seat saving

Old Jan 6, 2022, 11:06 am
  #1  
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seat saving

Based on your experience, what would happen in this situation:

I board a flight. A passenger sitting alone in the bulkhead row, widow seat, tells me she is saving the entire bulkhead row. I hear her but I intentionally ignore her because I feel like I am entitled to take any available seat, and because I prefer the bulkhead aisle seat. I do not argue with the seat saver -- nor even speak with her -- I just sit down. She complains to the flight attendant that my sitting in her "saved" seat means she cannot sit with her family who are in the B group. What does the flight attendant do about this?

Note: I am not asking for your opinion about whether I should -- or should not -- take this bulkhead aisle seat. I realize I could have selected a seat in a different row. I am just wondering how, in your experience, you would expect a SW flight attendant to deal with this situation.
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Old Jan 6, 2022, 11:33 am
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I would expect a SW flight attendant say there's open seating on Southwest flights; nothing else needed
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Old Jan 6, 2022, 11:42 am
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Originally Posted by Chamor
I board a flight. A passenger sitting alone in the bulkhead row, widow seat, tells me she is saving the entire bulkhead row. I hear her but I intentionally ignore her because I feel like I am entitled to take any available seat, and because I prefer the bulkhead aisle seat. I do not argue with the seat saver -- nor even speak with her -- I just sit down. She complains to the flight attendant that my sitting in her "saved" seat means she cannot sit with her family who are in the B group... I am just wondering how, in your experience, you would expect a SW flight attendant to deal with this situation.
The WN flight attendant will most likely do nothing unless there is an altercation. There is no WN policy on "seat saving" which can cause problems during boarding.
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Old Jan 6, 2022, 11:43 am
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There is no policy on saving seats; FOR or AGAINST. WN FAs are simply directed to remind Customers there is Open Seating. FAs don't really get involved unless an argument develops (which is incredibly rare). I would also suggest sharing this experience with WN Customer Relations because your concern and experience are valid and FAs want to have the tools to address the situation.

Saving seats is technically only permitted by FAs when:
- they are made aware of a late connecting family with children who would otherwise have been able to utilize family boarding
- if made aware of special circumstances passengers (this includes later arriving or connecting Customers with Disabilities, and listed pre-boarders who request a specific seat, or UMs)
- if made aware of late arriving/connecting deadheading Crew with a specific operational need to be seated so as to make a flight connection
- to accommodate other unique/special circumstances which can't be disclosed here
** FAs are not required to share reasons for holding specific seats

MANY of these are rare and some of these I've never actually seen.
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Old Jan 6, 2022, 11:44 am
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The other person could have selected a farther-back row and tried the same trick, with a higher probability of success. FA should of course side with you.
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Old Jan 6, 2022, 3:16 pm
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Flight attendant will likely do as others have said, since "open seating" is the policy. However, in this time of Covid, its fortunate that you didn't ask for any editorial assessment of your behavior in such a scenario. Karma has a way of circling back to extract a bite. This from a former companion pass seat saver who is now quite happy that CP boards with an adjacent number.
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Old Jan 6, 2022, 3:22 pm
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Thank you, thank you, thank you for not starting a thread about having or not having saved seats.

In this case, I think you were just fine. And the FA would not get involved. With that said, some FA's might decide to facilitate a discussion, but will not tell you to move.
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Old Jan 6, 2022, 4:02 pm
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My experience is the FA would hide out unless there was an altercation. Usually that's not hard as people are boarding clogging up the aisles.
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Old Jan 6, 2022, 5:47 pm
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I, too, would expect the flight attendant to reiterate the "open seating" policy.

My bet is that the family splurged on one Early Bird, or relied on a hobbled pre-boarder, to secure the bulkhead row. Sorry, no squatters rights, certainly not for prime real estate.

I've saved a seat--A MIDDLE SEAT--for my DH when I've been a few places ahead of him in line. We've bought EB for him when overhead space was absolutely necessary, and likely to be at a premium. He has saved a MIDDLE SEAT for me. In every case, the seat saved was past mid-plane and would have been one of the last seats taken by a person in the C group.
Yes, it's a violation, but he has use of only one hand & I need to be his second hand at certain times. We ONCE requested early boarding for him because of this & a carry on issue [I'm short & couldn't lift it into the compartment], and the counter staff made us feel like worthless crap, so this is how we've adapted.
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Old Jan 6, 2022, 7:37 pm
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Forget the flight attendant. What would YOU do in this situation?
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Old Jan 6, 2022, 8:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Allan38103
Forget the flight attendant. What would YOU do in this situation?
Fly an airline that has reserved seating cause life is too short to deal with such BS.
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Old Jan 6, 2022, 8:22 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by FlyingUnderTheRadar
Fly an airline that has reserved seating cause life is too short to deal with such BS.
Yes that is my usual approach. The silly line-up boarding game on WN and the absence of a premium cabin, makes flying WN rarely attractive to me especially since It is not really a LCC any more. But there are times when the schedule and/or the absence of change fees causes it to make sense.

I find it ridiculous that SW does not have a policy on saving seats. Whatever the policy is would be fine. Thats their decision. But its such an obvious and pervasive issue that refusing to address it, one way or the other, seems like abdication to me.
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Old Jan 6, 2022, 9:05 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Allan38103
Forget the flight attendant. What would YOU do in this situation?

Who is the "you" in this case. The squatter or the new-owner pending?

Like many non-airplane issues in real life the aggrieved could always file a law suit against the other person (and see how far that goes)
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Old Jan 6, 2022, 9:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Chamor
Yes that is my usual approach. The silly line-up boarding game on WN and the absence of a premium cabin, makes flying WN rarely attractive to me especially since It is not really a LCC any more. But there are times when the schedule and/or the absence of change fees causes it to make sense.

I find it ridiculous that SW does not have a policy on saving seats. Whatever the policy is would be fine. Thats their decision. But its such an obvious and pervasive issue that refusing to address it, one way or the other, seems like abdication to me.
Yes, the issue has been debated to death. But - any so called solution to change it would come with a whole new set of issues. (WE KNOW ALL OF THEM ALREADY)
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Old Jan 6, 2022, 9:33 pm
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Originally Posted by NoStressHere
Yes, the issue has been debated to death. But - any so called solution to change it would come with a whole new set of issues. (WE KNOW ALL OF THEM ALREADY)
Why do you think WN does the silly line-up game while nearly every other airline assigns seats in advance?
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