Controversial Airline Explains How To Get A Whole Row To Yourself

Try these tricks at your own risk.

Controversial Airline Explains How To Get A Whole Row To Yourself

Image: ThePointsGuy

US-based low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines have taken to TikTok in an attempt to win back customers after they’ve been struggling to rehabilitate their image in light of a holiday meltdown. How? By revealing normally discourage tips and tips on just how you can finally secure an entire row of seats to yourself…

There are few things worse than the awkward lean-and-hop manoeuvre required for a midair toilet trip, being squeezed between two less-than-ideal fellow flyers, or the anxiety that arises from wondering whether you’ll get a seat altogether.

On top of this, Southwest Airlines – the US’ largest low-cost carrier, based in Dallas, Texas – had a real-life nightmare before Christmas when a blizzard (in combination with their long-outdated tech systems) left thousands of passengers stranded in airports over the Christmas period, unable to complete their journeys to see loved ones for the festive holidays.

In light of all this, it might be unsurprising that Southwest is attempting to reinvigorate its marketing strategies, including an overhauled social media presence that, as of this weekend, is using TikTok to “leak” travel secrets and top tips that could grant flyers some unexpected perks for their future journeys.

In a video released yesterday, Southwest reveals its top four “discouraged but crafty strategies to get a row to yourself”. Watch below.

Ranging from the pretty straightforward “flatout decline” – which, perhaps unsurprisingly, is as simple as it sounds but requires a level of shamelessness that might be stretching for some – to the ridiculous and illusory “hat trick”, the strategies range in quality and sincerity…

For the more dramatically inclined, the “fake breakup” requires sharper acting chops than the others but feels as if it could be a clear winner in terms of effectiveness, dependant on execution.

The only remaining method, “the encouraging seat pat”, could also be highly efficient, allowing you to still come across as friendly and outgoing whilst ultimately achieving your entirely selfish aims. The only catch? It may be a tad too triggering for those that were always left wanting for ride-or-dies on school field trips…

Though the video has been generally well received across all of Southwest’s social media channels, even achieving treading status on Twitter over the weekend, the carrier’s customers are split on the issue – with some throwing their enthusiasm behind the video, while others responded with scorn.

Travellers were left to search for their suitcases in a baggage holding area for Southwest Airlines at Denver International Airport over the Christmas period. Image: Getty

“I just hold the airsick bag in my lap and breathe hard,” said one happy commenter, adding to Southwest’s roster of increasingly maleficent tactics. Another had an anecdote: “On a nearly full flight, I held my 6-month-old up in the air to show that no one wanted our row… It worked flawlessly”.

Some, however, took the opportunity to clap back at the airline: “Is it encouraged to have consistent delays though? Never again”, said one. “How about modernising the process instead of giving folks anxiety over the antiquated [seat selection] method?”, said another.

All in all, the video definitely has some interesting ideas about how to secure yourself some much-needed personal space when flying on a budget. On the other hand, ill-treated customers aren’t quick to forget, and Southwest’s most-recent PR meltdown may feel a little too close in the rearview mirror for some to get behind this, no matter how much room they have to stretch their legs…