Southwest Airlines Seat Selection

Looking for information on Southwest Airlines seat selection policy? Well, the airline has an open-seating policy that lets you choose your desired seat after boarding the flight. This simply means that Southwest doesn’t assign seats in advance. You can pick your seat once you are on the flight.

Southwest understands that getting the seat you want can enhance your travel experience. Therefore, it gives a fair chance to each passenger to get the seat they want. If you need more information on the seat selection policy of the airline, go through the following blog.

Does Southwest have advance seat selection?

As mentioned above, there is no advance seat selection on Southwest Airlines. You can only select a seat on Southwest Airlines after boarding your flight. The seat selection process of the airline is based on a first-come and first-serve basis. However, Southwest does have different boarding groups, and you must choose a suitable boarding group to board the flight early. Additionally, it also has different boarding positions.

  • With this unique boarding process, Southwest offers an open-seating pattern.
  • You must choose the first boarding group if you wish to sit on your preferred seat.
  • If your desired seat is already occupied, you have to find a new spot for yourself.
  • Therefore, sort out your seating choices and choose the boarding group accordingly.
  • However, there are still special requirements for the exit row seats.
  • Kids below 2 years can sit in someone’s lap.
  • Moreover, seat selection on Southwest Airlines is simple if you have chosen the right boarding group.

How does the boarding process work on Southwest Airlines?

The airline has different boarding groups that flyers to board the flight in proper order. With these boarding groups, the airline also has a unique open-seating policy. Simply put, the seat you choose on the flight depends on your boarding group. Those who board the flight early will have higher chances of choosing their desired seats. Your seat selection in Southwest Airlines depends on your boarding group.

Southwest Airlines has different boarding groups, named A, B, or C. In addition to this, there are 1-60 boarding positions. Get your boarding group after completing the check-in process. Moreover, check your boarding pass to find your boarding group easily. Firstly, Group A will board the flight, followed by Group B. After that, Group C will board the flight.

What is the Southwest Airlines boarding order?

Knowing the boarding order of Southwest is important to find which boarding group will suit your preferences the best. So, learn about the boarding order of Southwest, and make your choice conveniently. Here is the boarding order of the airline from first to last-

Note - There is no advance seat selection on Southwest Airlines. So, choose your boarding group wisely to travel on your favorite seat.


To get the preboarding with Southwest, you have to meet the specific criteria. Moreover, this boarding group is for those who have specific seating needs because of their disabilities. If you need extra time to board the flight or need boarding help, you must opt for the preboarding group. However, you have to get in touch with the Southwest representative at the ticket counter to join this boarding group. However, you will not get the exit row seat if you are in the preboarding group.

The A Group

A1-A15 boarding positions will be the first ones to board the flight. Most elite flyers choose this boarding group, such as passengers with Business Select Fares or those who are ready to pay for the boarding group. Check out the Southwest Airlines Business Select seating options if you are in this boarding group, and fly conveniently. Moreover, you can visit the Southwest upgraded boarding portal to choose this boarding group online. The rest of group A will have A16-A60 boarding positions.

Other passengers with disabilities

This specific boarding group is for those who require extra time to board the flight but were unable to join the preboarding group. If you are one of those, you must choose this boarding group to embark on the flight after Group A. Talk to the Southwest executives to get this boarding group, and board the flight in your needed time.

Active-duty military in uniform and passengers with families

As per the Southwest Airlines seat selection process, active-duty members in uniform will board the flight before Group B and Group C. Moreover, if one is traveling with a child of 6 years or younger, they can easily request this boarding group. This family boarding group is for travelers who are flying with their families.

Group B and Group C

The rest of the passengers will get Group B. They can get on the flight and select their seats. Moreover, there will be Group C in case of the long haul flight. As both of these are the last boarding groups, the chances of getting the desired seat are lesser.

Southwest Airlines flights seat selection procedure is simple and gives everyone the equal opportunity to choose their desired seat. Choose any of these boring groups as per your own preferences and board the flight accordingly. After that, you can pick your favorite seat seamlessly.

How can I select a seat on Southwest Airlines? 

As mentioned above, Southwest has an open-seating pattern, and you can’t select your seats in advance with the airline. Moreover, passengers can select their seats after boarding their flights. You just need to pick your desired boarding group and board the flight accordingly. If you need to choose your favorite seat on the flight, you must select the boarding group accordingly. As seats will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis, you can easily choose your seat by boarding the flight at first. Make a Southwest Airlines booking, and get your boarding group. 

What is the Southwest Airlines seat selection fee?

As mentioned above, there is no advance seat selection with Southwest Airlines, and therefore, there will not be any seat selection fee. You can just board the flight and choose the seat of your choice. However, you can get the desired boarding group by paying additional money.

Southwest Airlines doesn’t charge for seat selection because the airline doesn’t let you choose seats in advance. Get your boarding group, board the flight, and select your preferred seat effortlessly.

How to be in the Southwest preboarding group?

Want to pick your desired seat on the flight? You must be in the preboarding group to get the flight early and choose your preferred seat. In the preboarding group, try to get A1-A15 boarding positions to ensure the best seating option for you. Here are some tips that you can use to get the preboarding group and pick your desired seat. Moreover, you can dial Southwest Airlines customer service phone number anytime if you have any doubts regarding the boring groups. 

