Please explain A and B seats?

dangler

<font color=darkorchid>TY, are we going to need a
Joined
Mar 7, 2005
Hi,

We have always had assigned seating when flying, I have heard that some airlines have A and B seats. I assume A seats get first pick and B get the remainder? Is this right? What would happen if we got last pick, would I still be seated with my kids? Just a little worried about this! Any info would be great :earsgirl:
 

marty

Earning My Ears
Joined
Apr 14, 2000
Years ago, when flying to Orlando, we did not get seats together. The flight attendant asked if anyone would trade, but there were no volunteers. So I went up to the man sitting beside my youngest and explained that she had a tendency toward airsickness, told him where I would be sitting and asked if he would have the attendant come get me if she threw up. Would you believe he was VERY willing to trade seats with me?
 

dudspizza

I married in to a Disney crazy family... now I hav
Joined
Jun 1, 2004
I am assuming you are talking about A, B, and C boarding passes. This is a Southwest Airlines boarding procedure.

Most airlines have assigned seating. Each seat in a row is lettered A, B, C, D, so on..... My upcoming flight we have 8C, 8D, 8E, and 8F. C and D are aisle seats, E is a middle and F is a window...

Duds
 

Obi-Wan Pinobi

<font color=red>Jedi moderator who likes to live o
Joined
Apr 26, 2001
I'm guessing you're talking about the boarding procedure on Southwest.

Southwest doesn't assign seats, but give passengers a card that reads A, B, or C, depending on how soon they arrive to check in. The A group, the people that arrived and checked in the earliest, board first and have first pick of where to sit. The B group goes next, then the C.

AFAIK, Southwest is the only airline that does not assign seats. Last time I flew Delta, they had different areas of the plane with designated letters and boarded that way instead of the old "board the back of the plane first, 10 rows at a time" method.
 

dangler

<font color=darkorchid>TY, are we going to need a
Joined
Mar 7, 2005
Thanks for the info. Being the C for boarding is what worried me, not sitting with my kids, but I will give the airsickness a try if we are separated! That is really good :rotfl: I never would have thought of that myself, I would have just been really mad and probably thrown a fit!
Thanks again for the info! :flower:
 

DadOf2Princesses

WL Junkie
Joined
Mar 23, 2005
I could be wrong on this (never flew Southwest myself), but don't people with "young children" and "special needs" get first seating? Even before A's?

I guess it all depends on how young "young children" is.
Anyone know?
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2004
Well, with any other airline, customers with special needs and families with children 2 years of age and under are supposed to get pre-boarded before general boarding occurs. However, if you are flying Southwest Airlines, that may not happen. And yes, they have the A line, the B line, and the C line for boarding their aircraft, which seems more like a cattle-call than an aircraft boarding procedure. They will, interestingly enough, be eliminating this when their assigned seating software is perfected. But that is a huge paradigm shift for the company and will take years before it will be seen by the travelling public. In the mean time, we'll be stuck with the 3 boarding lines and a color scheme that looks like it belongs on a color pallette that is more than 30 years old...

:rolleyes1
 

dgaston

Proudly wears a "Believes in Fairies tshirt"
Joined
May 23, 2001
And with SWA you can print out your boarding passes at 12:01 the night before your flight. This would get you A boarding group passes. I fly SWA a lot and in even older days when SWA gave out numbers DD and I had very high numbers, what would now be in the C group we were able to sit together. It was near the end of the plane, but we were together. I have often heard flight attendants offering free drinks to passengers who would swap seats to let families sit together, too.

I wouldn't worry too much
 

gw_lit

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 19, 2003
Captain Blue Sky said:
Well, with any other airline, customers with special needs and families with children 2 years of age and under are supposed to get pre-boarded before general boarding occurs.

Actually, on Southwest it is for children 5 years of age and under. They do at times suspend pre-boarding on flights to and from Orlando since seemingly 3/4 of the plane would pre-board.

Captain Blue Sky said:
which seems more like a cattle-call than an aircraft boarding procedure.

