(NewsSpace.com) – When people book flights, most of the time they have the opportunity to select their seats, often for an additional fee. However, Southwest Airlines is a unique player in the industry. It doesn’t assign seats but rather lets its passengers pick their own as they board the flight. Some travelers seemingly abuse the privilege by saving seats. One recently sparked a big debate on Reddit.
On December 15, an Arkansas traveler, identified only as Tyler, posted his experience on Reddit. He said that as he boarded, there were seats with bags containing donuts placed on them, effectively serving as a placeholder so nobody else could take them. He identified the perpetrator as a man, “presumably the dad, traveling with [a] woman who took the seat,” as well as two children. He later lamented that the family engaged in disruptive behavior.
Tyler’s post went viral, according to Newsweek, eliciting nearly 30,000 upvotes as well as thousands of comments about the practice, some on the man’s side and some aggravated on behalf of the passengers that flew that day.
Southwest Airlines doesn’t have a specific policy on saving seats. A spokesperson told the publication that it does, however, “encourage customers to be courteous and mindful of others when boarding.”
The debate about saving seats, despite Southwest’s policy, isn’t a new one. It’s been a subject of contention for quite a while, and many people have drawn ire from other passengers for saving entire rows. For example, back in September, an X, formerly Twitter, user tweeted the airline and asked it to please stop allowing people to claim an entire row of exit row seats.
@SouthwestAir PLEASE stop early A group boarders from "claiming" a row of exit row seats for family boarding in later groups- you just infuriated a few Business Class ticket holders by letting this continue to happen. pic.twitter.com/XKW7eqMkyr
— chomer (@AkakHorn) September 21, 2023
The airline’s response in that situation was more of the same: acknowledging it doesn’t have a specific policy, though it did apologize and wish the customer “smoother sailing in the future.”
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