It's pretty common to see people put their stuff all over the middle seats during the open-boarding procedure on Southwest, or folks saying "this seat is saved" if they've purchased the early-bird but their traveling partners have not. It's been pretty amusing up til now, but getting less easy to deal with on my regular route, especially since they are now selling available A1-A15 positions at the gate and have raised the price of early-bird. On last week's flight into Vegas, they announced that it would be a completely full flight with every seat taken. I had A57 and my partner had B16 (he asked me to save a seat for him but I refused - I don't wanna be "that guy"). As I got onto the plane, some lady in the window seat of the front row had her coat, water, purse, and laptop on the middle seat, and I like the extra leg room of the front row, so I politely said that all seats were taken and that I wanted to sit next to her. She made a big sigh and exaggerated movements in collecting her things so I could sit. Throughout the flight, she was courteous enough to continually elbow me, smack me in the face with her coat sleeve, lean on me while she slept, and press her outer leg against mine. No surprises at all. I was gonna pay for my audacity to sit next to her. When we arrived at the gate and started to de-plane, she immediately sprung up, crawled over and pushed past me, and scooted out the door first like the plane was on fire. But when I got into the walkway, she was sitting in a wheelchair with her hands calmly folded over her laptop. Nice. I've also witnessed arguments between people who already have taken a seat and those who board after them, saying "you sat next to my wife/husband and that's my seat". People usually stand their ground, but one argument actually got ugly until the flight attendant intervened. So my question is, does open seating cause more problems than it's worth for you? I still really enjoy choosing my own seat once aboard, but would gladly do so online if it was available in advance for no extra charge. It just seems to be getting more difficult as public manners get worse. Thank goodness for those drink coupons.