Want to be a Guinea Pig?


Here’s where Flightaware can be a very useful tool. Let’s say you want
to avoid Southwest “assigned seat” experiment and are planning a trip to
San Diego during the test period. Logic would say that they are not going to do this on inbound (to San Diego) traffic. Second, you can’t try it on an “in-progress” flight. How can you do ABC seating on the first leg and still have people on board and do assigned at the next stop. Therefore you should look for flights that are NOT the first leg if you want to avoid the test and Flightaware can quickly do that once you are armed with the flight numbers.


Ummmm… I was on a United flight from BWI to DFW with a stop in ORD. We retained the same seat assignments throughout the trip - got off the plane in ORD, left our daughter’s child-safety-seat installed in the seat, and milled around the ORD terminal for an hour before continuing on to DFW.

Actually, if you’re going to have assigned seats, what sense does it make to assign only the first leg? Pax going on to the end destination would expect to retain the assigned seat all the way.

…just my 2
(take it for what it’s worth)


A passenger who gets an assigned seat in San Diego on their way to Orlando (on a 1 stop) would keep their seat. But you could board the San Antonio passengers using open seating they would simply “pick” from the remaining open seats. Presumably those staying on the plane in San Antonio would be in their “assigned” seats and those boarding can still board using on the current system and pick the unused seats. What I was trying to say was they you couldn’t use the assigned seat test project for the three-legged flight that starts in Sacramento and goes to Norfolk with stops in San Diego and Las Vegas. You couldn’t do open seating in SMF and then do assigned in SAN and then go back to open seating in LAS.


You presume a lot. You presume that I’d rather sit on a plane and watch them clean it, and that a tiny bag of pretzels is enough sustenance after 2 hours and that another tiny bag would do me for another 3… As I mentioned above, on my flight to DFW, I had a one-hour layover in ORD and opted to get off the plane. In your example, if I was flying from SAN to MCO, and I got off the plane in SAT (which I would do because I’d be starving by then), then any SAT to MCO pax boarding ahead of me could take the seat I wanted very much, and had assigned to me…

I don’t think their tests would work that way.


It appears, needlenose, that you haven’t been on a Southwest flight that made an enroute stop. If so, you would know that you do not get off the aircraft at the enroute stop. Unlike the other airlines, Southwest doesn’t hang around the airport for an hour or so at enroute stops. They stop for only 25 minutes. The passengers get off, the through passengers are counted, the new passengers get on, and you are off to your next stop.

Ssomer: I believe the scenario you described is the way the airlines use to do it. Passengers at the start of the flight would get reserved seats while those boarding enroute would have to pick the leftovers.


Guilty as charged. :wink:
I’ve always avoided them because… (guess why…)
I like assigned seating! :smiley:
I gotta have a window seat! There’s comfort in knowing in advance that I’ll have one. They may get some of my business in the future…


With less flights and smaller aircraft, you may need to book further ahead in order to get a window seat. That’s the beauty of Southwest! You could book on the day of the flight, get into the A or B boarding group, and get the window seat. With the A boarding group, the odds are very good that you could also get the window seat on the right side of the aircraft next to the emergency exit. The row in front this seat has only two seats so you can get about 60 inches of leg room!


I always book far enough in advance. I booked a trip I’m taking in September back in May! I not only get “a” window seat, I get “THE” window seat of my choice…

Such as 56A on Delta’s 772:
i16.photobucket.com/albums/b8/Ch … EATING.jpg

…While I know there is no real extra space between the two seats, there is only 1 person to climb over to get to that window when coming back from the lavatory. Only 4 such seats available in coach!


Southwest blog on open versus reserved seating. The vast majority of entires are for keeping the open seating.


The two flights that were identified by the media was the one-legged 11:30 (roughly) to Phoenix and the two-legged flight to Kansas City with
a stop in Las Vegas. The reports lead me to believe that Southwest contact you either by e-mail or by telephone letting you know that the flight was selected for the program. Second, the reports also lead me to
believe that your seat was selected for you at the gate. What!!! Airline
selected seat, no one uses this!!! Previous media reports have stated that
Southwest is going to try a number of different procedure. Hopefully, feedback and data from this “first” procedure have bombed. On the only
reasonable “assigned seat” procedures that would be acceptable would be
one where you the customer selects your seat and you do it and either
the time you PAY for your ticket. Or one where the passenger selects his seat at on-line check-in (currently 24 hours prior to departure). Seat selection at the gate by either the passenger or the airline will LENGTHEN
turnaround time not shorten it.


flightaware.com/live/flight/SWA2 … /KSAN/KPHX


flightaware.com/live/flight/SWA1 … /KSAN/KLAS