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A Message to our Rapid Rewards Members

Employee
Employee

As we continue to navigate our way through this unprecedented time and deal with extraordinary challenges, we are committed to keeping you informed and updated on the steps we are taking to manage through the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The health, Safety, and well-being of our Customers and our Employees remain my highest priorities at all times and a responsibility the entire Southwest® Family holds sacred. In this midst of the heartbreak and hardships this crisis has imposed on our neighbors, our families, and our friends, I am also inspired and deeply moved by the compassion, resiliency, and the human spirit that has surfaced all around us. Thank you for being there with us. We are here for you.   

 

We’ve been working around the clock to adapt to this new landscape, to adjust our procedures and policies to take care of our Customers, keep our operation running, and maintain a clean and comfortable cabin environment. I know many of our Customers have questions and concerns regarding your travel funds and tier status. We previously extended travel funds that are impacted due to the pandemic to give you more time to use them. I’m pleased to report that we are making some additional changes:  

 

Tier Status & Companion Pass Benefits

  • For our current A-List and A-List Preferred Members, we are extending your current earned status through December 31, 2021.

 

  • For our current Companion Pass Members, we are extending your current earned Companion Pass benefits through June 30, 2021.

 

  • For all Rapid Rewards® Members, we recognize that your normal flying behavior has been interrupted, limiting progress you may have been making toward qualification for A-List, A-List Preferred, and Companion Pass.  For that reason, we are giving all Rapid Rewards Members a “boost” of 15,000 tier qualifying points and 10 flight credits toward A-List and A-List Preferred status, and 25,000 Companion Pass qualifying points and 25 flight credits toward Companion Pass status.

These moves represent additional ways to either work toward or to use these benefits once you’re ready to begin traveling again. These adjustments will happen automatically and will be reflected in your Southwest Rapid Rewards My Account page over the coming weeks. Learn more on the extension and the boost by visiting Southwest.com/RRcoronavirusupdates.

 

 Travel Funds

  • Previously, Customers’ travel funds that have expired or would have expired between March 1 – June 30, 2020, or travel funds that were created because of a cancellation between March 1 – June 30, 2020, had an expiration date of June 30, 2021. We are now expanding the window of funds eligible for extended expiration dates and extending the expiration date of these funds. Funds that are set to expire or funds that are created between March 1, 2020, and September 7, 2020, will have an expiration date of September 7, 2022. This gives Customers who had travel funds created in connection with this pandemic—or who won’t be comfortable traveling this summer—additional time to retake that same trip or explore a different destination. It will take our Technology Team a few days to make these changes and more details on this extension can be found here.

  • Additionally, we have added a new benefit for our valued Rapid Rewards Members.  Those Members who have travel funds that are set to expire or funds that are created between March 1, 2020, and September 7, 2020, will have the option to convert those travel funds into Rapid Rewards® points at the same rate you would be able to purchase a ticket with points today. We hope this provides our Members ultimate flexibility as Rapid Rewards points never expire, never have cancel or change fees (fare difference may apply), and you can redeem your points for anyone you choose.  Our Technology Team is working to build this conversion capability, and we will be in touch when it is ready for you to use. In the meantime, you don’t need to take any action—your travel funds will be automatically extended for the two years mentioned above, and you will be able to make this conversion once we bring this new functionality to fruition.

 

We ask for your patience as we implement these benefits and new exceptions. It’s our hope that the policy changes above bring you more comfort and confidence that we will be here, ready to serve you, when you’re ready to travel.

 

In addition to the changes we have made to our policies, we’re continuing to modify the way we operate and serve you—from enhanced cleaning procedures, social distancing guidelines, onboard service offerings to limit personal contact, providing more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for our Employees, and much more. You can learn about these efforts on our Travel Advisory and here on the Southwest Community.  

 

No doubt, this has been an incredibly challenging environment for us all, but we’ve been uplifted and found special meaning in the term “essential travel.” From transporting medical professionals to hospitals and hotspots around the country, to partnering with organizations to ship important cargo and medical supplies, to serving Customers on their way to see loved ones and lend a helping hand—there is so much good that has filled our hearts with pride—every day on every flight.

