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FAQ on The All-New Rapid Rewards

Employee
Employee

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.
70 Comments
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Why not post the progress tracking based upon the 12-month rolling period in the RR account section of southwest.com?
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We are working on having your progress tracked based on the rolling 12-month qualification displayed in your monthly Rapid Rewards Report e-mail. Does this mean there will be no web pages showing, for example, all credits earned during the previous 12 months? That would be a major loss in functionality. Regardless, I'm glad you used this forum to inform customers who were counting on rolling qualification and were puzzled why it's completely missing from their status screens. A simple message to look for that information in regular Rapid Rewards Report e-mails would be a big help and reduce phone calls. You also ought to urge A-Listers and Companion Pass holders to sign up for the Rapid Rewards Report e-mails if they have not already done so!
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Implementing a new program is not easy but having so many bugs still to be worked out and credits updated later is not encouraging to customers. It feels like you're getting a gift on your birthday but being told you can't open it for 6 weeks! Very disappointing!!
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I understand that new systems have issues and will try to be patient. I paid for two early birds on my flight yesterday from vegas, checked in online on my phone with the intention of printing at the airport...bad choice. Then I found out that those with printed boarding passes boarded first and hand written was just a free for all so what exactly did my money get me???? I had only carry on so free bags didn't cover it. Tried to book another flight today with my rapid rewards, was told its$25 to reissue my FREE tickets I already earned but ur system doesn't acknowledge, losing the luv quickly.
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I followed your instructions and I found the credits I had from before the conversion however what I don't see anywhere are the 3 awards I had already earned.... I plan to use them in the next few days to book a family vacation this summer. I also don't see, in my Rapid Rewards, a reservation I made earlier this week or ANY history of travel. Is the travel history being uploaded still or will it not be loaded?
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I LOVE Southwest Airlines and will only fly with you if I have the chance. I love how easy it is to book flights, how friendly and helpful your staff is, how wonderful your flight crews are I just can't say enough good things. I know a big project like this can cause many unforseen problems, but just remember SWA people - it will get better soon! And in the meantime, hang in there. There are so many GREAT things about your airline, I am sure people will get over these "bumps in the road" before long and will remember what a great group of people you are!!!!!!
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I'm not able to find where to book a companion pass flight. On the old site, I could find a spot to redeem an award, or switch to a link to book a flight for my companion pass, but having trouble finding it today.
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Ryan, Will you ever be willing to admit that a lot of people aren't happy about the revised Rapid Rewards changes? We're seeing all kinds of fake enthusiasm from Southwest employees about this change. They're not unhappy about the new program for two reasons: 1) They're being told it's the best thing since sliced bread in training sessions. 2) They don't pay for plane tickets anyway, so why should they care? It would go so much further with all of us if you would acknowledge the less than positive feedback you're receiving, instead of burying your head in the sand or trying to tell us "this is what you said you wanted".
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Hi, SWA, Many of us are loyal, long-time customers- and we have to make quick decisions for our travel. We've come to rely on your company to get us where we need to be safely as well as provide an easy access portal to fares and rewards with unparalleled flexibility. You've been terrific. But right now, not knowing when your website will be fully functional again is kind of like being on a flight stuck on a runway for hours with a crew who won't reveal when, or if, the plane will take off. Watching fares go up due to gas prices also is creating stress- and an urgency to book flights -- that for many will be resolved by using other carriers. I feel like I am loosing a friend who has made my life work over the past few years - not because of the new site - but because of this lack of honest communication. Please tell us when we can expect to be able to book reward travel, and in my case, book a flight with the companion pass again. Thank you.
