PDA

View Full Version : Southwest Airlines Concern


LongLiveDisney1
04-06-2012, 04:09 PM
Is it almost mandatory to buy the early bird check-in in order to make sure your family doesn't end up in Section B and possibly sitting apart?

jlewisinsyr
04-06-2012, 04:56 PM
Low Bs, unless you have a party of 10, shouldn't be a problem sitting together, it's when you get to Cs that it can be a bit more problematic.

Remember the first two boarding groups have 60 slots and the plane holds 122 or 137 seats and there is a boarding group C. Although possible that you could get on a plane where each row has a person in it with a B1 boarding pass, most likely that wouldn't happen.

LaurenT
04-06-2012, 07:14 PM
Just make sure you check in at exactly the 24 hour mark. We did it today and got low Bs...we won't have any trouble finding seats together.

Hannathy
04-06-2012, 07:22 PM
If it is extremely important for you to sit together and a priority then you should pay for the service.

It really all depends on how many others pay for the service as to how far down the list you will be.

Just don't not pay it and expect others to move for you, especially if they paid for the service.

Jestocost
04-06-2012, 10:34 PM
A big factor can be where you are flying from. If you can provide some additional details, that might be helpful.

mrsstats
04-06-2012, 10:55 PM
We recenlty flew back from West Palm Beach to LI. With early bird 1 in our group of 4 got B1. The rest of us where at the end of the A's.

MistressMerryweather
04-06-2012, 11:16 PM
We always check in online right at 24 hours and get B seating, but it never matters because we always have small children. Families with small children (4 years and younger)pre-board right between A and B. After A, and before B.
How old is your youngest?

dancin Disney style
04-07-2012, 08:48 AM
We always check in online right at 24 hours and get B seating, but it never matters because we always have small children. Families with small children (4 years and younger)pre-board right between A and B. After A, and before B.
How old is your youngest?

You can't always count on the family preboard....if there are too many familes the gate agents will not allow it.

MistressMerryweather
04-07-2012, 08:58 AM
You can't always count on the family preboard....if there are too many familes the gate agents will not allow it.

I think the number must be pretty high because we have been in some pretty long family pre-board lines and have never been refused.

dancin Disney style
04-07-2012, 09:09 AM
I think the number must be pretty high because we have been in some pretty long family pre-board lines and have never been refused.

It's up to the gate agents whether they do a family preboard or not. I don't know if there is a set number. I've seen, many times, that they have a high number of families and they will make an announcement saying that only one adult can board with the under 4's.

mdsd8700
04-07-2012, 09:24 AM
We have been flying SW as long as I can remember (before the days of A,B,C boarding) and we don't use EBC. There are 4 of us and we sit two and two. We always check in exactly at 24 hours and usually get A but sometimes get B. I know for some it eases their mind and they like using this option. I am not sure if we have just been extremly lucky or what but it has never been an issue not using EBC and I like to save the $80 and use it for something else.

If you are very nervous about A/B or have a larger party then I would suggest going with the EBC.

Enjoy your trip!

pigletto
04-07-2012, 09:42 AM
It can also largely depend on where you are flying from. If the plane is already partially full with people for a connection, you might have more trouble.

If it matters .. pay for the EBCI. I know out of Buffalo we have been mid to late B's WITH the EBCI. Plane was full and apparently everyone had paid for it. We still got seats together, but I don't know that we would have without the EBCI.

If it's really important to you, then I would just go ahead and purchase it for your peace of mind.

StrwLady
04-07-2012, 09:48 AM
This is about the only thing I am happy that I will be in boot for the trip. I will need a wheel chair down to the plane so I will be preboarding. :) I'll still probably check in 24hours in advanced though.

TamaraQT
04-07-2012, 10:08 AM
Is it almost mandatory to buy the early bird check-in in order to make sure your family doesn't end up in Section B and possibly sitting apart?

