Southwest Airlines Seat Selection Policy

Following the current updates on Southwest Airlines Seat Selection, we’ve outlined that seat selection service is luckily offered to all the eligible customers. However, they can proceed to the seat selection procedure ahead of time, no matter whether you have agreed to pay for it. Instead, You are free to select any seat once you are on board. This implies that you never know if you’ll be seated next to other passengers, by a window, or in an aisle. However, you can increase your chances of securing a decent seat on your next Southwest flight by doing a few things.

Let’s check out how to take advantage of Southwest’s open seating policy in depth.

What is Southwest Airlines Seat Selection Policy?

To leverage the best of Southwest Seat Selection service, you must acknowledge the policies given in the following points listed below.

  • According to the seat selection policy of Southwest Airlines, first to board the aircraft gets the first choice of seats.
  • Customers can proceed with the procedure of seat selection policy only after boarding the flight.
  • As Southwest Airlines does not assign seats to any of them ahead of time, instead, the customers are entitled to sit in any of the available seats for free.
  • Southwest Airlines Seat Selection does not assure you the seat assignment next to your companion.
  • Based on the following factors such as fare type and check in time, a different boarding group is offered to the passengers by Southwest Airlines according to the seat selection policy.

What are the Boarding Groups of Southwest Airlines?

There are probably more opposing views on Southwest Airlines’ boarding procedure than on whether tropical fruits should belong on pizza. However, there is one certainty: The boarding procedure at Southwest is undoubtedly distinct. No seats are designated. Getting the desired window seat behind the exit row is not ensured (It implies that there won’t be a seat in front of you directly). There’s no assurance that your best friend will be seated beside you.

However, it signifies that as soon as you board the aircraft, you can choose your seat from whatever is available. Consider choosing a seat at least a few rows back if someone in Row 3 has already finished his tuna sandwich.

Additionally, conceptually, the Southwest boarding procedure is more effective (Not less than in accordance with MythBusters) than most seat-assigned boarding systems. So what is the procedure’s methodology? We break down Southwest’s boarding procedure so you can choose the ideal seat for your journey.

Southwest uses an open seating system instead of giving passengers assigned seats. Regarding who gets to select their seats and in what order, the following groups have boarding pass specifications.

  • Group A: A-List in addition to A-List Some of Southwest’s most frequent travelers are preferred members. They are genetically assigned to Group A, the first boarding group. Passengers who purchase EarlyBird Check-In are typically placed in the A group, giving them an early boarding position.
  • The first group to board the plane. Passengers in this group can choose any available seat on the plane. The exact order within Group A is determined by when you checked in.
  • Group B: The second group to board the plane. Passengers in this group can choose from the remaining available seats after Group A has boarded. The exact order within Group B is also based on your check-in time.
  • Group C: The last group to board. Passengers in Group C have fewer options for seating, as most of the prime seats will have been taken by passengers in Groups A and B.

How Do I Get The Best Seat on Southwest Airlines?

Since Southwest Airlines does not have assigned seating, there are several factors that contribute to getting the best seat. The following advice will help you improve your chances of securing a good seat:

Check in Early: The order in which you board a Southwest Airlines aircraft is determined by the time you check in. To secure a better boarding position and more seat options, it is recommended that you check in as early as possible.

Purchase EarlyBird Check-In: If you want to check in ahead of time, think about getting EarlyBird Check-In, which allows you to check in automatically. By doing this, you can avoid manually checking in and instead be guaranteed a better boarding position.

A-List Status: You’ll be put in the A boarding group automatically if you have A-List or A-List Preferred status with Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program, which gives you early access to select your seat.

Know the Aircraft Layout: Learn how to navigate the aircraft’s layout. Certain areas are preferred by certain individuals, like the exit rows for more legroom or the front for a speedier deplaning experience.

Board Early: If you have a particular seat in mind, make use of early boarding. By arriving early, you can select from a larger selection of available seats.

