Budget carrier “Passengers of size” on TikTok are praising Southwest Airlines after discovering they can request complimentary seats – one or two, depending on the need – to accommodate their circumference.
Southwest states that passengers whose bodies “encroach” past the armrest are eligible for an additional seat in accordance with its inclusion policy.
At this time, they are among the limited number of airlines, if not the sole provider, that provide complimentary seating for passengers who are larger in size.
The flight crew will subsequently attempt to arrange the seats, which may involve repositioning other passengers to accommodate the unforeseen accommodation.
“Customers who encroach upon any part of the neighboring seat(s) may proactively purchase the needed number of seats prior to travel to ensure the additional seat(s) is available… The purchase of additional seats serves as a notification of a special seating need and allows us to adequately plan for the number of occupied seats onboard.” the policy states.
“It also helps us ensure we can accommodate all Customers on the flight for which they purchased a ticket and avoid asking Customers to relinquish their seats for unplanned accommodation. Most importantly, it ensures that all Customers onboard have access to safe and comfortable seating. You may contact us for a refund of the cost of additional seating after travel,” it continues.