 

Today and every day, we’re committed to reconnecting you to the people and places you love. We’re in this together. Thank you for your patience as we navigate through these changing times.

 

Stay Heart Strong,

Gary 

 

37 Comments
Rising Star

Great move Southwest! 

Active Member

"...we are giving all Rapid Rewards Members a “boost” of 15,000 tier qualifying points and 10 flight credits toward A-List and A-List Preferred status, and 25,000 Companion Pass qualifying points and 25 flight credits toward Companion Pass status."

 

Very generous!  Thank you, SWA 😀!

New Arrival

That’s a very generous business decision! (I likely won’t be able to take advantage of it as some of my funds expire in October 2020 and I will likely lose several hundred dollars unless I travel before then. I’ll cross my fingers that I can convert them and my child’s funds to rapid rewards points as we may be moving overseas for a few months before then) 

New Arrival

Well done Southwest.  This situation is tough for many of us.  You have come up with a solution that seem quite fair.   Looking forward to my next SW  flight.  Everyone stay safe and welcome aboard 

New Arrival

I have companion pass earned thru 12/2021 already. Hoping news coming soon to  extend further as well! 😀

New Arrival

luv my airline thank you for the extended time on travel funds.  Never doubted you would do it

New Arrival

Thank you!

New Arrival

That is so generous, no wonder your # 1 keep up the good work of putting costumers first ..your the best.❤️✈️

New Arrival

Thank you SWA!!  I am curious about the companion pass. I have the companion for this year as well as having already qualified for 2021.  Will you extend my pass to 2022? 

Thank you and we are eagerly looking forward to flying SWA in the hopefully near future!!!

New Arrival

Great moves and leadership awareness responding to the evolving developments! Thank you!

New Arrival

Thank you Gary and Southwest Airlines!! We love SWA for so many reasons and this confirms why we will only fly on SWA.

New Arrival

That is a very generous gift to everybody when your own finances are in a disarray. Thank you Southwest! 

New Arrival

Thank you so much for this!  We had flights to Cancun booked for May 18 and 21 that were canceled, and we lost the $100 Early Bird ($25 each way for myself and my husband) that we had paid for those flights. I understand that's the agreement if WE cancel our plans, but Southwest canceled them because of the pandemic.  We could not just rebook as requested because it took a huge amount of work to even get that trip scheduled.  I filed a claim (actually three claims because we had booked the flights separately) and am still waiting to hear back.  We could sure use that $100 as I'm not working much at all right now.  I don't understand why, if everything else was refundable, the Early Bird wasn't also AUTOMATICALLY refundable?  Southwest is such a user-friendly, wonderful airline. Please make this right, Southwest.  

New Arrival

Above and beyond what any other airline is currently offering in terms of flexibility.  Love it!

Active Member

This is a great move by Southwest and is to be commended. 

However, I earned my Companion Pass this year prior to COVID-19 hitting, so I already had earned the Pass thru 12/31/2021 but haven't been able to use it.  I'm hoping that for people in my situation, SWA will offer a Companion Pass extension thru a portion of 2022. 

New Arrival

With the current COVID 19 and travel concerns and changes, it would be very nice if Southwest modified their travel fund policy in light of COVID 19. Allowing the travel funds for a trip not taken to be used by another traveler would seem very reasonable. Southwest isn't loosing any money it would allow those funds to be used by another traveler. 

New Arrival

Thank you Southwest for the generous extension on our travel funds! For so many of us who had planned trips but had to cancel, we will have some time to plan for a trip in the future! And you've given us a liberal amount of time to do so! You can be assured that we will take to the skies as soon as we can!

New Arrival

This is all very helpful and very generous.  Thank you.  

 

There is one more thing you could do.  This is an example from my own experience, but it is an issue for many, many people.  I have six flights that were scheduled between March 10 and June 30.  I will eventually take all of these flights, but I don't know when.  Each one includes a Companion Fare and Early Bird Check-in. 

