When my wife and I started dating, it was long-distance, but we love to joke that we had a fake long-distance relationship! She was in Houston, and I was in Nashville; this presented some challenges, but thanks to Southwest Airlines, the 800 miles could be tackled with a two-hour flight. Of course, Southwest has excellent fares, but flying back and forth to Houston rather frequently wasn't cheap.
Enter Southwest's Rapid Rewards and flexible booking options! For years, I was a frequent business traveller, and despite having had frequent flyer status and extensive experience with other airlines, I discovered the joy of flying Southwest only after moving to Nashville. There were and are so many things to love: fun-loving employees, reliability, no fees, etc. Today, a lot of these benefits are called Transfarency. I found Southwest Employees to be the best in the business, always going above and beyond to take care of me and demonstrating how they valued me as a customer.
Since I was always flying for work and also carried a Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card, I had accumulated lots of points that I often redeemed for free travel, which made my frequent trips to Houston more accessible and budget-friendly. Furthermore, with Southwest's flexibility in changing flights, I was often able to adjust work travel to accommodate going to Houston instead of going home—all with no additional cost to my company and with very little, if any, additional costs for me! The longer we dated, the more I found myself in Houston. It was nothing for us to see each other three or more times a month.
I cannot tell you how many Instagram pictures I must have posted of Southwest 737s with clever travel hashtags. A few years ago, I was in Charlotte when a terrible winter storm came through, and most of the day's flights across all airlines were cancelled. My work engagements were cancelled, and I had the opportunity to go to Texas early for a few extra days with my love. Luckily, I had a 4Runner as a rental car, so I slowly and carefully made it to the airport to try and get on the only flight to Houston that was not cancelled. Southwest—without question and without any fees—changed my ticket! I have never been so thankful for the hard working people who got the plane turned around.Photo: Elijah Brantley (Twitter: @elbtravels)
Rapid Rewards also helped in other ways. We used my points for my wife to travel as well when she needed to visit Nashville or other places for fun times with our family and friends, and I cannot tell you how much A-List perks made flying with Southwest even more enjoyable. Priority Check-In and Boarding proved to be invaluable! I also sometimes wonder how many thousands of dollars I have saved in baggage fees over the years.
Southwest got me to Texas to propose in early 2014, and we were married in October of that year.Photo: Matt Spracklen (Instagram: @mattspracklen)
Since then, Southwest continues to be our airline of choice for both my work travel and for our personal travels. From anniversary trips to family reunions to getaways with friends, Southwest Airlines and Rapid Rewards keep travel affordable for us. We just welcomed our first baby girl, and we already have her first (of many, no doubt) trips booked to see her grandparents—in Houston, Texas, of course.
Thank you, Southwest, for playing such a crucial part of our story! In us, you have customers for life.