A couple has divided the internet after video showed them blocking seats on a Southwest Airlines flight as they searched for the “right person” to take the seat next to them.
The video, which was posted on November 28, has resurfaced amid the Southwest Airlines flight cancellation chaos.
Before the holidays, a major “bomb cyclone” delayed and canceled thousands of US flights. More than 91 percent of all canceled flights in the US came from Southwest.
Despite the cancellations, boarding Southwest flights may add another level of chaos due to the Dallas-based airline’s seating policy. According to the company’s website, Southwest flights have an “open seat” policy, which means there are no assigned seats.
Instead, passengers are assigned to boarding group A, B, or C and a boarding position, from one to 60, determines when passengers board the plane.
Now, a video posted by Instagram user Jeff Martin (@jjmartin.stf) has gone viral showing a couple claiming two seats while searching for the “right person” to take the third seat in row.
The video shows Martin’s wife sitting two seats across from him in the aisle seat, as he screened passengers boarding the Southwest flight for a seat.
“Southwest flight. We took the hallway and the window until we found the right person,” she wrote about the video.
As a younger man wearing hearing aids approaches her row of seats, the woman turns to her husband and points at the young man. She then taps him on the shoulder and asks if she would like to sit in her row, to which he agrees.
Although Martin captioned the video, “Southwest Airlines Etiquette,” many viewers did not seem to agree with the couple’s seating strategy.
“The right person?” asked a commenter.
“What does ‘correct’ mean?” another person asked, while a third user wrote: “Childish behavior.”
“The fact that people do things like this doesn’t surprise me,” someone else said. “The fact that people don’t get embarrassed, but instead announce that they do this is what blows my mind. If I was flying solo, and there was an empty space ahead, I would take it whether you wanted to or not. You paid for two seats. You have no right to any of the other seats.
Meanwhile, some people praised the couple for their Southwest tag and vowed to wear it on their next flight.
“I love that. I’ll have to try it sometime,” said one person.
Another shared: “One time my mom and I built a ‘dummy’ out of our carry-on luggage and a jacket to hold the seat until my aunt could board.”
However, the top comment came from a user who mocked the Southwest flight cancellation controversy: “Plot twist, the flight was canceled anyway.”
the independent has contacted Jeff Martin for comment.
This article was originally published on January 3, 2023.