We introduced our EarlyBird product in 2009, and we’ve seen the popularity of the product increase with our Customers every year. With EarlyBird, we’ll automatically check you in and assign your boarding position within 36 hours of your flight’s departure—12 hours before general boarding positions become available. With our open seating policy, EarlyBird improves your seat selection options to help you choose your favorite seat, and it’s one less thing to think about prior to travel.
Until now, the price for EarlyBird has been a flat rate for all routes—starting at $10 in 2009, and is currently $15. Beginning August 29, we are moving to a variable pricing structure with three price points: $15, $20, and $25.
The price Customers will pay for their flight will depend on a combination of two factors: the length of the flight and the popularity of EarlyBird on that particular route. The price will be the same each way on any given route and will not change by day of week or time of day. Therefore, the price of the EarlyBird product on a particular route will be set at one of the three price points. Southwest may update pricing in the future based on route popularity and as the product continues to evolve.
We’re making this change so we can continue offering a product our Customers love. Of course, an increase in the price of a product is rarely welcome news, but as EarlyBird increases in popularity, we want to protect the value it offers our Customers. Unlike our competitors, at Southwest we provide our Customers the ability to choose products they are willing to pay for—like EarlyBird—instead of punitively charging a fee to check your first or second bag or change your reservation. Those fees don’t fly on Southwest Airlines, and we have no plans to change that.
EarlyBird continues to be a popular product for our Customers, and it’s a valuable source of revenue that helps us keep our everyday fares low while not nickel-and-diming our Customers. We give our Customers the ability to choose the products they value most, and we do our best to make sure those products deliver on the Customer Experience they’ve come to know, expect, and love from Southwest Airlines.
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Beginning today, there will be some changes in the cost of using Rapid Rewards® Points to purchase tickets at Southwest. On average, it will cost slightly more, about 6 percent more, to travel using a Wanna Get Away® fare and quite a bit less, 35 percent less, in the Business Select® fare, and 22 percent less for an Anytime fare.
It’s our hope that the updates to our Rapid Rewards® program will make it more attractive for you to redeem the fare type that fits your travel needs. It will also make redemptions more affordable when you are booking close to your departure date and Wanna Get Away® fares are sold out.
We’re making it even more affordable to use your points to fly on Business Select or Anytime fares. If you choose to redeem your Rapid Rewards® points for a Business Select ticket, you’ll be among the first to board your flight and receive a complimentary premium drink. Not to mention the option to use Fly By® Priority Lane access.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. The key tenets of our program—no blackout dates, every seat is an award seat, and points that don’t expire—are completely unaffected by these changes. So take advantage of the opportunities this opens up.
We appreciate you and look forward to seeing you onboard very soon! Visit Southwest.com to book your next trip.
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For the second time since it’s relaunch in 2011, Rapid Rewards was named Airline Program of the Year at InsideFlyer magazine's 29th annual Freddie Awards ceremony last night in Jersey City, New Jersey. The Southwest Team also took home the awards for Best Customer Service, Best Loyalty Credit Card and Best Airline Redemption Ability.
For those who aren’t familiar, the Freddie Awards is one of the most prestigious member-generated awards in the travel loyalty industry. The Freddie Awards give a voice to the frequent flyer and nearly three million votes are cast annually. It is truly an honor receive for these highly coveted awards.
It is with such gratitude to all of you that we accept these industry honors. These accolades reflect the heart and hospitality that our dedicated Employees share day in and day out. And thank you to our Customers who voted for Rapid Rewards. We are thrilled to be recognized your program of the year!
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As we began the New Year on January 1, we took the opportunity to close a loophole in our Rapid Rewards Companion Pass terms and conditions related to transferred points from our Partners. This was an effort intended to clarify qualification requirements for Companion Pass, one of the best benefits in travel, as well as to protect the integrity and value of the Rapid Rewards program.
In doing so, we updated our terms and conditions which now clearly state that points transferred from hotel and car loyalty programs, and e-Rewards, e-Miles, Valued Opinions and Diners Club will no longer count toward qualification for a Companion Pass. Members will continue to earn toward Companion Pass benefits through paid flights flown on Southwest, Points earned through spend with Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards credit cards, and base points earned through transactions with Rapid Rewards partners.
