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  #21  
Old April 12th, 2011, 10:20 AM
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I had a serious incident with them, one that involved the Chi-town Police Department.
I booked a flight with them from LGA to Vegas, with a change of planes at Midway. Arrived at LGA to find that SW doesn't fly out of LGA, and the first portion of the flight was on ATA. I wasn't thrilled but figured it was my own fault for not doing due dilegence. First segment was uneventful.
I get to Midway and am assigned a middle seat, as I had not checked in two hours early to get a choice seat. I go to the counter where the person is quite unhelpful. As I had just gotten there on a flight, how was I supposed to check in two hours early. Silly me, I had assumed that getting a seat assigned on the first flight was good for the entire trip. No good.
so I'm standing on line with the other cattle waiting to board when the person I had spoken to at the counter comes over and asks me to step out of line. I'm thinking he got me an aisle seat but am blindsided by a demand that I buy an extra seat. It seems SW has a policy that anyone over 300 pounds( less if they are shorter) has to purchase a second seat. This is not mentioned anywhere on their website, as I confirmed after the fact. We get into a heated discussion, especially about why this wasn't brought up when I was at the counter instead of pulling me off line minutes before the flight. A supervisor comes over and explains that I can put it on a credit card and if there is an empty seat on the flight, they will refund it within 48 hours. I tell them I have a problem in that I only have one credit card with me, it has a $1500 limit and I need it to both rent a car and check in to my hotel. Again, if this had been mentioned on the website, I could have bought another credit card with me.
We go back and forth for a few minutes when a voice behind me causes me to turn. There are a half dozen airport police in a semi circle around me. One officer tells me I have three choices- pay for the ticket, walk away and find my way to Vegas on another airline or go to jail, and that the next words out of my mouth would decide where I spent the night- Vegas or jail.
I paid, and it affected my ability to rent a car as I didn't have the proper credit on my car when I went to the counter.
When I returned home I wrote a rather lengthy letter to the President of SW and recieved a form letter back, thanking me for my continued patronage.
Because airlines offer their services to the public at large, they should be required to offer the same price to all customers regardless of height, weight, or girth. The seats should include enough variety in size to accommodate various size people, including small seats for small people and large seats for large people (maybe the two will balance off), instead of the generally cramped seats for all people except the slimmest of the slim. There is simply not enough competition to ensure that these issues will take care of themselves. I know, I know. the airlines will have to raise their prices! Maybe. But fair's fair. There needs to be some minimum standard.

The other issue that occurs to me is the charging of an extra fee without notice and in the midst of travel where one is held captive. It is the airline which should be charged extra-- a hefty fine for pulling such tricks. And no one should be required to pay such out of the blue charges. Show me in writing before I travel-- don't spring it on me when it's convenient for you because you have a crowded plane. I'm a capitalist, but sometimes the profit motive brings out the ugly in people. Principles first, money second.
  #22  
Old April 12th, 2011, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by shadroch View Post
I had a serious incident with them, one that involved the Chi-town Police Department.
I booked a flight with them from LGA to Vegas, with a change of planes at Midway. Arrived at LGA to find that SW doesn't fly out of LGA, and the first portion of the flight was on ATA. I wasn't thrilled but figured it was my own fault for not doing due dilegence. First segment was uneventful.
I get to Midway and am assigned a middle seat, as I had not checked in two hours early to get a choice seat. I go to the counter where the person is quite unhelpful. As I had just gotten there on a flight, how was I supposed to check in two hours early. Silly me, I had assumed that getting a seat assigned on the first flight was good for the entire trip. No good.
so I'm standing on line with the other cattle waiting to board when the person I had spoken to at the counter comes over and asks me to step out of line. I'm thinking he got me an aisle seat but am blindsided by a demand that I buy an extra seat. It seems SW has a policy that anyone over 300 pounds( less if they are shorter) has to purchase a second seat. This is not mentioned anywhere on their website, as I confirmed after the fact. We get into a heated discussion, especially about why this wasn't brought up when I was at the counter instead of pulling me off line minutes before the flight. A supervisor comes over and explains that I can put it on a credit card and if there is an empty seat on the flight, they will refund it within 48 hours. I tell them I have a problem in that I only have one credit card with me, it has a $1500 limit and I need it to both rent a car and check in to my hotel. Again, if this had been mentioned on the website, I could have bought another credit card with me.
We go back and forth for a few minutes when a voice behind me causes me to turn. There are a half dozen airport police in a semi circle around me. One officer tells me I have three choices- pay for the ticket, walk away and find my way to Vegas on another airline or go to jail, and that the next words out of my mouth would decide where I spent the night- Vegas or jail.
I paid, and it affected my ability to rent a car as I didn't have the proper credit on my car when I went to the counter.
When I returned home I wrote a rather lengthy letter to the President of SW and recieved a form letter back, thanking me for my continued patronage.
Bastards. I am of similar size but all top-heavy, so I can always fit in an airline seat with the armrest down and that is the standard criterion for fitting in a seat. Sometimes I try to find a chick with big hips and narrow shoulders to sit next to.

I agree with Aslan, airlines are selling you passage, not cargo space, and if they have a maximum size for a passenger they need to be exact about how much room is in their seats before they sell you a ticket, but that would lead to a trade war no airline wants to get into. So what they are saying is: "Let's play a little game! We sell you a seat on an airplane, but you have to guess if you will fit in the seat, and if you guess wrong, we get to charge you double."
  #23  
Old April 12th, 2011, 01:22 PM
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Default swa crapshoot!

