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Southwest Airlines Community

The Last Word?

gkelly1
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Well, I asked you what you wanted and boy did you respond-more than 600 of you! We have concluded our initial test in San Diego, which showed some of the boarding methods to be a little faster and some a little slower than our current process. While we have not made a decision on our seating policy, I did want to thank all of you for your time in expressing your thoughts and suggestions. Your passion showed through in your comments, and they are a significant part of the ongoing evaluation process.

So while we're continuing our research on our boarding processes, it also appears that I have some great suggestions to review for my Halloween costume!

Thanks again for your support and business!

69 Comments
Matthew_Skok1
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Is it the last word? Open vs. assigned seating still seems to be the hottest topic surrounding Southwest, and I'll be interested to see what the final decision is. Personally, I fly Southwest exclusively for the open seating. If it wasn't for open seating, I don't know that I would LUV Southwest as much as I do now.
Roy
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Were the comments of the passengers who actually went through the boarding process positive or negative?
Jim13
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Ah Gary, that sounds like a politician answering :-) I've read all of the comments on this blog, the USA Today blog, and many comments elsewhere. Here on BlogSouthwest, it appears about 90% (myself included) are opposed to assigned seating. Other blogs seem to be about 50/50. BUT - let's divide the comments into four groups: Regular SWA flyers who do want assigned seating - a very, very small group. Regular SWA flyers who do not want assigned seating - a very large group. Non Regulars who want assigned seating - these non-customers are the vast majority of the people in favor of assigned seating. Non Regulars who do want assigned seating - almost non existent. So - in summation, we have learned two things: Your existing and loyal customer base is highly in favor of keeping open seating. (Hmmm - "Cattle Call" and leather seats, is there a relationship?) People who are loyal to other airlines are mostly in favor of assigned seating. BTW, even if SWA moves to assigned seating, I will still remain a loyal and fanatical customer. The people of SWA are the reason, not the seating assignment or the boarding process or the existence of pillows and blankets or any of the myriad of other issues that get discussed - it is the people who smile.
billie
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I really wish that you could seat people with childern up front so there not crying and kicking your seat. Like the first five rows up front for them. there first on and f irst off. That will give people a little chance to rest. I think everyone will thank you! I also think all air lines should do so. I'm also help in raising my grand childern. So I know what it's like. Thanks , billie
Tricia1
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Personally, I love open seating because I can always scope out the great looking guys and the places where I am "glad I didn't get assigned seating" and sit in the back........ahhhh eye candy and leather all at once!! ooops!!
Brian_McKay
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Gary, It is funny that this is the main topic on the Southwest blog, meanwhile I have found out today that I can no longer book any flight with open seating using my Rapid Rewards. Now only a certain amount of seats may be used for these rewards? Both myself and my father fly regularly for our small corporations and have frequented Southwest because of the coporate culture and standards of excellence Southwest's irreverance have fostered. Upon learning of this new restriction my father today called me and asked, "Well isn't this one more thing that makes Southwest just like all of the other airlines? Why should I continue to differentiate?" In my MBA program Southwest was frequently modeled for what made it different and created strategic advantages that other airlines could never precisely copy. This created a situation of prosperity unparrelleled in an industry that as whole does nothing but lose money. So why is Southwest suddenly becoming so much more like those airlines that have historically been huge destroyers of share holder value? Did the accountants come in and say it was okay the suffer the overall picture and profitability, the very image and uniqueness of the company to show enhanced profitability on certain flights? What would Herb say? Well who cares what Herb would say I guess. What I say, is that my loyalty has been lost and myself and others will be comparing all airlines much more than just going to the SWA website and booking a flight. What a shame to tarnish what has been a shining star in an otherwise terrible industry. Brian McKay
Don_Steinweg
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I love the open seating. I believe that it contributes to the ontime performance. I would be very sad to see you go to assigned seats. Open seating is one of the good things that sets Southwest apart from all the other airlines.