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This is a greedy move on Southwest's part to sell more Business Select flights. I say use the money that you would pay for an "upgraded" businesses select flight to pay for a whole other round trip. There is an average of $120.00+ difference between the Wanna Get Away price and Business Select price which gives you a 12 points per dollar reward vs. a 6 points per dollar reward. I'd rather just use that $240.00 to buy an entire round trip at the Wanna Get Away price. You're not rewarding frequent flyers, you're rewarding people who pay more for flights. Greedy move Southwest, and anyone who pays more for flights to get rewards faster is well.... However from a business perspective, Nice move Southwest. You found a way to reduce free flights while boosting your profits!
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Chris, How do you convert credits in to points? I understand you can converts points in to credits, but why not the other way around? If 1200 points can be converted to 1 credit, why can't 1 credit be converted to 1200 points? Looks pretty gimmicky... job poorly done SWA Please provide a video on how to do this. Or does ANYONE know how to do this? To make matters worse the telephone agent said it could be done but none of the other agents she asked around her said they knew how. Thanks, Johnathon
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I lost all my itineraries. My past flight history is all messed up. You can't check-in online if you don't have your itinerary posted --"sorry we are unable to display your current trips". Is this being looked into? I have flight Monday.
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This blog/video was helpful to understand where my old credits went -thank you -wish I had seen it earlier today. I was able to redeem my credits for an award and in trying to book the flight, the system errored out. Now when I go back into my Rapid Rewards account there is no longer any link to access my credits or awards. Please advise as to what happened here. I am concerned about not being able to book the flight I need if, by the time this system gets fixed, there are no more seats available on my desired flight for a Standard Award. Hold times to call customer service are 30 - 50 minutes - hoping for a faster resolution here. Thanks!
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Hello - where is my upcoming flight history? Did they all get cancelled? 7 RT's booked. Companion Pass - says "not active" have one for 5 years now. When will the site be updated and completed? How about an email out to the customers to explain the progress of the upgrade? Not very Southwest like. Please give us some answers. Thanks Scott
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Upcoming Trips View All We are currently unable to display your upcoming trips. Please try again later. You're on Your Way! Keep earning towards Companion Pass status. COMPANION PASS STATUS Not Active existing Companion Pass member for 5 years
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I really don't like the new system! I could find my way around on the old system, but now can't find anything even tho you say it's easy. It's NOT!
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I'm still getting an "undefined error" when I try to book RR travel online. I called the 800 number and I waited on hold for about an hour before the agent told me she couldn't book my RR travel either. Ugh! I really expected more from you all. These issues should have been ironed out before the new system went live.
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I have always LUVed SWA and flown nothing else for years. BUT, I HATE the new website and am very, very frustrated with trying to get accurate information. The website is showing available award seats yet after going through all the booking details, I am told one leg is unavailable. Finding anything or any information in the new layout is really a pain. BEtween that and the changes in policies regarding use of travel funds, I am NOT a happy SW flier. You have such a good thing going, stop screwing with your customers!!!
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I had a companion pass that was supposed to expire on 12/31/12. Now it says it expires on 12/31/11? Did I lose an entire year of eligibility??