Flying with SWA is a crapshoot to say the least. Going to LV last week the plane was mostly empty with people able to stretch out across the seats.Last night it was a cramped cattle car ride back east along with a whinning two year old kid that was not a happy flier. If it's worth the extra couple of hundred bucks saved for 4hrs of torture at times I don't know. If I was a drinker I would board drunk and get off the plane drunker. I was too tired after playing for 24hrs without sleep so I was sleeping through the ride home.
  #24  
Old April 12th, 2011, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by blackchipjim View Post
Flying with SWA is a crapshoot to say the least. Going to LV last week the plane was mostly empty with people able to stretch out across the seats.Last night it was a cramped cattle car ride back east along with a whinning two year old kid that was not a happy flier. If it's worth the extra couple of hundred bucks saved for 4hrs of torture at times I don't know. If I was a drinker I would board drunk and get off the plane drunker. I was too tired after playing for 24hrs without sleep so I was sleeping through the ride home.
I always fly SW, Jim, but have never had anything bad like what happened to shadroch happen to me. I understand about the babies on board, and after experiencing that once myself, I always try to find a seat away from any infants in arms, or even little ones with ants in their pants. I have been successful all but once. Nine out of 10 times, the parents with infants sit in the first few rows. For one thing, they are allowed to board first. For another, the first row of seats has no one in front of them and is also nearest to the restroom.

But once a fellow got on with an infant boarding very late and ended up right behind me. Bump, noise, constant activity-- a real nightmare. So even with fixed dice, you might roll the wrong number occasionally.

I assume you know that SW has a system whereby your seat is determined by the order in which you signed on online. My wife always ensures I get a low number, plus she now pays an extra ten dollars which ensures you are in the first boarding group (after babies and handicapped).

It occurs to me that shadroch might want to ask for a wheelchair or claim some disability so that he can be first to board. Picking his own seat might avoid the potential for conflict.

PS-- My wife sometimes has to take United Airlines (years ago, my favorite). Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Small, cramped seating-- rude stewardesses-- pay extra for baggage. She does everything in her power to avoid United.

Last edited by aslan; April 12th, 2011 at 04:18 PM.
  #25  
Old April 12th, 2011, 03:33 PM
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Noise-canceling headphones!
  #26  
Old April 12th, 2011, 04:35 PM
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Noise-canceling headphones!
I use'em. But that doesn't stop the kid behind me bumping into the back of my seat the entire flight. And just try to have a conversation with a screaming infant or two in the next seat.
  #27  
Old April 12th, 2011, 05:39 PM
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I use'em. But that doesn't stop the kid behind me bumping into the back of my seat the entire flight. And just try to have a conversation with a screaming infant or two in the next seat.
Haha okay okay. Well I fly Spirit as I've said, and on Spirit you can upgrade to the "Big Front Seats", their version of First Class. Depending on the length of the flight it can range anywhere from $25-$90, but you get way more room, and there is very little chance you'll have a kicking kid behind you!

- Dye
  #28  
Old April 12th, 2011, 05:52 PM
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Haha okay okay. Well I fly Spirit as I've said, and on Spirit you can upgrade to the "Big Front Seats", their version of First Class. Depending on the length of the flight it can range anywhere from $25-$90, but you get way more room, and there is very little chance you'll have a kicking kid behind you!

- Dye
I'll have my wife check out Spirit. So they have a frequent flyer program? Credit card? I have not paid for a flight to Vegas and other places in several years now, since I got a SWA Visa card on which I put all my purchases, including my income tax balance due.

Hey, doesn't Spirit charge you for all your luggage, checked and carry on? SWA has no charge for luggage.
  #29  
Old April 12th, 2011, 06:11 PM
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I'll have my wife check out Spirit. So they have a frequent flyer program? Credit card? I have not paid for a flight to Vegas and other places in several years now, since I got a SWA Visa card on which I put all my purchases, including my income tax balance due.

Hey, doesn't Spirit charge you for all your luggage, checked and carry on? SWA has no charge for luggage.
Yeah they have a FF program and a Credit Card (Which I have and use).

And yeah Spirit charges for everything individually (upgraded seats, bags, everything) but if you join the $9 fare-club you can get really cheap flights.

Also, if you're clever you don't ever need to pay for carry-on bags. Technically your ticket says whether or not you paid, but if you just keep your bag behind you when boarding the plane they will just rip your ticket and you can walk on. Myself and others have done this on numerous occasions.

- Dye
  #30  
Old April 12th, 2011, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Dyepaintball12 View Post
Yeah they have a FF program and a Credit Card (Which I have and use).

And yeah Spirit charges for everything individually (upgraded seats, bags, everything) but if you join the $9 fare-club you can get really cheap flights.

Also, if you're clever you don't ever need to pay for carry-on bags. Technically your ticket says whether or not you paid, but if you just keep your bag behind you when boarding the plane they will just rip your ticket and you can walk on. Myself and others have done this on numerous occasions.

- Dye
You mean you're forced to hide your bag from the attendant in order to board the plane without a baggage fee. That reminds me of smuggling popcorn and sodas into the movie theater, but that is a lot easier to conceal. So, if they catch you, what form of humiliation are you then subject to?
 

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