Seats Saved for Family Members

July 20, 2013

in Seat Stories

The wife and I just got back from Orlando via Southwest. I always try to use this airline as their prices and service are great. Anyway, they don’t have a seat purchase program but rather an EarlyBird check-in which gives you an earlier spot in line to board the plane.

On our way back to Buffalo, we were in the seating area awaiting our time to board when an announcement came on saying that if you are in a group and only one or two of you have early boarding, you can’t take the whole group with you if they don’t have it as well. Despite this, a woman in front of us (we were in spots 19 and 20) attempted to take her family totaling six with her. She had the only EarlyBird spot so she chose to go on ahead alone. When we got on board, she had “saved” two rows in front by placing bags and other objects on them. We did not complain as we got seats nearby, but there were others getting onboard ahead of her family that had some comments for her.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

NASCAR_Hula July 20, 2013 at 2:14 pm

That was just RUDE! Flight attendants didn’t do anything about the situation?


mary May 22, 2016 at 10:23 pm

What was RUDE abt it?!!? What's wrong w/family members wanting to SIT TOGETHER???


Zombie May 23, 2016 at 7:58 am

If you want to sit together — check in together and board together.


thriftyisthenewrich September 23, 2016 at 1:06 pm

Not when they didn't pay for an early bird check in. If you don't pay the extra price, you don't get to have reserved seats. It was rude af.


Rachel July 20, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Rude and tacky. Entitled parents are obnoxious, and I have a special antipathy for people who assume the rules don't apply to them.


dingowarrior July 20, 2013 at 6:24 pm

This is what you get for flying cheap…I still don't get it…..why in the world won't you assign seats and prevent such issues


Substantial July 21, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Move her crap and take the seat, simple as that. Don't enable these pigs.


Rachel July 21, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Agreed–people like that count on the fact that society is generally too polite to risk making a scene over their behavior. Generally they are right–most people (myself included), don't feel like confronting them is worth the energy or the awkwardness. Still, it's nice when some brave soul does call them out.


thriftyisthenewrich September 23, 2016 at 1:08 pm

If it wasn't an airline, I would definitely have said something. But nowadays, everyone must comply with the ones breaking the rules and not ask questions.


Janice August 3, 2013 at 1:47 pm

I use to fly Southwest a lot and when I see saved seats I move their stuff and take a seat. Early boarding has its advantages. One time a person told me she was saving seats and I replied that Southwest doesn't have assigned seats and if they weren't on the plane then they haven't boarded yet so the seat was open. I sat my butt in the seat and not a word was said.


Karl Nellen August 5, 2013 at 8:06 pm

My comment may don't belong here but it is simmilar, only involving cruises. People putting towels etc on deck lounge chairs at 7-8 am only to disapear for 2 hours invading the buffet. Well, when my wife and I got to the pooldeck I simply removed items and planted myselfe. An overweight older couple came up complaining with an italien accent and I simply pointed to a sign overhead. This obnocious fat guy switched to italien talking to his equaly oversized blimp of a wife calling me vulgar names where upon I responded loud enough first in english than in italien – and it wasn't nice. (No, I didn't use the f word etc in english but sure used them in his native language) I worked once 3 years in his country..


mary May 22, 2016 at 10:26 pm

It doesn't matter that Southwest doesn't have assigned seats! She was "saving" them! How RUDE to take one! Honestly, some people!!!


Zombie May 23, 2016 at 8:01 am

Obviously, you have never flown Southwest.

Their policy is no seat assignments in advance, you board in the order in which you check in, and once board, you are not permitted to "save" seats.

Don't like it? Don't sly Southwest.


Trixi July 24, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Really people, you think that's a 5-star flight from hell? Rude, sure. Hell? Meh.


Donna July 31, 2013 at 8:40 pm

My family usually flies Southwest as they have the most convenient flights for us. I always purchase early bird boarding for each of us. There is usually always someone who is saving a seat or seats. Only once did a flight attendant tell the person that wasn't allowed and they became quite upset. I sent Southwest an email about this problem and they stated there really wasn't much they could do. It's frustrating when you follow the rules and they aren't enforced. I think if Southwest should address this on their website in bold print. Also, if flight attendants would make it clear this isn't allowed people might start getting the message.


Rachel August 1, 2013 at 12:36 am

Well said. What do they mean 'there really wasn't much they could do.' They own the planes. Just have their stewards/esses tell these entitled schmucks to pick up their bags and follow the rules?


Lundiga August 5, 2013 at 10:57 am

I don't know, look at it from your own perspective and I'm guessing a lot of you would do the same. Seriously, you would only take a seat for yourself and make your spouse or kid sit elsewhere?

I'm not saying it's nice, nor would I necessarily not blow up at someone who did this, but it's probably something we would do if we were "honest" about it.


Karl Nellen August 5, 2013 at 8:16 pm

No! We only get on a plane together


Jodi August 8, 2013 at 1:33 am

Quite frankly if I'm flying with friends/relatives I wouldn't just get one of us the early boarding passes, I'd get ALL of us them. So you leave your spouse and kids outside the plane while you board? o.O I think it takes a lot of balls to place stuff on extra seats KNOWING that the people boarding have PAID to get on early to get those seats.


iloveflying September 13, 2015 at 8:15 pm

easy you should ALL get the early bird ticket


G C September 27, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Grabbing two whole rows is a bit much, but I routinely save a (middle) seat for my wife. If Southwest doesn't want people to do this, they should not allow only one person in a party to obtain early check-in. Make it all or nothing for tickets bought together.


Lucy March 12, 2014 at 9:13 am

I fly Southwest a few times a month (DAL-LBB) as they have the quickest/easiest route.

More than once I've seen someone saving *multiple* seats (I don't mind if you're saving a middle seat for your spouse) and I just say "Gosh, well, if they get here and can show me that this seat is assigned to them I will gladly move!

I typically get mean glares, and once an FA was called, funnily enough, I fly this route so often, this FA knew me, and her response to "Make her move she's being RUDE!" was "Ma'am, Lucy is a frequent traveler on this flight, and she has never been anything but sweet to those around her and our team. If you think she's being rude, I would ask that you remove yourself from the situation" 😀


Joe July 11, 2016 at 8:15 am

Families and other groups of people who feel entitled to reserved seats on Southwest piss me off given the airline's corporate policy, I posted a story about a woman on Southwest flight who told a fake story about her body odor in order to scare people away and save a middle seat for her BFF-it didn't work.

If families and large groups want guaranteed seats, they should pay more money to book reserved seats on Delta/United/American/etc… If the flight is not full, ok go ahead and sit together. Otherwise, stop your bitching and deal with sitting next to somebody you don't know..


Gregg - admin July 11, 2016 at 7:46 pm

Which story did you post Joe?


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