How To Get Good Seats on Southwest Airlines

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How to get good seats on Southwest Airlines can depend on a number of factors including elite status, Early Bird check-in, and whether you’re on a through flight.

The one “trick” that we’ll cover here is getting better seats by booking a through flight. A through flight with Southwest Airlines is a flight that has a stop along the way, but is the same flight number for both segments.

For instance, let’s say you were wanted to fly Phoenix (PHX) to St. Louis (STL) on Southwest. One of their connecting flight options is a through flight, since it has the same flight number, that stops in Los Angeles. If you were to choose this option, you would board normally for the first leg of the flight from Phoenix to Los Angeles.

Once in Los Angeles, all the local passengers would deplane, the flight attendants will count the passengers continuing on, and then you’re free to move to any seat you’d like before the new passengers for the next flight board. This is a great way to score an exit row or bulkhead seat on your next flight.

The trick with choosing strategic through flights on Southwest is trying to find one with the first leg being relatively short, and the second leg being the longer flight, since this the segment you’d have a better seat on. Remember to have it be considered a through flight it must be the same flight number and it will say “no plane change” when purchasing the flight.

See related:

Have you had good luck with scoring better seats by booking through flights on Southwest? Feel free to share your tips in the comments below.

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  1. Yeah, right. Southwest charges $15 per person, per way for the ‘privilege’ of early bird check in, then allows passengers to save blocks of seats for their friends who board in a later group. Ridiculous.

  2. Solution: Don’t pay the $15 for early check in. When you come upon that block of “saved” seats, take one of them.

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