People one of two people love or dislike Southwest Airlines. Few take the center ground and no one desires that dreaded middle seat! If you’ve to be wondering exactly how to select a seat on Southwest Airlines, listen up. Here’s what you need to know.Some travelers won’t also fly Southwest due to their quirky open seating boarding process It can be stressful and also often way you need to summon increase your best hustle power to get a an excellent seat ~ above Southwest. And also of course, a great seat means different points to various people.

You are watching: How to pick seats on southwest

It’s finest to board through a plan! below are part tricks, tips and strategies so that the dreaded center seat goes to someone other than you!


How Southwest Airlines open Seating policy Works

If you’re new to Southwest and can’t number out exactly how to pick your seats, don’t worry, neither can anyone else.

Southwest Airlines has actually an open seating policy. Seats room not assigned ahead of time, fairly passengers room assigned a boarding group, A, B, or C, and also a boarding position, 1-60.

The boarding group and also position identify when you plank the plane, and also thus how plenty of seats girlfriend will be able to choose from.

The totality thing supplied to be a true complimentary for all. The airline handed the end placards with among the three letters. Human being would line up under a letter, camping the end on the ground because that literally hours before a flight departed, in hope of improving their real estate situation onboard the flight.

Southwest chose this wasn’t a great look, and earlier in the mid-2000s added boarding positions. Now, the lines have numbers and everyone is intended to kind themselves out based on their specific position in line.

Unless friend really are dead collection on sit at the bulkhead or friend really desire an departure row aisle or window, the crucial to detect a decent seat ~ above a full flight is to secure a boarding place in around the very first half of passengers to board.

What makes For a “Good” Southwest Seat?

All that this talk around seating begs the question, which seat qualify as an excellent ones? The seats on the plane are more or less all identical. Except for leave rows, there’s no extra legroom seating, and also there’s no really any type of perk come one seat end the other, as well as location.

Southwest airlines cabins are delightfully uniform. Seats room spaced same apart, and also they every have full tray tables, armrests and luxe amenities favor lights and also air.

The best seat on Southwest counts on an individual needs. Travelers v connecting flights might want to sit in the front in bespeak to do a quick exit, however then there room those that head right for the ago perhaps since they space a family members looking because that seats together. Part folks head to the earlier hoping the flight won’t it is in full and also they’ll have actually a row with an empty middle seat.

One piece of details I choose to have prior to I sit down is how complete my flight is. I’ve seen Southwest door agents do announcements as to whether a trip is full, yet they often make this up just to acquire everyone ~ above the plane quicker. One inexact way to referee is come see how many people remain in the door area after ~ the A team is called. If about half the door area lines up for A boarding, it’s a safe bet there will be plenty of empty seats.

The complete Guide come Southwest Airlines’ Quirky Perks and Hacks

During full-ish flights, choosing seats in the front-center section rises your chance of securing one empty center seat between you and also a neighbor. As soon as there space plenty of empty seats, though, the behind of the aircraft have the right to be downright spacious.

Rule Number One: Check-In ASAP

If there’s one ascendancy Southwest regulars monitor religiously, it’s this: check-in exactly 24 hours before the flight. I occasionally even set an alarm because that the specific minute!

Use this page. Use it early.

Get on her laptop, open the Southwest website ~ above a smartphone or download the Southwest app. In ~ a couple of minutes of opening, countless of the coveted optimal boarding positions will certainly be gone, therefore it’s an essential to click that examine In switch as at an early stage as possible.

I know some Southwest regular flyers who collection an alert five minutes before check-in opens. They’ll get in all the necessary information on the website to examine in and then as soon as the clock ticks 24 hours, they’ll click the button.

EarlyBird Check-In Option

Not sure if you’ll be able to check-in 24 hours prior to your flight? think about purchasing Southwest EarlyBird Check-In. EarlyBird Check-In prices $15.00 one-way, per person. When you purchase EarlyBird Check-In, Southwest instantly checks you in and also assigns your boarding position within 36 hrs of her flight’s departure. Southwest EarlyBird Check-In no guarantee an A boarding position, however it stand to factor you would be in the A or early on B group.

Does Southwest Airlines have a family Boarding Policy?

Have a family? You’re in luck. One adult traveling v a child six or younger may board throughout Family Boarding, ~ the “A” group has boarded and also before the “B” group starts boarding. If the child and also the adult are both hold an “A” boarding pass, they need to board in your assigned boarding position, however if one of two people is B1 or later, this faster way helps family members sit together.

Southwest Boarding groups Move conveniently — If You’re Late, Walk-Up Front

Once Southwest start boarding, things happen quickly. If you room running late and have an earlier boarding position, simply walk come the prior of the heat to board. Don’t worry, cutting isn’t rude in this circumstance.

I’ve watched this happen plenty of times, particularly with travelers from connecting flights.

Pay Extra or fly More

Southwest uses a fare that assures an A1-A15 boarding position: organization Select. These fares are pricy — much more than a completely refundable ticket — however they encompass FlyBy Priority defense lane accessibility and come with free cocktail coupons.

What specifically Is a ‘Wanna acquire Away’ Fare?

If friend don’t desire to acquisition a service Select fare, Upgraded Boarding is an alternative. Upgraded Boarding is not constantly available, but can be worth trying.


Southwest rapid Rewards Priority credit Card

The brand-new Southwest Airlines quick Rewards Priority credit Card actually has Upgraded Boarding on 4 flights per year. It likewise comes with a heap that intro bonus points, if you spend enough.

On the job of travel, walk to a Kiosk at the airport and Check-In again. It’s also feasible to ask about Upgraded Boarding in ~ the package counter. You can also ask at the gate before the begin of the boarding process.

If Upgraded Boarding is available, depending on your itinerary, you will do it be offered a boarding position in the A1-A15 group. The price is $30 or $40 per flight depending on your itinerary.

Southwest Airlines rapid Rewards members v A-List and also A-List preferred status. These members are instantly assigned boarding positions ahead of basic boarding. They even board front of EarlyBird flyers.

Want to it is in unpopular? try Saving Seats 

Save a seat and someone’s likely to provide you this look.

Some travelers will certainly attempt to conserve seats for world boarding after ~ them. Numerous frequent flyers will complain because Southwest doesn’t seem to have an main policy on this practice. Even if castle do, crews don’t consistently perform anything around it.

I’ve observed that most people don’t treatment if who is saving a center seat next to them as soon as their traveling companion is boarding soon. But beware! part passengers take conserving seats come the max. You might need come speak increase or asking a crew member for help.

See more: How To Make Your Stomach Stop Gurgling ? It Could Be A Sign Of A Digestive Issue


How perform I choose a chair on Southwest Airlines deserve to be a confusing inquiry to answer. These tips and suggestions can assist you navigate Southwest’s open seating policy with the the very least amount of stress, a good dose of humor around how it every somehow works, and also the finest chance of getting the best seat possible!

Related Posts:

Shelli Stein is a health and also fitness entrepreneur that travels the civilization in find of culture, food, and also fun! as well as contributing to, friend can uncover her at Joy in Movement.