“Don't like new open seating policy”
Flight from Des Moines to Orlando
- Round Trip
- Number of Stops:
- No stops
- Date of Flight:
- November 2010
- Seat Class:
Allegiant Air recently implemented an open seating policy for their flights - unless you pay an extra fee (around $15 per person each way) to have your seats assigned.
On the way to Orlando we didn't pay the fee and we decided to take our chances with the open seating. We arrived at the airport early so that we would be in one of the first boarding groups. We received numbers 13 and 15. This ended up being the second open seating group called. However, what we didn't realize was that they allow all families traveling with children to board ahead of any other open seating people, regardless of what order they arrived to check in. This was a flight to Orlando, so almost everyone was traveling with children and we ended up being some of the last people to board the plane in spite of our efforts to check in early.
On the way back, we decided to pay the fee and get seats assigned. This worked out fine for us, but what you should know is that if you don't get on the plane at the exact time when they call you, YOU COULD LOSE YOUR ASSIGNED SEATS even though you paid for them. I ran to the restroom just before boarding and I almost missed our opportunity to board. It is a really quick window that they give you.
Once on board the plane (in our assigned seats) there were several conflicts between passengers that had paid for assigned seats and those who had boarded during the open boarding time and had selected seats that were assigned. The open boarders have no idea which seats are assigned or not, so they just pick what appears to be available. Then, someone boards who missed their assigned seating boarding opportunity (it is a very small window) and has to argue for their seats.
All in all it is a mess. Even if you have assigned seats you sort of feel conflict and competition to get seats on the plane. I DO NOT LIKE THIS NEW OPEN BOARDING POLICY! I do enjoy the direct flights that Allegiant offers, but this policy will make me think about other options.