I have never understood this "cattle-call" comment. When I fly Delta, or American, the other two airlines that I fly frequently, as soon as Group 1 is announced for boarding, everyone leaves their seats and rushes toward the jetway. If you're in Group 1, you usually have to fight through the crowd to get to the jetway. Yes, on Southwest, you're lined up in A, B or C, but even when I've travelled with my family and didn't preboard, we still got to sit together, even with C boarding passes.

Obviously, judging by his comments, Captain Blue Sky is not a fan of Southwest... but that's OK, we all have our preferences. Southwest must be doing something right though, they're continuing to be in the black, when most airlines are bleeding red ink.
 

seashoreCM

All around nice guy.
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Considering that extra time to get settled is a "thing" that is taken as opposed to given/proffered, airlines offer pre-boarding to families or not depending on whether the gate agent feels such pre-boarding will hasten departure.

On the other hand, there is an incentive for frail or infirm people to board last so as to be out of the way of thundering hordes.

Minor children with a later boarding zone or priority board with their parents. Such a discrepancy may occur if a child was randomly selected for secondary screening and could not have a boarding pass printed on line.

Disney hints:
http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/disney.htm
 

Chip 'n Dale Express

Can't stay put!<br><font color=purple>I met lots o
Joined
Jul 29, 2002
Captain Blue Sky said:
In the mean time, we'll be stuck with the 3 boarding lines and a color scheme that looks like it belongs on a color pallette that is more than 30 years old...

:rolleyes1

Eh... personally, I don't mind the 3 boarding lines. I usually get an A pass, and just sit around till the A line is almost completed boarding before I go up. I still get great seats. Sometimes even the coveted exit row. :)

SWA has been updating thier fleet with thier new colors. I tend to agree about thier old color scheme seeming 'dated' but then again, they are true 'south western' colors. *shrug* At least it isn't bright orange like EasyJet :)

Regardless of boarding or colors, SWA has always had great fares, been reliable, and friendly, and I enjoy flying them. And since they're one of the few airlines that is been quite profitable, I know they must be doing something right :)
 

Chip 'n Dale Express

Can't stay put!<br><font color=purple>I met lots o
Joined
Jul 29, 2002
DadOf2Princesses said:
SWA isn't making money on their boarding policy.
They are hedging their fuel costs by locking in rates as oil prices soar...
http://money.cnn.com/2005/05/03/news/fortune500/southwest.reut/
... and they don't have the union issues of the big airlines.
From what I'm to hear, they may not make money on thier boarding policy, but because they board so quickly, they're able to turn the plane around in 20 minutes, this keeping it up in the air more (hence, making more per plane).

From the article that I read, they said they would think about assigned seats if they can keep the turnaround less than 20 minutes.
 

inkkognito

<font color=green>I shall call him Mini-Me<br><fon
Joined
Nov 22, 1999
I can understand the "cattle call" comment, but I have gotten used to it. We had to switch to SW when ATA bailed out of Chicago, since my husband and I make frequent trips. You don't have to line up early, but we like to sit in the front of the aircraft (we only bring carryons and like to get off the plane as soon as possible, since we won't have to wait for luggage), so that means waiting in the "cattle chute." It sounds worse than it is; while I'd rather have assigned seats, the SW prices have made them a lot more attractive. But a word of warning: printing your boarding passes at 12:01 MEANS 12:01 and not much later. Once when my husband waited an hour, almost 30 people had checked in ahead of him so he was lucky to still get an A.
Barb
 

Mickey'snewestfan

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 26, 2005
we had a connecting flight that was late and had to run through the airport. When I got there they looked at us and immediately called the FA in the plane who was helping people board (I didn't ask for this, they did it on their own). She went, found us the last two seats together and told the people sitting next to them to save them for a mother and a little boy. When we got on the plane she told us where to go.

