Location: A Southern Gentleman (Southern California)
SouthWest Customers of Size Policy
If the flight is full and you do not fit in your seat upon requesting for a seatbelt extension, you will be ask to relinquish your seat.
All airlines should have requirements online & through reservation, when purchasing a seat requiring a confirmation for seatbelt extensions.
To further reduce any delay of the flight or embarrassing situations for the person of size, every airline should maintain exact seats for the aircraft to be boarded at the check-in desk location before security for passengers of size to verify ability to fit into the seat without encroaching on another passenger before issuing the boarding pass. Even if the flight is not full.
Customers who encroach upon any part of the neighboring seat(s) may proactively purchase the needed number of seats prior to travel in order to ensure the additional seat(s) is available. The armrest is considered to be the definitive boundary between seats; width between the armrests measures 17 inches. The purchase of additional seats serves as a notification to Southwest of a special seating need, and allows us to adequately plan for the number of seats that will be occupied on the aircraft. In turn, this helps to ensure we can accommodate all Customers on the flight/aircraft for which they purchased a ticket and avoid asking Customers to relinquish their seats for an unplanned accommodation. Most importantly, it ensures that all Customers onboard have access to safe and comfortable seating. You may contact us for a refund of the cost of additional seating after travel. Customers of size who prefer not to purchase an additional seat in advance have the option of purchasing just one seat and then discussing their seating needs with the Customer Service Agent at their departure gate. If it is determined that a second (or third) seat is needed, they will be accommodated with a complimentary additional seat(s).
For more information, please refer to our Customer of Size Policy Q&A.
Online Booking Instructions for proactively purchasing an additional seat(s) on southwest.com
Select your city pair(s) and travel date(s).
In the "Passengers" field, indicate the total number of seats needed by selecting that number of adults. (For example, if one Customer of size requires two seats and is traveling with one other adult in his/her party, select "3 Adults.")
Proceed through the "Select Flight" and "Itinerary and Pricing" pages.
Complete the "Who's Flying?" name fields for a Customer of size as follows: A Passenger named Tom Smith would designate Passenger One as "Tom Smith," and Passenger Two as "Tom XS Smith" (first name Tom, middle name XS, and last name Smith).
If a Customer purchases a Business Select or Anytime Fare, the second seat can be sold at the discounted Child's Fare. It is important to note that the Child's Fare is only available via our Customer Support Services. You will need to call (800) I-FLY-SWA (800-435-9792) to book/purchase the extra seat at the Child's Fare.
Phone Booking Instructions
Call Customer Support and Services at (800) I-FLY-SWA (800-435-9792).
Inform the Representative that you are familiar with our Customer of size policy and wish to proactively purchase two seats.
We will offer our lowest fare available. If an advance purchase, discounted fare (i.e., Wanna Get Away Fare) is booked, the second seat will be sold at the same discounted fare.
If a Customer purchases one of our Anytime or Business Select Fares, the second seat will be sold at the Child's Fare.
Domestic U.S. Travel: Customers of size may check in online or at a Self-Service Check-in kiosk to reserve their boarding positions, but they must see a Customer Service Agent to receive the required documents and be eligible for a refund after the flight.
International Travel: Customers of size who have purchased an extra seat in advance of an international flight can also utilize online checkin ahead of time to secure a boarding position, and should visit the Southwest Airlines Ticket Counter or kiosk upon arrival at the airport to have their passport verified, receive boarding documents, and check luggage (if applicable).
Domestic U.S. and International Travel: Customers of size must obtain a Seat Reserved Document from the Customer Service Agent at the Gate to obtain a Reserved Seat Document and Refund Advice Slip for the additional seats purchased.
Boarding and on the Aircraft
Customers of size who have an Extra Seat Boarding document may choose to preboard in order to select seats that best meets their needs or they may choose to board in their boarding group and position.
Once onboard the aircraft, if necessary, please request a seatbelt extension from our Flight Attendant. Only one seatbelt extension may be used, and only seatbelt extensions provided by Southwest Airlines are approved for use onboard our aircraft.
1 On occasion, federally mandated procedures may prevent our ability to issue a Security Document online. Under these circumstances, please see a Southwest Customer Service Agent at the airport for assistance.