How to Select Seats on Southwest Airlines

Are you planning a long trip with Southwest Airlines? Then, it’s important to select the seat of your choice and make yourself feel at home. The best way to make Southwest Airlines Seat selection at the airport is by selecting your boarding group. The process is quite simple and will only work depending on your boarding group after check-in. The airline will provide you with the boarding credentials 24 hours before the flight.

According to many passengers, nothing could go wrong in the seat selection process. If you are one of the many passengers, you might not be completely aware of the Southwest seat selection policy. To know all the information in detail, go through this blog and comment your questions at the end.

How does Southwest Airlines Seat Selection Policy work?

The first thing you must know to make your travel comfortable is that Southwest Airlines allows all passengers to pick a seat of their choice. And with this flexibility, there are some limitations that you must remember. Below are important points to help you understand Southwest Airlines seat selection policy in detail:

  • All Southwest airline passengers can select the seat as per their requirements. However, you are only limited to the seat options that are left.
  • Southwest has an open seating system and does not assign passengers seats in advance. You must choose your boarding group and get your preferred seat on the plane.
  • You will get the boarding details after you check in (online or at the airport) to help you identify your boarding group and other seating details. The check-in process starts 24 hours before the departure time.
  • Southwest reserves the boarding position of passengers with Early Bird check-in, reward bookings, Business Select, Anytime, A-list Preferred, and A-list members 36 hours before take off. However, you will still get your boarding group information 24 hours before departure time.
  • If you are confused with the numbers on their flight bookings after check-in, know that it’s your Boarding position and not your seat number. A, B, and C are Boarding groups, whereas numbers 1-16 are your boarding position to board a Southwest flight.
  • There are several numbered posts in each Southwest terminal gate area indicating where you should line up for boarding. When it’s time for your boarding group to board the aircraft, find your designated post and wait in line with your group.

How do I get group A boarding with Southwest?

To get a better boarding position on Southwest Airlines, you must get a boarding pass within Group Southwest Airlines has three groups in total: Group A, Group B, and Group C. Group A allows passengers to board first and select seats from a diverse range of options. Thus, only passengers with the following are allowed to board Group A:

  • Early Bird Check-in: A special feature that allows Southwest passengers to check in and board first. Passengers can purchase Early bird check-in while making reservations or using ‘Manage bookings’ for up to 34 hours before departure.
  • Southwest reward bookings: On purchasing flight bookings with miles and rewards, Southwest will give you the opportunity to board first.
  • Business Select reservations: Booking Southwest Business Select seats will get you the chance to receive priority boarding from A1 to A15.
  • Anytime tickets: Along with ample flexibility, Southwest Anytime fare holders get an early bird check-in facility that will let you board the plane in Group A.
  • A-list Preferred and A-list members: The elite status membership on Southwest will help you fly in comfort with the best seats available for Southwest boarding Group A.
  • Active military: Passengers with a valid ID and are on Government Duty can board Group A with the help of valid proof.
  • Special needs passengers: Southwest takes passengers with Special needs to board first to fulfill any requirement they may have on the plane.

You can make the above facilities available to you by going to the ‘Manage My Bookings’ section on the official page of Southwest Airlines.

How to get better seats on Southwest boarding Group B?

Southwest Airlines has three boarding groups, A, B, and C, where Group A gets to board first, followed by Group B, and then Group C. Each group has 60 passengers, so the sooner you check in, the more likely you are to get a preferred seat. But, if you missed boarding in Group A, you still have a chance to get a window or aisle seat. Here is how you can get some good seats on Southwest Airlines Group B or C boarding pass:

  • Family Boarding: When traveling with a family, including two adults and children aged 6 or below, you can take advantage of boarding the flight right after group A.
  • Upgrade your seats: If you want to improve your chances even more, you can upgrade your boarding position and get Southwest Business Select seats. This option is available while checking in online, and it lets you pay a little extra to get a better seat.
  • Be the first at the gate: After you get to know that you will be boarding in group B or C, make sure to reach the gate as early as possible to get a better seating option.
  • When expecting an empty middle or side seat, it’s best to board anytime you want, especially when there are fewer passengers on the flight.
  • Lastly, you can check in 24 hours before the flight and add an Early bird Check with your flight bookings.

If you want to upgrade your flight bookings at the last minute, you can check in online or contact Southwest Airlines reservation number +1-800-435-9792. Also, inform of the same number when traveling with your family, including children below 6.

Do you have to pay to select seats on Southwest?

Southwest Airlines does not assign seats to passengers in advance, and thus, there is no particular seat selection fee. However, Southwest does offer the option of purchasing EarlyBird Check-in for a fee. This service automatically checks you in 36 hours before the flight and gives you a better boarding position in Group A. As Southwest has an open seating policy, any passenger can select the seat of their choice once they board the flight. You can still find the best seat options without EarlyBird check-in; you have to reach the gate early and board the plane first.

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