The "advantages" of assigned seating

Old May 13, 17, 2:25 pm
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The "advantages" of assigned seating

It seems that on a regular basis posters exclaim the wonders of assigned seating and bemoan the fact that WN doesn't assign. I've recently flown a couple of transcons on the legacy carriers, and have a mid-con coming up next week. As a non-status passenger booking flights a week or two out, there are either no free seats available for advance selection or only really lousy ones.

Here's the seatmap for my flight on Monday, with only one really bad seat available without paying $40 more more for E+:


Link to picture if inline doesn't display

Every flight I take on WN, I have a wide variety of seats available, and can always get an aisle, just by checking in at 24 hours before the flight. That seems a minor inconvenience to not sit 12 inches from a toilet. It baffles me that people think it's better to have a cra**y assigned seat rather than a selection of good ones.

Last edited by djk7; May 13, 17 at 2:37 pm
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Old May 13, 17, 3:40 pm
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Originally Posted by djk7 View Post
As a non-status flyer, middle seats are often all that are available when I book on other airlines, on WN I almost always have a wide choice of aisle or window seats.
Life is good.

I haven't been on UA metal in many years, but those E+ seats would be a few saved miles or comp with Chase Mileage Plus.

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Old May 13, 17, 9:54 pm
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Originally Posted by djk7 View Post
Every flight I take on WN, I have a wide variety of seats available, and can always get an aisle, just by checking in at 24 hours before the flight.
This is one more way in which Southwest gains ground on the competition by holding mostly still while the others keep devaluing their products and programs.
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Old May 13, 17, 10:37 pm
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Originally Posted by nsx View Post
This is one more way in which Southwest gains ground on the competition by holding mostly still while the others keep devaluing their products and programs.
Forswearing an extra legroom seat product is not gaining ground on the competition.
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Old May 14, 17, 1:52 am
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I dont find frantically checking in at t-24 or lining up 30 min before dept.particularly appealing.
Asking countless seat savers is also rather unpleasant..
i book a flt, pick a seat i like and then board at my conveniece... ymmv of course
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Old May 14, 17, 2:45 am
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Originally Posted by nsx View Post
This is one more way in which Southwest gains ground on the competition by holding mostly still while the others keep devaluing their products and programs.
In the race to the bottom, the winner is the one moving the slowest.

I personally love Southwest's "open seating" system, and wish it would last forever. But I suspect "not moving fast enough" will be its eventual cause of death. The seat saving non-policy and the refusal to adopt any "common sense" one. Preboarding abuse that can't be addressed any other way. The saturation point vs price nexus of EBCI, and diminishing returns for WN (not to mention pax) that will eventually end that product and force the creation of new ancillary avenues. Without addressing the problems before it's too late, the system as it is -- and most especially the successful continued monetization of it -- is doomed.
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Old May 14, 17, 6:33 am
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Originally Posted by LegalTender View Post
Forswearing an extra legroom seat product is not gaining ground on the competition.
Better than 27" on American.

https://www.google.com/amp/www.latim...story,amp.html
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Old May 14, 17, 6:42 am
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IMO the WN system works great for point to point travel. On busy flights you get Early Boarding. Even if you are in the high B boarding group you can sometimes snag exit row. If not, you can always snag an aisle seat.

It can fall apart rapidly on a connection though. You pay for Early Boarding, your flight is a little (or a lot) late arriving, and by the time you hot foot it over to your next flight, pretty much everyone else has boarded and you are stuck in a middle seat.

If I can get an assigned seat with 'even more room' with Jet Blue for about the same price as WN plus OLCI, I will go for it. On my BNA-BOS route that I take a lot, sometimes WN wins, sometimes JetBlue wins.

Last edited by bitterproffit; May 15, 17 at 11:16 am Reason: Changed OLCI to Early Boarding
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Old May 14, 17, 9:30 am
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Given which flights I find myself buying I place a fairly high premium on avoiding SW drama even if it is relatively rare. I fly them sometimes for work if they have the best fare.

I have credit cards for most airlines that serve (essentially) as prepaid baggage fees otherwise I might fly them more to save $50+ on many trips.
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Old May 14, 17, 9:31 am
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Originally Posted by toomanybooks View Post
I'm seeing 3 rows will have 29" pitch and all the rest, 30".

Is 27" elsewhere reported?

40 Max jets flying by the end of 2019.
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Old May 14, 17, 9:31 am
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Also, I ended up in Comfort seating the last time I bought a cheap Delta fare because they ran out of punishment seats.
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Old May 14, 17, 9:44 am
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Originally Posted by djk7 View Post
It seems that on a regular basis posters exclaim the wonders of assigned seating and bemoan the fact that WN doesn't assign. I've recently flown a couple of transcons on the legacy carriers, and have a mid-con coming up next week. As a non-status passenger booking flights a week or two out, there are either no free seats available for advance selection or only really lousy ones.

Here's the seatmap for my flight on Monday, with only one really bad seat available without paying $40 more more for E+:


Link to picture if inline doesn't display

Every flight I take on WN, I have a wide variety of seats available, and can always get an aisle, just by checking in at 24 hours before the flight. That seems a minor inconvenience to not sit 12 inches from a toilet. It baffles me that people think it's better to have a cra**y assigned seat rather than a selection of good ones.
I believe a majority of FTers commenting on that debate have status with one or more of their usual airlines, and can usually get a good pre-assigned seat for free.
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Old May 14, 17, 10:09 am
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Time is money. If you think that standing in line at a gate like a 4th grader in order to get the seat of your choice is worth what you could be making sitting in the UA/AA/DL Club/Lounge, you need to be speaking with your head hunter.

But, to each his own.

The OP's premise does compare apples to oranges. Presuming that he flies as much on one of the legacy carriers, he would have elite status and be able pre-select a "good" seat. On the other hand, if you only fly 2-3 times year, you should just purchase the cheapest ticket because no carrier is particularly great and if you can save a few bucks, you might as well.
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Old May 14, 17, 10:09 am
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Originally Posted by LegalTender View Post
I'm seeing 3 rows will have 29" pitch and all the rest, 30".

Is 27" elsewhere reported?

40 Max jets flying by the end of 2019.
I swear I saw 27" in a news article, but I cannot find it again. Maybe it was there and they changed it. Maybe I am losing it.
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Old May 14, 17, 10:20 am
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Cool

Originally Posted by azepine00 View Post
I dont find frantically checking in at t-24 or lining up 30 min before dept.particularly appealing.
Asking countless seat savers is also rather unpleasant..
i book a flt, pick a seat i like and then board at my conveniece... ymmv of course
You obviously haven't flown WN in 20 years or you'd know you have to line up only 2-3 minutes before you board.
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