Does Southwest Airline Have First Class – Decoding the Seating Options

Does Southwest Airline Have First Class – Decoding the Seating Options

Perplexed by the various seating options offered by Southwest Airlines? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. As a frequent traveler with Southwest, I’ve decoded the seating options to help you make the best choice for your next flight. Unlike traditional airlines, Southwest doesn’t have a first class section, but they do offer Business Select and Early Bird options that come with several advantages. Additionally, I’ll walk you through the benefits of their A-List and A-List Preferred programs, which can be a game-changer for frequent flyers. Stay tuned to uncover the best seating option for your next Southwest flight!

Key Takeaways:

  • Southwest Airlines offers Business Select as its premium class, not First Class. While it may be called “Business Select,” it provides a more luxurious experience for passengers, with features like priority boarding, extra Rapid Rewards points, and a complimentary premium drink.
  • Business Select offers priority boarding and extra rewards points. Passengers who choose this option can enjoy priority boarding over other passengers, allowing them to secure their preferred seating and get settled in without hassle.
  • Southwest Airlines also offers EarlyBird Check-In for a fee. While not a traditional first class option, it does provide passengers with early check-in and a better chance of securing a favorable seat on the plane.
  • While Southwest does not have a dedicated first class section, it prides itself on providing a consistent and egalitarian experience for all passengers. The airline’s focus on customer service and affordability means that all travelers receive the same high level of service and comfort, regardless of their seating choice.
  • Southwest Airlines’ seating options provide ample flexibility and choice for passengers. With options like Business Select, EarlyBird Check-In, and open seating, travelers can tailor their experience to their preferences and travel needs.

Types of Seating Options on Southwest Airline

As a frequent flyer with Southwest Airlines, I have come to learn about the different seating options available. Here are the various choices you will find when booking your next flight with Southwest:

Seating Options Description
First Class Spacious seats, complimentary drinks, priority boarding
Business Select Premium boarding, extra Rapid Rewards points, complimentary drinks
Anytime Flexibility to change flights, priority boarding, extra Rapid Rewards points
Wanna Get Away Lowest fares, limited flexibility, earn Rapid Rewards points

First Class

If luxury and comfort are important to you, then First Class on Southwest Airlines is the way to go. With spacious seating, complimentary drinks, and priority boarding, you will enjoy a premium flying experience. Additionally, the dedicated flight attendants ensure your journey is as pleasant as possible.

Business Select

For those who want extra perks without splurging on First Class, Business Select is a fantastic option. It offers premium boarding, extra Rapid Rewards points, and complimentary drinks, making your travel experience even more enjoyable.


Anytime fares provide the flexibility to change flights without incurring additional fees. With priority boarding and the ability to earn extra Rapid Rewards points, this option is perfect for business travelers and those who value flexibility in their travel plans.

Wanna Get Away

If you’re looking for the lowest fares to your desired destination, then the Wanna Get Away option is ideal for you. Although it offers limited flexibility, you can still earn Rapid Rewards points while enjoying affordable travel with Southwest Airlines.

Tips for Choosing the Right Seating Option

The seating options on Southwest Airlines can be overwhelming, but there are a few tips to help you make the right choice for your travel needs. Here are some key factors to consider when selecting your seat:

  • Consider the cost and benefits of each seating option
  • Look for flexibility in booking and changing your seats
  • Understand the benefits and limitations of each seating choice

The choice of seating is an important decision that can significantly impact your travel experience, so it’s essential to make an informed decision.

Booking Early

When it comes to selecting the right seating option on Southwest Airlines, booking early can greatly improve your chances of getting your preferred seat. Early booking allows you to have a wider selection of available seats and increases the likelihood of securing a premium seating option such as Business Select or EarlyBird Check-In. Therefore, I highly recommend checking in as early as possible to get the best seating choices for your flight.

Understanding the Benefits

It’s essential to have a clear understanding of the benefits that come with each seating option on Southwest Airlines. Whether you’re looking for extra legroom, priority boarding, or the flexibility to make changes to your reservation, knowing the specific perks can help you make a well-informed decision. I recommend carefully reviewing the benefits of each seating option to choose the one that aligns with your travel preferences.


Flexibility is key when it comes to selecting the right seating option on Southwest Airlines. Whether you need the ability to make changes to your reservation or prefer a seat with extra legroom, it’s important to choose a seating option that offers the flexibility you need for a comfortable and convenient travel experience. The ability to adapt to changes in your itinerary can significantly enhance your overall flight experience.

Step-by-Step Guide to Upgrading Your Seat

Keep in mind that when it comes to upgrading your seat on Southwest Airlines, there are a few options available. Here’s a breakdown of each one:

Option 1: EarlyBird Check-In Your best chance of getting a better seat is to purchase EarlyBird Check-In, which automatically checks you in and assigns you a boarding position before general check-in begins.
Option 2: Upgrading at the Gate If there are seats available after all passengers have boarded, you can inquire about purchasing an upgrade at the gate.