 

If I cancel my reservation, I lose the Early-Bird Check-in - in this case, $100 per roundtrip flight for two of us. So it makes more sense for me to change the reservation to a future date.  But because of the Companion Pass, I cannot do that online.  Instead, I have to spend hours on hold, inconveniencing me and adding to your phone congestion. And because I don't know when I'll actually take the trips, I'll have to call again in the future to change the flights once again.

 

Please, please either change your system so Companion Pass trips can be changed online or change your system so that Early Bird Check-in fees can be refunded to travel funds.

 

Thank you.

Rising Star

@drbking 

 

You could try reaching out to Southwest on Twitter or Facebook and maybe they can assist with the change so you don't lose the EB check in. You could also try the chat feature on the southwest app. 

 

-Blake

New Arrival

Great news, and you hit all my concerns too!  Luv y’all!

Active Member

Very good policy adjustment by SW team. The responses shows how well received these changes are to so many and how helpful it is for many customers. The changes will help build back LUV for the brand for these individuals. There are still many people however that desperately need to have a refund instead of a travel credit, even if just on an exception basis. Many people will not be able to fly due to health issues connected to the virus and some people will perish before a travel credit can be used. Many people also are unemployed and without a source of income and need their money refunded just to live now and the travel credits or these new positive policy adjustments do not help these customers. As SW has acted humanely with these policy updates will they find it in their hearts to make exceptions for those in dire need during these desperate times?  Please SW take these adjustments one step further and allow refunds for those in need when requested.

Active Member

Not sure how the companion pass deal works. I have companion pass now, so that is nice that they are extending it thru June of 21. How do you get it for the rest of 2021?  Based on your travel earlier in 21? Or how many miles you flew/charged in 2020 (not much!)?

Active Member


 

 

Krafty81, when you hit the required amount of points for CP in a year, you get it for the rest of that calendar year, plus the year after.

 

So for example if you earned your CP in February of 2020 (with all points earned in 2020), you now have the CP all the way thru Dec 31, 2021. Likewise if it takes you until December of 2020 to get the points, you’ll still only have it thru Dec 31, 2021. 

So you’re able to get enough points to earn it early in a calendar year, you basically get it for two years.

Except now apparently SWA is only extending thru 6/30/2021 for those whose CP ends at the end of this year. I wish they would reconsider that for those who already earned it they 12/31/2021, because all of us are losing time right now that we earned with our CP, regardless of when our CP ends. 

Active Member

That does not answer my question at all.

Active Member

I guess I misread your question. I'm surprised no one else took a shot at answering it. Let me try again. 

 

It's my understanding that while SWA is extending the benefits of the CP thru June 30, 2021 for those whose pass expires Dec 31, 2020...they are not extending the 2020 earning period - that will still end on Dec 31, 2020.  So in other words, to get the CP for all of 2021, you could do it in a couple of different ways:

 

- Earn enough points in 2020 to qualify prior to Dec 31, currently at 100,000 points because they're giving everyone 25K CP points. If you fail, you'll still have the benefits halfway thru 2021.

  

- Earn enough points between Jan 1, 2021 and June 30, 2021 to qualify for the pass for the rest of 2021 and all of 2022 (speculating that it will likely be back at 125,000 points by then).

 

New Arrival

I have travel funds that were created prior March 1st, and expire in September.  I have been advised not to travel until November (given the high probability of a second wave in the Fall).  SW says that the expiration date cannot be extended.  Why not?  I've know what the policy is, but I would think SW would be more mindful of people whose travel funds don't fall into the small window described in the new policy.  Why is this such a problem?  Even though my original travel change is not related to COVID-19, the use of the travel funds is impacted by COVID-19, and therefore should be part of the policy change.  In the simplest terms, SW should extend ALL current expiration dates to Sept 7, 2022.  It's the right thing to do.