Be Strategic: There may be variations in seat availability even within a boarding group. When selecting your seat, think strategically and take into account things like the proximity to the front or rear of the aircraft, your preference for an aisle or window, and the location of the emergency exit rows.

Monitor Seat Availability: As you board, keep an eye on the availability of seats. When it’s your turn, you can ask a flight attendant if there are any available seats in another section if you’re not happy with the options that are left.

How Do I Recognize My Boarding Position on Southwest Airlines?

Southwest does not assign seats to customers at the time of booking, compared to other airlines.

Instead, upon checking in for their flight, passengers are given a boarding position. A designated boarding group and position, covering A to C and 1 to 60, each, will be assigned to you upon check-in with Southwest Airlines. The boarding pass you have will have this information printed on it.

Group A will go through the boarding process first, then Group B, and finally Group C. Within each category, there is a range of numbers, and each passenger is given a unique number. The order in which travelers board the plane and choose their seats is determined by their boarding position.

How Does Southwest Boarding Process?

Just thirty minutes prior to its scheduled departure, Southwest, like many other airlines, starts the boarding process. The similarities stop there, though, as Southwest’s open seating policy—which allows you to board the aircraft wherever you choose without being assigned a seat—makes its boarding procedure unique from that of other airlines.

Except for those who choose to sit in an exit row and who meet the age and physical requirements set forth by the Federal Aviation Administration, all airlines operate on a first-come, first-seated basis.

The following is the boarding order for Southwest flights:

Preboarding (for unaccompanied minors, people with special needs for seats to accommodate a disability, and help boarding and stowing an assistive device)

  • Group A 1-60
  • A List or A-List Active-duty military personnel, preferred members, and family boarding (those with children under the age of six)
  • Group B 1-60
  • Group C 1-60

What Are Some Ways to Get a Better Boarding Position?

Having more options for seats on Southwest Airlines requires getting a better boarding position. The following strategies can help you get a better boarding position:

  • You should ensure to check in precisely 24 hours prior to your departure. If you check in precisely 24 hours before your flight, Southwest’s lowest-cost Wanna Get Away fares assure the earliest boarding assignment.
  • Possesses elite A-List category: This allows you to choose the seat of your choice.
  • There are tickets offered for Upgraded Boarding, Business Select, and EarlyBird Check-In. Instead of only 24 hours prior to departure, Southwest allows EarlyBird Check-In for $15–$25 (based on distance between locations) 36 hours in advance. If you check in 24 hours ahead of time, your chances of getting a seat will be higher.
  • Consider taking the day’s first flight: You will receive some benefits and be able to select your desired seat on the first flight of the day.


Compared to other airlines, Southwest Airlines seat selection policy is distinct. Passengers select their seats as soon as they board the aircraft. This can be advantageous when traveling with a companion or if you have a preference for a particular seat. Travelers should make plans because various factors, like boarding group and check-in time, can influence seat selection.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are seats assigned on Southwest Airlines?

No, assigned seating is not available on Southwest Airlines. Rather, when boarding, passengers are free to select any available seat thanks to their open seating policy.

What is Southwest Airlines’ process for choosing a seat?

Depending on when they checked in, passengers are given a position (e.g., A1, B15) and a boarding group (A, B, or C). Group boarding takes place, and once on board, passengers are free to select any available seat.

When will my Southwest flight check-in open?

Online registration begins 24 hours prior to the planned departure time. Your chances of getting a better boarding position go up if you check in as early as possible.

How does EarlyBird Check-In operate and what is it?

EarlyBird Check-In is an extra service that costs extra. It gains you a head start on boarding by automatically checking you in before general check-in opens.

When Does the Boarding Process on Southwest Airlines?

Southwest Airlines normally starts the boarding process half an hour before the flight is scheduled to depart.

See Also:

What is Southwest Airlines Group Travel?

How Do I Talk To A Live Representative At Southwest Airlines?

Southwest Airlines Seat Selection Policy

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