Southwest Airlines economy class flight review JAX-ATL WN 417 during COVID-19 pandemic 2020

Special Note: this flight was taken during the COVID-19 pandemic. No middle seats were sold during this time to help with social distancing. 

Elite status: none

Aircraft type:


Seat: 12F (exit row window)


Padding of the seat was adequate for both short and longer haul flights on a narrow body aircraft. Southwest padding had always been consistent. 


I was in an exit row seat on this flight. The recline was a standard inches from upright. 


Pitch in the larger exit row was very good for economy class. The living space was 35 inches from seat back to the seat in front of me. I had 9 inches between my knee and the seat in front. The width was a standard 17.25 inches between arm rests. 


May 25, 2020

Distance: 270 miles


Depart: 5:35PM

Arrive: 6:55PM

Scheduled: 1h 20m

Push back: 5:25PM (10 minutes early)

Touch down: 6:24PM (31 minutes early)

Arrived at gate 4m later

Actual duration: 0h 59m


Paid with: miles

Prices at time of booking:

Miles: 9,273

Cash: $125

Payment method reasoning: I don’t chase airline status. 


Board was a bit chaotic and not good social distancing. That said people did get to seats quickly and no middle seats were allowed to be occupied. It went smooth and ended early. 


Aside from safety demonstration there was no on board service due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

IFE and power:

There was no in seat power on this aircraft. All IFE comes from the on board WiFi via streaming in the Southwest app. 


WiFi was available on my flight. Due to the short 52 minute duration I did not purchase it. Free entertainment and messaging was available. 


No food was offered on board during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


No drink was offered on board during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Best seats:

My row 12 on the right and left have the most leg room and recline. An early boarding position is needed to get these seats. 


Blocked middle seats is a good thing during this pandemic. It is more comfortable and makes for quicker boarding and deplaning. 


Lack of social distancing is an issue during the pandemic. Aside from safety there was no other on board service offered. Minor but a notable difference from Delta. 

Would I fly again?

Yes! Southwest could improve social distancing enforcement but it is difficult to make passengers comply.