We always fly SWA and have never had anything less than great service from them.
 

bicker

DIS Veteran<br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/di
Joined
Aug 19, 1999
Chip 'n Dale Express said:
From what I'm to hear, they may not make money on thier boarding policy, but because they board so quickly, they're able to turn the plane around in 20 minutes, this keeping it up in the air more (hence, making more per plane). From the article that I read, they said they would think about assigned seats if they can keep the turnaround less than 20 minutes.
That's really it in a nutshell. Their boarding policy, like their flight schedule policy, is all about saving money, not about making money.
 

shelleyz

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 29, 2003
Back in April out of Providence the child policy was anyone with children 4 years old and under could pre-board. Only the immediate family was supposed to pre-board with them. We have a 4 year old but waited in the A line because we had 4 others outside immediate family. Print up your boarding passes at 12:01 am the day you leave. Thats what we did. Also like others said if you want to sit with your child the flight attendants will ask if anyone will switch seats. They did this on our flight and offered the people free drinks. The dad tried to pay for the drinks but the flight attendant said not to worry about it. I love flying Southwest.
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2004
First of all, I want to say 'Hi!' to Inkkognito!! Now that I've said that, I can go on... :wave2:

I also want to say 'Hi!' to bicker!! I haven't seen him since they eliminated the Debate Board! :wave2:

Yes, yes, yes, I hear that Southwest has great prices and nice people, but DON'T GET CAUGHT IN AN IRREGULAR OPERATION AS THEY DO NOT OFFER THE REPROTECTIONS THAT OTHER AIRLINES OFFER.

That means, that should they have a cancellation due to something controllable, like a mechanical problem, or something they have no control over, like weather or air traffic control delays, they do not have to provide ANY compensation or ammenities like virtually all of the other airlines do. How can they do that you ask??

That's because its built-into their contract of carraige. So, although Southwest might be great to fly for its prices, it is THE WORST airline to fly if cancellations occur. Business travelers know this as they fly very often, other airline employees know this as they know what the industry offers.

In all my years of professional flying I have only flown Southwest once. The boarding process was chaotic, to say the least. The cheerleader attire of the cabin crew resulted in a loss of credibility for 2 of the flight attendants as they dealt with a very unruly customer. Although that can happen to any airline, other airlines wouldn't even consider placing male crew members in short shorts as a uniform...

But separate and apart from all that, the management of Southwest is quite savvy, and nows how to turn a profit in these very unprofitable times. As Dadof2Princesses said, hedging fuel is the key to their money-making.
 

Rpsemont

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 28, 2001
Yes, yes, yes, I hear that Southwest has great prices and nice people, but DON'T GET CAUGHT IN AN IRREGULAR OPERATION AS THEY DO NOT OFFER THE REPROTECTIONS THAT OTHER AIRLINES OFFER.

They may not offer the reprotections, but they do have IMO THE best change/cancellation policy for the consumer. I love SWA because I never have to worry that if my plans change I'll be out money. I can use my ticketless travel funds from a cancelled flight to apply to any future flight (within time limits) WITHOUT additional change fees or penalties and can use it for me or for another passenger if I so desire. Unheard of with other airlines.

We started flying with SWA when DD was 7. Now granted, we don't fly at peak times, but there was only once that she "almost" didn't sit beside us, but then a nice mother moved (who's 2 children were with their father 3 rows back) and DD and I were able to sit together. As most others have said, I wouldn't worry about it.
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2004
They may not offer the reprotections, but they do have IMO THE best change/cancellation policy for the consumer. I love SWA because I never have to worry that if my plans change I'll be out money. I can use my ticketless travel funds from a cancelled flight to apply to any future flight (within time limits) WITHOUT additional change fees or penalties and can use it for me or for another passenger if I so desire. Unheard of with other airlines.

Can't agree with that, Rpsemont! Many, many other airlines (mostly low cost carriers and some redefined carriers, like Delta's Song and United's Ted and ATA) have the exact same ticketless travel credit policy for unused flight segments.

Consequently, this is not unique to Southwest, as you claim. What you don't mention, however, is that you would have to pay for any additional increase in air fare on a Southwest flight if the fare you obtained is lower than the current fares for those city pairings.

I think its important to emphasize that, as you could have a flight credit accrued, but the actual cost of the ticket, even if its the same routing, can be higher - you would pay the difference!

:teacher:
 









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