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Introducing the All-New Rapid Rewards -- Blog Post

rgreen1
Employee
Employee


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!   

 

204 Comments
Anonymous4121
Explorer C
No, sir. I went to newrapidrewards.com, and I did the point simulator thing and I am still angry. My roundtrip flight from Boston - Baltimore used to earn me 2 credits, and now it gets me less than one credit! Last year I earned an award after all those BWI-BOS flights and used it to fly from Boston to San Diego, which was AMAZING! Every time I needed to fly anywhere, I always used to book a SWA ticket without even checking other prices, because you guys treated me so well! But all of a sudden those of us who fly shorter distances and purchase the "wanna get away" fares are being punished. It will take me a very long time to accumulate the points that I want, and it just doesn't seem worth it. I'm definitely looking into switching airlines and canceling my Rapid Rewards Visa.
freqfly
Explorer C
Help I'm confused! Will I now earn 1 point per $1 spent on my RR Visa for everyday purchases and 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases? If so, that's not so bad, buying a Business Select fare with my RR Visa would mean I'd be earning 14 points per $ spent. 12 points/$ + 2 points/$ using my Visa=14 points/$
Patricia_M
Explorer C
Southwest just became another common, nothing special, we hate the little guy kind of organization. I travel for business and paying the Business Select "higher fare" would get me fired.....I appreciated how every ticket buyer received the same reward....sad as they were my fav domestic airline. The upside is Continental has more non-stops at least.
txaggie96
Explorer C
Brian, I have watched the videos and studied it in great detail throughout most of the day. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out it's a worse deal. Broken down into it's simplist form: I get 6 points for every dollar spent, but it takes 10 times that to buy a ticket at equivilant prices. Translation: All things being equal, I now how to fly 10 roundtrip flights to earn a free flight. Before it was 8. I agree with the post a few above where he said if it was about losing money, SWA should have just required 10 flights for a reward and/or $1,500 spent on your Visa to get a credit. Why make it so complicated? It rewards you for spending more money with SWA, not being a loyal customer. Who wants to be rewarded for spending the most? Maybe some, but personally I preferred being rewarded for not ever shopping the competition. Now here's a question for you Brian, that I'm hoping hasn't been changed: Are the points transferrable or can they only be spent by the people who earned them?
Anonymous1944
Explorer C
This is a bad move Southwest! Certainly there are a few benefits, otherwise a broad spectrum of your customer base would completely revolt. Southwest has (had) such a loyal following, most customers would understand if the program needed to be revamped due to costs (think bags fly free). If it's a matter of charging for bags or adjusting the frequent flyer program due to costs, just say so! But to tout it as a great new program with the customer in mind is preposterous. Another thing, why would any business alter (for the worse) their frequent customer program? Aren't those the customers you need to keep VERY happy? I'm in Dallas and I will start looking at American Airlines (who I hate) and compare all future flights to them.
blusk
Aviator C
txaggie at present the points aren't transferrable, but you can use them to buy a ticket for anyone you choose. The old system was great for shorthaul flights but it wasn't equitable for people buying medium to longhaul flights. The points were a way to base the awards on the amount folks were spending for tickets. Before a person could make eight shorthaul round trips at a total outlay of $640 and get a free ticket across the country. Someone flying roundtrip between the East and West Coast on a full fare ticket might spend that in one roundtrip, and then still be 14 flights short of an award. freqfly that is correct.
freqfly
Explorer C
Thx! I think it is the slider that is confusing me. Under "partners" credit card, if I slide it to $1,000 spent on the card it shows X12 would equal 12,000 points. You are saying 1 point per $1...which is it?
Tara_B
Explorer C
Overall, I am happy with the news. The removal of blackout dates and the extension of the points expiration was a huge plus for me. I don't see other airlines offering those features in their rewards programs - which to me - sets Southwest apart in a new way. I am A-List and let my awards expire all the time because I can't use them, or I can't use them when I really want to (around the holidays). Of course, the simplicity of the old system was great and I'll miss it. You can ask me any day of the week and I will know how many awards I have and how many segments I have left until my next award is earned just because its easy to figure and remember. I will wait to pass judgment on the new points system until I try to book my first flight and reward flight under the new system, though. If Southwest makes it easy to use, understand, and check my points, I think I can adjust.
Amanda12
Explorer C
Can you use your earned points to purchase a rewards ticket for someone else?
