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Middle Seats Full Flight Change

Adventurer C

I got an email today that my flight to Orlando on Thursday is looking like the middle seats will be full.  There weren't any suggested alternative flights, but the email did say I could change for free.  I called to get an earlier flight that would be the 1st flight of the morning, so hopefully a cleaner aircraft and was told I couldn't switch because that flight have fewer open seats than the one I'm currently scheduled on.  That makes no sense since the email I got clearly stated I could change within a 3 day window there aren't any exceptions in the fine print.


Re: Middle Seats Full Flight Change

Aviator A

You can only choose from what is available. If that early AM flight is also full, there isn't anything that can be done about that, unfortunately.


The best option at this point is to contact SW again and specifically ask what is available within the time frame you are allowed to change that is not full. The reality is that there may not be anything that is not full, or there may not be any alternative that fits your schedule.


At that point, you may decide to fly on a full plane, or you can always cancel. Remember that with SW, you can hold the amount you paid for the flight on Travel Funds that you can use up to a year from the original purchase date.


-A List, Companion Pass holder

Re: Middle Seats Full Flight Change

Adventurer C

Both AM flights are available.  I'm going to try to call again this evening and see if I get a different response from a different agent.

Re: Middle Seats Full Flight Change

Aviator C

Sounds like you're worried about having a clean plane?   Well,  considering neither middle seats being full nor contact with surfaces have been attributed to spreading Covid,  it seems you're being overly paranoid. 


The facts are you'll be low risk regardless.   If you're looking to assuage your fears of flying,  your best bet is to stay home.  There's really nothing to be gained by nitpicking one flight over another. 

Re: Middle Seats Full Flight Change

Aviator A

If you check the email you received, you’ll see that it clearly states states      that you are allowed to change to a flight

With better seat availability.


Ssince.  the purpose of the policy is to allow you to move to a flight with  a better chance of your row having an empty middle seat, it’s not surprising that the airline won’t allow you to change to a flight with worse  chances of having an empty middle seat.


Re: Middle Seats Full Flight Change

Adventurer C

Where in this email does it state a flight with better availability?


We want to make you aware that a portion of your trip with Confirmation XXXXXX to Orlandoincludes a flight that may not allow for an open middle seat next to you. In addition to the multi-layered approach we are taking to support your well-being and comfort, we are currently making an exception to allow you to change to a similar flight option at no additional charge*.


Flight Options
At this time, we do not see a similar flight option available for the same day of travel.

To change your reservation: If you'd like to ask about availability on flights within three days from your date of departure, please call us at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792), and we will be glad to assist you. Do not attempt to change your flight on® as that may result in a change in fare.

Please be aware that any flight you change to may ultimately depart with middle or all seats occupied as tickets are often purchased right up to the time of departure**.

Southwest® Promise – What we are doing for you!
With the Southwest® Promise, we're focused on supporting the well-being of our Employees and Customers by requiring face coverings, using HEPA air filters onboard (similar to technology found in hospitals), and conducting multiple layers of cleaning protocols such as applying an electrostatic disinfectant and an anti-microbial spray to every surface of the aircraft. We will continue to evaluate our policies and procedures based on public health guidance and advice from medical and aviation organizations.

While many elements of our experience have changed and will continue to evolve, we are continuing to deliver the same Southwest Hospitality that you know and expect. We hope to see you soon.

Your friends at Southwest Airlines®

*Corporate bookings and Group Travel policies may vary; please reach out to your original source of booking for further assistance. Additionally, failure to cancel a reservation at least 10 minutes prior to departure may result in forfeited travel funds.

**Aircraft type also remains subject to change per the Contract of Carriage.

Re: Middle Seats Full Flight Change

Aviator A

While it's not spelled out in the email you received, in the original announcement there was specific mention that flight changes would only be allowed to flights that are less full.


  • Full Flight Changes: Customers who keep their booking will be notified two to three days before travel if their flight is booked to a capacity where middle seats will likely be occupied. Those Customers will be given the option to change to a flight (if another flight is available) that is less full within three days of their original flight at no additional charge.


Hopefully you find an agent that is willing/able to make the change despite the flight being fuller.