Southwest no longer blocking middle seats, but giving refunds

Since most travelers are grounded, fingers crossed the Southwest Companion Pass is extended.
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Just yesterday, Southwest Airlines announced that starting on Dec. 1st they will no longer be blocking their middle seats. This is a decision I am sure Southwest did not take lightly and while I understand the need to block middle seats, I also understand that airlines are hurting — badly.

Fortunately though, with Southwest’s boarding process where you pick any seat you want, on a flight that is not full, it should still be easy to not sit next to one. In my experience flying on Southwest — pre-pandemic — people typically fill the seats in the front of the plane. But, go straight to the back and you’ll have a better chance to have that empty seat next to you.

Now, this announcement definitely made some customers not happy. There are many travelers who are purposely booking flights on airlines that have been blocking the middle seat. And to now not have a guaranteed middle seat blocked can be worrisome to many.

For those who are not comfortable flying Southwest anymore, they are allowing you to cancel your flight for a full refund. If your flight is already booked, there’s a good chance you already received an email asking you to fill out a form if you are impacted.

I appreciate that Southwest is allowing customers to fully cancel, although remember — if you have a reservation booked on points, you can always cancel a flight for no fee.

Since Southwest is no longer blocking middle seats, will this cause you to cancel an upcoming flight?

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1 month ago

No, this will not cause us to cancel upcoming flights. We have flown SW in the past 6 months and the planes had empty rows available.

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