FriendofBlogBoy
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Gary, One of the things that sets SWA apart from many companies is that in cases such as these, where emotions run high on both sides of an issue that greatly impacts its customers, yours is one of the few that cares enough to involve its Customers in the decision-making process. For that, we appreciate your approach and enjoy being asked! Now, if I can only figure out how to coordinate my trips with Tricia... ha ha Kim :-)
Jeramy_Brian1
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I'm a southwest employee and I luv our open seating policy. I work in the phoenix reservations office so I get a chance to hear from many of our customers about the subject. From the people I have heard from there is a large majority who are in favor of open seating. I think the biggest reason for this is that it makes us more on time compared to other airlines. Also, people don't have to look for their assigned seat, they can just sit wherever they want. The only people who seem to dislike our open seating are the people who are first time southwest customers. 100% of the frequent southwest customers who I have spoken with have told me how much they love our open seating and that they really want us to keep things how they are. I really hope we can keep our open seating policy so we can continue to give loyal customers what they want. We luv our customers and we want to keep them happy. -Jeramy
Toni2
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Your open seating is on of the things that distinguishes you. Don't change it. Other airlines are scrambling to distinguish themselves; you don't need to become like them. I fly SWA regularly. I also fly on another airline because it has great service, too. I wouldn't want that airline to change. The companies are different and should stay that way.
Jack11
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Your tv ad shows two bicyclists with helmets on but positioned back on the head so the forehead is completely exposed. Bad safety and bad message for bicyclists everywhere. Helmets are effective only if worn correctly and that means covering the forehead. My suggestion is to remove the ad completely and make a statement to correct safety issue.
Dan_Ritter
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This December I'm flying to Tampa from Chicago and paying $268.00 on United instaed of $177.00 on SW even though the flights are at similar times. Why? I don't have computer and printer access at my Vacation home in Fla and I don't want to get stuck in a middle seat on the way home.A ton of people don't fly SW because of the open seating. I fly from Chicago to Tampa six times a year. At the most I fly SW once because I can't stand the ABC system. Why doesn't SW have a seperate pay tier for people who want a guaranteed seat? Maybe a $20.00 surcharge per flight. Limit the guaranteed seats to ten or twenty per flight. People who pay extra can board before the A line. This way more people will fly SW but the people who like open seating will still be able to get to the airport 5 hours early and jockey for position to their hearts content.
Drew1
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Dan, If you can overcome your phobia of open seating, you can stop overpaying for your flights to Tampa. You don't need a computer and printer to check in. You can simply use mobile check in via your cell phone web browser and then print your "A" boarding pass at the airport. Best wishes.
Terri10
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Good Afternoon Mr. Kelly, First of all, I love SWA!! I feel your company is very customer service orientated and I love the open seating! It is nice to know that you can sit where ever you want and not worry about where your assigned seat is and how many people you have to climb over to get to your assigned seat. In addition, I love the fact that I can print my boarding pass off before I even arrive at the airport (which reduces the amount of time I have to be in an airport!!!) Thanks a lot for setting high standards; itÃ
Kenney
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I have been flying SWA since 1978. For two reasons; it is cheap and I want to support my home state company. I never saw anything special about open seating. I prefer assigned seating. All this "openness" attitude at SWA never did impress me. I don't want cutesy comments and singing stewerdess's, just decent service. And when some rude kid and his parents allow bad manners (screaming, kicking, ect) I expect the airline person to do something about it. I don't fly for fun. I do it like most people, to get somewhere fast. What could be fun about being wadded up in an aluminum can and being violentley thrown through the air? (Nothing against your wonderful pilots) Not to mention waiting and waiting and standing for the best seat in your ABC line. It's nonsense. Who decided flying was supposed to be fun? Well, it's not!
