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Does Southwest Have First Class?

Southwest Airlines is known for its affordable fares and no-frills approach to air travel. While it doesn’t have a traditional first class cabin like many other airlines, Southwest does offer a premium seating option called Business Select. In this article, we will explore Southwest’s premium seating, its features and benefits, and how it compares to traditional first class offerings.

Understanding Southwest’s Premium Seating: Business Select

Southwest Airlines does not have a dedicated first class cabin. Instead, it offers a premium seating option known as Business Select. Business Select provides passengers with additional perks and benefits that enhance their travel experience. Let’s take a closer look at what Business Select entails.

Priority Boarding

One of the significant advantages of Southwest’s Business Select is priority boarding. Passengers who choose Business Select are among the first to board the aircraft, ensuring they have ample time to find overhead bin space and settle into their seats comfortably. Priority boarding allows for a smoother and more relaxed boarding experience.

Guaranteed A1-A15 Boarding Position

In addition to priority boarding, Business Select passengers receive a guaranteed A1-A15 boarding position. This means that they have the opportunity to choose their preferred seats before other passengers. Having an early boarding position increases the likelihood of securing a window or aisle seat, which can be particularly important for passengers who prefer specific seating arrangements.

Increased Rapid Rewards Points

Southwest’s Rapid Rewards is the airline’s loyalty program. Business Select passengers earn more Rapid Rewards points per dollar spent on their ticket compared to passengers in other fare classes. This allows Business Select passengers to accumulate rewards more quickly, leading to potential benefits such as free flights, priority check-in, or access to exclusive lounges.

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Free Premium Drink

Business Select passengers receive a complimentary premium drink during their flight. This includes alcoholic beverages, such as beer, wine, and spirits, as well as non-alcoholic options. The free premium drink adds a touch of luxury and convenience to the travel experience, allowing passengers to enjoy a refreshing beverage while in the air.

Dedicated Check-In Lanes

Another perk of Business Select is access to dedicated check-in lanes at select airports. This allows passengers to bypass the regular check-in queues and enjoy a faster and more streamlined check-in process. Dedicated check-in lanes can save valuable time, especially during peak travel periods.

Comparing Business Select to Traditional First Class

While Southwest’s Business Select offers a range of benefits, it is important to note that it is not the same as traditional first class offered by many airlines. Let’s compare some key features and differences between Business Select and traditional first class:

Seat Configuration and Amenities

Traditional first class cabins typically feature larger and more luxurious seats, often with lie-flat or flat-bed capabilities. These seats provide a higher level of comfort and privacy, allowing passengers to rest and sleep more comfortably during long-haul flights. In contrast, Southwest’s Business Select seats are similar to those in the economy cabin, with extra legroom but without the same level of luxury or privacy.

In-Flight Dining

First class passengers on traditional airlines often enjoy gourmet meals prepared by renowned chefs. These meals are served on fine china with a selection of premium wines and spirits. While Business Select passengers on Southwest receive a complimentary premium drink, the overall in-flight dining experience may not be as extensive or gourmet as in traditional first class.

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Additional Services and Amenities

Traditional first class passengers often benefit from additional services and amenities, such as access to exclusive airport lounges, priority baggage handling, enhanced entertainment systems, and personalized service from dedicated flight attendants. These services and amenities are not typically available to Business Select passengers on Southwest.


While Southwest Airlines does not have a traditional first class cabin, it offers a premium seating option called Business Select. Business Select provides passengers with benefits such as priority boarding, guaranteed A1-A15 boarding position, increased Rapid Rewards points, a complimentary premium drink, and access to dedicated check-in lanes. These perks enhance the travel experience and offer a more comfortable journey compared to standard economy class.

It is important to note that Business Select on Southwest is not equivalent to traditional first class on other airlines. Traditional first class cabins typically offer larger and more luxurious seats, gourmet in-flight dining, and a range of additional services and amenities. If you prioritize the utmost luxury, privacy, and personalized service, traditional first class may be the preferred choice.

Ultimately, the decision of whether Southwest’s Business Select is worth it depends on individual preferences and priorities. If you value the additional perks and benefits provided by Business Select, such as priority boarding and increased rewards, it can be a worthwhile investment. However, if you seek the highest level of luxury and premium services, traditional first class on other airlines may better suit your needs.

Does Southwest Have First Class?
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