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The All-New Rapid Rewards Key Features

Employee
Employee

With the All-New Rapid Rewards, you know exactly how many points you need. Now that you're in control of your rewards, you can plan ahead and make every point count. This is the first video in a series of educational tips on the new program. Current Rapid Rewards Members will be receiving additional communications regarding the upcoming changes
42 Comments
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Will this cut out the time frame for get rapid reward points
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I'm confused! Will I earn 1 point per $1 spent when using my RR Visa to purchase everyday items? and earn 2 points per $1 spent when buying any SWA tickets, etc...? In other words if I use my RR Visa to buy a Business Select Fare I would earn 14 points per dollar spent? The slider on the Southwest Web site is confusing me because it shows 12 points per dollar spent when using your Visa.
New Arrival
What a confusing mess! What looks good on a spreadsheet to a bunch of executives behind closed doors and windows (absent fresh air), really is a hot mess of nonsense. RR used to be straightforward and easy to understand. That was the beauty of WN. Now its just some sort of pyramid scheme disguised as a loyalty program. I highly doubt I will ever see another rapid rewards ticket or EVER be able to use it anymore. How can you possibly think this is "Rewarding?" I need a slide rule just to figure out how to get to Portland from ABQ after months of travel with WN? If I understand this, you are "awarding" points based on a number that is multiplied off a published fair? Who seriously in the real world, amidst fresh air and daylight can seriously understand this? A complicated, hot mess!! I am fed up and will remain loyal IN SPITE of your ridiculous loyalty program. And the VISA now seems useless in this whole scheme. That lame website that intro'd this whole thing is way confusing too. I agree with the above posted comments that the slider is stupid. Way to mess up, guys!!!
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I might have thought that someone would have figured out, that if it takes a 2-minute video to only partially explain earning/redeeming, the design of the new program was poor.
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What I get is that it will now take longer for my college daughter to earn a flight. That to chase new customers, you threw the rest of us under the bus. We've flown SW almost exclusively for years. The only time we DON'T fly them is when they don't service the airport. I've flown then even when the flights are less than convenient than other airlines. I've flown them when the cost was more expensive. For goodness sakes, we even flew them as the airline of choice to Hawaii when you partnered with another airline. And now - reading the ponzi scheme you created - business travelers can use their RR # on full cost flights their business pay for, and then redeem those points for lower cost tickets. So if you earn 26,000 points on a single round trip by flying Business select, you have enough points to fly two round trip economy tickets for free. Which then cuts the amount of those seats available for customers (like my college age daughter) who fly economy out of necessity. I want the Amex points program back (I'm platinum) and I want more rewards for those of us who bought the stock and stuck with the airline in good times and bad. Non-expiration doesn't help if you've stacked the deck in favor of business travelers. I know you have to appease the Air Tran group - but good grief. SW used to stand for fun and different. Now it's going to be easier to just shop for more convenient flights on other airlines. Very VERY disappointed. The Southwest culture is pretty much DOA now.
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are there any answers to all these comments about the new rewards program? you can still use your points to purchase tickets for family right?
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Wow, my beloved Southwest is becoming more and more a regular airline. I fly for business and they make me get the cheapest flight available. Screw Southwest for rewarding people that pay them the most money. The old system could not have been more simple. Just watch, paying for bags is not far behind. I can guarantee that.
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I LOVE S/W, but agree this new program sounds confusing. What is odd is that the dollar amounts are different on the slider, making the "points" dramatically different, by not comparing $100 to $100. I love my "A" status, and can't figure out if I'm losing it at the end of the month or not. Glad I never went for the VISA card . . . still getting at least four junk snail mails every month. But thanks for the cute luggage tag for 10 years of flying with you!
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anonymoyus 18:59 Yes you can use the points to buy tickets for others.
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I'm fed up with Southwest, the simple & easy airline, becoming complicated like the other guys. I earn around 25 free flights/yr and have decided as of March 1, 2011 to start using USAirways, Frontier, and a few of the other airlines since using Southwest is no longer to my advantage. What kind of crazy formula is this? Who are the insane marketing people who thought this is what their loyal customers want? And where the hell was Gary Kelly when this piece of trash was approved? What a shame. This simple airline with the easy frequent flyer program has just brain fried it's loyal customers in how to calculate a free flight from Phoenix to Albuquerque.