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So I am 8 segments away from companion status prior to March 1st and bound and determined to get it (I have been traveling a ton) and todays improved program just told me I am 24% of the way there. That is like running a marathon seeing the finish line and having somebody you have to go back to mile 6. NOT FAIR. I hope I am not understanding this properly. I also cant follow this new program going backwards. Forwards, I get it and because I travel extensively- think this will be an upgrade- I think. Although, where did my drink coupons go? Change is hard but required in the times we live. This change can be made with some understanding. It just doesnt flow which is very Un Southwest like. I think SW needs to take a breath, slow it down, and get back to what made them great. They are starting to feel very corporate and big. I h
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Thank you for finally addressing all of us. I know the new rapid rewards was going to be a difficult transition so I have waited to contact you. You have answered many of my questions so far. The biggest question I have is it seems the earlybird vouchers have been deleted from my upcoming trips. How do I rectify this issue or will they be displayed on my rapid reward account soon. Brian
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Do not like the new program for Southwest rapid rewards. Bring back the old program!!!! The credit program is what made Southwest one of a kind and why I loved them!!! I do like the new website but the new points will never work!!!! May have to go back to United if they don't change it back:-(
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This is from Delta Air Lines, Jeff Robertson, head of Loyalty Programs, Oct. 15, 2008. "I’m excited to announce that after months of strategizing, planning and testing, our new three-tiered Award structure has been implemented and is officially up and running at delta.com. So what does this mean for you? First, it means that we listen to your feedback." That is when Delta doubled the amount of miles needed to redeem a trip. All in the name of listening to customer feedback. I was a 1.5 million miler with Delta when I left them because of this. Now, Mr. Ryan Green, head of Southwest's Loyalty, told us [uust like Delta, they tell us they listened to our feedback.] (See http://www.blogsouthwest.com/blog/introducing-all-new-rapid-rewards-blog-post). Sound familiar? Southwest has just doubled the amount you have to spend with Southwest to get a free trip, and changed their award redemption to a mulit-tiered system based on available fares. Which customers told them that they wnated the maount of money you have to spend with Southwest to DOUBLE befroe you get a free trip. Who told them that they wanted existing credits to become of less value with your having to earn points to earn that trip you were so close to earning with credits under the old program? Who? Southwest just joined the ranks of the big guys - earn their loyalty, then change the loyalty program while telling loyal customers it is all for them. The "improved" Rapid Rewards is nothing short of another big airline rip-off. Thanks, but no thanks - I did not ask to have my loyalty rewarded by doubling what I have to spend with Southwest. Goodbye Southwest.
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How many LUV the all new RR vs. those that HATE the changes? It doesn't take a statistician to see the haters far outweigh the luvers. Don't be foolish; bring back the original RR!
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Why do Southwest miles expire at the end of the year?! US Airways miles do not expire as long as you keep your account active every 18 months.
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Why can't I reach a customer rep. to ask about child fares?!
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You'd be hard pressed to find a bigger Southwest Airlines Fan-boy than me. I fly Southwest almost exclusively, to the point of driving as much as 2 hours out of my way just to stay exclusive to SWA. Even when prices have shifted to being slightly higher in many cases. However, this Rapid Rewards change is similar to the MAC v PC argument. The old system was simple and easy to understand and use. The new system is convoluted and difficult to understand. Ease of use wins. New system fails. As customers we'll sit back and take it, because what choice do we have, but in the end it erodes just a little bit more of my full on loyalty to Southwest.
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How is this getting even worse?! I found this blog and thought maybe these instructions would help me book the reward flight I have been trying to book all week long...and now southwest.com is telling me my user name and password - the one I have used for 5 + years and used this morning - is incorrect. This is a nightmare. And it's ruining my extended family's vacation plans. I am so so so frustrated!
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Any chance we'll be able to see upcoming flights, and book CP tickets online soon? Not sure why you are acting like things are 'fixed' ....
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I've been a long time customer of Southwest and recent changes have left me very frustrated and disappointed. Change can be a good thing and it does take time to accept and acclimate. However, changes that complicate simplicity is not customer-centric. While marketing is touting the "Faster Free Flight" it's nothing more than secret code for "Pay More To Fly Free". It is a fact that you can earn a free flight faster but it requires paying a full fare for each flight taken. Southwest 'was' different, now they are just like the rest disguised as a low-cost carrier. This change is nothing more than a cost-cutting measures to ensure corporate executives and shareholders continue to be well compensated. The failure to realize that customers ARE the reason why Southwest is successful will only allow for the competition to gain a greater market share. Times are tough and we may never fully recover from the economic collapse fast enough but great companies survive because they stay true to their roots and their mission. Southwest has changed its philosophy at the expense of customers. 23 people on board a flight last night is more than a sign of the times my friends.
