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Old 12-19-2012, 07:56 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Keegansmommy View Post
We flew SW for the first time in April and I didn't really think it was any faster to board than any other airline.
Statistics over the long term clearly show otherwise. SWA has much faster turn times than most (maybe all) of the other airlines and the open seating policy is one of the key reasons.
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:22 PM   #62
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It also saves them from dealing with people who want their seats changed, both on the phone and at the airport.
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:25 AM   #63
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Most B seating assignments are still no problem even with 4 passengers. I have yet to get a low B earlybird assignment even within a week of my flight and that's on packed flights from Chicago to MCO.
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:23 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Princess on the Run View Post
So true! I fly SWA a lot. I was pretty close to A-listing this year but won't make it -- maybe next year! In real life, in the airports, it works out just fine with very little stress. It wasn't until I came to DIS and found this forum that I learned about all the angst and drama it supposedly causes. I feel like people who don't fly that often are more stressed out about it than those who fly regularly (or at least once/twice a year). But it really is no different than going to the movies and finding seats. Once you get it, most people like it. Like a PP said, it's actually easier than everyone trying to scoot around people getting to their assigned seats (or getting to your seat and finding an unfavorable travel companion next to you). And if you don't like it, don't fly SWA.




But knowing that this may in fact happen (and is very likely to happen) you can decide not to buy EBCI. Or, if it's that important to get on first, pay BS fares and you won't have to worry. The benefit of the cheaper flight comes with the cost of open seating. I think it's a great trade but if others don't, they have other options.
And again, I have no issues with that. BUT...if SW policy says that one parent may board with one child, 4 and under, in the family boarding group (although I can see exceptions being made for one parent and two kids), but the gate agent then allows the entire group, consisting of mom, dad, that one 3 y/o, the other 3 kids, grandma, grandpa, and the aunt and uncle and their 3 kids, board together in family boarding?? Yeah, that's an issue.
SW needs to set policy and stick to it. Man, it looks like they are taking a page from Disney's policy manual....state the policy and then allow guests to do pretty much what they want in order to avoid an uproar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keegansmommy View Post
We flew SW for the first time in April and I didn't really think it was any faster to board than any other airline.

On our trip TO Orlando, my husband and one son had A boarding passes and my other son and I had B boarding passes. I asked the SW employee at the gate if my other son and I could board during family boarding and she told us just to get on in the A group with my husband and younger son (kids were 4 and 2). That could be part of the problem too....seems like the employees make up their own rules part of the time.
And again, that's the issue. If your dh and ds has the last two A spots, and you and your other ds had the first two B spots, then fine. Otherwise, members really should go to the further back spots.

Nothing is perfect. SW boarding does work very well. It is faster. I do wish SW would adhere to their own policy about family boarding though. It's almost as bad as other airlines saying that those with infants or other children that need more time to board and get settled can board before the 'regular' ticket holders..and then you see all those families with kids, none of whom are under the age of 5, getting in line to board. One time when this happened (flying JB by the way), when my dd, then 12, saw this happen, she turned to me and saidk..'Hey, I'm a kid and I can be verrrrrrrrry slow if I have to be. Can we board early too????' Yes, she was dripping with sarcasm...she got it. That behaviour drives me nuts. And of course, overhead space is then hard to find. From now on?? I book the back of the plane to be sure I have available space.
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:08 AM   #65
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JMO but SW needs to have a policy against seat saving and might need to limit the number of "extended" family members allowed to participate during family "mid-boarding".
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:20 AM   #66
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JMO but SW needs to have a policy against seat saving and might need to limit the number of "extended" family members allowed to participate during family "mid-boarding".
I agree this is a major problem. I can't stand SW, but they are the only carrier to fly nonstop to Orlando from my airport so we fly them. Last August a women preboarded with the medical preboards with her son and then saved three rows of seats. I called SW after the flight. I did not want anything, just wanted to let them know this should not be allowed and they basically told me it was ok.

Another trip we paid for EBCI and got B2-5. There was a family reunion type of group at the airport (they all had matching Disney shirts with the family name on it). There were 18 of them and they were all allowed to board during family boarding, before us. There were grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc, but they all boarded them. At one point one of the women told her mother (the grandmother) she couldn't board early, and she replied really loud "Let them try to stop me, I am your mother, aren't I!" If SW enforced the rule of only parents and young children, more then half of them would not have been allowed to board then.