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This is just like any other change made out there. Initially it receives opposition from the masses, but it is then later seen as a positive improvement. Both my husband and myself have rapid rewards accounts for which we use for flying, hotel stays, and other travel needs. Our son also travels as an unaccompanied minor and is a frequent flyer with Southwest, yet we view this change as anything but negative. Southwest isn't looking to scam or screw its passengers in any way. This is just something that will take a little time and understanding from us to sort through. How many of us were opposed to designated boarding positions in its infant stages? The reason for this was that we were simply unaware of the ease and efficiency this would make for us, the passengers, while boarding. We should be open to the possibility that we are moving from a somewhat cozy couch to one that is exceptionally comfortable.
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How about the important stuff? What happens to the drink coupons? We used to get the with every award. Will they be issued when points are redeemed for a flight or do they just go away with the new program?
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Let me do some math for everyone. I am flying to Hartford, CT. Internet Fare is $137 one way and Business Select is $479. $342 More. Southwest wants me to buy the Business Select ticket and will reward me with some unquantifiable small portion of a future ticket. How about this - If I buy the Internet ticket, I save more than the price of a FULL round trip ticket. By the way, United's price was less with better flight options.
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I just did the math. Assume a trip that costs $400 minimum (wanna get away price) versus a Business class fare at $800 for the same trip. To redeem points for a free flight on the same route: You would need 24,000 points to redeem an internet fare ticket at $400. But in accumulating points you would need to fly 10 round trips at $400 times 6 points each to get 24,000 points. That means you will have spent $4,000 total before earning the ticket. A Business class member (whose ticket is likely paid by the company) can earn points 4 times faster. So they only have to fly 2.5 times and pay a total of $2,000 to earn the same benefit -- $800 times 12 points for each round trip. What's worse, news articles say SW is counting on business travelers to use their points for the lower fares so they don't use up the higher cost capacity seats. Since flights are capacity controlled, and business class travelers will be accumulating free tickets at a rate 4x faster that means higher rates to purchase and/or redeem lower costs seats for those who can least afford the increase. Which will freeze out families, leisure travelers, and college students who rely on those rates to travel - the bulk of their current fan base. What's wrong with this picture? I think Southwest needs to hire an MIT grad to help them understand what this will math will do to their elasticities of demand with their core fan base.
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I'm sorry to hear about this new system. For someone like me who is not a frequent flyer, this new system takes away the chance of earning a free round trip flight every now and then. How disappointing. In the past I have exclusively flown SW just so I could earn credits. With this new plan in place I may look to other airlines that might be more convenient for me.
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Thank you, Anonymous — Fri, 01/07/2011 - 06:26 I agree with you totally. It's still an amazing program.
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yes, they threw the rest of us under the bus. this newest scam cost us twice as much and for those who have points, you will loose them because it will take twice as long to qualify. notice how the time limit for old point still expire in 2 years and the new points dont. if sw wasnt trying to screw you they would of extended or done away with the old expiration system... yup everything we worked and jumped threw their hoops for is thrown right back in ourr face with a smile. wtg-swa!!! works bothways,,its called customer loyalty....hope the looser who thought up this scam gets laid off, cause swa just got fired!
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Sorry you guys are beginning to lose me. The new program is confusing but I'm sure it will become second nature. The bigger issue for me is the inability to get from point A to point B. Your cost is now often higher, with stops, in the markets I fly than nonstop fares on other airlines; after factoring in baggage fees. I frequently find myself flying other airlines even when you are in the same market. You are no longer as simple, cost efficient or passenger-friendly.
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THE SKY IS FALLING!! THE SKY IS FALLING!! Come on people. How can you hate something you havent even tried and just found out about yesterday?
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Your new rewards program sucks for leisure customers who fly "wanna get away" fares. I normally pay about $124 -$150 each way on my fares x the 6 points per dollar youre now alloting ends up being 744-900 points...so now im getting barely over half a credit for each one-way. sounds like a great plan....I might be switching to jet blue.
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I have just read the comments posted this date and they express exactly how I feel and I could not have said it better. I AM SO DISAPPOINTED WITH THE CHANGE. In the past I knew I would be guaranteed at least a round trip once a year ANYWHERE and a free drink. Oh well, it was great while it lasted. Guess I will have to shop around from now on.
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We've noticed a slide in reliability, open communication and service in the last year or so!
