If you’re a Southwest Airlines flier and want the best seats, an entire cottage industry has sprung up. You enter your Southwest Airlines account and password into sites like boardfirst.com, apassonly.com or alineonline.com will automatically check you in online the second Southwest Airlines starts accepting seat reservations. It costs about $5 bucks per use… an excellent deal if you really want to get that extra leg room near the emergency exit door.
Unfortunately, Southwest Airlines doesn’t appreciate the convenience to their customers, so now they’re suing! Southwest’s big beef is that these websites violate the terms and conditions of Southwest Airlines’ website, accessing customer records as third parties. They’ve even managed to shut down apassonly.com.
This is a great reason why flight providers should allow customers to reserve their seats when they buy the ticket. A flexible first-come, first-serve system of awarding the best seats to the people who come first that still has a loophole when the elderly or disabled needs the seat. If Southwest did that, they’d get rid of the cottage industry they so despise and give their customers what they are obviously clamoring for. But lawsuits are probably easier than retooling a nonsensical policy.
Getting the best seats on Southwest just got harder [Upgrade Travel]