James_White
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I would like to respond to the message about rapid rewards. I fly with many different airlines and am a member of many frequent flier programs. Even though southwest has seat restrictions with rapid rewards, they did do away with all black out dates. Also, whenever I book flights with my frequent flier tickets the seats have almost always been available for booking. On other airlines the seats are hardly ever available and they also have blackout dates to go along with the seat restrictions. Brian, I think you and I both know that southwest still has the best frequent flier program when you compare it to other airlines. I don't think it makes good business sense for any airline to allow unlimited seating for passengers using frequent flier tickets. Revenue is hard to come by in today's market and they have to limit seating to stay competitive with other airlines. Rapid rewards is still #1 in my book.
David_Ross3
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To Jack regarding the bicycle ad: The ad is to sell Southwest, not bicycles. Do you think when I see an ad for milk that I actually think cows can talk? No, of course not. Same thing here - the ad is promoting Southwest. Though I haven't seen the ad, I can probably bet that it is done in a funny way and NOT advocating unsafe use of bike helmets.
Debbie6
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I am a travel agent and have the uneviable job of dealing with many airlines on a daily basis. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to deal with Southwest in comparison to all the other carriers. In a world of hearing "no" and "I can't help you" from everyone else, it is great that there is at least one airline who is not only on my side but the passenger's side too. I have also flown many carriers and am constantly amazed at how slow the boarding process is with assigned seats. No matter how they board--from the rear, from the front, in numbered groups--no boarding is as efficient as Southwest's open seating. It really is no hassle to check in online and get your boarding group, even on vacation, as practically every hotel has internet access now. So please Southwest, don't change. As we say here in the office--if Southwest ran the world, it would be a better place!
paul_higgins
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perhaps this is not the forum topic, but on the off-chance the CEO might see this, count me as one of those who think the policy change from pure "black out dates" to limited rapid reward seat availability is a HUGE mistake and likely to make swa NOT the auto-matic first call when i arrange travel. you guys built up a distinct no BS frequent flier plan and then, in supposed response to this hue and cry over blackout dates (as if anyone has ever been able to use miles over Christmas etc), did the switch to limited seating. EXIT competitive advantage, EXIT simplicity, ENTER lowering yourself to the rest of your competitors...Bad Move...When was the e-mail survey sent to all your customers on this foolish move?
Drew1
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Kenney, I'm sorry you feel flying shouldn't be fun. I respectfully disagree. It has been fun since I was a child, and I never want that to change. Granted, our wonderful friends *cough* at the TSA have been trying their best to do just that, but they have not yet succeeded in my case.
brokeb_cnoSWAin
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When are you coming to Alaska? We are desperate for the Southwest effect. We have the most expensive flights from Anchorage to Portland or Seattle. Please. When will you show up?????
Kevin211
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Kenney , I promise , because you think work should not be fun. I wil never work for you or you company!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dan_Ritter
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Right on Kenney. Get me there on time with minimal hassles and thats fun enough. I shake my head at the cult like devotion to open seating.
Dr__James_Logan
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Gary: Bad move on the RR change. It's OK to just say, "well, this one did not make it" and revert to the best system. Don't be like the other airlines. They're loserss !! Thanks. jim
FriendofBlogBoy
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Kenney, You're right. Flying should not be fun. In case you are worried that we've lost the grim-faced seriousness of flying and abandoned the stoic and often apathetic approach to customer service in the airline industry, I have good news for you! Please head over to DFW Airport to either Terminal 2 or 3, and book a flight to anywhere you want to go on the airline that you'll find there. They will be pleased to take as much of your money as they can, misroute your luggage, treat you in a surly manner and allow you to deplane at your final destination without so much as a "thank you". I hope you have a great trip. For me, I'll take light-hearted, friendly and smiling Employees who genuinely care about their Customers and who treat them as if they do any day. I'll drive straight to Love Field, give them significantly less money and enjoy myself significantly more than I would on the 'other' airline. Yes, I'll still be a revenue stream for a large corporation, but they will at least appreciate me and say so. I KNOW that I'll have a great trip! Happy flying, Kim P. S. Dan, I really don't think it is a devotion to open seating that you're witnessing. Rather, it is a bunch of very satisfied Customers who have a good thing going in dealing with an airline that cares about them, and who want to keep that good thing going. Imagine your favorite restaurant. You show up, knowing the people, the menu and basically what to expect. When you arrive, you find that the theme of the menu has been scrapped, the atmosphere of the place has changed and you get this sinking feeling that the food won't taste as good. Regular SW passengers LUV our airline and don't want it to change any more than you'd want your favorite restaurant to change! Brian, can I have another glass of lemonade, please? :-)
Dan_Ritter
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Kim, SW can adopt the system I propose in my previous post(Oct. 15) and both problems are taken care of. People who want to assure themselves a certain seat will be able to, and the integrity of the airline and it boarding is maintained. Bonus, SW collects extra revenue. I have no problem with any of SW's modus operandi except open seating and thats what seems to get loyalists claws up more than anything else.