Many of you have reached out to us since then, and we greatly appreciate your honest and candid feedback. Because we are a Company that values our Customers and believes in doing the right thing, we are offering a limited window for Customers to earn toward Companion Pass by transferring their loyalty points from these Partners.
To that end, points converted from the above mentioned programs will count towards a Companion Pass until March 31, 2017. This is a hard deadline and we will not be able to make any exceptions beyond March 31. If you have points with these Partners that you wanted to transfer, please do not wait. Make the transfer before the deadline.
We appreciate all of our Customers and look forward to seeing you onboard very soon!
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We did it, together! This year, our loyalty program, Rapid Rewards®, conquered the Freddie Awards and won Program of the Year and Best Customer Service. We could not have done it without your votes, and we cannot thank you, our Members, enough.
The Freddie Awards has grown to be one of the most respected industry awards because the votes come directly from you, the Members. We’ve known for years that we have the best Customers—in any industry—and others are starting to notice.
Our Rapid Rewards Program is designed around a simple concept—make earning reward flights faster and easier. With Rapid Rewards, there are no blackout dates and every seat is a reward seat. If we have an available seat, it’s yours. It’s that simple.
Thank you, from each one of us at Southwest, for trusting us with your travel and voting for Rapid Rewards.
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Your next trip just got easier AND more rewarding thanks to Rapid Rewards and Lyft.
Who doesn’t love more Rapids Rewards points? Now, first-time Lyft Customers who are also Rapid Rewards Members will receive a total of 1,100 Rapid Rewards points on their first ride in the select Southwest markets.
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Chicago Midway International Airport
Dallas Love Field
Los Angeles International Airport
Louisville International Airport
McCarran International Airport (Las Vegas)
Nashville International Airport
Oakland International Airport
Reagan National Airport (Washington, DC)
San Antonio International Airport
San Diego International Airport
Southwest is looking to give Customers a seamless connection to their destinations by encouraging travelers to take advantage of easy, hassle-free transportation to any destination in select cities. Like Southwest, Lyft, a phone application-based ridesharing program, is Customer-focused and seeks to offer excellent travel experiences.
Not a Rapid Rewards member? No worries! A separate offer is currently available to all Southwest Customers, offering $15 off a first-time ride with Lyft in the same Southwest markets. The offer took effect on Mar. 22 and runs through the end of 2016. The two offers cannot be combined.
For more information about Lyft visit Lyft.com.
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Let’s reminisce on 2011. What comes to mind? The Royal Wedding? Adele becoming a household name? Saying farewell to Harry, Ron, Hermione and everyone from Hogwarts?
For us at Southwest, 2011 was a memorable year, but not because Rebecca Black forcefully reminded us how awesome “Friday” was. It was five years ago that Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards loyalty program was relaunched to what it is today; the program was redesigned to offer newer, better, more competitive benefits.
Our Rapid Rewards program has been pretty impressive the last few years, but if you’re a Rapid Rewards Member you know that. We’ve flown 14 million zero-fare passengers; that is more award passengers than American Airlines/US Airways, Alaska, and JetBlue combined! With such great benefits, naturally, our program is being recognized. No other airline has won more Freddie Awards since 2013. Moreover, The Wall Street Journal called our Companion Pass “The Best Perk in Travel” (WSJ, February 2016).
In case those facts weren’t impressive enough, the number of Rapid Rewards Members has more than doubled since launching the new Program. In order words, it took us almost 25 years (1987-2011) to enroll the same number of Members that we have added in the last 5 years (2011-2015).
Despite the great success, we are continuously looking to enhance the program to satisfy YOU--our loyal Customer. In December 2015, we launched the capability for our Rapid Rewards Members to donate their points to a select group of charities. Since the launch, our charities have received more than five million Rapid Rewards Points directly from our Members.
Thanks to our Rapid Rewards Members for five great years. We can’t wait to see what the future holds! For more information about the Rapid Rewards Program visit: www.southwest.com/rapidrewards and to vote for Rapid Rewards in the Freddie Awards visit www.vote.freddieawards.com.
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A beautiful beach and an even more renowned golf link: Southwest Airlines hosted its Rapid Rewards Visa Signature by Chase Cardmembers for a golf getaway at The Lodge at Pebble Beach in Pebble Beach, California. Our Cardmembers received the opportunity to tee off with Professional Golfer Peter Jacobsen at the Pebble Beach Golf Academy.
