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Second Seat - Customers of Size vs. Families

Explorer C

Has anyone read Southwest's "Customer of Size" Policy? Under the reason for the policy, it states, 

"Southwest Airlines has had a long-standing policy for more than 30 years that is designed to meet the seating needs of our Customers who require more than one seat and protect the comfort and safety of all of our Customers."

If this statement doesn't apply to parents flying with children, then I don't know what does. Also note that under the "Customer of Size" Policy, "If it is determined that a second (or third) seat is needed, they will be accommodated with a complimentary additional seat." The customer of size gets there second and even their third seat for FREE!!

It seems that southwest is happy to encourage the travel of overweight people by paying for their second and even their third seat, but have no interest in accommodating "the seating needs of [families] who require more than one seat."

Is it just me or is this a bad policy on the part of Southwest? If a customer of size is entitled to an extra seat because they take up the space, why isn't a family with a 2 year old entitled to a free seat for the 2 year old? Or what about a 22 month old who flies free? All parents want an extra seat for their child at that age but nobody wants to pay for it..


Re: Second Seat - Customers of Size vs. Families

Aviator A

I'm sure you will have lots of opinions here. For me, this is not apples to apples. It's one person vs. two. 

To be clear, passengers of size much ourchase the seats they need and reach out after the fact for a refund for the extra seats. They are not flying for free. 

On the other hand, if SW just gives seats to kids, that means they would be flying for fully free. It isn't the same. And kids under two already fly free. Also, my under-two kids flying as a lap child have more than once ended up with their own seat on a not-full plane. 

SW already offers crazy good benefits for flying families. I'm not sure you will find what you are looking for at any airline, so for me, the existing benefits seal my business with Southwest. 

-A List, Companion Pass holder

Re: Second Seat - Customers of Size vs. Families

Aviator A

Southwest is actually one of the only airlines in the industry that provides separate fares for infants and children. Most airlines do not provide this at all.


Here are some more tips for flying with kids on Southwest: