We are proud to announce that our loyalty program, Rapid Rewards®, once again ranked first in the annual Switchfly Reward Seat Availability Survey!
With no blackout dates and unlimited reward seats, we continue to differentiate our loyalty program from the rest, making redeeming for rewards flights simple, with more seat availability than any of our competitors.
In the survey, Rapid Rewards was named the loyalty program with 100 percent reward seat availability, keeping its position at the top for the 7th year in a row. Achieving a score of 100 percent availability is an even bigger feat than it sounds. This means that on every flight query run, Southwest had at least one reward seat available. The survey looks at the top 25 airlines' rewards programs, and while Southwest tied for first place, it actually did the best - offering a minimum of three flight choices for every query.
This year's survey findings show more than ever that frequent flyers are better served by the reward programs at value-oriented airlines - Southwest included. Along with the standard metrics that Southwest has succeeded in in the past, Switchfly recently began measuring "reward payback." Rapid Rewards blew away the competition here as well, with a 7.3 percent reward value per fare dollar spent - higher than 22 of the 24 competing airlines.
To view the full list and read the full press release, click here.
To book your next rewards flight on Southwest Airlines, go to Southwest.com.
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Prior to its inception in 2011, while researching and planning exactly how we would structure the All-New Rapid Rewards Program, availability was one recurring demand we heard from our Customers over and over again- you simply wanted to be able to use the points you had earned when you wanted, to go where you wanted, and the other programs didn’t allow that. So we listened. When we rolled out our new program, we touted “No Blackout Dates” and “Unlimited Reward Seats,” and those terms are not just marketing fluff- they are what differentiates us from all other frequent flyer loyalty programs.
For the fourth year in a row, Southwest Airlines has ranked number one on Switchfly’s Reward Seat Availability Survey with an outstanding 100 percent score—meaning on every flight query run, Southwest had a reward seat available! The survey looks at the top 25 airlines’ reward programs, and we tied for first with Air Berlin and Virgin Australia.
We also are proud of AirTran’s A+ Rewards program as it rose in the rankings to number three with seats available on 95 percent of the flight queries! The A+ Reward program award availability has risen 50 points on the survey since 2011, meaning fliers can now redeem seats on more AirTran flights than ever before!
To view the full list, please click here.
The Switchfly Reward Seat Availability Survey is based upon 7,560 booking inquiries made by the IdeaWorksCompany at the web sites of 25 frequent flyer programs during March 2013.
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Hey basketball fans - is your bracket a bust? Don’t worry, you can still come out a winner through Southwest’s All-New Rapid Rewards 10 Million Point Giveaway. Check out our friends, Dude Perfect, as they interpret the program in their own fun way. Then visit www.southwest.com/bigshot and enter for your chance to be one of 100 lucky winners to score 100,000 points in the new program!
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It’s March, which means two things: we officially launched the All-New Rapid Rewards frequent flyer program, and the NCAA basketball tournament is just around the corner. We’re excited about both (admittedly one more than the other), and we have something big in store to give both current Members and those who wish to join the program ten million reasons why they, too, can share in our excitement!
The All-New Rapid Rewards features no blackout dates and unlimited reward seats, which means if we’re selling a seat, you can redeem points for it. Also, your points don’t expire if you have any earning activity in 24 months, and our Rapid Rewards credit card Members can redeem their points for things like international flights to more than 800 worldwide destinations, stays at more than 70,000 hotels worldwide, gift cards at more than 45 major retailers, and more.
To help us celebrate the All-New Rapid Rewards program, which officially launched earlier this month, we teamed up with the internet sensation basketball trick-shot artists Dude Perfect to score ten million points for our Rapid Rewards Members. We’ve created a sweepstakes where Rapid Rewards Members (and those wishing to join) can enter for a chance to be one of 100 lucky winners who will each win 100,000 points in the new program. To enter the sweepstakes and watch some amazing basketball trick shots performed by Dude Perfect, visit: www.southwest.com/bigshot.
We invited Dude Perfect to our Headquarters and Maintenance Hangar in Dallas to see what kind of crazy shots they could come up with. They didn’t disappoint, showcasing their skills in a variety of basketball trick shots to entertain Members who register for the promotion using a Southwest Boeing 737, in a Southwest Maintenance Hangar, and around Southwest’s corporate headquarters. We’ll unveil the series of videos featuring these shots throughout the promotion on www.southwest.com/bigshot, culminating in one fantastic Big Shot, which will be unveiled, along with the sweepstakes winners, on Monday, April 4, 2011. The sweepstakes and first video are live now, and we’ve included the video right here on our blog to give you all a sneak peek – check it out (two words: “Roof Shot”).
I encourage you all to enter the sweepstakes for your big shot at winning 100,000 Rapid Rewards points and learn about all of the different ways that you can win big with the All-New Rapid Rewards. To learn more about the All-New Rapid Rewards, visit: www.southwest.com.
**NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.) 18 years and older. Ends 3/31/11. To enter and for Official Rules , including odds, and prize descriptions, visit http://www.southwest.com/bigshot. Void where prohibited.