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Southwest is proud to announce our newest Rapid Rewards partner, ScoreBig™. As a Rapid Rewards Member, you can now earn points on ticket purchases for the hottest games and shows nationwide. ScoreBig allows Rapid Rewards Members to buy great tickets to their favorite sports, concerts, or Broadway shows, and earn points that can be used to book their next vacation.
Members earn between 3-22 points per dollar spent on purchases made through scorebig.com/southwest. And to celebrate the launch of our partnership, a 1,000 point bonus will be awarded to Members after their first purchase with ScoreBig through June 30, 2015. Following the launch, Members will receive a 500 point bonus with their first purchase. This is the latest partnership announcement for a program that continues to grow.
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards frequent flier program offers a unique combination of Every Seat is an Award Seat, No Blackout Dates, points that don’t expire, and a route map that reaches more than 90 different destinations in the U.S. and beyond, making us the largest domestic carrier in the U.S. We offer unique differentiators that other airlines don’t so not only is it easy to redeem points, but we hope that will leave you encouraged to come back for more of what you can’t get anywhere else, including no change fees and bags fly free.
For more information on our partnership with ScoreBig, or to become a Rapid Rewards member, visit Southwest.com.
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Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards took home Freddie Awards for Best Redemption Ability, Best Airline Customer Service and Best Loyalty Credit Card at InsideFlyer magazine’s 27 th annual Freddie Awards ceremony in Atlanta on April 30.
The Freddie Awards, which began as a small recognition program in 1988, has now evolved into the most prestigious member-generated awards program in the travel loyalty industry. Each year, nearly three million frequent travelers cast their vote for the loyalty program they feel offered the best combination of benefits, awards, and returns on loyalty.
Our Customers choose Rapid Rewards year after year as their favorite program and prove they are just as loyal to us as we are to them.
Check out our past wins:
2014 – Best Customer Service, Best Affinity Card
2013 – Best Customer Service, Best Affinity Card
2009 – Best Award Redemption
2008 – Best Award, Best Award Redemption
2007 – Best Award Redemption
2006 – Best Award, Best Award Redemption, Best Bonus Promotion, Best Website, Program of the Year
2005 – Best Award Redemption, Best Bonus Promotion, Best Customer Service
2004 – Best Award, Best Award Redemption, Best Bonus Promotion, Best Customer Service, Best Website
2003 – Best Award Redemption, Best Bonus Promotion, Best Customer Service
2002 – Best Award Redemption, Best Bonus Promotion, Best Customer Service, Program of the Year
2001 – Best Award Redemption, Best Bonus Promotion
2000 – Best Award Redemption, Best Bonus Promotion, Best Customer Service
1999 – Best Award Redemption, Best Bonus Promotion
If you voted for Rapid Rewards this year, thank you!
And if you haven’t flown Southwest yet but are thinking about it, please join us! Head to our homepage for all of your traveling needs and while you’re at it, don’t forget to check out Rapid Rewards for more information on how you can become a Member.
We’re an airline that knows how to have fun and we strive to keep our Customers coming back for more.
To read the news release, visit www.swamedia.com.
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Imagine a frequent flier program where blackout dates are nonexistent, where every seat is an award seat, and you can use your points to fly to any of 93 destinations in the U.S. and Caribbean on the largest domestic airline in America.
Sound too good to be true? Welcome to Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, one of the most decorated frequent flier programs in the industry—but you don’t have to take just our word for it. Today, U.S. News & World Report's 2014 rankings of the Best Airline Rewards Programs recognized Rapid Rewards as one of the best programs in the country.
This recognition is not given lightly. The Airline Rewards Programs ranking methodology considers several components, such as airline quality ratings, geographic coverage, free flight options, added benefits, and ease of earning a free round-trip flight. Ten of the strongest airline rewards programs were considered, and in the end, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards emerged near the top as one of the very best.
While this is an honor for our Company and Employees, we also think it’s a special victory for you, our Customers. We are dedicated to taking our Legendary Customer Service to new heights and new destinations, and we can’t—and wouldn’t want to—grow without you!
Not a member of our Rapid Rewards Family yet? Sign up today!