Tamra
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Kim, are you sure you are not on our payroll? i think you are the greatest cheerleader for us. someone get this person an application!!! i love to read your postings and appreciate you and the wonderful things you write about us here at SWA. you certainly make me laugh. thanks for being so loyal.
Carrie2
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Please do not feel the pressure to change your ways and become like all of the other airlines. Obviously what you do works, because you are consistantly the least expensive airfare whenever I check flights. You have the most liberal policy on flight changes, etc., and the most helpful customer service reps. It stated in an earlier post that Regular SWA flyers who did not want assigned seating were the largest group. I think that says it all. Yes, the first time I flew SW, it was a bit odd that I did not have an assigned seat, but once I got over that novelty, I grew to LUV SW for everything else it offers. Obviously since regular flyers want to keep the open seating, others must get over that initial need to have an assigned seat as well. Maybe I'm just too easy going, but as long as there is a seat on the plane for me, it really doesn't matter if I'm in A or C. Maybe part of the reason SW is so on time, is since people feel the need to get a good place in line, they arrive at the airport earlier. No waiting for those last minute people who take for granted they have a seat. If it works, there's no need to fix it.
FriendofBlogBoy
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Tamra, Hey, you aren't reading ALL of the blog! I admitted that I AM on your payroll in a posting to James Malone's thread "Southwest Enthusiasts". Check it out, October 16th -- ( http://www.blogsouthwest.com/2006/10/05/southwest-enthusiasts/#comments ) and you'll see why I'm so loyal. Brian has BOUGHT my loyalty! LOL Kim :-) P. S. All joking aside, I've been flying on SW for almost as long as y'all have been in the air, and how in the world could I NOT be loyal to a company that treats me so well? In ~33 years, I can remember exactly TWICE that my bags were misrouted, and one of those times was a vacation on an earned Rapid Reward (or back then, Company Club) ticket from DAL to SEA just after you guys bought Morris Air. Due to our favorite piece of now almost-defunct legislation, that trip required three segments and two plane changes (DAL-ABQ, ABQ-SLC, SLC-SEA), and I barely made all of the necessary connections, so it didn't surprise me that my bags didn't. In those three decades, I can remember exactly ONE FA that was less than friendly (he was downright surly and rude!). With that kind of track record out of hundreds and hundreds of flights, I think you guys are about as close to AWESOME as is possible!!