New Arrival

Dear SWA and Mr. Gary Kelly CEO,

 

     As a long time SWA flyer, I am very appreciative of the extension to 09/07/2022 of the funds I have available due to cancellation of my flight due to COVID-19.  I have always had faith in SWA to do the right thing in this extension.  Many customers are very confused on this forum about whether or not they will lose money due to COVID-19 cancellations, so if you could keep posting policy concerning cancellation funds available and the fact that you on the flying public's side.  Thanks again to all SWA staff and management for the extension.  Stay safe!

New Arrival

When can we expect to see these benefits in our rewards accounts?  

New Arrival

I purchased tickets September 19, 2019 for my daughter and her family of 3 to attend my mothers 90th birthday on Dec. 7, 2019. Their 2 year old baby was sick with the flu and throwing up the night before so they choose to canceled their flight. Their travel funds expire Sept. 19, 2020. Just after the date of extension of other travel funds to 2022.  My daughter and her family obviously can not travel now due to CV and she is due to have her 2nd baby Sept. 10. So travel soon after that will not be an option for them. Will her travel funds also be extended until September 2022??  

 

I along with a number of people posting on this sight do not understand why all travel funds can not be extended until 2022?  Of course it would be a gift to all if SW just makes this situation very easy by refunding the money. That would be nice but a lot to expect. But keeping over $500.+ dollars of my daughters $ because SW wont extend all travel funds to 2022 due to CV is unconscionable! 

 

My family of 5 has been loyal customers of SW since 2006. I have faith that SW can work something out that is" fare" under these very crazy circumstances.  Thanks! 

New Arrival

I'm currently A-list. I'm under the impression that Southwest is gifting us 15,000 points. However, I haven't received that yet, has anyone else? Am I misunderstanding the message?

New Arrival

Hi @Northface20 , I too haven't received the "extra" points so far.

New Arrival

This directly states, "For our current Companion Pass Members, we are extending your current earned Companion Pass benefits through June 30, 2021."

 

What about those of us who earned the Companion Pass this year?  The extension doesn't benefit us, but we are still missing out on the same benefits as others whose expires at the end of this year.  Why won't our passes be extended?  Many of us haven't even been able to take advantage of the pass if we earned it in this calendar year?  Who knows when we will?  I canceled 3 flights between April and early June that had Companion flights attached and will most likely have to cancel another at the end of June.  I tried to use it. 

 

Why aren't ALL Companion Pass holder's benefits being extended, no matter when they expire?

New Arrival

For our travel funds, we have been told we can convert these to points. If we do so will these points count toward a companion pass? and when do you think we might be able to see this option?

 

New Arrival

Lots of people have commented or asked about an extension for Companion Pass holders who earned it this year?  The extension that was announced in April really only benefits people who earned it last year.  However, those of us who earned it this year, who already have the pass for next year as well, are getting no extension.  We are out the same amount of time as the ones that are expiring at the end of this year.  We haven't been able to use the CP benefit in months, so why aren't we being given an extension past December 2021?

 

When will we hear about this?

New Arrival

Again I would like to mention that for those of us that worked hard to earn our companion pass this year in 2020 our benefits have not been extended.  There are so many travel restrictions at this time that we can not use our benefits to full advantage.  Please SW consider extending the benefits that we worked for an earned.  We are all waiting to jump on the next flight... We just need to wait this thing out...Please consider you have always done the right thing.   We are all good customers of Southwest and will continue to be so.... Thank you

New Arrival

I echo the post by cfrieday.  With all the travel restrictions still in place, and getting worse for some, traveling just isn't a good option.  I am "patiently" waiting to start traveling, but now just isn't worth it.  Until all states fully open and no more restrictions are in place i.e. quarantine, please reconsider the extension date for companion pass holders.  At a minimum, match the dates for A-List of December 31, 2021.

We are loyal happy SW customers (and some shareholders), we ask for that loyalty back!

New Arrival

I was given a voucher for an overbooked flight if I took a later flight and then this week they told me they were cancelling my voucher because I wanted to book on a later flight (before the expiration period), but the lady said, sorry, I could not get the voucher back).  This is not right, what can I do?