Seating on Southwest

Updated on October 21, 2012
K.R. asks from New Hill, NC
14 answers

We are flying Southwest next week and I am looking for thoughts about where in the plane to sit- front, middle, back or sit. There are 4 adults and 2 kids, ages 3 and 4 who are both potty trained but I am considering a pull-up for the flight to avoid using the bathroom. Any ideas would be really appreciated!

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answers from Louisville on

Was it SW that at one time had a plane or two that had a "pit" of 6 sieats in the rear of the plane that faced each other - 3 forward, 3 backward?

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answers from Honolulu on

Go to:
This site is GREAT and even our Travel Agent uses it, and I even talked with the Airlines guy on the phone.. told him I was looking at the Seat Guru site... and together we booked & reserved our seating, with our kids in mind. My Husband even used it when he traveled to Europe with my daughter, and for ALL the connecting flights they had to and from round-trip.

For your kids, bring some back up diapers & clothing JUST in case.
The thing is, they may be SCARED to use the toilet in the airplane. Some kids are. So then what? Kids scream if scared of a toilet. My friend once traveled with her kids... the son was about 4. He although potty trained, had issues with the airplane toilet & was scared of it... and proceeded to poop, on the... floor, before she even realized what he was doing.

If you have kids, you are allowed to board the plane, first etc.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

They usually allow families with young children to board between groups A and B so you have a better chance of getting seats together. Otherwise, check in online at the 24 hour point to get the closest point in line. Check with your airport to check for the official policy.

The last trip I took, I checked in RIGHT at the 24 hour point, and both times we got B 19/B20.... hubby and I easily got seats together.

Some people like the bulkhead seat since it has a bit more leg room, and thus a bit of possible "play" room, but since there are no seats in front of you, ALL carry-on items have to go in the overhead compartment.... making getting toys and snacks out more difficult.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I paid $10 extra per person per flight (so $100 total) for our flight in Miami. This gives us priority seating and automatically checks us in online. Maybe you can look in to that?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I think it depends on how long the flight is. Even my older elementary aged kids know to go before they board the flight so they're less likely to have to go during the flight. Otherwise I'd try to sit nearish the back. We actually almost always sit near the back and find it to be just fine noise wise. And definitely check in the day before like someone else mentioned. We did not know to do that one time and because we were in the last boarding group we were all split up.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Check in on line as early as possible. I think you can do it 24 hours before your flight. The sooner you check in the sooner you can board.
I like sitting in the front, you get off the plane faster that way!
And PLEASE don't put your kids in pull ups, there's no need. Not only are they nasty (would YOU want to wear one while traveling!?) but a trip to the bathroom is a GOOD thing on a flight. It's hard to stay seated for so long, especially for young kids. Going potty gives you all a chance to stretch your legs and move around.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I prefer to sit close to the wings. If that is not available, the front is less bumpy and quieter than the back, but the back usually fills up last. On Southwest, you do a lot of just taking whatever is available. How long is the flight? I've never used a pull-up on my daughter post-pottytraining, and we've been on many flights. Generally, she does have to go at some point...I think more for the novelty than necessity. The only time it has been a problem not being in a pull-up is when it's been a very turbulent flight where even flight attenants had to sit down, so she couldn't get up to use the bathroom and really needed to go or when landing with her really needing to go. If I were you, I'd probably not put the kids in pull-ups but would offer them a trip to the bathroom once at cruising altitude. When flying I always carry an full extra set of clothes for my daughter, and often for me too, just in case an accident were to occur. I've also found that having some kind of cleaning wipe is also a good idea to wipe down the tray table before they have a snack. Finally, I always pack a few new items in the carryon (new crayons, new coloring book or new book to read), and she also loves to using hand-held electronic games on the plane but headphones are a necessity.



answers from Detroit on

Get there early to wait in line. Good luck!


answers from Dallas on

We fly SW all the time and have priority seating, whenever we check in. We do usually check in online before we leave to save time.

You've received good responses. True... Front fills up faster. However, I've never seen a request denied when a family can't sit together... Most people are courteous enough to respect that and will adjust seating.

How long is your flight? We never did pull ups because a part of keeping daughter entertained was to move around, go to potty , etc.

Relax... All will be well!!! SW is a great airline!


answers from Boston on

I wouldn't do pull-ups..Just frequently check to see if they need to use the bathroom. I would have my son try to go before, and after each flight ( if you have to change flights). If it's nonstop, then whenever he needed to go, he went. Just sit near the bathrooms on the plane. My son thought he was sooo cool going to the bathroom on a plane.

I either sit in the front or the back. Bring snacks.


answers from Dover on

With kids, I would sit near the bathroom in case they need to go. I don't recommend pull-up because it encourages them to go in their pants and you don't want that regression. Additionally, pull-ups often leak so you will have a mess on your hands if used to avoid going to the bathroom.



answers from Washington DC on

I wouldn't do pull ups if they're potty trained. Once you know about using a toilet, peeing on yourself is pretty gross. I mean would YOU be willing to pee in a pull up to avoid using the bathroom on a plane?

As for where to sit, it would be ideal if you could get six seats straight across near the back of the plane. Put kids together with one adult and then let the adults swap out kid duty as needed, or put one kid with each pair of adults. If you sit near the back, bathroom trips are easy, and you won't have to make them use diapers.

Hope this helps.



answers from Houston on

Just don't loud talk with your kids while playing. I get so tired of hearing mommy talk during a flight. Otherwise, I can deal awith a crying child-I am a momma and know that there is no way to prevent that.


answers from Washington DC on


I would make sure that I checked in 24 hours prior or pay the $10 (if it's still $10) for them to auto check you in to get "A" seating.

If it's a long flight - I would try to sit 2 or 3 rows away from the toilets for the kids..if not - I prefer to sit towards the front of the plane...

Personally - I would NOT use a pull up for a travel flight - but that's ME - as for me it would seem to get the kids to I would just deal. Most travelers are pretty good about young kids and bathroom usage.

Have fun!

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