My Secrets to Getting the Best Seats on Southwest

Southwest allows open seating. Instead of seats, customers are assigned a boarding group, A, B, or C, and a boarding position, 1-60.

Your boarding group and location decide when you board the plane and how many seats you can choose from.

It was once completely free. Airlines distributed placards with one of the three letters. People camped out under a letter hours before a flight to improve their real estate

In the mid-2000s, Southwest expanded boarding positions because this looked bad. Now that the lines have numbers, everyone must sort themselves by line position.

Unless you wish to sit near the bulkhead or an exit row aisle or window, you should board in the first half of a full flight to obtain a good seat.

With all this seating debate, which seats are good? Nearly all airline seats are alike. Except for exit rows, there's no more legroom, and there's no seat advantage

Personal needs determine Southwest's best seat. Connecting flight passengers may want to sit in the front to exit quickly, but others may

head straight for the back, maybe as a family. Some move to the back of the plane in hopes of getting a row with a middle seat.

Before sitting down, I prefer to know how full my flight is. Southwest gate agents sometimes make up flight filling announcements to push

people on the plane faster. How many people remain at the gate area after the A Group is called is an inexact way to judge. If half the gate area lines up 

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