Southwest Airlines confirmed the accuracy of this table on July 24, 2019. Airline policies are subject to change. Additional information is available on Southwest’s website here.
Tips for families: How would an adult best ensure he or she is seated next to a family member under the age of 14 when flying your airline?
Southwest Airlines has an open seating policy. All Southwest aircraft (Boeing 737s) have either 143 or 175 seats. At the airport, passengers board based on group (A, B, or C) and number (1-60) within each group. Boarding positions (such as A35 or B16) are assigned at check-in based on factors such as fare class purchased, frequent flyer program status, purchase of “Early Bird check-in,” and time of check-in. Boarding positions are displayed on the passenger’s boarding pass. Southwest gate agents make announcements advising passengers when to stand up and take their place in line for boarding. Numbered posts in each Southwest gate area indicate where to line up. When a passenger’s boarding group is called, he or she should find the designated place in line and board the aircraft in numerical order with the passenger’s boarding group. Once a passenger boards the plane, he or she can choose any available seat.
Families may take the following steps to best ensure adults sit with their children under the age of 14.
Seating Model: Does your airline provide seat assignments or does it use an open seating model?
Open Seating: Does your airline allow an adult with a family member under the age of 14 to board and locate a seat before other passengers?
Fee: Must a family pay an additional fee to secure an earlier boarding position?
Airline: What disclosures relevant to family seating does your airline provide to consumers during the booking process?
Travel Agent: If your airline allows others to sell tickets on its behalf, do the family seating disclosures provided by these entities differ from the disclosures provided when booking directly with the airline?
Additional information on family seating.
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Updated: Friday, September 13, 2019