The Whining Passenger

Jan 26th, 2010, 07:14 AM
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The Whining Passenger

On our flight home yesterday on Southwest, we were lined up waiting to get on the plane. DH and I had A43 and A 47 assigned numbers [we had different reservations and as fast as I tried to checkin, I got these 2 assignments, no biggie]

It was announced that the flight was full, so every seat would be taken.

A man and his wife were on the other side of the "poles" at around A 16 or so. This meant that they didn't have business class, which I believe are are A 1 to 15. I am not sure where you end up if you pay the $10 fee to get your seat early, but I am thinking it would be in the first area of A, just behind 15. -- the area where this couple was standing.

As the A1 to 30 are boarding I notice that the gate agent sends the wife back; she apparently did not have an assigned number with her husband and was trying to get on with him.

When we got on the plane, this man was sitting in the aisle seat of the 2 seat emergency row with his briefcase on the middle seat [there is no window seat in this row]. We sat just behind him. As we were sitting down, I heard him whining to flight attendant about his wife not being able to board with him; a brief exchange goes on and I hear the attendant say to him, "I will make this a nice flight for you, I will buy you both drinks".

The wife eventully gets on, must have had at least a B assignment, and she hops into her saved seat.

They do get free drinks.

Really, what was this man complaining about? His wife didn't board at the proper time, was told to do so and then got free drinks for trying to break the rules.

Oh, there was also a man in the first row, aisle seat and that his legs outstretched and resting on the bulkhead wall, I believe in an attempt to keep anyone from sitting in the middle seat next to him.

I love Southwest, but sometimes wonder why they still do the open seating thing. As they announced as the last passengers were boarding, "Folks, if you have a C pass, C stands for center, so just take one."
DebitNM is offline  
Jan 26th, 2010, 07:52 AM
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I don't fly Southwest because of the open seating plan and the results you just mentioned. If an airline is going to implement such an plan and, basically, it's a reasonable one, they should make sure all the passengers abide by the same rules. The problem is that some people believe the rules don't apply to them. I have learned to accept this and ignore such self-absorbed individuals, but I confess to occasionally throwing them a look of disgust. Not that it ever bothers them.
historytraveler is online now  
Jan 26th, 2010, 07:55 AM
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With the $10 fee, you get A15 or so. I got A20 with it at XMas. Ive seen the same issue you have where a group tried to get on together and couldn't. If everyone cooperates, its a great boarding but it can go wrong very fast. I have seen where 1 person was trying to save 2 rows of seats. That didn't work too well. I even had someone ask me to move to the back of the plane so they could have an aisle seat when there were plenty of windows still open. Believe she had a B.

The system worked for those 2 and they still got free drinks? Too bad someone didn't try to grab that seat before her even with the briefcase there.
tchoiniere is offline  
Jan 26th, 2010, 10:26 AM
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I agree with both comments, and also don't fly Southwest any longer.

What interests me, however, is why other people allow themselves to be intimidated into accepting that it is ok for someone to 'save' seats. It's not ok, and the people who do so are rudely and selfishly insisting that they have some special right and privilege to ignore the rules that apply to everyone else.

I would have (and have in the past) said, 'Excuse me,' politely requested him to remove the briefcase ( or jacket or newspaper or leg or whatever else they think will work), and sat there if that's the seat I wanted. If he refused to move it, I would have simply moved it myself and sat down without another word.

It's always interesting to see how far these people will go to hold their positions, but in my experience, they know quite well that what they're doing is not on and they're counting on others to avoid being as rude as they are. Once you're in the seat, he will have no recourse but to let you be. If he's a class act, that's the end of it. If he's a boor, then you may get some 'looks' and snide comments, but I find that pretty easy to ignore.
julia1 is offline  
Jan 27th, 2010, 06:02 AM
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I rarely fly SW because the open seating is a PIA.
cybor is offline  
Jan 27th, 2010, 08:46 AM
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Anytime we've flown SW out of KC, they announce that if one in the party is holding a B pass and your traveling partner is holding a C, then the C passenger can board along with the B passenger.
Paytons_Grandma is offline  
Jan 27th, 2010, 09:41 AM
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I don't think that is the case anymore, since they now give not only A, B or C boarding, but have numbers too. I also don't think in all the years I have flown Southwest I ever heard that, even before the number/letter combo.
DebitNM is offline  
Jan 27th, 2010, 10:25 AM
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C stands for center.