Checking Availability

Before you go through the process of upgrading your seat, it’s important to check the availability of better seating options. You can do this by accessing your reservation on the Southwest Airlines website or app and looking for any available upgrades. Keep in mind that availability may change frequently, so it’s a good idea to check back periodically leading up to your flight.

Making changes online

If you find an available upgrade, you can make changes to your reservation online through the Southwest Airlines website or app. Simply navigate to the “Manage Reservations” section, select your booking, and look for the option to upgrade your seat. Follow the prompts to complete the process and secure your new seat assignment.

Contacting Customer Service

If you’re having trouble finding available upgrades online or have specific requirements for your seating arrangements, you can contact Southwest Airlines’ customer service team for assistance. They can check for available upgrades, provide guidance on the best options for your needs, and help you with the upgrade process over the phone.

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Seating Option

Your choice of seating option on a Southwest Airlines flight can greatly impact your overall travel experience. Here are some important factors to consider when deciding on the best seating option for your journey.


When considering your seating option, budget is a crucial factor to take into account. If you are looking to save money, you might opt for the standard seating option. However, if you are willing to pay extra for added comfort and amenities, you might want to explore the Business Select or Anytime fares that include priority boarding and extra legroom.

Travel Preferences

Your personal preferences when it comes to travel can also influence your seating choice. For example, if you value convenience and want to be among the first to board the plane, you may want to consider a seating option that offers priority boarding. On the other hand, if you are more focused on comfort during the flight, you may want to invest in a premium seating option.


The destination of your flight can also play a role in your seating decision. For longer flights, you may want to prioritize extra legroom or seat comfort. However, for shorter flights, you might be willing to forgo these amenities for a standard seating option.

Duration of the Flight

When considering your seating choice, it’s important to think about the duration of your flight. For longer flights, comfort and extra legroom may be more important to you. Alternatively, for shorter flights, you may be more inclined to prioritize other factors such as cost or priority boarding.

Recognizing these key factors and making an informed decision will ensure that you choose the best seating option for your next Southwest Airlines flight.

Pros and Cons of Each Seating Option

After decoding the various seating options offered by Southwest Airlines, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each. Below, I have broken down the key points to consider for each option to help you make an informed decision.

First Class

First Class offers the ultimate luxury and comfort, providing you with ample space, priority boarding, complimentary drinks, and premium snacks. You’ll also enjoy dedicated flight attendants and a more personalized experience. However, this option comes with a higher price tag and may not be suitable for budget-conscious travelers.

Business Select

Business Select offers priority boarding, a dedicated overhead bin space, and a complimentary premium drink onboard. Additionally, you’ll earn extra Rapid Rewards points and have the flexibility to change your flight without additional fees. On the flip side, the cost for this option can be significantly higher, and the added benefits may not be worth it for every traveler.


With the Anytime option, you have the flexibility to change your flight at no extra cost and standby for an earlier flight on the same day. This provides peace of mind for those who may need to alter their travel plans. However, the price point for this option is higher compared to the Wanna Get Away fare, which may not be ideal for those seeking budget-friendly options.

Wanna Get Away

The Wanna Get Away fare is perfect for budget-conscious travelers, offering the lowest available prices with no change fees. You’ll still have access to the same onboard experience, including drinks, snacks, and friendly customer service. However, the trade-off is limited flexibility, as changes to your itinerary may result in additional fees and fare differences.


On the whole, it is clear that Southwest Airlines does not have a traditional first class seating option. Instead, the airline offers Business Select, which provides priority boarding, extra Rapid Rewards points, and a complimentary premium drink on board. Additionally, Southwest offers the A-list and A-list preferred status for frequent flyers, allowing them to enjoy perks such as priority check-in, security lane access, and boarding. While Southwest may not have a traditional first class, the airline provides various seating options and perks for passengers who value comfort and convenience during their travels. By understanding these options, you can make an informed decision when booking your next flight with Southwest Airlines.

Southwest Airlines Seating Options FAQ

Q: Does Southwest Airlines have a first class section?

A: No, Southwest Airlines does not have a traditional first class section. Instead, the airline offers a unique seating option called Business Select, which provides priority boarding, extra Rapid Rewards points, and a complimentary premium drink.

Q: What is the difference between Business Select and regular seating?

A: Business Select offers additional perks such as priority boarding, extra Rapid Rewards points, a complimentary premium drink, and a dedicated overhead bin space. Regular seating options do not include these benefits.

Q: How does Southwest Airlines boarding process work?

A: Southwest Airlines uses a boarding process that does not include assigned seats. Instead, passengers are assigned a boarding group (A, B, or C) and a boarding position within the group based on their check-in time. Passengers can then choose any available seat when they board the plane.

Q: Does Southwest Airlines offer any other upgraded seating options?

A: In addition to Business Select, Southwest Airlines also offers an upgraded seating option called EarlyBird Check-In, which allows passengers to secure a better boarding position and access to overhead bin space for a fee.

Q: Can I purchase upgraded seating options after booking my flight?

A: Yes, you can purchase Business Select or EarlyBird Check-In after booking your flight, subject to availability. However, it is recommended to purchase these options at the time of booking to secure the best seats and benefits.

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