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I had a free trip (16 credits) from signing up for a Chase Visa card. They show on the Chase site, but have disappeared from the SW flight. Any query leads you back to the log in screen. I am going to cancel my Chase card and fly SW only if they give me back my points.
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"Until you have flown in the new system or used a Rapid Rewards Partner, you will show 0 points." Does this mean that my points will show up when the new points earned by using the Rapid Rewards Visa card are posted, or do I actually have to fly or book a rental car/hotel to see those points?
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Your new system is grossly flawed and it is not serving your core customer. In cas your Executive Mgmt team forgot your core customer is the "business traveler". Who do you think fills up your flights each day? The new system is a huge disadvantage to the core customer who flies short haul flights. Unless you are flying from coast to coast or choosing a high dollar last minute fare then you are at a serious disadvantage. Question? Why are you penalilzing your core customer base? When did SWA start to act and treat their customers like the "other airlines" Guess what, this new system and its inflexible nature is not good and it will hurt you in the long run. Mark my word... Rarely do you guys get it wrong but this is a huge mistake. BTW- If you are changing the entire system then you need these two systems to be interchangeable in order to satisy the customer. Isn't that what your company was based upon. Shame on your SWA for not holding true to what made you successful. I will vote with my dollars if this is how you plan to reward your loyal customers. This is a huge fumble and your Executive Team needs to ask itself, "What would Herb do?" If you stop focusing on your core then you will be like everyone else. Very disappointed Brandon Bauch
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I read that Companion Passes earned in 2011 would now all have a expiration date of 12/31/2012. My pass was earned in January 2011 and is currently listed on my account as expiring on December 31, 2011. Is this a known bug that is being corrected?
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I am utterly disappointed and quite frankly disgusted with how Southwest is “sticking” it to the frequent flyer with the new Rapid Rewards Program. Rather than fly 8 roundtrips anywhere in the country to earn a free flight, I may have to fly 16 roundtrips, depending on where I am traveling. I do not think it is fair that you take away my ability to earn 2 credits for a roundtrip flight from Chicago to Pittsburgh, and transition this to the possibility of not even earning a single credit depending on the fair I booked. As a one-time “A-list” member who does not travel nearly as much anymore, I feel that my favorite airline no longer cares about me. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. In speaking with other frequent Southwest customers who quite frankly flew with Southwest because of the great rewards program, it may be time to move on. I can get much better perks flying with other airlines, who are becoming more and more competitive with your “low” or “discounted” rates. Rapid Rewards are no longer rapid. The name should surely be changed. In booking immediate travel, I am no longer solely considering Southwest and will look elsewhere. I would typically end an email or letter with the word “thanks.” Unfortunately, “thanks” are not in order. It really is time to do some “soul” searching to see if you are doing the right thing. Ryan P. – Disgusted, disappointed, concerned, and one-time loyal customer.
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Why haven't I been able to access my flights in my account for TWO days? That's sort of ridiculous.
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Ryan: This is a pretty major blunder on SW's part - and the "always sunny" attitude of employees which is usually quite appreciated comes across as a complete farce right now. We're getting the treatment that we came to expect from other airlines. SW has been different, until now! It's pretty obvious that this new system wasn't tested adequately before implementation. It's doubtful that you'll ever really know how many customers were lost because of this fiasco - and it's a loyal frequent flier that you're losing. I'm certainly glad that SW isn't a union shop so that those responsible for this debacle can be held accountable and fired! If you actually have the guts to admit that you've done something like this, you may gain a few of us back.
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I do not see an indication for early-bird status when viewing my upcoming flights. The old site had "E-B" noted on the confirmation page before each flight. Does anyone see the EB designation?