First time I heard this. That's good.
rkkwan is offline  
Jan 27th, 2010, 11:07 AM
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I'm going to complain for no reason and get some free drinking tickets.
holland_ahoy is offline  
Jan 27th, 2010, 11:19 AM
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Rude boor tries to "save" a seat. You force yourself into it.

Your flight is
1: Pleasant.
2: Unpleasant
3: Really, really unpleasant.

Please choose.
AJPeabody is online now  
Jan 27th, 2010, 01:37 PM
Join Date: May 2005
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We fly Southwest, mostly in CA, to visit family. I like their system and for us, it works fine - I have rarely seen a problem like the one you describe, and while I have no doubt that it happened and was hugely annoying, I just want to say I think it is not a common thing. Southwest, for us, does an excellent job.
socaltraveler is online now  
Jan 28th, 2010, 07:00 AM
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I hadn't flown SW for years, primarily because of the open seating. However, they had a really good deal on a package to Las Vegas from Houston that we took in November.

While it wasn't a problem to check in 24 hrs prior to our departure flight, it was a PIA to do this at the hotel in Vegas for our return flight.

I'd much rather have assigned seats from the get go for both flights and not have to try to remember to check in 24 hrs before my flight when I'm on vacation at a hotel where I have to pay to print my documents.
bettyk is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 07:10 AM
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FWIW, you don't have to print the boarding passes when you checkin online. You can print them at the airport when you arrive for your flight. If you are checking a bag; it can all be done at same time.

Also, anyone can check you in, so if you have a trusted person to do so, they can check you in from anywhere.
DebitNM is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 09:07 AM
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I'm not talking about the Boarding Pass. I'm talking about the "Security Document" that reserves your boarding position.

According to Southwest's website:

If you are checking luggage, proceed to the ticket counter or Skycap Podium (at select locations) and present your flight tickets and Security Document to receive your Boarding Pass.
bettyk is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 09:30 AM
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The security document is your driver's license or whatever ID you are using to clear security. The Flight Tickets is your boarding pass. What Deb said is 100% true and if you are not going to be able to check in 24 hrs in advance, pay the $10 per person to use the Early Bird Check-in.
tchoiniere is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 09:31 AM
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Huh? Security document is your ID [driver's license, passport etc]. You flight ticket the email confirmation with your Confirmation #.

When you go to ticket counter, there are machines that you use.
You can enter your confirmation # or IF you have printed your boarding pass, you can scan it. Then a screen asks if you want to check luggage and do you need boarding passes. You can say you need pass and it will print it. The agent will then attach luggage tag and check your ID.

There are no "flight tickets" per se; there are simply the email confirmations and then the boarding pass with your A,B or C and then the specific # from 1 to 60. Again, you can print at home or at airport.

I have flown dozens of times on Southwest in the past 2 years, this is always how it works.
DebitNM is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 10:12 AM
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Why would I need to PRINT my ID?

Because we were doing a SW Vacation package, we DID have to use paper flight tickets.

According to the SW Vacations website:

•All Southwest Airlines/Southwest Airlines Vacations Customers are required to have his/her government-issued photo ID AND either a Boarding Pass or a SECURITY DOCUMENT to proceed through the security checkpoint.

•Customers should bring their Boarding Pass or SECURITY DOCUMENT and Itinerary/Receipt or Ticket, along with government-issued photo ID, to proceed through the security checkpoint.


•Southwest Airlines Vacations Customers may reserve their BOARDING POSITION online and PRINT a SECURITY DOCUMENT beginning 24 hours in advance of departure.

Learn more about online checkin.

Maybe if it wasn't a Vacation Package, the check in process would be different but this was what we had to do.
bettyk is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 10:23 AM
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I think that is was because it was a Vacation Package that made things different, betty.
DebitNM is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 10:52 AM
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Agreed now as your previous post didn't have the rest and as it read, it sounded like it was an ID. The Vacation Package probably made it different. It may just be terminology / misleading wording as I have always used the online checkin without any issues. Implying that it is a seperate document makes it sound like you need 1 document to get through Security and then you get a boarding pass, which is not what happens as far as I know with anybody.

All I know is that the boarding procedure / seat selection for Southwest is pretty easy to get A15 or so now. I will use SW as much as possible due to it. However, there is opportunity for argument leaving seat selection to the masses like Deb had noted in her post.
tchoiniere is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 04:49 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
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I just love reading these replies. The more people who I hear that won'y fly SWA because of the open seating is great news to me. That leaves me more seats available for me to get!
joethekay is offline  

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