Raechel
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Hi Gary, I recently enjoyed a presentation you gave to students at St. Edward's University and something has been on my mind ever since about the prospect of assigned seating. I believe one of the benefits SWA has experienced with its Customers is their expectations of seating prior to arrival at the airport. When Customers know their seat assignment prior to arrival their expectations of the flight are pre-set. On the other hand, with SWA's open seating, Customers arrive at the airport without clear expectations for their seating. In my opinion, this unknown is actually positive for both the Customers and SWA. The Customers benefit from their expectation, or hope, of finding the seat they desire once they're walking aboard the plane. They may not find their perfect seat and even if they don't, they accept it as part of the open seating game. In this way, SWA benefits because fliers like to have that hope and partial control over their own destinies. If SWA were to assign seats at the point of booking, expectations of Customers would be pre-set and some may choose to research other airlines for a better seat. I believe the hope and unbounded expectations held by Customers is part of the magic which makes them loyal to SWA; it's not about the actual process, but the art in which SWA manages expectations and partners with Customers as opposed to dictate to them. Let Customers decide their options instead of giving them finite choicesÃ
dfetterman
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Please leave the system as is. Those too lazy to preplan and get an on-line boarding pass deserve C seats! Several times I couldn't preplan and had to sit by the rear head - so what! Why fix something that obviously isn't broken? Loyal SWA guy, David
Seth_Katz
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Y'all keep talking about lost bags. I've had a few (3, 4?) times where Southwest lost some of my bags, and they always showed up within a few hours. The only hassle was waiting in line with the kids, who desperately wanted to get to their cousins' house or home (depending on which way we were headed). Usually we have a different experience - by the time we get out with the boys (currently 8, 4, & 2 yrs. old) and our carryons, bathroom breaks/diaper changes, and get down to baggage claim the bags have been taken off the conveyor and are sitting at the baggage office waiting for us because we took so long! The funniest was when we lost one suitcase and a booster seat. My oldest was so concerned about the booster (maybe he thought we would leave him at the airport if we didn't have the booster seat for the rental car), and when we got to the counter and made the report they produced a loaner - same model as our seat! We had to show our son where it said "Southwest" on the bottom to convince him that it wasn't our seat. And of course the suitcase and booster showed up in a couple of hours and everyone lived happily ever after. So, yeah, SW does lose bags just like every airline does from time to time, but (at least for us) they've always shown up a few hours later and the staff in the baggage office has always been as nice as everyone else. Seth
Dan_Ritter
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Someone from the cadre of open seating zealots, or a SW executive needs to tell me why my previous proposal doesn't work. That proposal is to keep everything the same(ABC open seating) except institute an option to pay a surcharge when booking a flight(say $20.00) per flight for a limited number of people(10-20) to board before the A group. The benefits are numerous, open seating is maintained, others who want to be guaranteed a certain type of seat can do so, which increases SW's potential customers. Another revenue stream is created. It is important to put a strict limit on the number of passengers eligible to pay to pre-board so that there are plenty of desirable seats left for the A customers. What's the problem with this beside a fierce devotion to unadulterated open seating?
blusk
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Hi Dan, Well I'm not an "executive," in spite of what Kim tells people, but I have been handling a lot of the Customer comments on this issue. First off, I don't think anything is completely "off the table" at this point. However, I can tell you that your proposal does raise a couple of concerns. As Kim has written earlier, we like to keep things simple, and having two methods of boarding/seating would add a layer of complexity to the boarding process. (Certainly, it would be much more complex than either having all open seating or all assigned seating.) Essentially, we would have to wait to board the open seaters until the assigned seating section had boarded. Sometimes this might happen quickly, other times it might not. Those assigned seats would have to be available to all Customers, once those holding assigned seats have boarded. The difference with the A group under the current system is that if you mix the groups on board prior to that point, you could have a potential conflict. Currently, if some in the A group are slow to board, they just board with whatever group is currently boarding and take an open seat.Â
Dorothy_Wilson
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I am a non-customer. I only fly southwest 2-3 times /year BECAUSE I fly any other airline that is going where I am going so that I can get an assigned seat. I am usually flying with someone else, and if I want to sit next to them I have to make sure I get an "A" boarding pass and then stand in line for about 2 hours. Over the years while standing in line waiting I have heard only negative comments about his open seating. I too have looked at my watch to see how much time it takes to board. So far over about 3 years, the SWA flights always take 2-3 minutes longer on comparable size planes. And, if a connecting flight is late and ypu have to board late, the middle of the back row inbetween the rudest of people is surely fun, while my husband is having an equal amount of fun 4 rows in front of me who is sitting in the middle seat between 2 ladies who know each other and spend the entire flight talking across him. Right now we have 2 free tickets for SWA and might gibe them away rather than endure a SWA flight. We love your crew, and everying about you except for the open seating.
