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Boarding

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Against open seating

Jahnavi
New Arrival

I really love Southwest and i always prefer southwest over other airlines!

However, i really request that SW starts assigning seats at the time of check-in.

Getting an assigned seat makes everything so convinient! I was recently flying from Atlanta and the flight had a full occupancy. I had a boarding position C and i knew it wud be practically impossible to get a window or aisle seat! I was okay with that but i had to keep searching for a seat until i realized that there was just one empty seat at #A2. And i expected atleast the flight attendants to help me locate seats but no, you search for a seat yourself!

can we pls get seats assigned to us alongwith a boarding position at the time of check in!Please!

10 REPLIES 10
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Re: Against open seating

Jwalsh3rd
Active Member

Interesting viewpoint.  Having been a SWA regular passenger for the life of the company, it is important to recognize that SWA has always been an open seating airline.  It would be interesting to consider a different way to provide seating locations, but as I have experienced in the last five years flying weekly or more, the planes are highly occupied and most passengers seem to be OK or even happy on the plane.  I would be surprised if the policy changed radically unless many more showed concern by choosing other airlines to make their trips.  My experience is that a happy crew is many times more valuable than an assigned seat.  And SWA crews are generally happier than some other airlines I experience regularly.

Re: Against open seating

dfwskier
Rising Star
Solution

@Jahnavi wrote:

I really love Southwest and i always prefer southwest over other airlines!

However, i really request that SW starts assigning seats at the time of check-in.

Getting an assigned seat makes everything so convinient! I was recently flying from Atlanta and the flight had a full occupancy. I had a boarding position C and i knew it wud be practically impossible to get a window or aisle seat! I was okay with that but i had to keep searching for a seat until i realized that there was just one empty seat at #A2. And i expected atleast the flight attendants to help me locate seats but no, you search for a seat yourself!

can we pls get seats assigned to us alongwith a boarding position at the time of check in!Please!


Thanks for sharing your viewpoint.

 

It's important to understand that Southwest uses it's open seating process for a reason: Southwest believes it can get passengers on board the aircraft faster using this process, which improves the overall efficientcy of the airline which in turn allows the company to keep fares lower. How? By allowing the airline to, on average, fly more flights per plane per day. That means  a more efficient utilization of assets and more revenue per plane per day.

 

 

Re: Against open seating

nostresshere
New Arrival

PLEASE

 

There have been 3,879 different threads about this.

 

The current system WORKS. It is but one of the reasons that Southwest is the #1 domestic carrier and has some 4,000 flights per day.

 

I totally understand some people do not like it.  But, it works and all those OTHER people are very happy with it.

 

 

Re: Against open seating

Jahnavi
New Arrival

Hi,

 

I am really not able to understand how having a seat number assigned alongside the boarding position make the boarding a slower process?

 

 

Re: Against open seating

dfwskier
Rising Star

@Jahnavi wrote:

Hi,

 

I am really not able to understand how having a seat number assigned alongside the boarding position make the boarding a slower process?

 

 


You may not, but the airline does. Example: 3A shows up for his seat, but 3C is already seated, so 3C has to get up to let 3A in etc, etc, etc -- and all the while everyone else is waiting for the dance to end. 

 

Repeat the above dozens of times per flight and you'll have the answer to your question.

Re: Against open seating

Passenger1C
Active Member
Solution

Even my grandparents ( who are very special to me) have an easier time boarding SW because of the open seating. When my grandmother isn’t looking for 10C, and isn’t holding up the aisle, the mood is calmer. Instead of searching for 10C, she is grabbing the first 2 seats she finds, quickly sits down, and buckles her seatbelt. It’s a win for my grandparents, other passengers, and SW. 

 

Just another way to look at it. HaHa 


SWA Passenger, Community Champion

Re: Against open seating

Jahnavi
New Arrival

So,  instead of  forming a queue according to the boarding position,  people can just be made to stand according to their seat numbers? This would make a window seat holder move in first!

 

Why i say this is because, in open seating people tend to fill up the window and the aisle seats first, leaving behind the middle seats. So the ones entering the flight with a boarding position "C" are just clueless whether to grab a middle seat that they see or move towards the end of the aircraft in anticipation of a better seat (window or aisle) which does delay the process.

Re: Against open seating

dfwskier
Rising Star

@Jahnavi wrote:

So,  instead of  forming a queue according to the boarding position,  people can just be made to stand according to their seat numbers? This would make a window seat holder move in first!

 

 No other airline that offers assigned seats does this. Why?  I suspect it's because it would not work. These other airlines have decades of assigned seating experience. I'm certain they have investigated every conceivable way of improving the boarding process.

 

If you really hate open seating, why are you flying on Southwest as opposed to an airline that gives you an assigned seat?

Re: Against open seating

SWDigits
Active Member

As @dfwskier mentioned, there are many studies and articles covering the boarding process, to include this one:

 

Best boarding strategy for airlines: random, study says


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