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Please end open seating!

Jrhart
New Arrival

I love southwest and I always make sure I check in 24 hours ahead of time. So this has never really affected me, but the rudeness of people becomes more and more apparent every time I fly on southwest. 

I have seen it become common place over the years for people to save seats for friends or family who were not on the plane yet. Just yesterday, a lady with her early teenaged son attempted to prevent someone from taking the middle seat by placing their food bags on the seat. This was after the flight attendants announced MULTIPLE times that the flight was full and every seat would be taken. It wasn't until someone actually asked about the seat that she moved her stuff. 

With the actions of people like this you really  can't even consider it open seating anymore. I get on the plane and pass 40 OPEN seats that are being SAVED. There has to be a BETTER WAY!! 

7 REPLIES 7

Re: Please end open seating!

dfwskier
Rising Star

Thanks for your opinion.

 

There are reasons Southwest is THE MOST profitable airline as measured by profit margin. One of them is operational efficiency.

 

Open seating lets the airline board planes more quickly than airlines that assign seats. That means less time on the ground and more time in the air. Thus Southwest typically gets more flights per day from it's planes  and a higher level of profit than the competition-- which allows the airline to keep fares low.

 

IMO, assigned seating isn't coming anytime soon, and lack of it is not affecting overall customer satisfaction as Southwest regularly has the highest customer satisfaction rating in the industry.

Re: Please end open seating!

Jaime4220
New Arrival

I’ve only been on two SW flights, and each departed at least 15 minutes later than the scheduled time, just like every other airline. The boarding process didn’t seem any quicker. It may have been at the start, but then the line gets held up when people inquire about saved seats, don’t see anything in the back and try to turn around, etc. My experience is that this is just as bad as other airlines, though crappy in unique ways. 

Re: Please end open seating!

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

Seat saving does seem to be on the increase, as are the resultant issues. I see some sort of passenger verbal exchange regarding a saved seat on every flight these days; many are short and relatively benign, but others result in frustration and anger. The attitudes I've seen expressed by both seat savers and those who think it should not be allowed suggest that altercations are inevitable, as both sides believe they are "right," and Southwest has chosen to allow this to continue. Open boarding was a great system right up until Southwest monetized boarding order, and IMHO that was the beginning of the end. How long until that happens is anyone's guess, but even the much-lauded quick turns aren't what they used to be anymore. EBCI income is the main justification of open boarding now, but that product is self-limiting, and as fees top out and sales decrease, at some point a new boarding scheme with the potential for greater ancillary income (likely a hybrid that mixes assigned seating with open boarding options) will replace it. I feel like that's still years away, but who knows.

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Re: Please end open seating!

SWDigits
Rising Star

@chgoflyer wrote:

Open boarding was a great system right up until Southwest monetized boarding order



+1. My personal opinion.

Customer | Home airport DCA | Community Champion

Re: Please end open seating!

dfwskier
Rising Star

@chgoflyer wrote:

Seat saving does seem to be on the increase, as are the resultant issues. I see some sort of passenger verbal exchange regarding a saved seat on every flight these days;  

 

Different people, different experiences. I fly 30+ WN flights a year and have never seen a single one.

Re: Please end open seating!

jksobonya
Active Member

Open seating is one of the primary reasons I fly Southwest. On the rare instances where I fly American I see them charge so much more just to "pick" your own seat, and I can pick whatever seat I want, and change my mind any time I want, on Southwest for free. 

 

--Jessica

Re: Please end open seating!

brendabean
New Arrival

I love the open seating policy at Southwest. Keep it up SWA!