7 Ways to Get the Best Seats on Southwest Airlines

Traveling can be a delightful experience, especially when you snag the best seats on your flight.

Southwest Airlines, known for its unique open-seating policy, offers passengers the opportunity to choose their preferred spots.

But how do you ensure you get the best seats? Here are seven tips to enhance your seating experience on Southwest Airlines.

1. EarlyBird Check-In:

One of the simplest ways to improve your seating options is to purchase EarlyBird Check-In. This service automatically checks you in 36 hours before your flight, giving you a better boarding position and earlier access to the aircraft.

2. Check-In Exactly 24 Hours Before Your Flight:

If you haven’t opted for EarlyBird, make sure to check in right at the 24-hour mark before your flight’s departure. The earlier you check in, the better your boarding position, as Southwest assigns boarding groups based on check-in time.

3. Consider Upgraded Boarding:

For a guaranteed spot in the A1-A15 boarding group, consider purchasing Upgraded Boarding. This option is available at the ticket counter on the day of travel, subject to availability.

4. Travel Light:

Traveling with just a carry-on can make moving through the cabin quicker and easier, giving you a slight edge in finding the best available seat.

5. Choose Your Seat Wisely:

Once on board, assess the available seats quickly. If you prefer more legroom, aim for an exit row. For a quicker exit upon landing, choose a seat closer to the front.

6. Join the Rapid Rewards Program:

Frequent flyers should consider joining Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program. Higher-tier members get priority boarding, which can translate into better seat selection.

7. Be Polite and Ask:

Sometimes, just asking a fellow passenger to swap seats can work in your favor, especially if you have a specific seating preference. Remember, politeness goes a long way!


While Southwest’s open-seating policy is different from assigned seating, it opens opportunities for passengers to choose their preferred spot.

By following these seven tips, you can enhance your chances of getting the best seat on your next Southwest flight. Happy travels!

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