Everyone has their own strategy for securing the best seats on Southwest Airlines. No matter where you sit, it’s a better experience than at a comparable seat on another U.S. airline because there’s more legroom. Southwest doesn’t even advertise this! But they offer one to two more inches of space than American, Delta, and United.
But what makes the biggest difference in comfort on any flight, regardless of airline, is having an empty seat next to you. And if your flight is full, that’s something which is largely within your control when flying on Southwest Airlines. If you fly Delta you hope they didn’t assign the seat next to you. If you fly Southwest, seats aren’t pre-assigned, so you hope no one decides to sit next to you.
There’s a whole subculture of people who have their own strategies for making sure sitting beside them is… undesirable. For instance, spreading out over the seat next to them, making it look like anyone who takes a middle seat next to you will be uncomfortable. Or crumpling up tissues and placing them on the seat to make it look like they’re sick. Who wants to sit on dirty tissues?
Here’s a new technique I haven’t seen though. As someone looks like they might sit down beside you, reach out and offer them hard boiled eggs out of a plastic bag. Do it with an impish grin, like you might eat them or at least creep on them. And what if those eggs are.. rotten?
— Craig Muni (@CraigMuni) May 14, 2023
Now that's simply rotten egg behavior, Craig. You must have everyone running for the eggs-it! -Lina
— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) May 14, 2023
As long as the plane isn’t completely full, someone is going to get an empty seat next to them. Sure, that could be you as a matter of luck. And you can increase your chances of it being you by sitting in the back of the plane. But why leave it to luck?
If you’re a young, attractive woman and the last passenger on the plane is a guy they’ll probably choose that seat next to you. But if you’re a middle-aged man or older, and you play your cards right by looking unwelcoming… or too welcoming… you can have a bit of extra comfort for your flight.