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How To Upgrade Seat on Southwest Airlines And Get Benefits

Southwest Airlines is one of America’s oldest operating airline carriers. It also delivers many services to travelers that fly to their desired destinations on its flights. But, if you are flying on a base fare, you could try their Business Select fare upgrade, which can give you a more relaxing experience and some fine in-flight services as well. Moreover, it is easy to Upgrade a Seat on Southwest Airlines.

In this guide, we will show you how to upgrade seats on Southwest Airlines flights, so you can travel in comfort.

Things to Know about Southwest Airlines’ Seat Upgrades

Most travelers that fly on Southwest’s basic class of cabin are offered the opportunity to upgrade their seats. Plus, there are a few loyalty programs too, which can earn you some points for every trip on Southwest’s flight.

Generally, Southwest Airlines offers three fare types to its passengers, where each fare type has its own perks and limitations. These include Business Select, Anytime and Wanna Get Away.

However, these three fare types share a few common benefits, such as:

  • You can carry two bags (i.e., first and second bags) for free (weight and size limits apply)
  • There are no change fees

Keep in mind that if you do not cancel your flight at least 10 minutes prior to scheduled departure, you may end up getting your travel funds forfeited.

When you upgrade to Business Select, any difference amount may apply to your reservation. Southwest claims on its website that its Business Select fares are refundable. In addition, passengers get priority boarding on some aircraft and the opportunity to earn more Rapid Rewards points.

There are, of course, quite a lot more benefits when upgrading to the Business Select class. These are given as follows:

  • Business Select passengers are offered guaranteed priority boarding on A1-A15 aircraft.
  • You can choose the seat you want.
  • You get access to Fly By Priority Lanes that will allow you to breeze through the ticket counter and security checkpoints.
  • If you are a member of Southwest’s programs, like Rapid Rewards A-List and A-List Preferred Members, you can also have access to Fly By Priority Lanes.
  • You can enjoy premium drinks onboard via a coupon which is valid for use on the day of travel.
  • You can earn Rapid Rewards points for every dollar spent.

Southwest’s Business Select can be a great choice for travelers who are looking for seat upgrades with a premium experience.

Rapid Rewards Program

Travelers that fly frequently on Southwest flights are offered membership to their frequent flyer program called Rapid Rewards. This program is quite similar to those of its competitors.

A good thing about Rapid Rewards points is that you can earn 12 points per dollar spent, which, if compared to their Wanna Get Away fare, is a lot more. Southwest’s ‘Wanna Get Away’ fare type just lets you earn 6 points per dollar spent. So, becoming a member of the airline’s Rapid Rewards program can give you plenty of benefits.

You can also use your accumulated Rapid Rewards points to purchase products and services, including upgrading seats on a Southwest flight. To upgrade your seat using Rapid Rewards, you just have to provide your Rapid Rewards number to your existing reservation and follow the instructions given on your screen.

You may log in to your Southwest account, where you can easily manage your reservation and also find other details, such as your Rapid Rewards number if you have forgotten it.

Ways to Upgrade Seat on Southwest Airlines Flight

There are a number of ways you can find the best seat on your Southwest flight and upgrade to a higher-class cabin to enjoy more benefits.

Method #1: Upgrade Seat Online

Southwest’s online services let you manage your reservation with just a few simple button clicks.


1. Using your desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone device, open a web browser and go to Southwest’s official website Here, you can purchase and make changes to your reservations.

2. When you are on the website’s homepage, click the “Flight/Hotel/Car/Vacations” option located in the upper right corner. You will be presented with several sub-options under each category.

3. Now, under the “Flight” category, you may either select “Manage Reservations” or “Upgrade My Flight” sub-option. You will be automatically directed to the same upgrade page. This will allow you to easily purchase an upgrade on your current flight booking.

4. Here, you will be asked to enter the confirmation code and the passenger’s first and last name. After you have provided the necessary details, click the Continue button to proceed.

Note: Southwest’s online service will first check if your reservation is eligible for an upgrade. If there is an upgrade available, its applicable fees will also be displayed on your screen.

5. You will be provided with a summary of your flight’s details and the available upgrade, including fees, if any. You may now proceed to the payment page to complete the process.

When your upgrade has been completed successfully, you will receive an e-mail containing a confirmation along with other relevant details. You can show this confirmation e-mail at the boarding gate to the agent and also when boarding your flight.

Method #2: Upgrade Seat via Phone

Southwest Airlines’ customer service center can also offer assistance to you via phone if you wish to get an upgrade for your reservation. They are usually available 24/7.

To do this, all you need is a few quick steps which are given below.


1. Using your mobile phone or a fixed-line phone, you may contact Southwest’s customer service center at +1-800-435-9792 (+1-800-I-FLY-SWA).

Note: Keep in mind that on busy days, you may have to wait in the queue for your turn to get connected to a live person. You can Contact Contact Southwest Airlines About A Complaint.

2. When you dial their customer service number, you may be greeted by an automated voice system. This integrated voice system contains several options to choose from, depending on the type of your query.

3. If there is an option available that is relevant to your query, simply select that option by pressing the associated button on your phone.

Note: Usually, even if the automated voice system does not contain options that are relevant to your query, there will be at least one final option that should immediately connect you to a live representative to assist you.

4. You will be introduced to a Southwest customer service agent who will carry out the necessary procedure on your behalf.

5. Keep in mind that you will be asked to provide your flight details in order to complete the process smoothly.

Once your details have been submitted, the representative will forward the details for further verification, including an eligibility check, in case you want to upgrade.

The process could take a few minutes though. If your reservation is eligible for an upgrade, the representative will help you avail of it. Also, upon successful completion, a confirmation e-mail will be sent to you.

You can also get in touch with Southwest’s customer service center on their social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook.

Method #3: Upgrade Seat Directly at Airport

There is another way you can get a seat upgrade on your reservation. This method will require you to visit the airport’s ticket counter or customer service desk. You can do this if your Southwest flight operates or has its departure scheduled from that airport.

You may find this method quite convenient as there are not many steps to follow as those that are mentioned above.

Here, all you need to do is simply go to the airport where your Southwest flight is scheduled for departure and just request an available seat upgrade. At the ticket counter, present your flight reservation details along with your ID proof so that the staff can process your request quickly.

Southwest Airlines Reservations


Since there are always one or more benefits available to passengers flying on Southwest’s Business Select cabin, thus, upgrading from the basic cabin is worth going for.

Read Also:

Southwest Reservations

Southwest cancellation and Refund Policy

Southwest Flight Change Policy

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