Check-in 24 hours in advance

To get into the preboarding group without paying any extra money, you must check in for your flight 24 hours in advance. It is the tried-tested tip, and chances are higher to be a part of the preboarding group if you check-in 24 hours in advance. So, go to the Southwest official site, and complete the check-in procedure without any hassle.

Buy Business Select Fares

As per the Southwest Airlines seat selection policy, you will definitely be in the preboarding group if you purchase Business Select Fares for your trip. No matter when you check in for your flight, you will be in the preboarding group if you buy this fare. However, the Business Select fares are comparatively expensive but offer incredible amenities on the flight.

Earn elite status

Are you a frequent flyer of Southwest? Try to earn A-List and A-List Preferred status and avail benefits of upgraded boarding. However, you have to travel with the airline for a certain number to earn this elite status. If you have this status, you can board the flight after passengers with Business Select Fares.

Get a Southwest Airlines credit card

With the Southwest credit card, one gets four upgraded boarding positions every year. You can receive any card from the airline from Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card and Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card. Moreover, you will easily be a part of the preboarding group if you have any of these cards.

Purchase upgraded boarding

However, you don’t need to pay a Southwest Airlines seat selection fee, but you can pay a little extra to get this boarding. It is not assured that you will get A1-A15 boarding positions if you purchase upgraded boarding. But you will definitely board your flight at the earliest. Moreover, you need to pay $30 to $50 extra charges at the airport to be in the preboarding group.

Purchase EarlyBird check-in

For EarlyBird check-in, one has to pay $15 to $25 for a one-way trip. Once you get this, Southwest will automatically check you in 36 hours before the flight. As the check-in completes 36 hours in advance, there are higher chances of receiving a better boarding position. However, EarlyBird check-in doesn’t ensure getting the preboarding group.

Use all these tips and, get a better seat on the flight to complete your journey amidst sheer convenience.

What are the best seats on Southwest Airlines?

You must be thinking about which seats are the best best on Southwest Airlines. Well, the best seats on the flight depend upon your requirements. You must get the seat that suits your needs, so you have an elevated journey.

  • If you need only one seat companion, you must choose row 11. Either go for seat B or seat C.
  • For extra legroom, select seat 12A.
  • Want to deboard the flight at the earliest? Choose Row 1.
  • If you want to sit where the drinks and snacks start serving, go for rows 1, 9, and 17.

Does Southwest allow family boarding?

Yes, the airline has family boarding, where you can board Southwest Airlines flights along with your family members. Avail the benefits of family boarding, and sit together with your family on the flight. 

  • The airline permits family boarding between boarding groups A and B 
  • Up to two adults who are traveling with children of 6 years or more can board the flight in the family boarding group. 
  • The adults and the children who have boarding group A must board the flight in that boarding group only. They don’t have to wait for the family boarding group.

What are the seat specifications of Southwest Airlines?

If you are planning to select your seat with Southwest Airlines, then you should check out the seat specifications to make a better decision. It will help you choose the right seat for your journey. However, you can’t reserve your seat in advance. Board the flight and book your desired seat quickly. Let’s check out the seat selection of the airline with the respective aircraft.

AircraftsCapacity for flyersSeat PitchSeat WidthAisle Armrests (Movable)
Boeing 737-7001433117All rows
Boeing 737-80017532-3317All rows except front bulkhead
Boeing 737-MAX 817532-3317.8All rows except front bulkhead

Can I save a seat for my companion on Southwest?

There is no such policy that allows you to save a seat on Southwest for your companion. However, there is no policy against it as well. Some passengers board the flight early and choose seats for their companions who are in the later boarding group. If you want to save a seat for your companion, you can do it. But if someone wants to sit there, and your companion has not made it to the flight yet, then you have to give that seat.

Bottom line

Don’t want to compromise your comfort during your journey? Get your desired seat on the flight, and travel pleasantly to your destination. To choose your favorite seat, you must be a part of one of the boarding groups. Be a part of the preboarding group, and board the flight at first to pick your preferred seat. Moreover, one must use the mentioned tips as well for being a part of the preboarding group. Board the flight, and select your seat stress-free. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How are seats chosen on Southwest Airlines?

The airline has an open-seating pattern. You can’t choose seats in advance with the airline. Simply board the flight, and choose your preferred seat easily.

Does Southwest Airlines let you choose your seats?

With the open-seating pattern, Southwest doesn’t allow advance seat selection. You can choose your boarding group to board the flight at first and sit on your desired seat.

Is Group A on Southwest good?

If you have a Group A boarding group, you have high chances that you get to sit on your favorite seat. Mostly, elite passengers select this boarding group to ensure sitting on their favorite seats.

Is there any fee to select seats on Southwest flights?

Southwest doesn’t allow advance seat selection, and therefore, there is no fee. You just have to choose your boarding group to board the flight and pick your desired seat.

How can I get the best boarding group on Southwest Airlines?

For the best boarding group on Southwest, you must earn elite status. With the preferred status, you can enjoy upgraded boarding. Moreover, you can check-in in advance for a better boarding group.

Is it hard to get a seat on Southwest?

No, you can easily choose your preferred seat on the flight as there is an open-seating policy. Just board the flight, and sit on your preferred seat.

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