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Points seem to have dramatically increased across the board since the announcement of the Hawaii

edneumann
New Arrival

Hello Southwest Flyers,

 

Has anyone noticed the huge increase in the amount of points to book a flight ever since the announcement of Southwest opening up flights to Hawaii.  It seems like customers are now being penalized becuase of this new route that opened.  I used to be able to book flights from Cleveland to Orlando something for less than 4,000 points, and now if can range anywhere from 8,000 to 14,000 to sometimes close to 40,000 points.  I realize that certain dates are more costly than others, but this is becoming difficult to digest.  I love free bags and open seating, but it takes a lot more to use points now.  After I finally got my points built up, I feel like they are going to get sucked up much more quickly.  I have not heard from Southwest and I have not seen any announcements regarding this.  I guess it is one of those things pushed under the rug.  Makes me want to switch credit cards. I'd be interested in hearing what anyone has noticed or has heard.  Thanks.

6 REPLIES 6

Re: Points seem to have dramatically increased across the board since the announcement of the Hawaii

bec102896
Rising Star
Solution

@edneumann 

 

I personally haven't noticed any major points changes. 

 

I did look up CLE to MCO and see several dates where tickets start at 3,991 each way. I do believe with the MAX grouding that is taking a toll on the number of cheap tickets available because of all the rerecommendations which is taking away the what would have been cheaper flights. Also Orlando is a popular destination so that could affect why points on dates you want to go are higher. 

 

The best thing to do if your travel dates are flexible is to check out the Low Fare Calendar so you can hopefully grab those cheaper flights. 

 

-Blake 

Re: Points seem to have dramatically increased across the board since the announcement of the Hawaii

SWDigits
Active Member
Solution

@edneumann no the last change to the program was made in April 2018 (see this disussion thread).  This is something that I monitor and analyze (I'm another customer, it's fun for me).

 

I'd have to agree with @bec102896 that the MAX grounding is likely impacting the available supply of seats, which is thus increasing the cost of tickets.  The number of rewards points is tied at a fixed rate to the base cost of a ticket -- I don't think Southwest publishes the number (it's subject to change) but you can easily calculate it by comparing the number of points required for a ticket to the cash base price.  As the cash cost of tickets changes you'll see the rewards cost of tickets change too but that ratio is fixed.

 

Anecdotally for the routes I'm flying and monitoring I am seeing prices go up and flight options selling out.

 

 


Southwest customer | Home airport DCA

Re: Points seem to have dramatically increased across the board since the announcement of the Hawaii

chgoflyer
Rising Star

The current cost is 78 points per $1 of base fare (exclusive of taxes and fees).

Re: Points seem to have dramatically increased across the board since the announcement of the Hawaii

SWDigits
Active Member
Edited to add clarifying items [in brackets].

@edneumannone more follow up, this Reuters article, published today, does a nice job summarizing why I think you're seeing [cash] price increases [thus driving a correponding increase in points prices]: "Too many travelers, too few planes is U.S. airlines' 737 MAX summer dilema"


Southwest customer | Home airport DCA

Re: Points seem to have dramatically increased across the board since the announcement of the Hawaii

dfwskier
Rising Star

The value of points has not changed. It reamains x points per dollar of fare. However if the $ fares are higher, then the number of points to buy those fares also is higher.

Re: Points seem to have dramatically increased across the board since the announcement of the Hawaii

chgoflyer
Rising Star

@dfwskier wrote:

The value of points has not changed. It reamains x points per dollar of fare. However if the $ fares are higher, then the number of points to buy those fares also is higher.

 

X = 78. Smiley Wink

 

This factor last changed one year ago (April, 2018) when Southwest shifted from WGA points fares primarily at a variable 72-76 point per $1 cost (while also lowering the number of points required for Anytime and BS fares).

 

Historically, since the introduction of the points-based system, Southwest has instituted a devaluation almost annually. While it seems we may be "due" for another adjustment, I suspect that won't happen anytime soon, due the current circumstances under which Southwest is operating.