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1.) Yesterday I thought booked a flight on my Rapid Awards account for flight number 5026 on Saturday, March 12, 2011 from Nashville to Baltimore 2.) I got confirmation number but I couldn't get it in time. I just figured confirmation would come, as it always has, by e-mail. 3.) Today I checked by e-mail;no confirmation. I notified customer service by e-mail. They said they would get back to me by e-mail in 3 to 5 days! 4.) Tonight(3/3/11) I tried to log on to my Rapid Rewards account. No go! The account number and password that I have had for years was now not matched! 5.) Since 10:10 PM I have been holding on your customer service line. Just told that I had a 28 minute wait! 6.) I am afraid to book another flight because I don't want to be charged twice! This is really disappointing! Have been a loyal customer for years. Is there anybody out there?
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I agree about the discontent--there is no luv here. 25 years flying SWA and I have not really had a complaint. I understand weather and mechanical issues, but honestly this feels like starting over and the loyalty to your long term flyers down the drain. My old--standard awards --This new program feels very anti-SWA. I am beyond disapointed. You set the standard for good customer service and now you are behaving like the other airlines. I am concerned your great customer service reputation is on the line with this one.
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I entered my name and Rapid Rewards number in so you could send me e mail about when you will honor my A list. It says it does not recognize me, did it three times. Not good
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Okay, I guess I'm not very bright, but how the heck do you 'convert' the credits in the old system to the points in the new system. I FINALLY found where to look because of your explanation above, but I don't understand why you guys can't simply update the system for each Southwest 'member' and convert the credits to the points for them. Then none of us would freak with the big zero for the points we should have so far. And why can't you give this explanation on the main website? I mean is it really that hard to do, considering how much preparation was put into this change? Guys, this is REALLY bad for your image, not so much for the glitches, but for the extremely poor service and planning in explaining how to adjust to this system. Again, you really couldn't put this blog FAQ on the main website under rapid rewards? REALLY?
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Wake up, Southwest! Admit your mistake and listen to your loyal customer base and bring back the old RR program! The new system has really peeved *everyone* I've spoken to, including myself. All the FAQs in the world aren't going to bring back what you're losing in goodwill and loyalty. This is not "what we wanted" or "what we were asking for"! Customer service is no longer seen by us as "number one" at Southwest.
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I just had the WORST customer service experience!!! I have been a loyal SWA flyer for more than 8 years. Won't honor my upcoming free flight ? I only needed 1.25 credits to earn my free flight. So I planned and booked a roundtrip (2 credits) a month ago (prior to the new points system) specifically taking into account my RR credits and dates to assure my free flight. When I called today they said I wouldn't get my flight? and could pay money????? to makeup the points?? What the heck SWA? Seems like you should initiate the point system for all flights booked AFTER March 1st and honor all flights booked PRIOR to March 1st on the credit system which was STILL IN EFFECT!! You have an opportunity to make this right or lose a valuable customer.
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Why am I not able to book a rapid reward flight online or in person for that matter? I have been trying for 3 days...have called and have yet to speak to anyone? I understand there are issues with rolling out a new system but the least you could do is communicate. There is nothing on your website to assure loyal rapid reward members that these issues are going to be resolved anytime soon. I am going to be forced to purchase tickets on another airline while I am waiting for Southwest to fix this. This forum is fine.....but its not answering my questions.
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I really hope that Southwest realizes that they've blown it here. This new website is just awful.
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I was advised by Southwest staff a couple of weeks ago to call in on March 1st, when you switch awards. I have tried to call but you have understaffed your phones and are having a many problems with your new system. I am very frustrated
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6 future trips are lost from my account. Hate the new RR, I am going back to United. Also, MIdway has become delay city!!!
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I would like to sign in to my account without creating an username. Is it possible to do this? Every site wants you to have an username but my account number is unique to this site and easy to remember please allow me to sign in the old way.
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So far, I really dislike the changes. It is very difficult to understand it, before it was so simple and elegant. I really cannot understand why you had to fix something that was not broken. Do you not realize that your core customer base (the repeat customers that sing your praises) have made Southwest #1... and we loved the old program? Why would do you do this to us? We are your extended family. You MUST consider reverting back to your old program.