Healthy Living Blog

Southwest Airlines Makes Traveling Comfortable for People of Any Size

Traveling is something many people enjoy. It provides an opportunity to have new experiences, see new things, and take a respite from daily life. Even if you’re traveling for work instead of recreation, it can offer a break from the often mundane day-to-day activities.  

With Structure House serving as a nationwide program, we frequently have participants who travel to our treatment center from various states across the country. Having the ability to separate from your daily routine and begin participating in programming at Structure House allows space to create and focus on developing and practicing new behaviors. 

However, the logistics of traveling can be intimidating and nerve-wracking when people feel concerned about the space that will be available to them on airplanes. There are times when an extra seat may be necessary to ensure comfort and safety while traveling on a plane, but that can be an uncomfortable situation to address, especially when surrounded by other travelers. 

Fortunately, Southwest Airlines has demonstrated a sensitivity to these circumstances and has made the process of obtaining an extra seat easy and comfortable through their customer of size and extra seat policy. As part of this policy, the airline provides customers with an extra seat for free. 

Southwest’s website explains that the process involves purchasing an extra seat at the time you make the reservation, and then they refund the cost of the second seat after the flight. The airline makes a point to assure customers that this refund will always be available. By making the request ahead of time, the airline is able to appropriately plan for the number of passengers who will be traveling and the number of seats that need to be available. 

If you do not want to purchase an extra seat ahead of time, you also have the option of discussing your seating needs with the customer service agent at the departure gate. In this instance, you could be accommodated by receiving a complimentary additional seat if there are enough seats available on the flight. 

One Structure House participant shared that being able to purchase an extra seat ahead of time, and knowing that they will be refunded for it, helps minimize feelings of discomfort and embarrassment that can come from having to discuss these kinds of situations with a flight attendant while on the plane. There is nothing wrong with focusing on your personal needs while traveling, and there is no reason anyone should have to feel stressed or embarrassed about making sure that their specific needs are met. 

Additionally, many airlines, including Southwest, make the effort to accommodate travelers and keep them comfortable when they have mobility concerns, offering wheelchair assistance upon check-in and providing personal support while going through security checks, getting to the departure gate, navigating baggage claim, and finding ground transportation. 

We want every aspect of your journey with Structure House to be seamless and comfortable. If you were hesitant to look into our programming options due to feeling nervous or anxious about traveling, please know that these travel options are available and can get you to and from our treatment center with ease. 

You can learn more about Southwest’s policy and review answers to frequently asked questions by visiting their customer of size and extra seat policy information webpage 

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