Dan_Ritter
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Brian, I appreciate your response. My proposal calls for the people who pay the surcharge to board with the pre-boarders(children, elderly etc.) not to have an assigned seat. If they are not there to pre-board tough luck they lose whatever money they paid for the surcharge. This way if I pay the surcharge I don't have to worry what time I checked in, I don't have to stand in line and I'll still get a desirable seat. I think most people who don't like open seating aren't worried about a specific seat they just don't like having to worry about when they check in and having to stand in line for an hour before the flight.
Robin12
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As a six year, multiple-year Companion Pass holder, I have mixed feelings regarding the ABC boarding. I don't mind going on line to get my boarding pass, but am not enthused about standing in the A line to get a decent seat. As there are 46 people in the A group, that 46th seat (and the addition of anyone who is a continuing passenger) it not that good. And if you are in the B group(#47-90), you must stand in line. I would appreciate a perk being added to Companion Pass holders (this is your truly loyal customer base) of allowing 1st boarding group privileges. I would appreciate this more than a free companion tx, as my husband cannot join me on trips.
Josh14
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I am a college student and have flown southwest for the past couple of years. As a rapid rewards member, I have earned and used a total of two RR awards (going on number 3). I want to say thank you for the awesome rewards program and for the awesome DING! fares; they are worth the wait! As for the open seating policy... If assigned seating on SWA does become a reality, will customers (often those who have flown southwest and are aware of how DING! works) who do wait to take advantage of DING! specials have a disadvantage when it comes to selecting seats on the aircraft vs. new or unfamilair customers using southwest.com booking months in advance and having first choice of seats? Also, when traveling with a friend and having B, or even C seating, we were never forced to sit away from eachother on a flight. Although I am for the open seating policy, either policy would not change the way I fly - on the wings of Southwest.
Krystal
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All the seats land at the same time, don't they??? You shouldn't have to wait in line with an A pass...there's a whole plane to choose from, the B group may want to be in line if you are traveling with others to give you a better chance of sitting together and C's well...you just get to choose who you sit with is all. I'm neutral on the subject except for the fact that the seating is what makes Southwest "Southwest"
mohavewolfpup
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I really hope the open seating policy never changes, as my most favorite spot on the plane is the seats in the emergency exit row Smiley Happy not only is the paw room nice, but also I don't mind being a helper if the sad fate does happen that requires use of the emergency wing exits (and I have the perfect thing for that, a highly reflective search critter vest! ^.^) please keep open seating! emergency exit seats are perfect, I only got on one flight that they were all full, usually they are empty due to peoples superstitions of what they mean when the attendant comes around asking if you will perform emergency help in case of a plane accident.
Mayer_Zimmerman1
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How about a compomise? Assigned seating on flights of 4 hours or more, cattle call on all other flights... And, limit the numebr allegedly disabled people getting on in FLL and PBI.. They rally take advantage of early boarding, so by the time the A seats boar,d they are almost all taken.... Mayer Zimmerman
FriendofBlogBoy
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Dorothy -- I'd LUV to have your two free tickets if you don't want 'em! I've used earned free tickets to fly all across this country, sometimes "enduring" four flights per day to get to the remote corners of our great nation. Aisle, middle, window, in the lav or standing in the aisle holding the overhead strap (no, wait, that's the subway in NYC...nevermind) all works for me. Having just ENDURED a round trip to Atlanta on aanother aairline, I can assure you that I'd rather fly ANYWHERE on Southwest than put up with the surly attitudes, filthy planes and almost hostile ambivalence from thaat compaany! Kim P. S. Don't believe him -- Brian is a very important executive and has a vital job. He is the one who is in charge of keeping fresh and fully charged batteries in the cattle prod that Colleen uses during Employee motivation meetings. :-)
Leith__Speights
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Please keep the open seating . It is open seating that is the main reasons i southwest 95 % of the time . assigned seating is for people who are lazy they aways show up late with to many bags etc. they also complain the most too knowing they have a seat. I like the first comming first serve seating. i know its why i do not run into as many delays. Lee taken 70 round trips the last 2 years - that is around 20,000.00 dollars
Dan_Ritter
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With such reasoned and well written pleas for maintaining open seating like Lee's above and the person who thinks they are a dog I'm going to have to admit defeat. I think they might want to keep open seating because they wouldn't be able to find an assigned seat.