Being in the B boarding group is ok. I prefer A, but B15 is the worst I've had at the 24 hour check-in mark and we are a family of 5. We found seats without a problem, but sitting together is not a priority. 4 of us like window seats so we sit apart except for DD who will sit in a middle seat with one of us. We fly out of Philadelphia which I think airport size and location can also be a factor of boarding position. More people seem to do EBCI now, or are online at the 24 hour mark. One flight I met a lady who ended up seperated from her family. She wasn't familiar with SW and thought her C12 position was a seat on the plane. :laughing: She was going back and forth looking for her seat. :laughing: Our flights are usually filled to capacity. As another poster said, there are times when the attendants will not let an entire family preboard. That happened to us once, and happens quite a bit in Philadelphia to MCO during summer months. DD and I got on without the rest of the family. That is when we had B positions. But I sat towards the back, behind the wing and my family was able to find window seats near me without a problem. Now with all that said, we are flying SW this year 7/18. I will be driving in to work at the 24 hour check-in mark, so I paid for EBCI to ensure a decent boarding position. We are flying back on AirTran and I paid for seats. To me its worth it, and in the end, it comes down to personal preference. Look at buying EBCI as a little peace of mind for you to have less things to think about. Have a FABULOUS vacation!! :cool1:

goofy4tink
04-07-2012, 01:25 PM
On the vast majority of SW flights I have been on, those in the B group had little trouble finding seats together...at least 2 and 2 that had to take different rows. It was once you got about 1/3 of the way through the C group that people started having a hard time.
But, with that in mind, I usually pay for EBCI for my flight home from WDW. I just prefer to let SW get me checked in vs having to worry about being near a computer at the 24 hr window.
We are seeing people getting higher and higher B groupings at busy times of year.

dancin Disney style
04-07-2012, 05:51 PM
It can also largely depend on where you are flying from. If the plane is already partially full with people for a connection, you might have more trouble.

If it matters .. pay for the EBCI. I know out of Buffalo we have been mid to late B's WITH the EBCI. Plane was full and apparently everyone had paid for it. We still got seats together, but I don't know that we would have without the EBCI.

If it's really important to you, then I would just go ahead and purchase it for your peace of mind.

LOL....the last 4 or 5 times we have flown out of BUF we got A's(around A45ish). I've never bought EBCI for my southbound flight. The flip side of that I usually buy it for my flight home because I'm not always able to check myself in at T24.....so far, with EBCI I've always had a spot in the A20's.

DVC-Don
04-08-2012, 09:49 AM
We've been B-46,47,48, 49 and sat together.

PatMcDuck
04-08-2012, 05:31 PM
TO save $$, you could just have 1-2 pay for the EBCI and have them "save" seats for the others.

It might not make you popular, but SW does not have a rule against it, as far as I know. I see people doing it. Just don't try it in the first 10 rows, then you might have some arguments. :laughing:


I usually fly either alone, (so I just check in at 24 hour mark and roll the dice) or with my handicapped son who needs a pre-board. Last time, on the PHL to MCO flight, we were the FIRST ones on the place, and it was weirdly thrilling. We just took row 4, window and middle seat, nothing that interesting, but it was still pretty cool to watch the place fill up. DH pays for the EBCI when he flyies alone, he tries for the exit row every time.

I will use my iPhone SW app next time to check in for the flight home to PHL, then I do not have to be near a computer.

focusondisney
04-09-2012, 09:37 AM
TO save $$, you could just have 1-2 pay for the EBCI and have them "save" seats for the others.

It might not make you popular, but SW does not have a rule against it, as far as I know. I see people doing it. Just don't try it in the first 10 rows, then you might have some arguments. :laughing:


Actually, I think they do. I'm pretty sure if you are saving seats & someone wants to sit there, the flight attendants will tell you that you can't save seats. Remember SW has open seating. That means you are entitled to sit in any seat that is unoccupied when you board. A "saved" seat is unoccupied. So anyone is entitled to sit there.

Now I don't think many people will argue with you & make you give up the saved seat. But I wouldn't count on saving several seats for a prolonged time, especially near the front.

Edit: if you want to try to save seats, I would suggest heading to the last few rows. Less likely someone will argue for those seats.

lost*in*cyberspace
04-09-2012, 10:26 AM
Actually, I think they do. I'm pretty sure if you are saving seats & someone wants to sit there, the flight attendants will tell you that you can't save seats. Remember SW has open seating. That means you are entitled to sit in any seat that is unoccupied when you board.

WN may have unassigned seating, but their policy is not to get involved with the saving seats issue.

PatMcDuck
04-09-2012, 10:57 AM
WN may have unassigned seating, but their policy is not to get involved with the saving seats issue.


