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Old Jun 19, 17, 7:49 am   #1
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Please help this WN Noob with a seating question

I've only flown WN a few times over the years, and it's always been a very good experience. I am one of these people who cares about where he sits especially on transcons. A window seat forward from the wing is important to me.

Next month, my employer has me flying Business Select from BWI to PHX on an 8:00 am flight. Since this is the only direct that works on that route around that time, I'd prefer to stick with WN. I'm hoping my chances of getting that wing-forward window seat are decent with a BS ticket and position A1-15. But I know there are no guarantees. On my last flight from BWI to TPA, there were 15 or 20 pre-boarders and a lot of thru passengers. That was an afternoon flight and Florida flights are notorious for having lots of senior citizen pre-boarders. The people who paid for early boarding were very angry. I was BS, lucked out, and got the last window in front of the wing.

Just wondering if you WN regulars and experts can provide any insights: Am I likely to find a lot of thru passengers on an 8:00 am flight? Is there any way to see where the plane is coming from?

Finally, I know that my obsession with being wing-forward at a window sounds ridiculous to most of you. Years ago, I was on a flight that was forced to make an emergency landing after several PAX and crew were injured from severe turbulence (Not on WN). I was in a rear aisle seat and was hit by a stray food cart. Since then, I've had anxiety about flying-- but nothing I can't handle as long as I avoid the back of the plane.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 8:25 am   #2
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Could theoretically have a few thrus (looks like the aircraft starts its day in Manchester). But you'll still get a window seat, likely towards the front of the plane. You definitely won't be relegated to the far back of the plane under any circumstances. There shouldn't be a horde of preboarders, all flying solo and taking all of the window seats!! Most BSers are going to want forward aisles and exit row.

Also, WN doesn't roll drink carts through the aisle. The FAs take your order and prepare the drinks in the galley. You could take an aisle seat without worrying about that particular injury on Southwest.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 8:39 am   #3
  
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Not to freak you out... but if you research deaths on planes more people die that sit toward the front of the plane than the back... just saying...
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Old Jun 19, 17, 8:41 am   #4
  
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Check in at exactly T-24 and you'll likely get A01, first to general board and an exit row seat, however they are right over the wing so your view is partially blocked. We'll worth it IMO.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 8:50 am   #5
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Originally Posted by Juanefny View Post
Not to freak you out... but if you research deaths on planes more people die that sit toward the front of the plane than the back... just saying...
Odds are good that everyone on this flight will survive the journey. It's really just a matter of finding a comfy seat.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 8:57 am   #6
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Most passengers want an aisle seat. That includes pre-boarders, through pax, and anyone ahead of you in BS. Thus, the chance that you won't get a decent window is really small and at least a mediocre window, truly infintesimal.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 9:33 am   #7
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Originally Posted by joshua362 View Post
Check in at exactly T-24 and you'll likely get A01, first to general board and an exit row seat, however they are right over the wing so your view is partially blocked. We'll worth it IMO.
I thought that with BS, you're checked in automatically. Is that wrong?
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Old Jun 19, 17, 9:41 am   #8
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Originally Posted by Alohashirt View Post
I thought that with BS, you're checked in automatically. Is that wrong?
BS is guaranteed 1-15 boarding position, but no, you are not checked in automatically. Boarding position for BS is based on the time of check in.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 9:43 am   #9
  
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NO! Little known & common misconception. You're guaranteed a A1 to A15 BP and a free drink, that is it.

Of little practical significance unless you want an exit row, I've seen A1, A2 and A3 trip & sprint to the only 3 desirable exit row seats (the 4th is a middle) and I've seen them not care either. Depends on the WN sophistication of the traveler. An almost transcon, I'd bet on the former..
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Old Jun 19, 17, 9:50 am   #10
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Originally Posted by joshua362 View Post
NO! Little known & common misconception. You're guaranteed a A1 to A15 BP and a free drink, that is it.

Of little practical significance unless you want an exit row, I've seen A1, A2 and A3 trip & sprint to the only 3 desirable exit row seats (the 4th is a middle) and I've seen them not care either. Depends on the WN sophistication of the traveler. An almost transcon, I'd bet on the former..
The only thing that sucks for these guys is that, while I wouldn't expect a whole planeload of MHT-PHX commuters, I bet there are *some* thrus who are going to snag those exit row seats. For pax near MHT who find BOS highly inconvenient, this Southwest connection *might* represent their best morning route to PHX.

(Certainly not enough of these to take all of the window seats.)
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Old Jun 19, 17, 9:53 am   #11
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Not to freak you out... but if you research deaths on planes more people die that sit toward the front of the plane than the back... just saying...
Statistically true in a crash, but crashing is not my worry. Turbulence-- and the triggering reminder of the incident are my concerns. The tail of the plane bobs noticeably more in severe turbulence, whereas seats directly over the wings and just forward of them are less affected. This is especially noticeable during "porpoising" turbulence.

The difference may be minor, but sitting just forward of the wing at a window helps me stay calm and avoid the memories. For me, that works. I certainly don't want to turn this into a thread on fear of flying. But I'm very grateful for the assurances that you all are providing that I'm very likely to get that window seat that's so important to me.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 10:09 am   #12
  
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Originally Posted by harold View Post
BS is guaranteed 1-15 boarding position, but no, you are not checked in automatically. Boarding position for BS is based on the time of check in.
Also little known/understood that having AL or AL+ doesn't check you in automatically either which seems counter intuitive but worked in my favor (usually) once I figured it out. Thru's sitting in the exit row rarely did me in but late connections made my A01 moot frequently, especially during the greedy scheduling meltdown years.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 10:18 am   #13
  
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Originally Posted by Alohashirt View Post
Statistically true in a crash, but crashing is not my worry. Turbulence-- and the triggering reminder of the incident are my concerns. The tail of the plane bobs noticeably more in severe turbulence, whereas seats directly over the wings and just forward of them are less affected. This is especially noticeable during "porpoising" turbulence.

The difference may be minor, but sitting just forward of the wing at a window helps me stay calm and avoid the memories. For me, that works. I certainly don't want to turn this into a thread on fear of flying. But I'm very grateful for the assurances that you all are providing that I'm very likely to get that window seat that's so important to me.
Good news - in two ways - for you if you are sitting at any window. First, it's impossible for a cart to jump over the aisle seat and over the middle seat to hit you. Second, no carts on Southwest planes.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 11:09 am   #14
  
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Originally Posted by Juanefny View Post
Not to freak you out... but if you research deaths on planes more people die that sit toward the front of the plane than the back... just saying...
Once heard this : Planes never back into a mountain.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 11:19 am   #15
  
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Originally Posted by joshua362 View Post
Also little known/understood that having AL or AL+ doesn't check you in automatically either which seems counter intuitive but worked in my favor (usually) once I figured it out. Thru's sitting in the exit row rarely did me in but late connections made my A01 moot frequently, especially during the greedy scheduling meltdown years.
While alist doesn't get automatically checked in, your position is secured. I get an alert 24 hours before a flight letting me know what my boarding position will be and telling me I have to check in and retrieve the boarding pass at least 10 minutes before a flight.
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