upgrade on southwest airlines

Among the many options Southwest offers for its customers, one of the most popular is the Southwest Airlines upgrade or Southwest Business Select fare class. The fare offers a range of additional benefits to travelers, including priority boarding, extra Rapid Rewards points, and more. 

In this article, we will explore what Southwest Business Select is, what benefits it offers, and whether it is worth the additional cost for business and leisure travelers alike.

What is Southwest Business Select and Its Worth?

Business Select is a fare option offered by Southwest Airlines that provides passengers with additional benefits and flexibility.

Some of the benefits of Southwest Business Class, in other words, Southwest Business Select include:

  • Priority boarding – Business Select passengers are among the first to board the plane, so they can choose their preferred seat and stow their carry-on luggage in the overhead bin.
  • Priority security line access – In some airports, Business Select passengers are eligible for expedited security screening.
  • Same-day changes – Business Select passengers can change their flight on the same day of travel without paying additional fees, subject to availability. 
  • Standby travels – Standby travel between the same city pairs on the initial date of travel is authorized with no fee for a change in the fares. Southwest will refund the difference, however, if the fare for your new flight is less expensive than the one you originally paid.
  • Extra Rapid Rewards points – Business Select passengers earn extra points on their flights, which can be used for future travel.
  • Complimentary premium drinks – Upon boarding, passengers would be greeted with a premium drink. You can claim your premium drink coupon at the Southwest airline check-in counter at the airport. 

Business Select on Southwest Airlines tends to be more expensive than other fare options. They provide added value and flexibility for passengers who are willing to pay extra for these benefits.

What are the types of fares available with Southwest Airlines?

Southwest Airlines offers several types of fares for passengers to choose from. These include:

  • Wanna Get Away – This is the airline’s lowest fare and is non-refundable. Passengers can make changes to their flight for a fee, and cancellation will result in the fare being converted to Travel Funds that can be used for future travel.
  • Wanna Get Away Plus – Another non-refundable fare with Southwest Airlines that offer transferable credit. Passengers are allowed to request a same-day flight change. 
  • Anytime – This fare is fully refundable and allows passengers to make changes to their flight without paying a fee. Passengers with this fare also receive priority boarding.
  • Business Select – This is Southwest’s premium fare and includes priority boarding, extra Rapid Rewards points, and a free premium drink on board. Southwest Business Select fare is also fully refundable and allows for changes without a fee.

Southwest Business Select vs Anytime Fare

Southwest Airlines offers two premium fare options – Business Select and Anytime Fare – which are similar in some ways but have some key differences.

Here are some of the main differences between Business Select and Anytime Fare:

  • Priority boarding – Both Business Select and Anytime Fare include priority boarding, but Business Select passengers board in the first group (after pre-boarding for families with young children and those needing special assistance), while Anytime Fare, passengers, board in the second group.
  • No fees would be assessed – Business Select includes the benefit of no change fees, meaning you can change your flight on the same day without incurring any additional fees as long as a seat is available. Anytime Fare, on the other hand, allows for changes without fees but also comes with restrictions on changes.
  • Claim refunds anytime – Both Business Select and Anytime Fare allow for refunds, but Business Select fares are fully refundable while Anytime Fare refunds are subject to a cancellation fee.
  • Price – Business Select fares are typically more expensive than Anytime Fare, but offer more perks and benefits.

Overall, Business Select on Southwest Airlines may be a better choice for travelers who prioritize priority boarding and flexible flight changes, while Anytime Fare may be a better choice for travelers who want some flexibility but are willing to pay less for fewer benefits.

How to request an upgrade on Southwest Airlines?