Anonymous4155
Explorer C
The new program doesn't seem in line with SWA's "customer first" attitude of the past that made me love this airline. Very disappointing.
Tepper
Explorer C
Brian, Agreed about the change to accrual of points as it brings fairness to those flying long haul. BUT! The change to redemption devalues this program tremendously. For a lot of us, SWA RR award tickets were a boon when having to make trips on a short notice. But now, we'd need to shell out thousands of more points to make such trips as the rates would be very high, and Wanna Get Away fares likely unavailable. Big disappointment.
BethanyAnne
Explorer C
Complexity benefits the company. Always. Doesn't Southwest know this? We've learned it from cellphone companies, credit card companies ... anyone selling you something that requires videos and calculators is hoping that you fall for a trick. They are hoping that you believe that the complicated formula will benefit you. It won't. It never does. Companies always find a way to change one of the 30 variables to remove the benefit. Heck, that's *why* the variables are there. So that they can be manipulated while the company still tells you how wonderful awesome the plan is. it's just basic common sense at this point. Always look at the fine print is the cliche. So, with the old program, you knew there was value. No fine print. No calculators that are subject to change, and will always change to drip, drip, drip the value out of the plan. Fly x trips, get a seat. That should be the plan. One number, no calculators. I don't care if the number is 12 or 30. Really, that's not the problem. Southwest used to have a really nice bonus: a system that you could understand and explain in about 5 seconds. No one else had that. Is Southwest aiming for a new experience: "just like everyone else, but somehow better"? C'mon. If you can't afford good, that's fine. But don't replace good with "complicated and might be ok - use the calculator!", and tell me it's good.
scotty_big_d
Explorer C
i don't understand all the negative comments. the last time i checked, a 'reward' program was just that. other than the airlines, SWA specifically, where else on planet earth do you get something back for enjoying the benefits of a GREAT product. SWA sets the bar: low fares across the line, countless flight options, and the nicest employees out there. period. you know, i spend hundreds a year with apple, ticketmaster, time warner, at&t, utility companies, restaurants, etc... and they give me NOTHING in return. as always, and especially in this 'me' world, people will threaten to 'take their business elsewhere' anytime things change. if that holds true and people bolt from the SWA rapid rewards program, it's their loss. in the mean time, i will keep flying SWA and reaping the rewards. yes, REWARDS. SWA is still the best gig out there.
Slick50
Explorer C
Can somebody please tell me who in the world were all the people they talked to, that said they would appreciate these changes? They spent $100,000,000.00 coming up with this? They could have given me $1,000,000.00, we could have had a steak, and a couple of drinks, I would of told them they were idiots. They would have saved $99,000,000.00, because I would have popped for diner. Charge for bags, and don't spend millions of dollars on commercial stating you don't charge for bags. Don't do this.....really? Why do they think business travelers will pay more to fly the "grey hound" of the sky? If it costs more, they will move back to AA and other carriers. Go read your Facebook page, or the blogs...Somebody should get fired over this.....I'm just saying.
Anonymous3445
Explorer C
You've changed the program and it's a little naive (and a little insulting) to try and "sell it" to us as better. It's not better for us, it's better for Southwest. It would be more honest to just own up to it. My credits were in fact devalued because I now have to earn POINTS (to make the credits I already have earned worth anything) at a conversion rate of 1200 points to one credit. That could take TWICE as much flying as under the old system.
liz_carles
Explorer C
What a bummer. The RR program has been one of my FAVORITE features of SWA for years now. So simple and easy to earn. Competitor programs require calculus to figure out when you can get a free ticket. I think this is a big mistake. Now the ONLY reason i have to fly SWA is the free bags. So the reasons are shrinking.
Anonymous2981
Explorer C
Southwest, I have been loyally flying with you ever since I was a kid, even paying more for flights that I could flown for cheaper because I knew that I was getting a rewards credit. I even had all my friends sign up for rapid rewards because I thought it was such a great program and I swore to them that this was an airline that actually did reward you for your loyalty. All the flights that I flew with SW were local flights, either back and forth from So Cal - Nor Cal in college and now Boston - Baltimore for work. With in the last couple years, SW has raised their prices and was no longer then cheapest airline, but I stuck with them for the rewards. I thought that southwest was really trying to go out of their way to win over the BOS/BWI customers, but obviously not anymore because instead of earning 1200 points (1 credit) for my $39 flight, I now earn 39x6 = 234 points, about 20% of the original value. Even including security fees, which I'm not sure count towards points, I will only get 300 points max for the flight. It saddens me that our relationship has to end this way. Now I have no reason to not just look for the least expensive flight for my trips.
