happens but linking to a thread on FT isn't much of a broad stroke to say it happens a lot. People join this forum to make 1 post or we all travel a lot and see more stuff.
Believe me seat poaching happens a lot and I've encountered it but have never had a flight attendant tell me I had to take another seat (one time I did have a FA ask me if I would mind swapping seats so someone could sit with their spouse and since it was a less desirable seat I politely declined).

When it usually happens to me is in First Class. Couples will get upgraded at the gate when two seats aren't available together or get upgraded ahead of time and are seated apart with no two seats together. If someone poaches my seat end of story, I'm taking my assigned seat. If they ask me nicely to switch and it's a better or equivalent seat I'll usually agree to it (i.e. 3C for 3B but I'll never swap a non-bulkhead aisle for a bulkhead or window or if it's the last row of F that doesn't recline) and depending on the flight number if it means my meal order will be taken later I'll also tell them I want the FA to take my meal order before theirs.

But similar situations happen on WN without assigned seating. There are a lot of stories about people preboarding and saving entire rows for family members and friends travelling with them too cheap to pay for EBCI while people with A list and who paid for EBCI are getting denied those more desirable seats.
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Old May 24, 17, 11:10 am
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Originally Posted by jamesteroh View Post
Believe me seat poaching happens a lot and I've encountered it but have never had a flight attendant tell me I had to take another seat (one time I did have a FA ask me if I would mind swapping seats so someone could sit with their spouse and since it was a less desirable seat I politely declined).

When it usually happens to me is in First Class. Couples will get upgraded at the gate when two seats aren't available together or get upgraded ahead of time and are seated apart with no two seats together. If someone poaches my seat end of story, I'm taking my assigned seat. If they ask me nicely to switch and it's a better or equivalent seat I'll usually agree to it (i.e. 3C for 3B but I'll never swap a non-bulkhead aisle for a bulkhead or window or if it's the last row of F that doesn't recline) and depending on the flight number if it means my meal order will be taken later I'll also tell them I want the FA to take my meal order before theirs.

But similar situations happen on WN without assigned seating. There are a lot of stories about people preboarding and saving entire rows for family members and friends travelling with them too cheap to pay for EBCI while people with A list and who paid for EBCI are getting denied those more desirable seats.
I've had it in FC. And usually a story like that. In those cases Me moving from 3D to 2D or whatever isn't a real problem and I don't mind.

Outside of that it seems the amount seen by FT is way higher percentage than what is really happening. If a FA told me that I needed to take the seat I didn't choose because of a sob story you can bet I'd be getting their info and filing a complaint with the airline.

A big issue of mine is my wife can't board with me with status on WN. It makes no sense. And the thru passengers have created major problems. I've gotten on planes when I did fly WN with 20, 30 or more people as thru passengers. There are close to zero desirable seats left. For those that PAID to board early I'd be extremely frustrated. "Thanks for the extra money, have fun in the same seat you would have gotten boarding in the B Group anyways".
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Old May 24, 17, 1:00 pm
  #96  
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Originally Posted by dinanm3atl View Post
I've had it in FC. And usually a story like that. In those cases Me moving from 3D to 2D or whatever isn't a real problem and I don't mind.

Outside of that it seems the amount seen by FT is way higher percentage than what is really happening. If a FA told me that I needed to take the seat I didn't choose because of a sob story you can bet I'd be getting their info and filing a complaint with the airline.

A big issue of mine is my wife can't board with me with status on WN. It makes no sense. And the thru passengers have created major problems. I've gotten on planes when I did fly WN with 20, 30 or more people as thru passengers. There are close to zero desirable seats left. For those that PAID to board early I'd be extremely frustrated. "Thanks for the extra money, have fun in the same seat you would have gotten boarding in the B Group anyways".
I'm surprised for through passengers WN doesn't limit exit row and bulkhead to a-list and EBCI customers but it would be too hard to enforce.

Something that irritated me with EBCI when I flew WN was a couple times my first flight was severely delayed and I got to the connection gate when either C was boarding or the plane was boarded and I got a crappy seat (these were MDW to LAX or LAS flights so long flights and the seconde flight was the one I paid for EBCI). One time my DTW/PHX flight was delayed by almost four hours and we had to overnight in PHX and for my new flight I got a C boarding pass but at least in that case I got a good seat on the long flight I cared about.

