How to Select a Seat on Southwest Airlines?


When it comes to air travel, comfort is key, and one of the essential elements contributing to a pleasant journey is the ability to choose your seat. Southwest Airlines, known for its unique boarding process, offers passengers the flexibility to select their seats. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the Southwest seat selection process, fees, and boarding groups, and provide valuable tips for securing the best seat for your flight.

Know About the Southwest Seat Selection Process:

Southwest Airlines stands out with its distinctive open seating policy, which means there are no assigned seats. Instead, passengers can choose their seats during the boarding process. Here’s what you need to know:

Can you choose your seat on Southwest?

Yes, Southwest Airlines allows passengers to choose their seats during the boarding process. However, it’s essential to understand the unique boarding system the airline employs.

Southwest Airlines Seat Selection Fee:

Unlike many other airlines that charge fees for seat selection, Southwest doesn’t have seat assignment fees. The airline’s open seating policy means you won’t incur additional charges for picking a specific seat. However, there are options available for those seeking a more preferred boarding position.

Southwest Boarding Groups:

Understanding Southwest’s boarding groups is crucial to securing a desirable seat. The boarding process is divided into three groups: A, B, and C, each with its own set of boarding positions.

In What Order Does Southwest Board Its Passengers?

  • The A Group: Passengers in the A group have the highest boarding priority. They are the first to board and can choose from a wider selection of seats.

  • Groups B & C: These groups board in sequential order after the A group. While the selection may be more limited, there are still decent seating options available.

  • Preboarding: Passengers with specific needs, such as those requiring assistance or families with young children, board before the A group.

  • Families and Active-duty Military in Uniform: Southwest values family travel and honors active-duty military members in uniform by allowing them to board after the A group.

Tips for Easy Southwest Seat Selection:

To make the most of Southwest’s open seating policy, consider these tips for a smooth seat selection process:

Tips to Get an A Group Seat on Southwest:

  • Purchase a Business Select Fare: Business Select fares come with priority boarding in the A1-A15 group, giving you an excellent chance to choose your preferred seat.

  • Purchase Upgraded Boarding: For a nominal fee, passengers can purchase Upgraded Boarding at the gate on the day of travel. This option provides a boarding position in the A1-A15 group.

  • Upgrade Your Boarding With Southwest Credit Cards: Certain Southwest credit cards offer an annual credit for Upgraded Boarding, providing another way to secure a coveted A group seat.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How does Southwest choose your boarding group?

Southwest assigns boarding positions based on the order of check-in. The earlier you check-in, the higher your boarding position.

Can you sit wherever you want on Southwest?

Yes, within your boarding group, you can choose any available seat. However, popular seats, such as exit rows or those near the front, are often claimed quickly.

Does Southwest Airlines give seniors priority boarding?

Southwest does not have a specific policy for senior citizen priority boarding. Boarding positions are determined by check-in time.

Will Southwest allow my family to sit together?

Southwest makes every effort to seat families together. If you’re traveling with young children, take advantage of family preboarding or ensure early check-in to secure adjacent seats.

Can you pick your seats on Southwest Airlines?

While Southwest doesn’t have traditional seat assignments, passengers can choose their seats during the open boarding process based on their assigned boarding group.


Navigating the seat selection process on Southwest Airlines is a unique experience, thanks to the airline’s open seating policy. By understanding the boarding groups, leveraging tips for optimal seat selection, and exploring available upgrades, you can make the most of your Southwest flight. So, whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time flyer, embrace the freedom of choice that Southwest Airlines offers and enjoy a comfortable journey above the clouds.