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Old 09-09-2013, 04:03 PM   #271
pixidust1976
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When you book with SW on an Airtran flight you do get a seat assignment at the time of online check in. We had assigned seats on three of our four tickets and SHOULD HAVE had an assigned seat on the fourth but the system only printed two dashes instead of our seat assignment. I called as soon as I saw this and the told me verbally the seat assignment that I wrote above the two dashes on the printed boarding pass, however when we got there they told us that the boarding pass wasn't valid and to go to customer service. By the time we got back, the seats that were assigned to us had other people sitting in them and we asked the flight attendant to make the people move out of the seats that were clearly ours because our boarding passes showed that they were our seats and she said she couldn't make them move because they were seated with their children but made no qualms about making me and my children sit in any available seat that would have had us sitting apart.

This thread is about actual experiences with airtran through southwest... and this was my actual experience.
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Old 09-09-2013, 05:04 PM   #272
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Originally Posted by pixidust1976 View Post
When you book with SW on an Airtran flight you do get a seat assignment at the time of online check in. We had assigned seats on three of our four tickets and SHOULD HAVE had an assigned seat on the fourth but the system only printed two dashes instead of our seat assignment. I called as soon as I saw this and the told me verbally the seat assignment that I wrote above the two dashes on the printed boarding pass, however when we got there they told us that the boarding pass wasn't valid and to go to customer service. By the time we got back, the seats that were assigned to us had other people sitting in them and we asked the flight attendant to make the people move out of the seats that were clearly ours because our boarding passes showed that they were our seats and she said she couldn't make them move because they were seated with their children but made no qualms about making me and my children sit in any available seat that would have had us sitting apart.

This thread is about actual experiences with airtran through southwest... and this was my actual experience.
Next time ask for the "flight leader" or "supervisor" (not sure what AirTran calls them) There is someone in charge and I have made the "we just wanted to sit here" group move on a lot of flights. The FA in this case was wrong and normally I would suggest you complain, but ... unless SW has taken over the management of the complaint dept at AirTran you won't get far.

However, I think your big error here is booking via a method that gives you basically "last call" on the seat assignment.

I realize that if I book a seat on airline X it might get moved, but I check my flights a lot and can generally call the airline and deal with it. When I fly AirTran I pay for a seat assignment so I get what I want. I do fly SW but I pay for EBCI.

If sitting together is important being the "last to select" is not a good situation IMHO
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:20 PM   #273
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I checked in for my flight home last night (1/2 hr late) i purposely did this because i wanted to see what would happen if i was past the 24hr mark. I was assigned 11 d,e&f! Pleasantly surprised!
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:44 AM   #274
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I checked in for my flight home last night (1/2 hr late) i purposely did this because i wanted to see what would happen if i was past the 24hr mark. I was assigned 11 d,e&f! Pleasantly surprised!
Ok maybe silly question. Is there an advantage to not doing it at exactly 24hr mark?
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:10 PM   #275
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Ok maybe silly question. Is there an advantage to not doing it at exactly 24hr mark?
I dont know lol but it was just my theory i checked in on the way down at the exact 24hr mark and it gave us seats all over. So i was thinking maybe wait a little then check in... Then again the plane home wasnt even full so really i think its just a crap shoot
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:20 PM   #276
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Originally Posted by beachgrl001 View Post
I checked in for my flight home last night (1/2 hr late) i purposely did this because i wanted to see what would happen if i was past the 24hr mark. I was assigned 11 d,e&f! Pleasantly surprised!
The question is does the AirTran system assign seats for everyone who doesn't have seats at the 24 hour mark or does the system wait until each person individually checks in?
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:00 PM   #277
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Just checked in and we have 3 seats together. I checked in right at the 24hr mark.

I also want to add that when I looked at the seating chart this morning (4hrs) before 24hr check in mark, it only showed 5 seats available randomly through the plane besides emergency row. I was pretty much prepared for us all to be separated but surprise we are together....yay!

Therefore I guess we shouldn't read into the seat chart assignment too much because I know the seats we got were showing unavailable this morning.
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:21 AM   #278
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I just checked the prices for AirTran and they come up as almost $200 more for the two of us to fly with them rather than just go with Southwest. That plus baggage fees - really?
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:15 AM   #279
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Originally Posted by mandas08 View Post
Just checked in and we have 3 seats together. I checked in right at the 24hr mark.

I also want to add that when I looked at the seating chart this morning (4hrs) before 24hr check in mark, it only showed 5 seats available randomly through the plane besides emergency row. I was pretty much prepared for us all to be separated but surprise we are together....yay!

Therefore I guess we shouldn't read into the seat chart assignment too much because I know the seats we got were showing unavailable this morning.
This was me this morning! We have four seats together on our way down, hoping we luck out on the way back too. Have a safe trip!
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:48 AM   #280
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Therefore I guess we shouldn't read into the seat chart assignment too much because I know the seats we got were showing unavailable this morning.
I don't know how it all works, but it seems like AirTran blocks out a range of seats for Southwest bookings, then assigns them at Southwest checkin time. Interesting that someone posted that the same flight was showing for a much higher price on the AirTran website than Southwest. That would make me think that the AirTran seats were mostly sold out, but there was still some in the Southwest block. This is totally a guess on my part...I could be completely wrong
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:10 AM   #281
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Originally Posted by pixidust1976 View Post
Even though they didn't have a seat assigned to my daughter, there was an empty seat on the plane so we didn't need bumped, but only because someone on the plane missed the flight.

