When Can You Pick Your Seats on Southwest Airlines?

When can you Pick your Seats on Southwest Airlines?

Booking a flight can be an exciting experience, but it also comes with many decisions to make, including seat selection process. If you’re wondering when and how to pick your seats on Southwest Airlines, worry no more.

When can you Pick your Seats on Southwest Airlines?

Southwest operates an open seating policy that allows passengers to make their choice of seats strictly on a first-come, first-served basis, depending on the type of ticket that is purchased. 

This is a guide about everything you need to know about when and how you can pick your seats on Southwest Airlines, ensuring a stress-free and enjoyable journey.

When Can You Pick Your Seats on Southwest Airlines?

Unlike many other airlines that offer assigned seating, Southwest Airlines follows an open seating policy. 

This means that they don’t assign specific seats to passengers during the booking process. 

Instead, Southwest uses a boarding group and number system, commonly known as the “boarding pass order,” which determines when you board the plane and select your seat. 

The following are the things you should do I order to make a good choice of seats on Southwest Airlines:

Check-in Time Matters

To secure a good spot in the boarding order and have a better chance of choosing your preferred seat, timely check-in is crucial. 

Southwest Airlines opens its check-in process exactly 24 hours before the scheduled departure time. 

Set a reminder, as this is the moment when the boarding pass order is established, and the early birds usually get the best seat choices.


EarlyBird Check-In

Take advantage of Southwest Airlines’ online check-in option, available on their website or mobile app, for a seamless boarding pass acquisition.

For those who want to skip the stress of checking in at the exact 24-hour mark, Southwest offers the EarlyBird Check-In option. 

For a fee, you can have an automatic check-in, which means Southwest will check you in 36 hours before your flight, securing a better boarding position. 

EarlyBird Check-In doesn’t guarantee a specific seat, but it does improve your chances of getting a favorable spot.

Boarding Groups and Numbers

Understanding the boarding group and number system will give you an edge in selecting the best seat available

On the day of your flight, Southwest Airlines passengers are divided into boarding groups. Group A goes first, followed by B, and then C. 

Within each group, passengers receive a boarding number. For instance, A1 boards first, followed by A2, and so on. 

The same process applies to groups B and C. Your boarding number will determine when you get on the plane and choose your seat.

Selecting Your Seat

Once you’re on the plane, you’re free to choose any available seat. 

If you’re one of the first to board (A group), you’ll have a wide selection of seats to choose from, including window, aisle, and even the coveted emergency exit row seats. 

If you board later (C group), the available choices may be more limited, but you can still find a comfortable spot.

Also, if you want a better chance of getting an earlier boarding number, opt for the business select fare. 

If you don’t mind sitting in any available seat, traveling light will give you more flexibility and speed during the boarding process

Bottom Line

Though Southwest Airlines‘ open seating policy may be different from what you’re used to, it offers a unique and straightforward approach to seat selection. 

Remember that early check-in is the key to securing a better boarding position, and if you prefer an assigned seat, consider upgrading to Business Select. 

Regardless of where you sit, you’re sure to have a pleasant flight experience because of the excellent customer service and friendly crew Southwest Airlines is known for.

Now that you know how seat selection works with Southwest Airlines, you can board your flight with confidence and focus on the exciting adventure that awaits you at your destination

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