Yes, I think that SW will NOT help you either as the seat saver or the seat taker. So if you are saving seats, someone could just sit on your coat, or push it aside and plop in your row. But if you ask someone if you can sit there, or ask them to move their stuff, they can say no, I am saving this seat. I find the whole thing unpleasant, especially either going or returning from a vacation, so I would avoid the whole confrontation. I don't ask seat savers to move their stuff, and I don't save seats for others. But if I WAS saving seats, I would head for the back third of the plane.

I don't really understand large groups that have to sit together on a short 2-1/2 flight. It is not like they can all carry on one large conversation anyway. (edited to say I am referring to a PHL-MCO route)

lost*in*cyberspace
04-09-2012, 11:01 AM
I don't really understand large groups that have to sit together on a short 2-1/2 flight. It is not like they can all carry on one large conversation anyway.

Oh yes, they can! I have been on some of these very noisy flights.

ironpig70
04-09-2012, 12:25 PM
Thanks for the heads up as we are looking at Southwest and I didn't know this. Also appreciate the heads up on checking in at 24hours.



On a side note after 9 days in the parks do you wanna sit by the kids:rotfl:

summermac
04-09-2012, 12:39 PM
I refuse to pay to pick my seat on ANY flight. I think it's a giant crock of crap that airlines charge for that. I figure if someone seriously refuses to change seats with me so I can sit with my child then I hope they have a fun flight. I know I'll have a nice quiet one. bwhahahaaaaaaa!!

jana616
04-09-2012, 02:30 PM
Question for those who say that they have seen them not allow both adults to board with family boarding. Our group is my DH, myself, and 3 kids (ages 7, 4, and 19 months at the time)...because we have two in the 4 and under group, would we both be allowed to board then, or would one of us be expected to wrangle all 3 kids alone? (And what can I do to guarantee that it's my husband, not me, lol?!)

I plan to do the check-in right at 24 hours and hope they also do have family boarding, but thought I should double-check. We fly from Indy-BWI-MCO, and MCO-Indy on the way back.

Mkrop
04-09-2012, 03:54 PM
I refuse to pay to pick my seat on ANY flight. I think it's a giant crock of crap that airlines charge for that. I figure if someone seriously refuses to change seats with me so I can sit with my child then I hope they have a fun flight. I know I'll have a nice quiet one. bwhahahaaaaaaa!!

How rude! Why should I move for you and your child because you didnt plan properly:confused3 I paid for my seat, I am not moving with that attitude for sure. DH has been kind before moving for people who did not understand SW's seating policy and has gotten screwed by sitting next to some horribly behaved people, adults and kids. I dont think he will be moving anytime soon.

What makes you more important than anyone else? If your child cant take care themselves or behave properly, then you need to do what is necessary to be with your child. And are you that irresponsible as a parent that you would rely on a stranger to assist your child in an emergency, so that you can save a few bucks:confused3 What if that person who refuses to move is a complete, narcisstic jerk, who wont help your child, you are willing to put your child through that:confused3

You have no idea why that person took that seat that they did and if they paid extra for it. Maybe they have medical issues etc, although frankly I dont think it should matter.

DH was on a flight home once after a long business conference and this was on an airline with assigned seats. DH was seated next to two young boys and mom was in the seat ahead of him. He offered to switch with Mom. The boys were complete terrors, fighting and climbing all over the place. Mom had on headphones and ignored the kids. So DH who is a big teddy bear around kiddos, refused to help these kids whatsoever when they couldnt open their snack or juice bags etc. He woke mom up instead EVERY TIME these kiddos needed anything.

pigletto
04-09-2012, 04:06 PM
I refuse to pay to pick my seat on ANY flight. I think it's a giant crock of crap that airlines charge for that. I figure if someone seriously refuses to change seats with me so I can sit with my child then I hope they have a fun flight. I know I'll have a nice quiet one. bwhahahaaaaaaa!!

And I'll pay to make sure I'm sitting with mine because they're my responsibility and I'm not entitled to the seat someone else paid for simply because I can reproduce and want to save a few dollars.
To be honest, unless ill or very scared my kids wouldn't cause problems for others because they weren't raised with entitlement either.

TamaraQT
04-09-2012, 04:32 PM
How rude! Why should I move for you and your child because you didnt plan properly:confused3 I paid for my seat, I am not moving with that attitude for sure. DH has been kind before moving for people who did not understand SW's seating policy and has gotten screwed by sitting next to some horribly behaved people, adults and kids. I dont think he will be moving anytime soon.