Dan1
Explorer C
Terrible move Southwest. You took the best loyalty program in the country and converted it into nothing but a run of the mill program with benefit over any of your competitors. And for me personally you've doubled the amount of flights I'll need to take to earn the reward I've been using for years and in doing so have not only made Rapid Rewards useless to me, but the credit card associated with it as well. I've stuck with you as you fares have risen compared to your competitors, as your DING fares started traveling to random locations I don't go to, as you started instituting pay to board first policies, but this one is the straw that breaks this camel's back. After years of being a loyal customer and even an evangelist, you've now lost any allure and are just another legacy carrier... congratulations.
Anonymous488
Explorer C
The biggest disappointment about this program is that it stands in direct opposition to the company culture which created such loyalty in the first place. Southwest, which was the corner bar, with friendly faces, staff who took care of you, and flaws you happily overlooked, is now just an Applebees in a strip mall. Corporate schlock.
Anonymous3528
Explorer C
Come on guys stop changing things. SWA had a good thing going keeping it simple. Stop listening to the 20 somethings in your marketing dept. or did you hire a consultant to come up with this one. I say FAIL on SWA's part.
Anonymous4565
Explorer C
Brian, Southwest has been going out of its way to alienate its loyal flyers and A-List members such as me. Most of the changes are minor, but indicative of a new anti customer attitude at SWA. It is your loyal customers that have made Southwest profitable. Attempting to squeeze more blood from them is not the way to stay profitable. We, your loyal customers, accepted the change from an award ticket being an award ticket to possibly only being a half an award ticket, we can accept expiration dates on drink coupons, we can accept unused funds no longer being transferrable to other family members. But I for one, will not accept these changes. US Airways will now be my airline of choice.
Anonymous3052
Explorer C
I'm dissappointed about the changes... one thing that bothers me is when a company tries to spin a change as something that is good and better for its customers. This is clearly not better for the majority of Southwest's customers, who I think are usually the shorter flight, regional and business flyers. Now this large core of customers will see this reward program diluted. Like many I exclusively look at Southwest for my business travel. I probably fly Southwest about 30 to 40 times a year. One of the things I liked was being able to use my reward travel on last minute (less than one week away) reservations. Now I won;t be able to do this without having a significant increase in my cost to my points balance. In addition, the points needed will also be more the further away you fly, since fares for longer flights are higher, and thus the points needed for rewards is much larger as well. This is completely different than most of other airlines (with assigned seating) where you pay the same point price within the US. It doesn't matter if you are going NY to SF, or NY to DC. The points needed is the same. With this new Rapid Rewards program, the points for the longer flight is much larger. I personally saw a great advantage and perceived much value on the credits system that was used... as of Mar. 1. it seems to me this program will take a big hit for the worse. Believe me when i say I love Southwest, but these changes are very dissappointing to me. I would probably have felt less bad if the new program hadn't been presented to me as "Exciting Enhancements"... something I think they are not.
Clay
Explorer C
This program is a step backwards. Not only is it infinitely more complicated, but the benefit for the average customer decreased. I may even get rid of Southwest Visa card. Not a good move Southwest. You just alienated a bunch of people.
Ben_R
Explorer C
Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. This is just not LUVable. While it's not overly complicated math, now for planning purposes it is even harder now than the other airlines, where at least I can add miles up. To much here to know if/when I get an award, how close/far I am ... did you focus group this New Coke formula? Look - make it more flights to get a award, keep blackouts or require those to be Freedom, or more credits required for longer haul rewards (and give us more credits if we take a longer haul flight?), but you've really taken the simplicity out of it. And SIMPLICITY is what I LUV(ed?) about Southwest! You see - while my company encourages savings, I went with a Business Select fare (at a $20 premium over Anytime) that together with the WGA on the return leg was STILL 2x what I would have paid had I flown big ol' Delta. I did this because I know the overall value of SWA and RR. Now ... I'll get up to my next Reward (hopefully before 3/1) and then start price shopping. Bags don't matter to the business traveler - we either pay the fee or we pack light anyway. This is probably the first time I've EVER been disappointed in Southwest - EVER - and it's a doozy. And I was looking forward to the day you were giving me an alternative on the BWI-ATL trips.
