Southwest Airlines is renowned for its unique boarding process, making the hunt for the best seat a strategic game for frequent flyers. Without assigned seating, passengers must rely on tricks and tactics to nab their preferred spot. Here are 15 insider secrets to ensure you’re sitting pretty the next time you board a Southwest flight.
Understand the Southwest Seating Policy
Open Seating: Southwest uses a policy of open seating. This means seats are not assigned. Instead, passengers are grouped into A, B, and C boarding categories and then numbered within each category from 1-60. The lower your number, the earlier you board.
Check-in Exactly 24 Hours Before Flight
Maximise Your Chances: Southwest’s boarding positions are determined by check-in time. The earlier you check-in, the better your boarding group and position will be.
Purchase EarlyBird Check-In
Understanding EarlyBird Check-In
Southwest Airlines’ EarlyBird Check-In is a special service that passengers can purchase to enhance their flying experience. With its automatic check-in feature, it promises a better boarding position.
The Cost Factor
As of my last update in 2022, EarlyBird Check-In costs between $15 to $25 one-way per passenger. However, prices can fluctuate based on the duration of the flight, demand, and other factors. Always refer to Southwest’s official site or contact the airline directly for the most up-to-date pricing.
Stress-Free Solution: For an additional fee, Southwest’s EarlyBird Check-In automatically checks you in 36 hours before the flight, guaranteeing a spot in the A or B group.
Is It Worth the Investment?
The value of EarlyBird Check-In depends largely on the individual traveler’s preferences:
- Priority Boarding: If you’re particular about where you sit, especially on fuller flights, EarlyBird ensures you’ll be among the first to board, increasing the odds of getting your preferred seat.
- Less Stress: For those who’d rather not set alarms or reminders to check-in exactly 24 hours before their flight, EarlyBird offers peace of mind with its automated check-in feature.
- Baggage Overheads: Earlier boarding often means more space in the overhead compartments. This can be particularly beneficial if you’re carrying items you’d rather not check in.
- Cost Consideration: For passengers flying on a budget, the additional cost might be harder to justify unless the aforementioned benefits are deemed crucial.
Consider Upgrading to Business Select
Top Priority: Business Select fare ensures you are among the first to board, getting a position between A1-A15. This also comes with bonus Rapid Reward points.
Join the Rapid Rewards Program
Loyalty Pays Off: Frequent flyers can earn A-List and A-List Preferred status, guaranteeing priority boarding.
Look for the Exit Rows and Bulkheads
Extra Legroom: These rows typically offer additional legroom, but remember, you must meet specific criteria to sit in an exit row.
Use the Southwest Mobile App
Stay Updated: The app offers real-time info on boarding positions and allows for easy check-in, ensuring you’re on top of your boarding game.
Travel During Off-Peak Times
Less Competition: Flying during mid-week or off-peak hours reduces the number of Business Select and EarlyBird passengers you’re competing against.
Consider Multiple Seats if Traveling with a Group
Strategic Seating: Have one person from your group board early and save desirable seats for the rest. This tactic, though controversial, can be effective.
Check Also This >>>> Tips To Master Southwest Check-In And Boarding
Be Courteous and Ask
A Simple Tactic: If you see a seat you like, it doesn’t hurt to ask the person next to it if it’s taken. Being polite can go a long way.
Avoid Last-Minute Restroom Trips
Stay in Line: Leaving the boarding queue for a last-minute restroom break can mean losing your hard-earned position.
Be Ready with Your Boarding Pass
Efficient Boarding: Having your boarding pass and ID ready will ensure a smooth process so you can quickly proceed to your desired seat.
Use Seat Alerts or Seat Trackers
Stay Updated: Apps and online tools can inform you about the best available seats based on preferences and reviews from other travelers.
Familiarize Yourself with the Aircraft
Know the Layout: Different Southwest planes have different layouts. Knowing where the best seats are in advance can give you an edge.
Check Also : Secrets To Getting The Best Seats On Alaska Airlines
Arrive at the Gate Early
Prime Positioning: Being among the first in your boarding group line-up means you’re positioned to board as soon as your number is called.
Securing the best seat on Southwest can be a manageable task. With these strategies in hand, you’ll be well-prepared to snag that prime spot and enjoy a comfortable journey. Safe travels!