What makes you more important than anyone else? If your child cant take care themselves or behave properly, then you need to do what is necessary to be with your child. And are you that irresponsible as a parent that you would rely on a stranger to assist your child in an emergency, so that you can save a few bucks:confused3 What if that person who refuses to move is a complete, narcisstic jerk, who wont help your child, you are willing to put your child through that:confused3

You have no idea why that person took that seat that they did and if they paid extra for it. Maybe they have medical issues etc, although frankly I dont think it should matter.

DH was on a flight home once after a long business conference and this was on an airline with assigned seats. DH was seated next to two young boys and mom was in the seat ahead of him. He offered to switch with Mom. The boys were complete terrors, fighting and climbing all over the place. Mom had on headphones and ignored the kids. So DH who is a big teddy bear around kiddos, refused to help these kids whatsoever when they couldnt open their snack or juice bags etc. He woke mom up instead EVERY TIME these kiddos needed anything.

Good Points. I never thought of it like that. That in the event of an emergency, your child would be dependent on a complete stranger for safety if not sitting together. My 2 boys who sit apart from us are adults, so that is not an issue (over 18). My daughter is 5, so she sits with one of us and I make sure to do check-in at 24 hour mark REGARDLESS. I never took advantage of the "family seating". Meaning that, I still did 24 hour checkin even when I was eligible for family seating. But on that note, I truly think when SW began charging the fee for EBCI, then that means SOME people paid for boarding positions, and to me its not fair to have an ENTIRE FAMILY seated before ones who paid. So to ensure everyone does either 24 hour checkin or EBCI, I think family seating should take place between boarding groups B and C. That way, more than likely everyone who paid the FEE has been seated. Then if a family did the 24 hour mark, more than likely they already received a B group boarding position and can keep their position and not need to be seated between B and C. Just my opinion. But I view that as FAIR to both those who paid for EBCI and those who checked in at 24 hour mark. Like others have said, seating only becomes a problem from mid to late C positions. So to me that would be completely fair for family seating. Leave the business class and handicap alone. They should board first. Business class paid the higher rate and handicap should be allowed to be seated out of sheer courtesy.

ccgirl
04-09-2012, 04:53 PM
Actually, I think they do. I'm pretty sure if you are saving seats & someone wants to sit there, the flight attendants will tell you that you can't save seats. Remember SW has open seating. That means you are entitled to sit in any seat that is unoccupied when you board. A "saved" seat is unoccupied. So anyone is entitled to sit there.

Now I don't think many people will argue with you & make you give up the saved seat. But I wouldn't count on saving several seats for a prolonged time, especially near the front.

Edit: if you want to try to save seats, I would suggest heading to the last few rows. Less likely someone will argue for those seats.

WN may have unassigned seating, but their policy is not to get involved with the saving seats issue.

Yes, I think that SW will NOT help you either as the seat saver or the seat taker. So if you are saving seats, someone could just sit on your coat, or push it aside and plop in your row. But if you ask someone if you can sit there, or ask them to move their stuff, they can say no, I am saving this seat. I find the whole thing unpleasant, especially either going or returning from a vacation, so I would avoid the whole confrontation. I don't ask seat savers to move their stuff, and I don't save seats for others. But if I WAS saving seats, I would head for the back third of the plane.

I don't really understand large groups that have to sit together on a short 2-1/2 flight. It is not like they can all carry on one large conversation anyway. (edited to say I am referring to a PHL-MCO route)

My last two SW flights, they actually made an announcement for people to remove coats and bags from the seats that it was open seating and it was actually holding up boarding (all the people saving seats).

I refuse to pay to pick my seat on ANY flight. I think it's a giant crock of crap that airlines charge for that. I figure if someone seriously refuses to change seats with me so I can sit with my child then I hope they have a fun flight. I know I'll have a nice quiet one. bwhahahaaaaaaa!!
Nothing funny about it. If I'm sitting next to my child and yours which child do you think I am going to help first in an emergency? Bwhahahaaaa...too bad you didn't feel the $10 was worth it. :rolleyes1