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Yesterday, we launched our long-awaited Rapid Rewards program. With any implementation of this magnitude, there are bound to be some issues. While we are very proud of the All-New Rapid Rewards, we know that many of you were affected by our system problems, and we would like to take a moment to apologize if you have been inconvenienced. Please know that we have been focused on your needs and your questions. As a matter of fact, we’d like to answer a few of those common questions here. In addition, we’ve created a brief video to give you an overview of what your account now looks like on southwest.com and how to find some of the information that you care about the most.
Question: I know I had credits in my account before the launch of the new program, why does my account say I have 0 points?
Answer: In the new program, your existing credits are safe and secure. You will still be able to use existing credits by converting points earned in the new program into credits from the old program (1,200 points = 1 credit) to reach 16 credits (enough for a Standard Award). Until you have flown in the new system or used a Rapid Rewards Partner, you will show 0 points. Please be patient as we work on loading all of your points earned since March 1 into our new system.
Question: Where can I access my old Credits and/or Awards?
Answer: Once you have logged into your Rapid Rewards account, look for the blue account bar on the right side of the screen underneath your name and Member number. You will see the following options: My Travel, My Cart, My Rapid Rewards, and My Travel Guide. Click on “My Rapid Rewards,” and “Credit & Award Status” will display at the bottom of the expanded window. Click on “What Happened to my Credits,” “What Happened to my Awards,” or “What Happened to my Credits and Awards” to take you to the page showing your Credit and/or Award information. The bar diagram will show you how many existing credits you have and how many points are needed to earn a free flight award. If you have Awards from the old Program, scroll down a bit from the bar diagram and click “Go” under “What About My Awards.” On the next page you will see your old Awards and are able to book them by clicking “Book Now” in the green shaded area.
Question: Can my Standard Awards from the old program be used to book any seat on any flight?
Answer: All of the rules for the old program, including applicable seat restrictions and blackout dates, apply to your remaining Credits and Awards. When you use your points to book a reward under the new program, you will enjoy the benefits of being able to book any seat, on any flight, any day.
Question: I was close to earning A-List or Companion Pass Status based on the rolling year, but in my account information, it looks like it restarted at the beginning of the calendar year. Why is that?
Answer: With the All-New Rapid Rewards, we are moving to a calendar year for earning status in the program. However, to honor our commitment to you from the old program, you may earn A-List or Companion Pass status based on either the rolling 12-months or calendar year. When you login to your account on southwest.com, you will only see your progress tracked based on the calendar year. We are working on having your progress tracked based on the rolling 12-month qualification displayed in your monthly Rapid Rewards Report e-mail. You can expect your next monthly report within the next few weeks if you have signed up for it online. If you have not previously signed up for this report, click here.
To review all Frequently Asked Questions about Rapid Rewards, click here.
Stay tuned...we have some exciting things in store for our Rapid Rewards Members in the near future to help us celebrate the new program.
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With the All-New Rapid Rewards, you know exactly how many points you need. Now that you're in control of your rewards, you can plan ahead and make every point count. This is the first video in a series of educational tips on the new program. Current Rapid Rewards Members will be receiving additional communications regarding the upcoming changes
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Happy New Year, everybody! Indeed, today is a happy day, both for me personally and for Southwest Airlines, as we are officially unveiling our All-New Rapid Rewards program. I know many of you have been anxiously waiting for us to announce the details of the new program, and believe me, we have been just as anxious to share our plans with you. This is, after all, the single biggest new product launch in our Company’s history, and I am so proud to be a part of it. While the new program will not officially launch until March 1, 2011, we are announcing the details today to give our Members plenty of time to become familiar with the changes. Believe it or not, we actually began work on enhancing our Rapid Rewards frequent flyer program several years ago. While I know that seems like an awfully long time, it is hard to comprehend the magnitude and scope that goes into revamping an entire loyalty program. If you think about it, our Rapid Rewards program impacts almost every single aspect of our operation and our Company, from our Frontline Employees, to our Customer Support and Services Representatives, to our Customer Relations and Rapid Rewards Employees, to our Technology folks and our Reservations system, to our policies and procedures--not to mention all of the research that goes into hearing what our Members want to see in a new program. And that is exactly what the All-New Rapid Rewards program is all about--meeting your needs and the needs of today’s traveler. We began by asking you, our Customers, and even those who don’t currently fly on Southwest, what is important to them in a loyalty program. We conducted months of Customer surveys, focus groups, and research to find out what travelers like about our current program, what they don’t like, and what they’d like to see changed. Best of all – we listened! You told us that you don’t like blackout dates, seat restrictions, expiring credits, and limited options for earning and redeeming your credits, and that you did want additional ways to redeem, including travel to international destinations. Well, do I have some good news for you! In the All-New Rapid Rewards program, Members can redeem their points for every seat, every day, on every flight, with absolutely no blackout dates or seat restrictions. Simply put, if we are selling the seat, you can redeem points for it. And points don’t expire as long as you have some earning activity in a 24-month time period. Members will earn points for every dollar spent, so the amount of points you earn is based on the fare and fare product purchased. The same is true for redeeming points. Another new feature of the enhanced program that we are really