All you need to know about Southwest Airlines Plus Size Passenger Policy 
4 mins read

All you need to know about Southwest Airlines Plus Size Passenger Policy 

There are very few airlines that understand the plight of extra size passengers as they struggle to fit in the aircraft seats on board. However, a very considerate US-based airline has taken initiatives on this matter and have come up with their Plus Size Passenger Policy.

According to the Southwest Airline Plus Size Passenger Policy, plus size passengers can book one extra seat for free. However, this policy is subject to the availability. The airline advises plus size passengers to book two seats on a flight. If there are any empty seats on the plane, you can avail of a refund for one of your two seat purchases. However, this is a policy by Southwest airlines that is applicable only on a few flights.

If the Plus Size Passenger Policy by Southwest Airlines looks new to you, then you’re mistaken as it is a policy of the airline that has been there for over 30 years. But, the recent TikTok attention got more media coverage to this policy of the airline.

The airline encourages passengers to purchase additional seats prior to the flight’s scheduled departure as it helps the airline authorities plan the occupancy rate of the flight. Also, it ensures they can accommodate all their passengers on the flight who have purchased a ticket instead of asking any one passenger to relinquish their seat for an unplanned accommodation at the last minute. 

However, if you’ve not purchased your extra seat in advance, you can ask the airline’s customer service agent at the departure gate for a complimentary additional seating. There is a viral TikTok video that surfaced the internet in recent times, where a lady is asking at the departure gate of Southwest Airlines that she wants to avail their Plus Size Passenger Policy and is looking for an additional seating. The viral video got a lot of support from netizens and most people are asking other airlines to implement the Plus Size policy.

Policy Advocate

Jae’lynn Chaney is the advocate for the Plus Size Policy. She is a plus-size travel expert and a content creator from Vancouver, Washington state. She filed the petition for a federal mandate in April which asks all airlines to have “a comprehensive customer-of-size policy that prioritizes comfort and well-being of all passengers.” The petition has received a total of 3000 new signatures this week and by Friday, the petition will gather around 40000 signatures.

Chaney being an advocate of the Southwest Airlines Plus Size Policy throws light on the plight of so many travelers who are under-confident to travel on flights because of their size and they have the insecurity of being treated badly because of their size. She says Southwest Airlines Policy is inclusive for ALL passengers and her aim is that more airlines incorporate such policies. 

Apart from Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines is the only carrier that has a similar policy in place. According to Alaska Airlines’ Policy, passengers can buy extra seats which will be eligible for refund if the flight has departed with an available open seat.

Chaney also aspires to see Canada’s One Person One Fare Policy which applies to passengers who are functionally disabled by Obesity. She wants all airlines to advocate the Plus Size Policy so that obese people are not afraid or don’t refrain themselves from traveling. She says, the airlines don’t have to offer a free second seat but atleast plus size people must have options of different airlines so that they can navigate their choices. This policy is also helpful for passengers with mobility challenges.

The Plus Size Policy by Southwest Airlines is more focused on safety and comfort than on airfare. When a passenger can sit comfortably on their seat in the flights and rest both their arms on the armrests, it is safe for the passenger to travel onboard. The airline doesn’t charge any extra amount for the second seat and even you paid for your second seat, you can ask for refund after your journey.

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