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I like the way drink coupons are going to work on the All New Rapid Rewards program. For every 10 one way flights on SWA taken you will earn 4 free drink coupons. Nice perk SWA, thanks!
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Dear Freqfly: To answer your original question about the SWA Visa card from Chase: Will I earn 1 point per $1 spent when using my RR Visa to purchase everyday items? and earn 2 points per $1 spent when buying any SWA tickets, etc...? Answer: You will earn 2 points for every dollar spent when you use your SWA Visa card to pay for your purchase with one of SWA's preferred partners (dining, retail, hotels, car rentals...) You will earn 1 point for every dollar spent using your SWA Visa for all non-preferred partners purchases. Another plus....you will have your SWA Rapid Rewards points account balance AND your SWA Visa from Chase points balance. With the Visa card points you can use your points to buy gift cards, international flights, hotels and more beginning March 1st at www.southwest.com/morerewards. It's a BIG win for SWA Visa card holders with the All New Rapid Rewards program that will launch March 1st 2011. Great Job SWA!!!
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Overall I think Southwest is making a big mistake. Points?? Are you kidding me. It's like the Microsoft points scam for the Xbox, intentionally confusing to profit the company. SW just went from company with a cult like following and customer base to another typical corporate monster. Can't wait for other new "improvements". Alaska is getting my business now. Goodbye A-list.
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This new program seems pretty good to me I'll use the guys example a couple comments up, say I'm flying wanna get away for $124 earning 744 points aposed to getting 1 credit per flight. To earn an award on the old program I'd have to fly 16 flights earning 1 point each to get one free flight. With the new program I'd only fly 10 flights earning the 7440 points I need to redeem a free flight at the same price. I dont see what the problem with that is I have to fly 6 flights less to earn a free flight! sounds good to me!
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I think the new program should work pretty good, for example I'll use the guy a few comments aboves example. If I'm flying flights at $124 a flight with the new program I'll be earning 744 points per flight aposed to 1 credit per flight, and to redeem a free flight I'll need 7440 points instead of the 16 credits. So now to earn the points I'll only need to make 10 flights rather then th 16 needed for the other flights. flying 6 less flights for a free one sounds better to me!
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I have been traveling on Southwest for 15 plus years. I have seen the airline grow and create very loyal passengers. I am one of those but I must say the recent marketing of the new frequent flyer program caught me off guard. I will no longer make Southwest my primary carrier. You have shifted your focus from the loyal followers to the business traveler hoping that they will spend higher airfares to earn more mileage. This at the expense of their company. It happens too often in this country. A company becomes successful and begins to move away from what got them where they are. Eventually they fall as they open the market up for someone else to fill the void. I am very disappointed in your new approach and will miss the old program. I will be changing my credit card as well. I never thought this day would come although when you started focusing on the mainstream markets like LaGuardia I should have known you were leaving your successful format.
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The loyalty program group should be fired! Did Chase persuade you that this program would be good and help their credit card business. Even though I fly SWA often and loyally and have done so for many years, I will think twice before I fly you now.
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This new program is awesome!! Now everyone will get rewarded based on what they spend. The further you fly and the more it costs the more points you will rack up. Why is that so hard to understand?? If I go to Starbucks and get a small coffee I pay one price but if I want more I can pay more to get a large. You don't see people complaining they didn't get as much coffee in their small cup as the guy who bought the large do you? That would be crazy but that is exactly what the people here are complaining about. I don't fly a lot but with the new program I don't have to because my points wont expire as long as I have some kind of activity every 2 years. I can save up points and take a trip even if its 3 yaers down the road. Plus, I can get points by using the RR Visa. Where do I sign up?
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Read all of the details or call them. Once I understood it I felt it was better for Visa holders, but not as good for short distance travelers. Also, the international flights interest me, but there are no details on how many points are needed for a fight or the convertion rate.
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it sounds really confusing. rapid rewards was great because it was simple.
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Whoever came up with this is smoking hash. The old system was a model of simplicity and that is why I used it. I have been an A-lister for over two years and it has been awesome. With all the complexity of the new system looks like I'll be using applying for a Frontier card. Simply put I'm just not going to deal with this. life is complicated enough without dealing with nonsense like this. Suggestion to southwest stop messing with things that work. you were making money when no other airline was and now you are shafting all of the customers that made that happen. You change the flight times all the time now which ruins my business travel and your playing games with cancelling an consolidating flights at the last minute. I am so done. Frontier owes you a debt of gratitude because I know several DEN-SLC commuters that are going to make the switch.