Gino_T
Explorer C
In total, I'm probably indifferent to the changes - lots of offsetting pluses and minuses for me. I certainly understand some people's frustration (big devaluation for those always flying on cheap fares), and it is definitely too complicated. Requiring your customers to do multiply and divide by 6 and 12 to figure out earning and redemption is just plain stupid. One question. If I have flow 50 flights from 3/1/10 to 3/1/11, will i receive the new A-List Preferred when the program launches?
blusk
Aviator C
Gino, to the contrary no one needs to divide or multiply. Please go to newrpaidrewards.com and look at the earn and spend pages. southwest.com will clearly show what each fare will earn in Rapid Rewards Points. When it comes time to spend your points, the amount needed is in the dollar amount. You can toggle it to place the points value first and then the dollar amount. Your flights flown between January 1, 2011 and March 1, 2011 will count toward the A-List Preferred
Anonymous1719
Explorer C
You had an edge over the others because your system was simple. Now it's a mess. You will no longer be my first choice. This was a bad move.
guflyer
Explorer C
I am really disappointed in the new program. Under an analysis done by Meeting Tomorrow, it costs an average of 25% more travel for a free flight. I have been very satisfied with the current program, trying to make as many of my purchases as possible with my Rapid Rewards Visa card and using Southwest for most of my domestic travel. I strongly prefer the system of the legacy carriers to the new Rapid Rewards system. I see this as part of a huge downward trend. First, Southwest added a date for expiring drink tickets that never had an expiration date. Next, Southwest started to end the practice of allowing passengers to transfer unused credit to friends and relatives (which becomes effective later this month). Now, Southwest makes it much more difficult to earn a new flight, but uses a complicated system to do this in a way that insults the loyal customer who thought that Southwest was more customer friendly than the other airlines. I am very disappointed.
Anonymous1861
Explorer C
Honestly, I really have no reason to keep flying, or to pay for others, on Southwest. You've lost a die-hard customer.
Whitney2
Explorer C
I reviewed and reviewed and I cannot find the negative. I will remain cautiously optimistic, but I believe this is a positive move.
Dave27
Explorer C
I am a business traveler and I have been loyal to SWA for years. I have spent more money on tickets hundreds of times. I stayed with them even through their “cattle-car” years of boarding. I have been an A listed member from the first year they issued it. I am a holder of the companion pass four years running. Why do I have such loyalty? Simply put, they HAD the best FF program in the industry, period. No one could touch them. I just looked at my profile Southwest, and I have earned 378.5 credits between 1-6-09 to 1-6-11. You have just lost a pretty valuable customer. The bad part of this is you will not realize you have made a monumental mistake until it is too late. You have just become “JUST ANOTHER AIRLINE”. You have lost your focus and what made you truly unique to the industry. Sad to see you lost your way.
Yusef
Explorer C
Wow, Southwest has completely destroyed one of its most popular programs, and one of the strongest sources of its customers' loyalty. Great job! With the new system, it would take approximately 10 round trip SFO-LAX trips at $130 each to qualify for the cheapest class of the new tiered rapid rewards tickets, which are equivalent in privilege to wanna get away fares. Forget EVER being able to earn enough points to qualify for a coast-to-coast reward at the wanna get away level, let alone at the flexible anytime level (which as we know is the current DEFAULT rapid reward level). Guess I'll be seriously looking at other carriers from now on. No benefit for Southwest loyalty anymore... 😞
EB_in_CA
Explorer C
Congratulations! With the changes to your FF program SWA is just like every other airline. Every other airline. You might just as well trade your red belly for red and blue stripes down the side as you're not too far apart from that other Texas airline. Peanuts and open seating only buy so much loyalty. Too bad you felt it necessary to change a good thing. I also think it’s ridiculous that you suggest it’s an easier program because, "you know exactly how many points you need." Did that many travellers have trouble counting to 16? Really?