That's crazy WN won't allow one companion to board with an A-lister since they'll be taking a middle seat anyway. A friend of mine in STL was a-list at one time and said back then the boarding pass for a companion didn't print to allow use of the priority lane. I've never had an issue with a non-status companion boarding with me on Delta even if they weren't upgraded or using the priority lane before the days of precheck and a good friend of mine is EP on American and I never had an issue boarding with him or using the American priority lane when travelling with him.
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Old May 24, 17, 1:20 pm
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Originally Posted by jamesteroh View Post
Something that irritated me with EBCI when I flew WN was a couple times my first flight was severely delayed and I got to the connection gate when either C was boarding or the plane was boarded and I got a crappy seat (these were MDW to LAX or LAS flights so long flights and the seconde flight was the one I paid for EBCI). One time my DTW/PHX flight was delayed by almost four hours and we had to overnight in PHX and for my new flight I got a C boarding pass but at least in that case I got a good seat on the long flight I cared about.
Try paying double for BS, checking in at T-24 to get A01, then your 1 hour connecting hop is delayed and you get a middle seat for LAX-BWI, BWI-MCI, DEN-OAK. Multiple times during the schedule meltdown years and beyond!

Last edited by joshua362; May 24, 17 at 7:42 pm
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Old May 24, 17, 1:50 pm
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Originally Posted by joshua362 View Post
Try paying double for BS, checking in a T-24 to get A01, then your 1 hour connecting hop is delayed and you get a middle seat for LAX-BWI, BWI-MCI, DEN-OAK. Multiple times during the schedule meltdown years and beyond!
That would be even worse. That scenario is a good reason I like assigned seats.

To be fair to WN the couple times my flight was really delayed into MDW and I complained they gave me a refund of the EBCI with no problem. The time I had to overnight in DEN I didn't complain since DEN/LAX is a pretty short flight and the reason I paid for the EBCI was the DTW/DEN flight and I had an exit row on that flight.
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Old May 24, 17, 6:49 pm
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Originally Posted by jamesteroh View Post
That would be even worse. That scenario is a good reason I like assigned seats.

To be fair to WN the couple times my flight was really delayed into MDW and I complained they gave me a refund of the EBCI with no problem. The time I had to overnight in DEN I didn't complain since DEN/LAX is a pretty short flight and the reason I paid for the EBCI was the DTW/DEN flight and I had an exit row on that flight.
THeir CS was good to me when needed. I'd expect them to refund it. It doesn't fix the issue of a terrible seat on a long haul because connection was delayed and your A03 boarded in C.
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Old May 25, 17, 7:14 am
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Originally Posted by dinanm3atl View Post
And the thru passengers have created major problems. I've gotten on planes when I did fly WN with 20, 30 or more people as thru passengers. There are close to zero desirable seats left. For those that PAID to board early I'd be extremely frustrated. "Thanks for the extra money, have fun in the same seat you would have gotten boarding in the B Group anyways".
Imagine the crappy seat selection those who didn't pay the extra money for ECBI got to choose from.
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Old Jun 8, 17, 7:13 am
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So yesterday I was flying MSY-MDW. Scheduled for 7:20 pm departure. Got to the airport hours early and saw there was a 4:20. Checked online and it was the same fare.

So I switched for free at about 3 pm, saving 3 hours of waiting plus almost 2 hours changing in STL.

Got a C14 BP. Obviously expected. What I did not expect was still getting an aisle seat, my preference, in Row 22. And not even next to a huge sweaty smelly guy.

On a legacy, I'd have been in a back middle by the lav for sure.

This is why I like open seating and why I will never buy EBCI.
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Old Jun 8, 17, 7:41 am
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Originally Posted by toomanybooks View Post

On a legacy, I'd have been in a back middle by the lav for sure.

This is why I like open seating and why I will never buy EBCI.
With four airlines offering non-stops, that's debatable. Unless ORD is the deal-breaker.
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Old Jun 8, 17, 7:58 am
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Originally Posted by LegalTender View Post
With four airlines offering non-stops, that's debatable. Unless ORD is the deal-breaker.
MDW is closer to me, and I do prefer it.
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Old Jun 8, 17, 8:26 am
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I understand it's possible to have CP and not A-list. But given that many non-stops and any 'status' you could as easily improve your seating position taking an earlier run. Knowing more early is always cool. Tooling down the jetway keyed up is not.
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Old Jun 8, 17, 9:06 am
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Originally Posted by LegalTender View Post
I understand it's possible to have CP and not A-list.
Yes you can get CP via credit card spend, but A-list has to be earned by butt-in-seat.
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