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An Update on the All-New Rapid Rewards

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It’s hard to believe, but it’s been close to four months since we launched the All-New Rapid Rewards program! On this episode of Red Belly Radio I interview our Director of Rapid Rewards, Jonathan Clarkson, to get an update on how the new program is performing three months after the launch. As you all know, revamping our frequent flyer program and rolling it out was no small task. In fact, it represents the largest new product launch in our history, and it was a massive undertaking across the entire Company.
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it wasn't broke and you certainly didn't fix it!
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Why why why? Why did you go change a perfect recipe? You had the K.I.S.S. rule applied to one of the most difficult things to use. The frequent flyer program. For decades I chose to fly SWA because I didn't need to guess if I could take a flight. I could do the math in my head. "I know I have five award tickets, that means I can do X. I was perfect. Now you're just like all the other airlines. I don't know how many "points" count for what or where I can go on what day. Blah! And now no bonus? (drink tickets). They always made me feel like a big shot and I loved to share them with other air warriors. I guess I need to remind you of another great company that changed a very good recipe and how the went. Coca Cola. Please change your recipe back too. I'll be back when you change your's back.
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The Rapid Rewards program consistently ranked highest in the industry because of its simplicity. You have now made it one of the most complicated in the industry. Additionally, you have penalized short haul flyers, the backbone of your business which helped turn a start-up intrastate carrier into the largest domestic airline in the United States. Additionally, as a senior citizen, I get the same number of points as a passenger who buys a heavily discounted advance purchase fare, even though I pay considerable more. Wall Street also knows you made a mistake as your stock continues to decline, including my shares. Swallow hard and admit you made a mistake and return to the program we loved and helped made your airline great.
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The so called "new" RR program is the worst thing that has ever happened to loyal travelers of SWA. It is HORRIBLE. Whoever created it, absolutely must be FIRED. The website is indecipherable; the point system is so hard to understand I don't even bother trying anymore. Now I have to call SWA to find out any information about my account. I can't even tell if I have a free flight available, or if one is nearly available. I used to be able to predict when I would get a new flight based on my credit card usage, and I can't even do that. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. I HATE RR. YES ---- I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY DO HATE RAPID REWARDS AND I WANT SOMETHING NEW OR I AM LEAVING SWA. It is like SWA went back to the Dark Ages, or worse, sat around the table and literally, and intentionally, came up with the best possible way to RUIN SWA with extreme prejudice!!!!
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It would appear SWA has re-vamped its RR Program to appeal to the "business traveler." Perhaps the "old" RR was a litte too generous to us non-business travelers? OK, fine, I'm a free-market guy. But what bothered me was that SWA threw us old timers under the bus when it came to RR coupons we had already earned. When I tried to use my "old" RR roundtrip, there was barely any flight available. I don't think this was cool. And it really symbolized a seachange for the culture at Southwest, which is sad, because Southwest was a great airline and a great company in general. Perhaps some ex-United employees are now running the shop? Not being in the target audience for the New RR, I have stopped using my SWA Visa, preferring to use another credit card that will give me cash back. Paul Rogers