Good Points. I never thought of it like that. That in the event of an emergency, your child would be dependent on a complete stranger for safety if not sitting together. My 2 boys who sit apart from us are adults, so that is not an issue (over 18). My daughter is 5, so she sits with one of us and I make sure to do check-in at 24 hour mark REGARDLESS. I never took advantage of the "family seating". Meaning that, I still did 24 hour checkin even when I was eligible for family seating. But on that note, I truly think when SW began charging the fee for EBCI, then that means SOME people paid for boarding positions, and to me its not fair to have an ENTIRE FAMILY seated before ones who paid. So to ensure everyone does either 24 hour checkin or EBCI, I think family seating should take place between boarding groups B and C. That way, more than likely everyone who paid the FEE has been seated. Then if a family did the 24 hour mark, more than likely they already received a B group boarding position and can keep their position and not need to be seated between B and C. Just my opinion. But I view that as FAIR to both those who paid for EBCI and those who checked in at 24 hour mark. Like others have said, seating only becomes a problem from mid to late C positions. So to me that would be completely fair for family seating. Leave the business class and handicap alone. They should board first. Business class paid the higher rate and handicap should be allowed to be seated out of sheer courtesy.

The problem with that is; then families would be "forced" to pay for the EBCI in order to sit together. The pre board is really supposed to be for those with small children as they take longer to get settled. For example, installing the car seat. I have never paid for EBCI and have yet to get split up from my child. There was once that we forgot to check in until we got to the airport. My DH took one child and I took the other.

REgarding family board...not only have I heard them omit the family board, I have often heard them decrease the age to 2. This is out of PVD. It seems when ever we fly more than 50% of the plane has small children.

Keep in mind you can check in using your web enabled phone. The boarding position is assigned when you check in not when you print your pass. So, you can check in 24 hours in advance using your phone and just print your pass when you get to the airport.

summermac
04-09-2012, 04:55 PM
Oh for pete's sake...it's called a joke. Try having some humor in your life. Notice the "bwhahahaa" at the end of my post. Jeesh. My children are certainly not entitled as you suggest. Wow. You concluded all that from a post on a message board?

I think it's pretty crappy that airlines force you into paying for what I believe should be included in the price. Where else in this world do you buy a ticket for something and then pay MORE to pick your seat? I know Southwest has always done it as a general admission thing but other airlines certainly did not. It's just another way to get you to pay more money. I certainly don't order concert tickets AND then be told that I have to pay another $10-$15 to then pick my seat. It's insane. Just put the stupid fee into the ticket!

That said the thought of an emergency didn't occur to me. Thanks for pointing that out. I try not to think of things like that b/c I prefer to live in my bubble world of nothing bad happening on an airplane. I still stand by my belief that a seat assignment should be given upon ordering of the tickets and it should not cost. It irritates me.

goofy4tink
04-09-2012, 05:52 PM
TO save $$, you could just have 1-2 pay for the EBCI and have them "save" seats for the others.

It might not make you popular, but SW does not have a rule against it, as far as I know. I see people doing it. Just don't try it in the first 10 rows, then you might have some arguments. :laughing:


I usually fly either alone, (so I just check in at 24 hour mark and roll the dice) or with my handicapped son who needs a pre-board. Last time, on the PHL to MCO flight, we were the FIRST ones on the place, and it was weirdly thrilling. We just took row 4, window and middle seat, nothing that interesting, but it was still pretty cool to watch the place fill up. DH pays for the EBCI when he flyies alone, he tries for the exit row every time.

I will use my iPhone SW app next time to check in for the flight home to PHL, then I do not have to be near a computer.
There was one SW flight I was on, with my dd. We had fairly early boarding spots...so were able to secure seats in the front of the plane...in front of the wing. Well....behind us a bit was a family of about 8 or so. They boarded, and took seats in 4 different rows...2 in one row, 2 in the second, 2 in the third and 2 in the fourth. They took the aisle and window seats with jackets in the middle seats. THe FA made an announcement that it was a full flight and there were NO empty seats. Well.....you should have seen that family scramble when it occured to them that they would all have strangers seated in between them!!! Some folks boarding in the C group got very lucky and had seats right up front!!!

I refuse to pay to pick my seat on ANY flight. I think it's a giant crock of crap that airlines charge for that. I figure if someone seriously refuses to change seats with me so I can sit with my child then I hope they have a fun flight. I know I'll have a nice quiet one. bwhahahaaaaaaa!!
Um, nope.

Question for those who say that they have seen them not allow both adults to board with family boarding. Our group is my DH, myself, and 3 kids (ages 7, 4, and 19 months at the time)...because we have two in the 4 and under group, would we both be allowed to board then, or would one of us be expected to wrangle all 3 kids alone? (And what can I do to guarantee that it's my husband, not me, lol?!)

