When can I Pick My Seat on Southwest Airlines and What is the Process?

When can I Pick My Seat on Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines enables travelers to pick their seats as per their choice. When they are visiting early at the airport and boarding the plane, they can pick good seating options. For a passenger, knowing further when can I pick my seat on Southwest Airlines is vital. This is because there are several terms involved when this facility has to be availed. These terms have to be abided by during the check-in process, when getting the boarding pass, or in other instances. Furthermore, they should know how to reserve these seats and whether or not any charges are involved for the same.

When can I Pick My Seat on Southwest Airlines?

When can I Pick My Seat on Southwest Airline

Passengers flying with Southwest Airlines are allowed to pick their seats during the check-in process. It usually opens 24 hours before the scheduled departure time of the flight. However, flyers who have purchased EarlyBird Check-in or are members of the airline’s loyalty program, Rapid Rewards, get this facility even earlier.

  • Additionally, travelers who have purchased Business Select can pick their seats during booking. 
  • It is important to note that this facility is limited.
  • Also, it may be unavailable for some flights due to aircraft type or availability.

Can You Pick Your Seats on Southwest Business Select?

Business Select travelers of Southwest get priority boarding. Due to this, they can get the benefit of advanced seat selection. This means that they can choose their preferred seats before other passengers board. However, the seat selection availability may vary depending on the flight and time of booking. 

  • With this premium ticket, passengers will be listed in A1-A15 boarding groups. 
  • The early boarding process allows them to choose their favorite seats on flights.
  • This preferred seating service makes Southwest Business Select worth it
  • In case they do not select a seat in advance, the airline can assign it to them at the gate. 

Can You Pick Seats on Southwest with Family Boarding? 

Can You Pick Seats on Southwest with Family Boarding

Just like the name suggested, Southwest Family Boarding is facilitated for those travelers who travel with their close ones and can get the benefit of picking seats. They can do the boarding process on the plane after group “A” but before group “B”. These passengers may have to follow some conditions to get preferred seatings. 

  • A family with 2 adults and a child (up to 6 years old) is included under this feature.
  • Families listed in group “A” can board earlier and pick where to sit.
  • A family having a child aged 7-13 years, can get help for seating with gate agents or crew.
  • For children who are 14 or above, 1 accompanying flier will be seated next to him/her.

Does Southwest Pick Your Seat Randomly? 

In most instances, Southwest does not randomly pick seats for passengers. Southwest is a good airline that allows them to do so as per their choices during the time of check-in. They can select their preferred options prior to boarding the planes. However, there are some situations that travelers should know of which can pose some limitations.

  • Picking seats on Southwest is possible as per availability.
  • In case fliers don’t select a seat, the airline will automatically assign one to them.
  • Choosing a seat may not always be possible for free.

How can You Pick Your Seat on Southwest with EarlyBird Check-in?

How can You Pick Your Seat on Southwest with EarlyBird Check-in

The EarlyBird Check-in facility enables passengers to choose their preferred seat on board. Usually, Southwest allows passengers for checking in 24 hours before departure. But by purchasing EarlyBird, they can easily perform this process 36 hours before flights are to depart. 

  • EarlyBird automatically checks in passengers online.
  • Although it may not guarantee them listing in boarding group “A”, it still helps in choosing seats.

How to Pick Seats on Southwest Airlines? 

This airline, Southwest, allows travelers to select seats as per their preference. They can do so after checking in. This can be done online too by using various services like EarlyBird Check-in, the reservation of Business Select fare, etc. 

Below are the things to consider while picking seats on Southwest:

  • This airline has adopted an open seating system in its flights to various destinations. 
  • Travelers can decide where to sit after check-in as per the boarding groups division. 
  • To select the best seats, arrive early at the airport for check-in.

How do You Pick Your Seats on Southwest Offline?

How do You Pick Your Seats on Southwest Offline

Travelers can pick their seats offline with Southwest when they check in at the departure airport. At the airport counter, during the check-in process, they are given the option to choose their favorite seat. But they will be able to do so only when the option is available.

What are the Charges for Picking Seats on Southwest Airlines?

Seat selections may sometimes be free. Otherwise, the cost for these will depend on the program selected which helps in picking seats. One such program is EarlyBird Check-in. The cost for this begins from $15 onward. For other programs, the airline can be contacted to learn about the price. 


Southwest is the airline that allows passengers to select their favorite seats and fly comfortably. It offers Family Boarding, Early Bird check-in, and other benefits that give the flexibility to pick seats. At affordable charges, they can do so. But since the flexibility is limited, early selections should be made.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Some passengers may get into confusion about how they can select their favorite seats with Southwest Airlines. Below is the list of questions and answers to clear their confusion:

1. When can I pick my seat on Southwest Airlines?

Travelers can pick their preferred seats on Southwest at the time of check-in.

2. Do you pick seats on Southwest Business Select?

Yes, Business Select travelers are given the option to choose their seats in advance.

3. Do you get to pick your seats on Southwest Economy Class?

In Economy class, flyers can choose their seats possibly after check-in.

4. How do you pick your seats on Southwest online?

After completing check-in, fliers can do online seat selections through the airline’s website.

5. Can you pick your Seats on Southwest after boarding?

Sometimes, the carrier allows travelers to pick their seats after boarding.

6. Is there any charge on Southwest to pick your seat?

A fee can apply, depending on whether or not a flyer has membership to certain programs.

7. Can you pick seats on Southwest 24 hours before departure?

The airline enables flyers to check in 24 hours and get the chance to pick a good seat.

8. Can disabled flyers choose seats on Southwest?

For passengers with disabilities, special seats are kept on planes.

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Giselle is an adept travel writer. Born in the US, she is fond of traveling to varied parts of the world and recording her observations. Her broad interest in travel and aviation has led her to create the most engaging pieces of writing. Smith’s continuous explorations have brought forth a plethora of travel stories.
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