My Secret Tips to Getting the Best Seats on Southwest

Securing prime seating on a Southwest Airlines flight can feel akin to winning a lottery—the coveted A-listers swoop in, snagging those sought-after front-row positions, leaving many to ponder, “How do they do it?” Well, fear not! Unveiling the secrets to scoring the best seats on Southwest is within your grasp.

Early Check-In Magic

The backbone of Southwest’s seating strategy lies in its unique boarding process. Early check-in is your ticket to success. Set your alarm for exactly 24 hours before departure and pounce on that “Check-In” button. Better yet, consider investing in EarlyBird Check-In for an automatic head start. This minimal fee could spell the difference between an aisle seat and a middle seat nightmare.

Strategic Seat Selection

As the clock ticks closer to departure, make savvy seat selections during check-in. Opt for the A-group for premier picks or, if that ship has sailed, consider the exit row or bulkhead seats—extra legroom can transform a flight experience. Window seat aficionados should aim for rows with fewer or no seats in front for unobstructed views and extra space.

Flexibility is Key

Being adaptable can be your golden ticket. If your heart is set on a particular seat and it’s not available during check-in, keep an eye on the seating chart post-takeoff. Passengers might shuffle, creating opportunities for better placement. Politely ask the flight attendant if a switch is possible once onboard—they might just work their magic.

Know the Flight Patterns

Understanding the flight patterns can be a game-changer. For instance, flights early in the morning or midweek tend to have lighter passenger loads, increasing your odds of securing prime seating. Similarly, flights to less touristy destinations might offer more seating options due to lower demand.

Leverage Elite Status and Upgrades

Frequent flyers with elite status or holders of Southwest’s A-List or A-List Preferred status enjoy perks like priority boarding, giving them a leg up in the seat selection game. Additionally, consider using Rapid Rewards points or cash for upgrades to Business Select or EarlyBird Check-In for a smoother, more comfortable journey.

Strategic Group Boarding

If traveling with companions, synchronize your boarding positions. Southwest allows families and groups to board together based on the highest boarding position within the group. Coordinate to ensure everyone secures adjacent seats and maximizes your chances of sitting together.

Stay Informed and Alert

Keep your eyes peeled for any last-minute changes or opportunities. Flight delays or rebookings might result in a reshuffling of seats, creating openings for better choices. Download the Southwest app for real-time updates and notifications, enabling you to act swiftly.

Friendly and Polite Approach

Sometimes, a friendly demeanor can work wonders. While it’s not guaranteed, approaching the gate agent or flight attendant with kindness and politeness might result in a favorable seat change, especially if you have a genuine need or concern.

Patience Pays Off

Lastly, practice patience. While the allure of securing the best seat is strong, stressing over it can dampen your travel experience. Embrace the adventure and make the most out of your journey, regardless of your seat assignment.


In conclusion, mastering the art of securing the best seats on Southwest Airlines involves a blend of preparation, strategy, flexibility, and a sprinkle of luck. Embrace the challenge, employ these insider tips, and may your future flights be filled with the comfort and joy of your dream seat!

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