Christine12
Explorer C
Why not just call the lower prices "Steerage" class and be done with it. How is it that a business traveler whose company pays for a ticket can then redeem those points for a lower priced ticket which is capacity controlled. Why not just tell families like mine (there are four of us who fly a lot) to just go away? I've paid for the stupid $10 early check-in. We fly our daughter home from school on the airline even though the schedule isn't as good as other airlines and she has to transfer instead of flying nonstop - all because of the EXISTING RR program. Your staff are great. Your management team has non of Herb's vision. Unless your prices are going much lower, there isn't a compelling reason to fly SW as our exclusive airline anymore. But then I guess SW hopes that business will make up for all of the rest of us great "unwashables." We all know this change is to try to keep the AirTran business travelers happy during the transition. But with so many other options, does that REALLY compensate for the number of flyers you are kicking to the curb?
strikeapose
Explorer C
I have flown SW since your beginnings out of Love Field in Dallas and remember the "stewardesses" in their white go-go boots and hot pants! I have often sung your praises and told friends they should fly SW because of your great rewards program. Many times we have paid more in airfare to fly SW just to collect reward credits. Perhaps I shouldn't jump to conclusions, but except for the elimination of blackout dates (which weren't too restrictive anyway) I'm not impressed by your new program. First of all, anytime you pitch something because it's so great for your customers I get skeptical. Let's face it, you're in the business of making a profit so obviously this new program is geared towards that goal! It's not to help your customers. I've got a question--my husband and I flew roundtrip from Long Island to California over the holidays on SW and paid over $800 each for our trip. When I looked on my account it looks like I'll only get 2 credits for those flights. So much for credits based on money spent on the fares! We fly very frequently and have many choices of airlines and airports. As of today, I will start comparing fares and will no longer be a loyal SW customer. Sorry but I have too look out for my pocketbook--not Southwest's!
Anonymous3673
Explorer C
Not an "EXCITING" upgrade at all. Even though I will qualify for the A List Preferred level, it is a huge reduction in benefit. Business travelers who must keep within a budget will be screwed with this change. I will have to search for other carriers now and make my buying decision then instead of just always being loyal to Southwest. Bad move.
A-nony-mous
Explorer C
The premise is simple and fair. Much more fair than the old system. The more you pay for a ticket, the more points you earn. For those of you flying Dallas to San Antonio every week for $49 and then using your award to fly across the country, it's going to hurt you. You made out like a bandit for years.
Anonymous3808
Explorer C
I've tried. I read the email, I read the details, I read the fine print - and I'm sorry - this makes no sense. Think you're losing a customer here, and I book for 5 family members, too - I'll miss you, but this program change takes away what makes Southwest Southwest. I don't get it. You're the most successful US airline, you have tremendous brand loyalty, you're profitable, you have some of us who'd choose to fly you even if it's the same cost and we stop two times (or more!) between the West & East coasts - because you were *different*. Why trash that with something that's neither needed nor desirable? What was the problem that you were trying to solve? What's the business case for this change? It really smells like you brought in some high-paid consultant who had to produce something - anything - to justify their pay. Don't compound the loss by enacting this inane plan, please. Waiting to book my next trip - might just drive to LA instead. Ugh.
Dan1
Explorer C
Brian, looked at newrapidrewards and you're right about it being simpler than people give it credit for. However the new system is STILL more needlessly complex than the old system, and ends up being a rip off for your core customers who take shorter trips planned in advance like myself and so many others who are dissatisfied and angry with this change. Face it, SWA has made a VERY big mistake with this change on the level of New Coke or the GAP re-branding and should respond to the overwhelming criticism the same way those companies did, but changing back ASAP and acknowledging you made a mistake. Because it is painfully obvious given the overwhelming negative response that you did not consult or consider your core loyal clientele which have kept SWA in the black all these years while everyone else floundered...
Anonymous4068
Explorer C
Regardless of the merits of the program, the insult is Southwest telling us this revision to Rapid Rewards is new and improved. Nice they treat us like idiots while trying to sell us a brick and tell us it is a bar of gold. It is a very cynical way of doing business and I think a huge portion of their customer base recognizes the misdirection. It shall impact them by the loss of trust it instills in those customers that heretofore had some degree of trust in their corporate conduct.
gr82cu2
Explorer C
Wow, I can't believe what a bunch of whiners you people are. Its simple really, you pay more you get more and when it comes time to redeem, the more expensive your chosen flight is the more points it costs to fly free. Conversely, the cheaper the flight the less points required to fly free. Under the old system someone flying on a $69 fare was rewarded the same as someone flying on a $269 fare. Personally, that always bugged me. Under the old system you weren't going anywhere free unless you had accumulated 16 credits in your account. Now, with the point system you can go as soon as you have enough points accumulated to pay your desired fare which could be even quicker than before if its a shorter, cheaper flight and you book a wanna getaway fare. For those of you whining about A listers and business class peeps being rewarded better, why don't you step up to the plate and pay the higher fare or fly more often so you can also be an A lister? Then you can be treated just the same. I'm so sick of people in this country crying and feeling entitled....everyone should be treated the same...guess what, you are wrong! That is not how this country was built and that thought process is what is bringing this country down. Stop whining! You are being rewarded for your loyalty...sheesh! For the record, I'm not an A-lister and I never pay business select fares. Work hard, play harder!