The solution should not be for people to not buy EBCI, it should be for SW to enfore the rules they have stated on their website. This will help keep everyone happier.
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:40 PM   #67
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Another trip we paid for EBCI and got B2-5. There was a family reunion type of group at the airport (they all had matching Disney shirts with the family name on it). There were 18 of them and they were all allowed to board during family boarding, before us. There were grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc, but they all boarded them.
I think that when they have a large group flying together, they let them do that to get them out of the way or something. I was flying alone and had a connecting flight with a plane change and somehow managed A16 (Wooo!) and then they pre-boarded 32 HS band members and chaperones. DOH!!! I get it that they wanted those kids in the back of the plane and out of everyone's way, but it basically left only a handful of us left to actually board the plane by the time they were all on.
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:10 PM   #68
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Last October I flew SW with my DH. I did the EBCI and we ended up with seats in the high B's flying out of MCO. By the time they boarded the families and everyone with EB before us, we ended up getting the last two seats together on the plane. I think that between people holding seats, and the high number of people that are paying the extra for the EB, it is not much of a benefit. I much preferred SW's old way, where it was more first come, first serve.
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:17 PM   #69
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Last October I flew SW with my DH. I did the EBCI and we ended up with seats in the high B's flying out of MCO. By the time they boarded the families and everyone with EB before us, we ended up getting the last two seats together on the plane. I think that between people holding seats, and the high number of people that are paying the extra for the EB, it is not much of a benefit. I much preferred SW's old way, where it was more first come, first serve.
You know, if you wanted to be a witch you could always sit in those saved seats. No policy against doing that either. I think that falls under what is good for the goose is good for the gander.
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:04 PM   #70
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Last time we flew DD had just turned 5. Since SW policy says preboarding is for 4 and under we got in line with the B group. A mom dad and 2 preteens got in the family line and they went right in. It was so frustrating!
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:21 AM   #71
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Last time we flew DD had just turned 5. Since SW policy says preboarding is for 4 and under we got in line with the B group. A mom dad and 2 preteens got in the family line and they went right in. It was so frustrating!
I have seen this so many times. I think enforcing the rules would help alleviate most of the problems.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:28 AM   #72
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I think it is up to the gate agent. I have usually seen both parents and all children in the family board. I can't say I've ever heard "one parent, one child". I have heard them say no grandparents, aunts, etc. Not that it really matters because SW doesn't seem to enforce no seat saving.
No, but the business travelers of this world do it for them. We take the seat we want and watch the crying begin! It's part of our travel entertainment So next time someone is holding three rows of seats and you want one of them TAKE IT! The FAs won't help the passenger LOL! Just say nicely "it's not allowed to save seats and it's rude" and move thier stuff and sit down! Hysteria will ensure. You will be hysterical when the family members board later and all of them are grown adults (it's even better if they are drunk because instead of getting in line to board they sat at the bar because "grandma is saving us a seat" LOL!)

However, if you folks complain to SW when the family with 10 people or the teenagers boards etc... then something will happen. SW is very "sensitive" to consumer feedback. Posting on here probably won't get things changed~!
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:36 PM   #73
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However, if you folks complain to SW when the family with 10 people or the teenagers boards etc... then something will happen. SW is very "sensitive" to consumer feedback. Posting on here probably won't get things changed~!
I complained to SW and was told "saving seats is a sensitive issue" and they were not going to act upon it.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:20 PM   #74
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I complained to SW and was told "saving seats is a sensitive issue" and they were not going to act upon it.
I don't understand why, they are losing money. People have caught on to only buying one EBCI and saving the rest of the seats.
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:05 AM   #75
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I don't understand why, they are losing money. People have caught on to only buying one EBCI and saving the rest of the seats.
I agree with you .....we paid for EBCI for the two of us boarded the flight and one guy was saving 8 seats all in the exit rows....the flight attendant was standing right there and wouldn't do anything as we tried to sit in 2 of them...she said call customer service....I did after our flight....they refunded our $20 for EBCI....so they are losing money there too if people call and they have to refund $$
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