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We are excited to announce today that Members of both Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards and AirTran A+ Rewards frequent flyer programs are now able to transfer their loyalty rewards between the two programs to redeem for reward travel to 97 destinations*, including Mexico and the Caribbean. While our two loyalty programs will remain separate for now, the ability to redeem rewards for more destinations represents an enhancement to both programs.
“We are thrilled to share this news today with Members of both Rapid Rewards and A+ Rewards,” said Kevin Krone, Southwest Airlines Vice President of Marketing, Sales, and Distribution. “Members of both programs have been asking for this ability, and we know they will enjoy using their loyalty rewards to travel to even more destinations.”
The ability to convert loyalty rewards requires an active account in each program. Members then use their Rapid Rewards Member account number to access the loyalty rewards conversion capability on southwest.com®. Southwest’s Rapid Rewards Members can convert their Rapid Rewards Points, active credits, and active Awards/Certificates into A+ Rewards Credits for flights on AirTran. AirTran’s A+ Rewards Members can convert their active A+ Rewards Credits into Rapid Rewards Credits for flights on Southwest Airlines.
Members can make the following conversions:
Transferring Southwest’s Rapid Rewards* to AirTran’s A+ Rewards
1,200 Rapid Rewards Points → 1 A+ Rewards Credit. 1 1 Rapid Rewards Credit → 1 A+ Rewards Credit. 2 1 Rapid Rewards Standard Award → 16 A+ Rewards Credits. 3 1 Rapid Rewards Freedom Award = 32 A+ Rewards Credits. 4
Note: 16 A+ Credits = one roundtrip Coach ticket on AirTran
Transferring AirTran’s A+ Rewards to Southwest’s Rapid Rewards
1 A+ Rewards Credit → Rapid Rewards Credit. 5
Note: 16 Rapid Rewards Credits = 1 Standard Award
To learn more about Rewards Conversion, and view step-by-step instructions and videos, visit www.rewardsfarther.com. For more information about Rapid Rewards, visit www.southwest.com/rapidrewards. For more information about A+ Rewards, visit www.aplusrewards.com.
* Reflects 2012 schedule changes announced through November 2, 2012.
1 Rapid Rewards Points can be converted in increments of 300. Expiration date of newly created A+ Rewards Credits will be one year from the date of creation. Please note that Rapid Rewards Points that are transferred into A+ Rewards Credits cannot be transferred back into Rapid Rewards as Points.
2 Rapid Rewards Credits can be converted in increments of .25 Credits. Expiration date of newly created A+ Rewards Credits will be the same as the original expiration date of the Rapid Rewards Credits transferred.
3 Active one-way Certificates can be transferred for 8 A+ Rewards Credits. Expiration date of newly created A+ Rewards Credits will remain the same as the original expiration date on the Award/Certificate.
4 Active one-way Certificates can be transferred for 16 A+ Rewards Credits. Expiration date of newly created A+ Rewards Credits will remain the same as the original expiration date on the Award/Certificate.
5 Credits can be converted in increments of .25 Credits. Expiration date of newly created Rapid Rewards Credits will be the same as the original expiration date of the A+ Rewards Credits converted. Once you reach 16 total combined Credits in your Rapid Rewards account, a Standard Award will automatically generate, carrying an expiration date of one year from the date the Award was created.
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UPDATE: Thanks to all of you who tuned in on Thursday to ask questions about our Rapid Rewards program during the live milepoint chat. In the event you weren’t able to join (I mean, there was a little baseball game called the World Series on), please feel free to click here for the replay. I’ve very much enjoyed hearing from our Members, and I look forward to more dialogue in the near future! As you all know by now, we launched our All-New Rapid Rewards program in March of this year. No black-out dates, rewards that can be used for any available seat, and points that don’t expire are just a few of the benefits that the new program offers.
But I know some of you may have questions about the program that you’d like to ask us. The good folks over at MilePoint have offered me the opportunity to engage in a live web chat with you this Thursday, Oct. 20, from 8 - 9pm CST. I will be happy to answer questions that cover a range of topics about Rapid Rewards. I’ll answer as many questions as possible in that hour. For those I don’t get to, MilePoint will give us a chance to follow up with responses post-chat. In addition, we’ll be sure to post the chat transcript here on our Nuts About Southwest blog.
To register and submit questions, please click here. I look forward to hearing from you on the 20 th !
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