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Customer Service
COMPLAINT: No more first come, first serve

 
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  #1  
Old Dec 5, 2008, 3:14 AM
richright richright is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 10

I'm 6'8" with a 39" inseam. Since Southwest has only 4 seats on an aircraft that can accomodate me I used to check in early and get to the gate real early to get a prime position in the A-line. That was my only hope to get one of the emergency exit row seats. Now with business select, and the preferential treatment that frequent fliers get I can only get a boarding pass in the twenties even if I check in within the first few seconds when check-in becomes available. Even with a few or no business select customers there are usually several of the "elite" frequent fliers that automatically get numbers ahead of me. Some of these choose the emergency exit row seats even if they are barely over five feet tall and they can't touch the seat in front of them with their legs fully extended. So much for "first come, first serve". Southwest expects me to buy a business select fare at typically twice the price of a discount fare just to increase my chances of getting one of their coveted seats. I say just charge twenty bucks more for these seats no matter what fare structure a person is on and ASSIGN these seats. This will keep the short people out as there is no particular advantage to these seats if you are short. The width of the seat is the same as any other. People want these seats if they are free, but only needy and deserving people like me will be willing to pay a premium for them. Southwests policies are based on greed and profit. Unfortunately they are forcing people like myself to fly less, not more. Their business select policy is a bust. I had ONE person board in business select during my last two flights. I wish they would cater to tall people as much as they cater to kids, handicapped, etc. I've been round and round with Southwest on this to no avail. If only an executive was aware of the problem it could possibly be addressed. Most problems however go into a black hole and you hear nothing back.
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  #2  
Old Dec 5, 2008, 8:58 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Location: Shropshire, England
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The cramming of passengers on aircraft with insufficent leg room is a safety issue. The rapid evacuation of an aircraft is likely to be impaired by the inability of passengers to get out of the tiny space they are allocated quickly and efficiently. Statistics will show that we are getting taller (and wider), and the airlines response seems to be to reduce the available space. When aircraft manufacturers test evacuation procedures and times they should be made to ensure that a significant proportion of the test evacuees are tall, disabled, elderly, obese, children etc. If you watch the youtube examples of evaucations, it is made up of perfectly able people and fails to reflect the true nature of a typical flight.

Your suggestion about a fixed fee to purchase the emergency exit seats is available in many low cost operations in Europe and does work for people in your situation. The typical fee is 10 to 15 ($14 to $20). Alternatively, some low costs offer the chance to buy "pre-boarding" passes. However the real solution is to take out two rows, give everyone more room, and charge slightly more for the flights. The regulators should look again at this issue.

Last edited by jimworcs; Dec 5, 2008 at 9:00 AM. Reason: Missed work
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  #3  
Old Dec 6, 2008, 12:02 AM
countrynewsman countrynewsman is offline
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Location: Killeen, Texas
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I am not a tall person...5'9", and I am not overweight. Nevertheless, if I were to have to evacuate the aircraft, I would have a problem in that cramped space. I like the idea of removing two rows and would gladly pay my share of the extra fare the airline would lose from those 12 seats.
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Old Dec 6, 2008, 5:46 AM
richright richright is offline
 
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Posts: 10

Funny you should say. Southwest advertises the legroom benefits of their 737-700s on their website. They claim their the seats are roomier as their seating capacity is below that of the maximum allowable capacity of the aircraft. Perhaps they have already taken out the two rows you suggest? Perhaps they need to take out about an additional 3 or 4 rows? They also advertise that their new aircraft have .02" and .4" extra legroom compared to their 737-500s and 737-300s respectively. Does anyone know how small .02" is? Can that even be measured with a mirometer? Is Southwest joking? I recommend if you want an extra ".02 inches" of legroom you wear those thin dress slacks instead of jeans!
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Old Dec 6, 2008, 6:02 AM
richright richright is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
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Here is the data for the above comment taken from Southwests website:

http://www.southwest.com/about_swa/c...commitment.pdf
Navigate to page 11.

Maximum Southwest Average
Model Capacity Capacity Pitch
737-700 149 137 32.57
737-500 132 122 32.18
737-300 149 137 32.55

Last edited by richright; Dec 6, 2008 at 6:06 AM.
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Old Dec 6, 2008, 6:16 AM
richright richright is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 10

Here is the data in more readable form. The Pitch they advertise is right in line with most other major airlines. I can assure you if you have a 39" inseam a seat with an extra few hundreths or tenths of an inch is of little benefit.

Maximum Southwest Average
Model Capacity Capacity Pitch
737-700 149 137 32.57
737-500 132 122 32.18
737-300 149 137 32.55

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  #7  
Old Oct 20, 2010, 4:46 AM
PDX88 PDX88 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2010
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I'm sorry but I don't feel sorry for any Southwest passenger who doesn't get the type of seat they wanted. You voluntarily bought your ticket on the airline with cattle call boarding. If you bought a ticket on any other airline, you could show up to the airport without any headaches and check in and board at leisure, instead of having to be near a computer 24 hours before departure, and then racing to the gate and having to sit there since you HAVE to be there when boarding starts or bye-bye good seats. Southwest isn't worth the amount of effort I have to put into flying with them just so I don't get screwed with middle seats the entire flight. Give me American or Delta any day.

FYI to business select passengers. You are paying as much just to pre-board an all coach aircraft as others pay for first class on other legacy carriers. With the first class ticket you also get to board first, 3 free checked bags (yes that's one more than Southwest for free), a meal, you sit with more professional travelers and flight attendants, and a bigger, more comfortable seat! Business select is a huge joke and a SCAM!
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Old Oct 20, 2010, 6:55 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

Business Select fares are not priced the same as Delta first class fares..that is nonsense. I also wonder how AA and Delta manage to survive by not putting anyone in the middle seat? I assume from your post that this is what happens and that no-one gets "screwed with the middle seat for the entire flight" on AA and Delta.
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  #9  
Old Oct 20, 2010, 7:16 PM
PDX88 PDX88 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2010
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jimworcs, like I just stated in the other thread, other airline's middle seats usually are pre-reserved by passengers who are companions and sitting next to someone on the window or aisle. True sometimes you have to pre-reserve the middle seat because that's all that's left, but at least they might be able to get it changed at the airport, but if not they aren't disappointed because they know what they are getting, and you don't have the stray cattle wandering up and down the aisle of the plane looking for something other than a middle like you do on Southwest. That is what looks the most ridiculous to me.
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