excited about is that Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Cardmembers will not only be able to redeem their points for Southwest flights, but they will also be able to redeem their points for international flights to more than 800 worldwide destinations, for hotel stays, gift cards, and much more. The new program is designed to give you, our Customers, more control and flexibility over how and when you earn and redeem your points. When you buy certain fare products, you earn more points. And you can get the most out of your points by planning ahead so you can redeem them for the lowest fare possible. When you can plan ahead, you spend fewer points, and when a flight goes on sale, the number of points needed to redeem for that flight goes on sale, too. In the new program, you have the flexibility to spend your points as you wish. After all, this is a program designed for you, and these are your points! The new program also features enhancements for our A-List Members and includes a new level of status with the A-List Preferred level. A-List Members will now enjoy new benefits, including a 25 percent earning bonus on flights. Additionally, the new A-List Preferred level includes all of the benefits of A-List, plus a 100 percent earning bonus on flights in addition to a few other benefits. And we’re excited to carry our popular Companion Pass program into the All-New Rapid Rewards. Of course, Current Rapid Rewards Members will retain their existing Awards and credits, and our A-List and Companion Pass Members will retain their status level in the new program. All Members will be enrolled in the new program, and there is no need for them to re-enroll. There are far too many details of our new program for me to mention here, and we’ve developed a whole host of resources and information for you to learn about the All-New Rapid Rewards. I encourage you to watch the brief videos that accompany this post right here on our blog, as they help explain the crucial elements of the new program. Additionally, we created a special web site, www.newrapidrewards.com, where you can learn even more. Plus, existing Rapid Rewards Members should be on the lookout for information that we will send directly to them. I know our Rapid Rewards program is beloved and has been around for 24 years, and for the most part, we haven’t really changed it that much. But the time for an upgrade has come, and we truly believe that we have taken an award-winning program and made it even better. I hope you will agree, and I wish you all the very best throughout the New Year!
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In the coming weeks, Rapid Rewards will begin distributing a redesigned drink coupon with a fresh new look and more efficient delivery format. Members who are opted-in to receive drink coupons will continue to receive four coupons when an Award is earned. A few of the changes Members will notice include: • Expiration Date – Drink coupons expire one year from the last day of the month in which the coupons are issued. For example, if coupons are issued in October 2010, the expiration will be October 31, 2011. • Member Name – Printed on each coupon; abbreviated to first initial, last name • Member Number – Printed on each coupon; abbreviated to the last four digits • Design and Delivery Format – New drink coupons are not distributed in a staple-bound booklet. The new coupons are attached to Award notification letters. Individual coupons are perforated for easy removal. As mentioned last month, we’re continuing to honor all old Rapid Rewards drink coupons (even those with printed expiration dates) for another year. All old drink coupons issued prior to the August 2010 transition will expire August 31, 2011.
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April 24, 2008 was quite a night for our frequent flyer program, Rapid Rewards. After a year of ups and downs in the airline industry, we were thrilled to win three awards and place in the top five in four other categories at the 20th Annual Freddie Awards. For those of you who don't know what a Freddie is, let me explain. As David Grossman points out in his article in USA Today , the Freddie's are essentially the Oscar's for frequent traveler programs. Each year, InsideFlyer magazine invites members of all frequent traveler programs to vote for the programs they feel deliver the best combination of benefits, awards, and returns on loyalty from the traveler's point of view. The winners are determined by the overall merits of each program and were chosen this year after travelers cast more than 625,000 ballots. (Twenty years ago, only 864 ballots were cast...that's a 72,000% increase!) We were thrilled to take home first place honors for Best Award Redemption, Best Award, and Best Member Communications. Best Award Redemption is the Award that honors the Program that makes redeeming an Award the most "flyer friendly" (Award seat availability, fees involved in booking an Award - of which we have none, ease of the process, etc.), and it was our tenth consecutive year to win this honor! No one else has won this trophy since it was created in 1998! It was also our very first year to win Best Member Communications, the Award that honors the Program that communicates most effectively with its Members through various channels. And as if those weren't enough, we also placed in the top five in four other categories, including: Program of the Year, Best Web Site for southwest.com, Best Customer Service, and Best Elite Level. It was a great night, and occasions like these always give you a chance to reflect back on the events of the past year. Last year we made some significant changes to Rapid Rewards--adding the Rapid Rewards' A-List and a second redemption option, the Freedom Award. Despite some criticism, these Freddies seem to reaffirm that our Members think these are positive changes, and they responded by showing support with their votes. It also was a year of tireless effort by the folks on my Team and others who worked diligently to bring our Members the things they have come to expect - relevant communications; relevant partner offers; and frequent, fast Awards. The event also gave me a chance to think about how much we owe to all of our frontline Employees who interact with our Members on a daily basis. They keep the promises we Marketing folks make, and the truth of the matter is...they're the secret to our loyalty program's success. So, as I lugged my suitcase through the airport--which was considerably heavier because of the trophies we were bringing home (and which gave the TSA fits as it went through security!)--I found myself looking forward to next year's event. I wonder what's in store? No doubt we'll continue to look for ways to improve our Program, keeping it relevant and fresh for our Members in the months and years to come.
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