By the time we worked all this out at the customer service desk and got on the plane, the three seats we had in row 11 and 12 had other people sitting in our seats that said they didn't have to move because they were seated with their children.

The flight attendant is barking at us to take ANY OPEN SEAT because the plane can't leave until we are seated. Kindly, a childless couple that were seated together saw my daughter crying and gave up their seats beside each other so that at least she could sit with her dad. The rest of us were scattered about the plane.

The moral of this story is that if your boarding pass prints with only dashes where a seat number should be... don't assume that a call to Southwest will fix it. Visit customer service and request that they print you a valid boarding pass or you will get to the gate at boarding and get sent to customer service which lets the plane fill up and then you are left clambering for seats. OR, better yet... fly an airline that lets you select seats to make sure you get them.
this is the first time I've ever heard of this sort of issue. Had to be frustrating for you. Curious, did u check bags? didn't the rep look @ your boarding pass & ID before handing u ur baggage claim tags? You'd think they'd have caught the problem there.

it is true FAs do urge everybody to find a seat ASAP as the airlines do want to keep their on-time record. Flights to MCO have lots of kids/novice travelers and tend to take a longer time to board.

several times pre-SWA switch over to AT, booking and paying for seat assignments directly thru AT, I have experienced seat poachers. they boarded when their zone was called before mine. I never interact with the individuals, just summon a FA to handle the situation. it's their job, not mine, to enforce the seating that the airline has designated. Conversely, out of two subsequent trips since the switch booking AT thru SWA, haven't had to deal with finding bodies in 'our' seats.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:25 AM   #282
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Originally Posted by richmo

I don't know how it all works, but it seems like AirTran blocks out a range of seats for Southwest bookings, then assigns them at Southwest checkin time. Interesting that someone posted that the same flight was showing for a much higher price on the AirTran website than Southwest. That would make me think that the AirTran seats were mostly sold out, but there was still some in the Southwest block. This is totally a guess on my part...I could be completely wrong
That's makes sense too.
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Old 09-13-2013, 04:52 PM   #283
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Just checked in and we have 3 seats together. I checked in right at the 24hr mark.

I also want to add that when I looked at the seating chart this morning (4hrs) before 24hr check in mark, it only showed 5 seats available randomly through the plane besides emergency row. I was pretty much prepared for us all to be separated but surprise we are together....yay!

Therefore I guess we shouldn't read into the seat chart assignment too much because I know the seats we got were showing unavailable this morning.
I would be curious to know if your seats were in rows 10 or 11. These rows are held back for people with disabilities. They can be assigned by an AirTran agent ahead of time to an AT passenger thru the phone line but I was just told over the phone you cannot select them online 'yourself' ahead of time. If they are not assigned out at the 24 hour mark they will be given out to the passengers who booked tickets thru the SW website. However, if a guest with a disability needs one of these seats when they check in at the gate, you (as in whoever has originally been assigned that seat) will be bumped and reassigned to another seat. Since Disabled travelers on SW are preboarded this is a non issue, but because AT cannot do that (for those passengers that bought their tickets thru the SW website) and they are REQUIRED to meet the needs of the disabled guest in order to comply with Air Carrier Access Act (similar to ADA laws), passengers in those seats, If Needed, will have to be reseated elsewhere. Not trying to start any arguments or debates, but this is direct from AirTran and this is policy in order to comply with the law. So just a heads up that if you are in rows 10 or 11 and a disabled passenger that booked a ticket thru SW checks in at the gate, you could be reseated at the last minute. AT has to accommodate the disabled passenger or they are in noncompliance with the ACAA. That is probably why SW does the preboarding so that this is a nonissue...
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Old 09-19-2013, 01:29 PM   #284
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We didn't have any problems with seats for our trip (2 adults, 2 children)

On the way there, we had 2 seats together, and 2 random window seats. We easily switched seats with the guy next to us, who was more than happy to switch b/c his wife was sitting next to one of our assigned seats!

On the way home, we were assigned 2+2, so need so switch around!

One thing I did want to point out, was that we witnessed several upset SW customers who wanted to fly stand by on our flight home. Apparently, if you book through SW on an Airtran flight, and want to switch to an earlier flight, you need to cancel and re-book at the last minute fare (which in this case, was $227). If they had booked directly through Airtran, they would have been able to switch flights with no charge.

Just something to think about if you think you might want to try for an earlier flight. I think this applies more to ppl flying for business, than families at Disney...but wanted to share the info!!
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Old 09-19-2013, 04:44 PM   #285
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this is the first time I've ever heard of this sort of issue. Had to be frustrating for you. Curious, did u check bags? didn't the rep look @ your boarding pass & ID before handing u ur baggage claim tags? You'd think they'd have caught the problem there.
I think the problem was that they were overbooked. They didn't have an empty seat for her when they checked in.

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One thing I did want to point out, was that we witnessed several upset SW customers who wanted to fly stand by on our flight home. Apparently, if you book through SW on an Airtran flight, and want to switch to an earlier flight, you need to cancel and re-book at the last minute fare (which in this case, was $227). If they had booked directly through Airtran, they would have been able to switch flights with no charge.

Just something to think about if you think you might want to try for an earlier flight. I think this applies more to ppl flying for business, than families at Disney...but wanted to share the info!!
That is SW's policy for standby. You have to upgrade to full fare. One area where they are more strict than other airlines.
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