I plan to do the check-in right at 24 hours and hope they also do have family boarding, but thought I should double-check. We fly from Indy-BWI-MCO, and MCO-Indy on the way back.
I doubt you'll have an issue. I imagine that they will allow the entire family to board together...I've seen it happen all the time..as long as aunt joan and uncle bill and gram aren't trying to board with you!!!

Oh for pete's sake...it's called a joke. Try having some humor in your life. Notice the "bwhahahaa" at the end of my post. Jeesh. My children are certainly not entitled as you suggest. Wow. You concluded all that from a post on a message board?

I think it's pretty crappy that airlines force you into paying for what I believe should be included in the price. Where else in this world do you buy a ticket for something and then pay MORE to pick your seat? I know Southwest has always done it as a general admission thing but other airlines certainly did not. It's just another way to get you to pay more money. I certainly don't order concert tickets AND then be told that I have to pay another $10-$15 to then pick my seat. It's insane. Just put the stupid fee into the ticket!

That said the thought of an emergency didn't occur to me. Thanks for pointing that out. I try not to think of things like that b/c I prefer to live in my bubble world of nothing bad happening on an airplane. I still stand by my belief that a seat assignment should be given upon ordering of the tickets and it should not cost. It irritates me.
But, it's not really funny since there are a lot of people who seriously consider that very thing.
You make a comparison of a concert...well, do you sit for hours on end, trying to find the cheapest available concert...even if it isn't the perfect concert for you, you book it because it's the cheapest??? That's exactly what is happening with airfares. We all want those really cheap airfares...so we search them out. And then book them. But the airlines can't really stay in business with those fares..so they have to add other ways to make money. I remember days when it cost nothing to check a bag, it cost nothing to get something 'real' to eat on a flight, or to watch a movie. Or, even get a pillow!! Now?? You're lucky if you get soda free of charge. Everything is charged piecemeal..and that's okay with me. I can decide what I feel is worth spending money on. You see, back in the day of 'freebies in the air' the fares were a lot higher than they are now. Something has to give.
If you want extra legroom you have to pay for it. You want to check more than one bag? Pay for it, and sometimes pay for that first bag. Yep, we've brought this on ourselves. I see people asking all the time if we'll ever see those terrific $79 fares to MCO from New England!!!

NotUrsula
04-09-2012, 06:02 PM
...[snip]
But on that note, I truly think when SW began charging the fee for EBCI, then that means SOME people paid for boarding positions, and to me its not fair to have an ENTIRE FAMILY seated before ones who paid. So to ensure everyone does either 24 hour checkin or EBCI, I think family seating should take place between boarding groups B and C. That way, more than likely everyone who paid the FEE has been seated. Then if a family did the 24 hour mark, more than likely they already received a B group boarding position and can keep their position and not need to be seated between B and C. Just my opinion. But I view that as FAIR to both those who paid for EBCI and those who checked in at 24 hour mark. Like others have said, seating only becomes a problem from mid to late C positions. [snip]

Just FYI, this idea would not fly because it is not legal. If you pay for a seat for your under-40-pound child and you wish to use a carseat on the aircraft, Federal Law gives you the right to use it. However, there are certain seating positions that children who are in carseats cannot be in, namely the exit rows and the rows directly in front of and behind the exit rows. Kids in carseats also must be in the window position and have a responsible adult seated directly next to them. For that reason, an airline that has open seating MUST give families with young children a certain level of priority in boarding, because if they do not, they can end up having to force other passengers who have already been seated to move to accomodate those carseats.

NOTHING is more sacred to SWA than their turn times; they would never adopt a boarding pattern that would make it at all likely that they would have to delay boarding in order to shuffle passengers to accomodate carseats. There is a really good reason why they make it a point to get any possible carseats on board well before available seat pairs that include window positions start to become scarce.

summermac
04-09-2012, 06:56 PM
You are right re: the fares. We definitely have caused a lot of this in regards to all the extra fees in a search for fares lower & lower. I will accept that. I don't like it but it is it what it is I suppose. I too remember the good old days of free checked bags (heck it might have been two!) and charging for that annoys me too. I only ever had one meal when I flew from PIT to San Fran direct and it was terrible. I'll give up the meal. I sure do miss the days of assigned seats though.

summermac
04-09-2012, 07:43 PM
So I just went to AirTran to see if there were any seats I could pick and I mocked a flight (not realizing I could look my itin up without having a log in) and was freaking out b/c the only available seats to pick were exit rows which we can't sit in those with the kids and then 3 other single seats for a total of 13 seats. Then I found out I could look up the itin so I did that. Strangely enough my family has reserved seats in 10A, 10C, 10D and 10E for our flight to Orlando. I did not pay for those. There is only one ticket left for purchase so maybe that's why seats are now assigned.

