Southwest Airlines Seat Selection Policy

category Category: Travel Blog   author Author: Airlines Southwest
Southwest Airlines Seat Selection Policy

Seat selection policies vary between airlines, so understanding them before booking a flight is vital. Some airlines allow seat selection at booking, while others require passengers to pay an additional fee for this service. Southwest Airlines has a unique seat selection policy that distinguishes it from other airlines. Unlike most airlines, Southwest does not assign seats ahead of time, and passengers are free to sit in any available seat once they board the plane. Instead, passengers are assigned a boarding group, A, B, or C, and a boarding position, 1-60+, based on factors such as ticket type and check-in time. The boarding order is A1-60, then B1-60, and finally C1-60, with passengers in group A boarding first. Several factors influence Southwest Airlines seat selection process. Read below to learn more about Southwest Airlines Seat Selection Policy. 

If you need to book Southwest Airlines best seat, call Southwest Airlines at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792)/+1-833-563-0229 or request online by using their official website. Their representative will guide you about Southwest Airlines Seat Selection Policy.

Get the best seats on Southwest Airlines

  • Checking in early is one of the most important tips for getting the best seats on Southwest Airlines. Southwest Airlines uses an open-seat policy, which means passengers can choose their seats on a first-come, first-served basis. Early check-in increases your chances of getting a better seat. Southwest Airlines allows passengers to check in 24 hours before their flight.
  • Early Bird Check-In is another way to get a better seat on Southwest Airlines. Passengers can purchase Early Bird Check-In, which automatically checks them in 36 hours before their flight. In this way, passengers can choose their seats before others who check in later. Early Bird Check-In does not guarantee a specific seat, but it increases your chances of getting a better seat.
  • Consider upgrading to Business Select if you want a good seat. Standard fares are cheaper than Business Select fares. There are a few perks associated with them, including priority boarding and seat selection.

Which are the Best seats on Southwest Airlines?

  • For passengers who prioritize easy aisle access, aisle seats are the most comfortable option on Southwest Airlines. These seats are located on the side of the plane, providing easy access to the aisle. At the end of the flight, you can easily exit the plane or move around the cabin.
  • Southwest Airlines offers emergency exit row seats for passengers who require extra legroom. A seat near an emergency exit has more legroom than a seat far away. To qualify, passengers must be able to assist in an emergency.
  • Front-row seats on Southwest Airlines are the best choice for passengers who want quick exits and priority boarding. In these seats, passengers will have easier access to the exit and can disembark the plane more quickly. Priority boarding often allows passengers in the front row to board the plane earlier and secure their preferred seats.

Southwest Airlines Boarding process

A Southwest passenger is assigned a boarding group (A, B, or C) and position (1-60+) upon check-in rather than assigned a seat. Passengers board the plane in order of their assigned groups and positions, with the earlier groups taking priority.

  • In order to board the plane, the gate agent will first call the A group. 
  • Observe two lines of people lined up in rows labeled A 1-30 and A 31-60 (note the photo below shows C 1-30 and C 31+). 
  • Each row will have a marker for every five numbers, showing exactly where you should stand.
  • The boarding process begins with passengers who have pre-boarded and those in boarding positions A 1-15 (usually reserved for Business Select passengers). 
  • A 15-30 will be followed by A 31-60. The monitor at the front of the line will change to B 1-30 as soon as A 1-30 boards the plane. 
  • While the A group is getting on the plane, the B group can start lining up.

Secure a Better boarding position on Southwest Airlines

Here are some tips to secure an early boarding position:

  • Make sure you check in exactly 24 hours before you depart: Southwest's cheapest Wanna Get Away fares guarantee the earliest boarding assignment if you check in exactly 24 hours prior to your flight.
  • Holds A-List elite status: This gives you the option to select your preferred seat. 
  • Tickets for EarlyBird Check-In, Upgraded Boarding, and Business Select are available: Southwest offers EarlyBird Check-In for $15-$25 (depending on distance) 36 hours before departure instead of just 24 hours. You will have a better chance of getting a seat if you check in 24 hours in advance.
  • Take the first flight of the day: By choosing the first flight of the day, you can get your preferred seating position and also get some perks.

Southwest Seat specifications

Southwest Airlines offers a variety of seat specifications across its fleet of aircraft, including variations in dimensions, pitch, and materials. Southwest planes pitch 32 inches, providing ample legroom for passengers. Additionally, the seats are 17.8 inches wide, allowing for comfortable seating. You can access the seating chart online for each flight to determine the most comfortable seats, legroom, and recline. These specifications ensure passengers can enjoy an enjoyable and relaxing Southwest flight experience.

Southwest Airlines recently upgraded its seats to provide passengers with a more comfortable and supportive experience. A more comfortable bottom cushion allows for better lumbar support, which is especially beneficial for longer flights.


Southwest Airlines Seat Selection Policy is unique among other airlines. Upon boarding the plane, passengers can choose their seats. When travelling with a companion or preferring a specific seat, this can be an advantage. Seat selection can be affected by factors such as boarding group and check-in time, so passengers should plan.

Also ReadHow can I talk to a live person at Southwest Airlines?


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Does Southwest assign seats?
Ans. Southwest lets you sit wherever you like. Once you board the plane, you can sit in any available seat. Southwest Airlines has a quick, easy, and efficient boarding process. Your boarding pass will show your assigned boarding group (A, B, or C) and boarding position (1 - 60).
Q. How can I talk to a representative at Southwest Airlines?
Ans. You can talk to a representative from Southwest Airlines through the many options available, like calling 1-800-435-9792/+1-833-563-0229 to connect with the best representative of Southwest Airlines. You can also use your social media accounts to send your query. Or use the live chat option available on their official website.
Q. When can I select my seat on a Southwest Airlines flight?
Ans. You can select your seat any time of the day, but Southwest Airlines recommends you book your seat early time because you can get your preferred seat if you book at this time.
Q. Can I choose a specific seat or seat type when booking my Southwest Airlines flight online?
Ans. Southwest Airlines allows you to select your preferred sear without any hassle and stress. You can choose the first-row seat, emergency seat or any other seat according to your preference.