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How To Get The Best Seat In Southwest Airlines: 10 Tips

How To Get The Best Seat In Southwest Airlines: 10 Tips

Southwest Airlines, known for its unique open-seating policy, offers a different flight experience compared to other carriers. Instead of assigned seats, passengers choose their spot upon boarding, making the quest for the best seat an art form in itself. 

Whether you’re aiming for extra legroom, a window view, or proximity to the front, strategizing your boarding can make all the difference. 

This article provides ten actionable tips to help you secure the best seat and elevate your Southwest Airlines experience.

Is There A Way To Get A Better Boarding Position On Southwest?

Yes, to secure a better boarding position on Southwest Airlines, consider purchasing the EarlyBird Check-In, which automatically checks you 36 hours before the flight, granting a higher boarding priority. 

Additionally, joining Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program can earn you points towards A-List and A-List Preferred statuses, which come with priority boarding benefits. Being prompt with the standard 24-hour check-in can also improve your boarding position.

10 Tips To Get The Best Seat In Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines operates on a unique open-seating policy, meaning there are no assigned seats. Instead, passengers are given a boarding group (A, B, or C) and a boarding position (1-60) when they check-in for their flight. Here are 10 tips to help you secure the best seat on your next Southwest flight:

1. EarlyBird Check-In

Southwest’s EarlyBird Check-In is a premium service that, for a nominal fee, ensures you’re among the first in line. This service not only improves your boarding position but also allows for a better selection of seats. It’s especially useful during peak travel times when flights are likely to be full.

2. Check-In Promptly

Southwest’s boarding positions are determined by the check-in time. The system allows check-in up to 24 hours before the flight. By setting an alarm or reminder for the exact moment check-in opens, you can ensure a spot in the earlier boarding groups.

3. Rapid Rewards

Southwest’s loyalty program, Rapid Rewards, offers multiple tiers. A-List and A-List Preferred members enjoy benefits like priority boarding, ensuring they’re among the first on the plane. Consistent travel with Southwest can help you achieve these tiers faster.

4. Business Select Fare

While this fare is pricier, it comes with perks. Not only do you get bonus Rapid Rewards points, but you’re also guaranteed a boarding position between A1-A15, ensuring you have the first pick of seats.

5. Travel with Family

Southwest understands the challenges of traveling with young children. The Family Boarding period allows families with young kids to board together, ensuring they can sit together without the rush of general boarding.

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6. Choose Your Spot Wisely

An exit row seat offers more legroom, making for a more comfortable flight, especially for taller passengers. If those are taken, seats at the front of the plane allow for quicker disembarking, saving you time upon arrival.

7. Watch for Open Middle Seats

A non-full flight can mean the luxury of space. By choosing window or aisle seats towards the back, you increase the likelihood of having an empty middle seat next to you, as passengers often fill the front and avoid middle seats when possible.

8. Travel Light

Traveling without large carry-ons means you don’t have to scramble for overhead bin space. This gives you the freedom to choose a seat based on comfort rather than storage availability.

9. Be Courteous

A little politeness goes a long way. If you have a specific seating preference, like wanting to sit next to a travel companion, a courteous request to a fellow passenger might get you the desired seat. Always be prepared for a ‘no,’ and respect their choice.

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10. Stay Updated with the Southwest App

The Southwest Airlines app is a comprehensive tool for travelers. It offers features like mobile boarding passes, flight status updates, and gate information. By staying updated through the app, you can be better prepared and informed during your travel.

In conclusion, while the open-seating policy of Southwest Airlines might seem daunting, with a bit of planning and strategy, you can ensure a comfortable and pleasant flight experience. Safe travels!

How Do I Get More Boarding Time On Southwest?

To get more boarding time on Southwest Airlines:

  • EarlyBird Check-In: Purchase this add-on to automatically check you in 36 hours before departure.
  • Business Select Fare: This fare guarantees a spot in the A1-A15 boarding group.
  • Check-In Promptly: Check in exactly 24 hours before your flight.
  • Rapid Rewards: Elite status members (A-List and A-List Preferred) receive priority boarding.
  • Special Assistance: Passengers with specific needs can pre-board before general boarding.

Bottom Line

Securing the best seat on Southwest Airlines hinges on a combination of early check-in, understanding the boarding process, and being aware of the aircraft’s layout. By maximizing your EarlyBird Check-In, joining the Rapid Rewards program, or even simply being vigilant during the boarding process, you can increase your chances of nabbing that prime spot. 

Remember, while the journey is the main event, a comfortable seat can set the tone for a pleasant trip. With the right strategies in place, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable flight every time you fly Southwest.

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