We do not have a seat assigned for our return trip though and on the seat selection tool there are still 40 seats left to choose from and there are a number of tickets still available for this flight - at least 7 b/c that's the number I put in when I was mocking the trip to look for available seats originally as 7 is our party size.

Did I just luck out and end up assigned a seat b/c of the kids and having so few choices (and most of them being exit rows) left?

KrazeeK120
04-09-2012, 08:36 PM
So I just went to AirTran to see if there were any seats I could pick and I mocked a flight (not realizing I could look my itin up without having a log in) and was freaking out b/c the only available seats to pick were exit rows which we can't sit in those with the kids and then 3 other single seats for a total of 13 seats. Then I found out I could look up the itin so I did that. Strangely enough my family has reserved seats in 10A, 10C, 10D and 10E for our flight to Orlando. I did not pay for those. There is only one ticket left for purchase so maybe that's why seats are now assigned.

We do not have a seat assigned for our return trip though and on the seat selection tool there are still 40 seats left to choose from and there are a number of tickets still available for this flight - at least 7 b/c that's the number I put in when I was mocking the trip to look for available seats originally as 7 is our party size.

Did I just luck out and end up assigned a seat b/c of the kids and having so few choices (and most of them being exit rows) left?

AirTran does not charge for seat selection on all flights. There are different "fare classes," some of which entitle you to choose your seat free of charge.

I flew on AirTran 2 weeks ago to MCO. I had a layover in Atlanta on the way down and direct on the way back (we do not have daily direct service - my "going" day was not a day that we have a direct flight). I was able to select seats free of charge for the way down (and then got upgraded to exit row for both flights for free at the airport!), but had to pay for the way back. The return flight was a cheaper flight to start with, so maybe on the more expensive flights, they build the seat charge in. I'm not positive how it works, but I 100% know that I did NOT pay extra for seat selection on my 2 "going" flights.

summermac
04-09-2012, 08:59 PM
This flight was cheap!! As in $90 each leg. Ah well maybe I got some Disney magic.

disneydeal
04-09-2012, 09:18 PM
I'm flying with just my 9 year old and I so we obviously want to sit together.. so for peace of mind i guess i'll pay for early bird... it's what $10 each way per person so $ 40 for us?

focusondisney
04-09-2012, 10:21 PM
My last two SW flights, they actually made an announcement for people to remove coats and bags from the seats that it was open seating and it was actually holding up boarding (all the people saving seats).


Thank you. I knew I could not the only one who has heard flight attendants enforce the no saving seats. Southwest wants boarding to go as quickly as possible. If I stand in the aisle holding things up coz I want to sit in a "saved" seat, the attendants sure will get involved.

pigletto
04-09-2012, 10:28 PM
I'm flying with just my 9 year old and I so we obviously want to sit together.. so for peace of mind i guess i'll pay for early bird... it's what $10 each way per person so $ 40 for us?

I would imagine you'd get seats together for the two of you by checking in at exactly the 24hour prior mark. But like you, I don't want to chance it when it's a "must sit together" situation so I bought the EBCI.

It's 10 per person per flight. So yes, 40 dollars for the two of you there and back.
The nice thing about it is you don't have to remember to check in 24 hours earlier for your return flight. You can just enjoy your day at the park.

ironpig70
04-10-2012, 01:59 AM
I think it's pretty crappy that airlines force you into paying for what I believe should be included in the price. Where else in this world do you buy a ticket for something and then pay MORE to pick your seat? I know Southwest has always done it as a general admission thing but other airlines certainly did not. It's just another way to get you to pay more money. I certainly don't order concert tickets AND then be told that I have to pay another $10-$15 to then pick my seat. It's insane. Just put the stupid fee into the ticket!



It's a game the airlines play.

Delta charges for bags but free seats

Southwest gives you free bags but charges for seats

One way or another they have you

papamouse1
04-10-2012, 02:16 AM
You also have to take into consideration.... how busy is the airport you are flying out of... how busy is the route you are flying... what time of year are you flying.