Southwest Airlines offers an upgrade option for passengers who want to fly in Business Select or upgrade to a better seat. Here’s how to request an upgrade on Southwest Airlines:

  • In order to be eligible for an upgrade, you must first book a qualifying fare. This includes any time Fare and full-fare tickets in Y or B fare class.
  • Check if there are any upgrade seats available on your flight. You can do this by logging into your Southwest account or contacting Southwest’s customer service.
  • If upgrade seats are available, you can request an upgrade through your Southwest account or by calling customer service.
  • If your upgrade request is approved, you will need to pay the fare difference between your original fare and the upgraded fare.
  • Once your upgrade request is approved and paid for, you will receive confirmation of your new seat assignment.

It’s important to note that Southwest Airlines Business Select does not offer a traditional first-class cabin. Business Select is the highest level of service offered by Southwest.

Request upgrade via Southwest Airlines Customer Service –

To request an upgrade on Southwest Business Class through customer service, you can follow these steps:

  • Call Southwest Airlines customer service at 1-800-435-9792.
  • Provide your reservation or confirmation number and personal information to the customer service representative.
  • Request an upgrade and inquire about available options.
  • The representative will provide you with information about the available upgrades and any associated fees.

If you decide to proceed with the upgrade, the representative will process the request and provide you with any necessary information about your new seat or itinerary.

Request upgrade at the airport – If you are already at the airport and want to request an upgrade on Southwest Airlines, you can do so by following these steps:

  • First, check if there are any upgrade seats available on your flight. You can do this by asking at the Southwest Airlines ticket counter or gate.
  • Once you know that upgrade seats are available, ask the gate agent about the possibility of an upgrade. 
  • Provide your confirmation number and flight details.
  • If your upgrade request is approved, you will need to pay the fare difference between your original fare and the upgraded fare.
  •  Once your upgrade request is approved and paid for, you will receive confirmation of your new seat assignment.

It’s important to note that upgrades are not guaranteed and are subject to availability.

How to access better seating with Southwest Airlines?

Southwest Airlines operates on a first-come, first-served basis for seating, which means that you do not get an assigned seat when you book your flight.

Instead, you will be assigned a boarding group and position based on when you check in for your flight. Passengers’s boarding position will determine their chances of getting a better seat on Southwest Airlines:

Check-in online –

  • Southwest Airlines allows you to check in for your flight online up to 24 hours before departure. The earlier you check in, the earlier your boarding position will be assigned.

Purchase EarlyBird Check-In –

  • For a fee, you can purchase EarlyBird Check-In which automatically checks you in 36 hours before your flight’s scheduled departure time, which can give you a better boarding position.

Upgrade to Business Select –

If you purchase a Southwest Airlines Business Select fare, you will receive a guaranteed A1-A15 boarding position, which will give you the best chance of securing your preferred seat.

Join the Rapid Rewards program –

  • Members of the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards program can earn points that can be used to purchase upgraded seating options, such as Business Select or upgraded boarding positions.

Remember, while Southwest Airlines doesn’t have assigned seating, they do have an open seating policy that allows you to choose any available seat once you board the plane.

Frequently Asked Questions – (FAQs)

What are the Southwest Business Select benefits?

Southwest Business Select seatings provide several benefits to its passengers such as priority boarding, extra rapid rewards points, fully refundable fare, dedicated check-in, and priority security. 

Are Southwest Business Select tickets refundable?

Yes. This allows passengers to change or cancel their flight at any time without incurring any penalty fees.

What does Southwest mean by business select?

Southwest Airlines created the Business Select fare to meet the needs of its passengers who are looking for a more comfortable and convenient travel experience.

Are you automatically checked in on Southwest Business Select?

No, passengers who purchase Southwest Business Select fares are not automatically checked in for their flights.

Is Business Select an upgrade on Southwest?

No. It is a fare class that passengers can purchase when booking their flights, which offers additional benefits and amenities.

How many bags can you have on Southwest Business Select?

Southwest Baggage Policy allows customers to bring up to two checked bags free of charge, each weighing up to 50 pounds and measuring up to 62 inches (L+W+H) for Business Select fares.

Is the Southwest seat upgrade worth it?

Southwest’s Business Select fare includes priority boarding, which means you’ll have a better chance of getting your preferred seat location before the flight fills up.


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