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Open Seating - Losing Out on Converting Customers

WhitWest
New Arrival

Dear Southwest,

 

First, I’ll admit I purposely never fly with you due to the open seating structure. This method might be preferable to some but I believe you are missing out on converting customers from other airlines because of the structure. It’s disorganized and without a doubt annoying for two people who want to sit together (because why would anyone who was traveling together sit next to each other? Nope, they sit aisle and window leaving a seat between them and talking over the unlucky person who sits in the middle - not SW’s fault, just a by-product of the structure unfortunately). I paid to upgrade my tickets for boarding group A and just as I was paying for my boyfriend to upgrade as well (literally at the exact same time) somehow the other upgrade was sold. I got the upgrade and my boyfriend did not. The attendant told me she was sorry and couldn’t refund my upgrade even though I couldn’t get the second one. I was already annoyed about the open seating and then paid $40 on top of it. Needless to say, even though your staff is friendlier (mostly) and bags fly free, I will continue to avoid flying Southwest unless the boarding process changes. 

2 REPLIES 2
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Re: Open Seating - Losing Out on Converting Customers

dfwskier
Rising Star

Well, you are certainly entitled to your opinion about open seating. Those that don't like it don't fly Southwest. Many people weigh all factors (bag fees, change fees, seat fees, open seating,etc) , and decide Southwest is the way to go.

 

It is unlikely that Southwest will change to reserved seating. Why? Answer: because it has been proven that open seating allows faster plane  boarding, which in turn alows more flights/day per plane, which in turn translates into the ability to be more profitable and potentially keep fares lower,

 

There must be a reason Southwest flies more people in North America than any other airline (FYI 33,000,000 more than the second place airline Delta last year).

 

To each his own.

Re: Open Seating - Losing Out on Converting Customers

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@WhitWest wrote:

(because why would anyone who was traveling together sit next to each other? Nope, they sit aisle and window leaving a seat between them and talking over the unlucky person who sits in the middle - not SW’s fault, just a by-product of the structure unfortunately). I paid to upgrade my tickets for boarding group A and just as I was paying for my boyfriend to upgrade as well (literally at the exact same time) somehow the other upgrade was sold. I got the upgrade and my boyfriend did not. The attendant told me she was sorry and couldn’t refund my upgrade even though I couldn’t get the second one. 


Now I'm confused - you did want your boyfriend to sit in the middle, or you didn't? You should not have had a lot of trouble holding a middle seat for him with him boarding later. Holding an aisle while you were in the window obviously not going to work very well.

 

That is a little crappy if you went up to buy two upgrades and then they have to sell you one at a time and someone else came (to the same gate?) and took the other one, or I guess more likely what happened was that someone making a last minute change took one of the Business Select seats remaining so that they wouldn't have had to be literally standing next to you at the gate.

 

I'd call back to customer relations and request some LUV for this situation, but that's academic if you won't be flying Southwest again.

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.