What Does Position Mean on Southwest Airlines?

What does Position mean on Southwest Airlines?

When booking a flight with Southwest Airlines, you might have come across the term “position” during the reservation process. Understanding what position mean on Southwest Airlines is crucial for securing the best seats and ensuring a smooth boarding experience. 

What does Position mean on Southwest Airlines?

Southwest Airlines has a unique boarding process that utilizes a boarding position system rather than traditional assigned seating. 

This system allows passengers to choose their seats on a first-come, first-served basis within their assigned boarding group. 

To make the most of the boarding process, it’s important to understand the significance of position and how it works.

Read on as we look into the concept of position and how you can use it to your advantage when flying with Southwest Airlines.

What Does Position Mean on Southwest Airlines?

On Southwest Airlines, position refers to your boarding position or boarding group, which determines when you can board the aircraft. 

Unlike traditional assigned seating, Southwest Airlines employs an open seating policy, allowing passengers to choose their seats on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Your boarding position plays a vital role in this process, influencing the order in which you board the plane.

How Position is Assigned

Your position or boarding group is determined by when you check in for your flight. Southwest Airlines uses a unique boarding process called “A-B-C” boarding. Passengers are split into three boarding groups:

Group A

Passengers with positions A1 to A60 are in the first boarding group and have the highest priority for seat selection. These passengers get to board first and have the widest choice of available seats.

Group B

Passengers with positions B1 to B60 make up the second boarding group, following Group A. Although they board after Group A, they still have reasonably good seat choices.

Group C

Passengers with positions C1 to C60 form the third and final boarding group. They board last and have limited seat options remaining.


How to Secure a Better Position

Getting a favorable boarding position is essential if you want to snag your preferred seat and have more overhead bin space for your carry-on. Here are some tips to help you secure a better position:

Early Check-In

Southwest Airlines allows online check-in starting 24 hours before departure. Set a reminder to check in as soon as the window opens to increase your chances of getting a lower position.

Business Select or EarlyBird Check-in 

If securing a prime boarding position is crucial to you, consider purchasing a Business Select fare or adding EarlyBird Check-In to your reservation. 

These options provide priority boarding, allowing you to board before the general passengers and potentially secure a better seat.

Fly Frequently with Southwest 

Southwest Airlines offers a loyalty program called Rapid Rewards. Frequent flyers with elite status may receive priority boarding privileges, giving them an advantage in securing a better position.

Understanding the Boarding Process

Once on the aircraft, you can choose any available seat within your boarding group. 

The open seating policy encourages passengers to find seats that best suit their preferences, whether it’s sitting together as a group or opting for a window or aisle seat.


Understanding what position mean on Southwest Airlines is key to ensuring a smooth and stress-free boarding experience. 

By checking in early and understanding the boarding groups, you can maximize your chances of securing a better position and enjoy the flexibility of selecting your preferred seat. 

Embrace the open seating policy, and you’ll be well on your way to an enjoyable journey with Southwest Airlines. Happy travels.

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