How do we get a Seat on Southwest?

Southwest seat selection

Choose Your Seats with Southwest Boarding Process

Southwest has an open seating policy. This means that the airline doesn’t assign you seats. The moment you step on the plane, pick seats of your choice. Moreover, you get two free checked bags per person. It also offers an easy way to earn an elite status.

The airline has a unique boarding process that streamlines seating. Worry not. The airline understands that getting the seat you want can make or mar your experience. And this comprehensive guide will take you through the seating approach of Southwest and impart you insight into picking the best for a pleasurable journey.

So, without further ado, let’s start with the information of the seating and boarding on Southwest flights.

What is Southwest Seat Selection?

With Southwest Seat Selection, you can sit wherever you want. Since the airline doesn’t assign you seats, you can choose yours as soon as you hop on the flight. The airline offers a convenient, fast, and efficient process of boarding.

Check your boarding pass and find the boarding group (A, B, or C) assigned to you along with boarding position (1 – 60). It will make your seat selection easier.

How Can I Get the Best Seats on Southwest Airlines?

People have different preferences when flying. However, the smartest way to travel on the best seat is to acquire the boarding group position of A1-15. Since this is the earliest boarding, your chances to grab your favorite seat are maximized. Here’s how you can get it.

Earn an elite status

Frequent flyers of Southwest get priority who have an A-List or A-List Preferred elite status.

Check in 24 hours in advance

If you are traveling with Wanna Get Away fares the cheapest on Southwest, check-in 24 hours before time. This is the easiest way to get the earliest boarding available.

Buy an A1-A15 boarding at the gate

Didn’t like the boarding number that Southwest assigned you? No worries. At times, upgraded boarding is available at the airport. You can buy it on the departure day at $30 to $50 one-way. The cost is on a per person basis on the availability of A1-A15 slots.

Get an Automatic A1-A15 boarding priority for Business Select fares

You might miss getting Group A or Group B even if you check-in, pretty much in time. However, get assured A1-A15, irrespective of the time when you check-in with Business Select fares.

Purchase EarlyBird Check-In

The airline automatically allows you to check-in 36 hours before your scheduled flight departure. And that too at just $15-$25 for a one way trip, per person. This ensures a better boarding position as compared to the check-in before 24 hours.

Which are the Best Seats on Southwest?

Now, it is obvious to be eager to know which are the best seats on Southwest flights that cater to your seating requirements. Here are some points to give you a sneak-peek into the best seats.

  • For legroom – Seat 12A
  • To deboard the flight quickly – Row 1
  • For just one seat companion – Row 11, Seats B and C
  • To be where the snacks and drinks start serving – Row 1, 9, or 17

What is the Southwest Boarding Process?

The boarding process of Southwest streamlines the approach to be on your flight and pick seats at that time. Here’s how –

  • When you check-in, Southwest assigns –
    • Any of the boarding groups – A, B, or C
    • A position (1-60+)
  • Your boarding pass displays the unique combination of your group and position. For example, if you have A22, this means you have boarding group A and position 22. This shows your boarding group’s reserved spot at the gate.
  • Every gate area has numbered posts, indicating where you have to line up.
  • Once your boarding group is announced,
    • Find your place designated in the queue
    • Catch the flight in the order of number with your respective boarding group

Can I Secure a Better Boarding Position on a Southwest Flight?

Yes, you can enhance your boarding position when flying with Southwest. Here’s how you can get a better position for boarding on a Southwest flight –

Use the Southwest App

Install the airline’s app on your smartphone. It notifies you to check-in 24 hours before your flight is scheduled.

Purchase Upgraded Boarding

When you buy an upgraded boarding, you can upgrade your boarding position to A1-A15. However, you can do this before 24 hours of the flight’s scheduled departure.

Purchase EarlyBird Check-In

With an early-bird check-in, you can go ahead of the 24-hour check-in. It helps you with better seat choices as you get on the flight earlier, although A boarding position is not guaranteed.

Purchase or upgrade to a Business Select fare

A1-A15 boarding is guaranteed when you have a Business Select fare. However, if you don;’t have this fare, still want to be sure of getting A1-A15 boarding, get a Southwest Business Select upgrade.

What are the Southwest Seat Specifications?

When selecting your seats, it is good to know about their specifications. It helps you pick better seats. Among the U.S airlines, Southwest offers the maximum legroom. Now, let’s take a quick look at the seat specification of this airline with its respective aircraft.


Capacity for travelers

Seat Width

Seat Pitch

Aisle Armrests (Movable)

Boeing 737-700




All rows

Boeing 737-800




All rows except front bulkhead

Boeing 737-MAX 8


Does Southwest Offer Family Boarding?

Yes, enjoy boarding with family when flying with this airline. Family Boarding occurs between the boarding of A and B groups. Know more about this boarding type below –

  • Up to two adults, flying with kids of 6 years or more to board the plane during Family Boarding.
  • The kid and the adults having A boarding passes, must board in the position assigned. They need not wait for Family Boarding.

In Conclusion

Therefore, you can delight in a smooth and streamlined seating arrangement when traveling on a Southwest flight. So, when you have a trip with this airline on your cards, pull up this account and you will know when and how to get your hands on your most preferred seats.

Travel smart, travel more comfortably. Travel with Southwest.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can active-duty military members preboard on Southwest flights?

Southwest allows the US active-duty members to board between the A and B groups if they didn’t get an A boarding.

How can I find my seat on Southwest flights?

Find your assigned boarding group and position on your boarding pass. Wait for your group call, board the plane accordingly, and choose your seats then.

Does Southwest assign seats?

No, Southwest doesn’t assign seats. Its flights offer open seating. When you board the plane, choose from the seats available.

How do we get a Seat on Southwest?
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