Tim_C
Explorer C
I fly Southwest a lot for business. However, MY company makes me book the lowest airfare available. So what Southwest is telling me now is that someone who pays more for their ticket gets a whole lot more credit. The old system was simple. This one sucks. I averaged about four free flights a year with the old systm because I had it partnered with my Hilton Honors and Rapid Rewards Credit card also. I'll be lucky to get half that now. Just watch folks, paying for bags is just around the corner. I'm guessing it will start with just getting one bag free, then none. Every year they are becoming more and more like the other airlines they like to distance themselves so much from in their advertising.
Regular_Flyer_N
Explorer C
This sucks.. In one quick move, Southwest has gone from the most simple, most average-flyer-friendly rewards program, to the most confusing and most average-flyer-unfriendly. For someone like me that does a good number of Bay Area to Southern California flights each year, the rewards program was the number one reason I was so loyal. I even booked with Rewards Partners for cars through Southwest. But now I'll have to take a ton more flights to earn a free flight (I usually fly as cheap as possible, so I'm not interested in the higher fares with their higher point-multiples, sorry). So I'll be looking elsewhere for my short-hop flights within California, Nevada and Arizona. Bummer. usually when a company has a customer loyalty edge, it knows not to mess with a good thing.
Brian_Herbert
Explorer C
I'm an A-list member with a companion pass. I fly three to six round trips per month. I will no longer fly with Southwest because of the new Rapid Rewards program.
David_Melugin
Explorer C
Im done.. For the last five years you have nickeled and dimed me. Cant use free drink coupon for an energy drink that costs 3 bucks? You dont have pillows, no blankets. You let everyone who can speak and say that they need an blue pass on before the A listers. I saw 10 people that were in their 20s get on before me because 1 kid had an broken hand that he claimed that he broke while punching an wall doing a drinking binge. Now you are wanting me to work 3 times as hard to get an reward from you.. I SAY NO WAY! Your planes are overbooked, too crowded and now not worth it. Frontier let us have free bags and gives me assigned seats. plus direct tv.. Im done with you. I feel sorry for your employees, they are the best and will be missed.
Manu
Explorer C
this is a humongous blunder... unless SWA saw this change as needed because there was no profitability under the old system. Problem is this change hits at the core of what made customers loyal to SWA. I forsee less full flights. The core, short flight customer will go back to convenience and assigned seating airlines. Customers will no longer buy Southwest exclusively. LUV, please realize this is a great mistake.... please don't follow through with this.
Gary111
New Arrival
Concept is simple - try to appeal to Business Select customers to use redemption points with Wanna Get Away fares. Since all WGA fares are open, SWA hopes to fill the WGA inventory with business flyers on vacation, thus limiting WGA availability and forcing non-business flyers into business fares. Obviously Gary K. and the new crew have forgotten Herb's legacy - cheap fares for the common person. Welcome to the new AA.
Disappointed4
Explorer C
This change is now makes southwest like all other airlines by losing it's clear customer-friendly rewards policy of 1 trip equaling 1 reward. What a shame. I am looking forward to an airline that will come and fill in the gap of integrity just as southwest once did.
Rolf
Explorer C
Pure disappointment and a definite loss of loyalty, that sums it up. After over an hour on the phone with CS and speaking with 4 different people I was not given a clear understanding of the transition impact, especially wiping out the credits I had already earned in 2010 to re-qualify for companion pass and A-list. If the people at SW do not understand their own new rules how are we customers expected to? At least in the end a marketing rep admitted that there were winners and losers in their transition from the old to the new, and I am one of the people getting the losing end of the deal. Basically I am losing 46% of my requalification for Companion Pass that I earned in 2010 but as a door prize I would get a one month (8.3%) extension on the current CP, wow. I understand that change happens but please do not steal from me what I had already earned, even the IRS doesn't do that.
Anonymous1809
Explorer C
AWFUL change. I'm so disappointed in you southwest.