Susan_Kenney
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I am a newly hired flight attendant (not yet through training). I previously worked for American Airlines for 14 years. From the varying perspectives of in-flight crew and airport personnel, as well as reservations pre-flight issues (choosing, assigning, numerous requests to change, complaints, etc.) I would say this: Time = Money. I worked as a supervisor in reservations and cannot stress enough the time spent with "irate callers" regarding this issue. I am excited and proud to now be working for a carrier that is profitable. I truly feel that no assigned seating is one of the many reasons why Southwest can say that. Then from the passenger's perspective, what Tricia mentioned above about scoping out the cute people to sit near, and the capability to not be forced to sit by someone who is "spilling over" into your seat, is one reason many PREFER the unassigned seating. Smiley Happy
FriendofBlogBoy
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Susan, Congratulations on your new job and welcome to the BEST airline in the world! I am sure that you will LUV working at Southwest and that the new attitudes you find will be a breath of fresh air. Oh, and thanks for the suggestion: "...scoping out the cute people to sit near." In 30+ years of flying SWA, that idea had never dawned on me... Yeah, right! LOL Kim :-)
surabayajo
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I never know when SW is going to open new dates.....and often miss it and the lowest fares. Is there a schedule I can follow? ie when will dates for July 2007 be available?
Jim_Carroll
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I am becoming a SWA regular - 4 flights in last month and do not mind the open seating ( prefer assigned). What I would like to know is what are the guidelines for pre-boarding?? Young children I understand, but what age?? Just being a senior or a disabled senior ? Is there a maximum number of people that can pre-board with someone who qualifies ? ie - someone with a cane and 5 other peolpe board with them My flight today from Las Vegas, the pre-boarding line was linger than both B & C and slightly less than A Let me add that all 4 flights have been pleasant.
Stan_Hannibal
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I luv SWA for the open seating policy. When I fly, I like the game of trying to get an "A" or at least a "B" and then hurrying to the airport to beat everyone else to get that spot in line. Trust me, with the conversations in those lines, everyone is doing the same thing. It is fun. If God forbid SWA does switch to assigned seating, just give me the option to select my 3 seats of choice in my rapid rewards profile. By the way, I had to fly to Indy the other day and due to scheduling was forced to use American Airlines. I bought a ticket a week before the trip. Changes occured the night before traveling and I had to rebook, but used SWA and not only got there but saved $400.00 on my ticket. Thanks SWA.
Joe9
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Please stay with the Open Seating. However, the change will not cause me to change airlines as the main reason I fly SW is due to the easy flexibility changing travel times - A benefit no other airline comes close to. I do relatively agree with one of the replies that anybody that flies often enough to qualify for a companion ticket should at least be guaranteed an A ticket if not first boarding privileges. In order to qualify, the person should be required to provide RR number when purchasing the ticket. Guaranteeing an A ticket would probably be an easy programming change. No RR blackout dates and limited available seating vs a 2 year window to use tickets - I would prefer the 1 year approach with no blackout dates but fully understand the revenue value of having the blackout dates and limited seating. If this is needed to help keep prices reasonable then stay with the change. The biggest complaint that I have is on the reservation web site, it seems there is a bug that causes the pre-reseervation price to not equal the real price. It appears the US taxes do not include the segment fees but all other U.S. taxes are included in the base ticket price. As you know the number of stops and all of the other fees, you could easily list the full ticket price as well as the base ticket price for each segment reserved though I understand there may be minor errors that reduce the final price if more than 4 takeoffs are in the itenerary. I am sure the customer would not be too upset if the final price is less than the posted price and SW revenue would not be affected. Finally, I would suggest that you post both the SW receipts excluding all taxes along with the full price before booking so people truly recognize how much of their ticket goes to the government vs. SW.