I probably buy the addon about half the time, but usually only if traveling holidays, and have never had issues with B boarding passes. There have been a couple times when kind folks gave up seats and made sure my kids had my wife or I with them. Kindness and a grateful attitude works! :thumbsup2

Mkrop
04-10-2012, 08:00 AM
Oh for pete's sake...it's called a joke. Try having some humor in your life. Notice the "bwhahahaa" at the end of my post. Jeesh. My children are certainly not entitled as you suggest. Wow. You concluded all that from a post on a message board?

I think it's pretty crappy that airlines force you into paying for what I believe should be included in the price. Where else in this world do you buy a ticket for something and then pay MORE to pick your seat? I know Southwest has always done it as a general admission thing but other airlines certainly did not. It's just another way to get you to pay more money. I certainly don't order concert tickets AND then be told that I have to pay another $10-$15 to then pick my seat. It's insane. Just put the stupid fee into the ticket!

That said the thought of an emergency didn't occur to me. Thanks for pointing that out. I try not to think of things like that b/c I prefer to live in my bubble world of nothing bad happening on an airplane. I still stand by my belief that a seat assignment should be given upon ordering of the tickets and it should not cost. It irritates me.

Glad to hear you were joking but unfortunately there are too many parents out there who arent, like the example I gave of the lady who let her kids torment DH and she was one row ahead:eek:

And maybe I think too much about bad things, bc I did think of an emergency, and getting my child to follow the directions. Also I dont know this person that I would be leaving my child with, what if they really were some kind of creep....maybe I am too paranoid. :confused3 Also both my DSs have had ear troubles landing, so I would want to be there for them to help them if I can or at least hold their hand.

I dont think you can compare this to a concert...you know exactly what seat you are getting and you pick the level etc, if you dont like what Ticketmaster picks for you, you can ask it to search again. Maybe a traditional airline that assigns seats would be better for you than an open seating like SW.

triciari
04-10-2012, 10:32 AM
Even though my family of 5 is still eligible for early boarding, I opted to buy the EBCI for our flight next week because

1). It's during our spring break and is sold out ( unfortunately I didn't add ebci until the flight was already close to sold out!)

2). My mother will be flying home with us, and she couldn't take part in the family boarding, and

3). It's so much better not to have to stop 24 hours ahead of the flight and try to check in for a good seat! If you ask the concierge to do it, they will, but not ever as quickly as I would!

So, I'll just hope that my ebci grants us an A, and if it doesn't, we'll do family boarding. SW is the only airline that flies direct from my airport, so it's he only one I'll consider with 3 kids!

NotUrsula
04-10-2012, 02:45 PM
You are right re: the fares. We definitely have caused a lot of this in regards to all the extra fees in a search for fares lower & lower. I will accept that. I don't like it but it is it what it is I suppose. I too remember the good old days of free checked bags (heck it might have been two!) and charging for that annoys me too. I only ever had one meal when I flew from PIT to San Fran direct and it was terrible. I'll give up the meal. I sure do miss the days of assigned seats though.

Nah, in spite of what they would like us to think, it's not really about passengers looking for lower fares; it is about bean-counters looking to maximize revenue. Breaking down the cost and separating out the "fees" from the "fare" is a tax-saving strategy. The current tax structure charges airlines taxes on a percentage of the fare, but fees are not taxed. Therefore, any revenue that comes in as a "fee" is pure profit. It is not a coincidence that airlines that have gone over to the a la carte model are making a lot more money all of a sudden.

As for SWA EBCI ... IME, resort-intensive routes are pretty much the only ones where more passengers buy it than do not. On the majority of flights to/from non-resort destinations you'll have no trouble at all getting multiple contiguous seats without paying it.

jujube
04-10-2012, 05:58 PM
I always pay for EBCI when we fly to and from WDW. There is enough planning invovled w/out me having to worry about checking in at exactly 24 hours before especially since we fly out at 6am. The day before we leave is when i schedule hair, manicure, spray tan appts and I want to be able to sleep in a bit. Then when we're at WDW, I certainly don't want to have to interrupt what I'm doing to check in. This is just my preference. We do not have to pay for the bagw which with other ailrines is about $25 one way. I save $30 per person.
Also SW is the the airline out of our nearest ariport that flies non stop to MCO.