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I preferred the old Rapid Rewards system. These "All New Rapid Rewards" promotional videos treat me like a sucker-- that I'll like the new Rapid Rewards system because it's "All New!" and because "Now I'm in control!" Yes, it's all new, and yes, I guess I'm in control, but "newer" isn't better here, and I was already in control with the old system. All I had to do was count up the flights. How hard is that? Maybe the old system didn't work out so well for Southwest Airlines. But it worked out great for me, and for everyone who came to Southwest via my referrals. I don't remember anyone telling me that they wished that Southwest's Rapid Rewards program was "all new" and I don't remember anyone telling me they didn't think they were in control. Instead, EVERYONE told me how happy they were that Southwest's Rapid Rewards system was straightforward and NOT based on "points." Except not it's not straightforward, and now it's based on points. Just like everyone else's program. Southwest may as well start charging for luggage... then they'll be even more like the rest. And I'll start shopping around.
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The sky fell... .
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I am an A-List member and never fly on any airline except Southwest, even flying into airports that were out of my way and driving long distances into my final destination. For instance, I would fly into Birmingham when I had to do business in Georgia. The new Rapid Rewards program appears to be complicated and confusing. I just don't have the time to figure out whether this is going to benefit or hurt me. Mr. Kelly and Southwest, I will give you the bottom line on my feelings about this. I will try it for a while. If it stays the same or helps my status with Rapid Rewards, fine. If it hurts me, I'm leaving. It is as simple as that. Without the attractive, simple Rapid Rewards system, Southwest is just another airline with a "cattle call" for a boarding process. Southwest can run all the cool commercials they want. We'll see if Mr. Kelly can run his airline catering to fickle tourists that will sell Southwest down the river for a $10 difference in the fare. This isn't the same Southwest that I used to know. Jeff Beck
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While I think Southwest was over the top in their marketing on this rollout (too much hubris and self-congratulation, and not enough sensitivity to short haul travelers who used to be their bread and butter), I can understand why they made the changes. Yes, Southwest is not the airline it was 30 years ago, even 15 years ago. The Golden Years of Herb are gone (along with a lot of his humor). The airline has grown, the industry has changed for the worse, and Southwest has to take aggressive steps to become more profitable. They can only cut costs so much. The fact is long haul flights are more profitable and my guess is Southwest short haul flights are no longer the cash cow they once were (how can you make money on a $29 one way fare?). The business has changed and become more complex. While I hate it, I understand Southwest has had to add complexity to its mix in order to remain competitive. I plan to give the program a chance and see how it works for me. However, I do hope Southwest will consider toning down their rhetoric on how Fabulous this program is for EVERYONE. The short haul travelers, including me, have been loyal to Southwest and this program does not benefit them to the degree it will long haul and business travelers. Stating, figuratively, that the "small people" will see how FABULOUS this program is once they understand it better is not too far from the BP Chairman's remarks during the oil spill. A tad too condescending in my opinion. My recommendation: stop patting yourselves on the back at every media opportunity and think about the repercussions if you don't respect your frequent flyer short haul travelers more in terms of their concerns about the program. Right now they are the ones chafing at this. And here's hoping this program works well for a majority of Southwest customers. I'm a stock holder and would like to see profits increase along with the stock price !
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This really sucks! I loved flying Southwest for the ease and simplicity. why did you change this? I can only think of one reason.....to benefit Southwest! I am done flying you exclusively.
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I did the math. It's going to take me twice as long (and money) to earn my Rapid Rewards ticket now since I am a "wanna get away" customer. I am switching my allegiance to Delta. Southwest is simply chasing away the discount traveler in lieu of attracting the higher paying customer. I find it ironic tho that a higher paying business traveler would want to fly Southwest since there really are no real customer perks to speak of, other than preferred boarding. I am looking forward to earning Silver status with Delta this year, and then Gold status in the following year. I just have to fly 25K miles this year. Free unlimited upgrades and free bag check too once 25K silver status earned. Hardly a difficult thing to earn for someone who flies as much as I do. Godspeed Southwest. It was nice while it lasted.
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You're history in my book Southwest. You are no longer an attractive airline option with the introduction of your RReward program. I studied it in depth, and there is no way I will be flying you anywhere near the amount of time as in the past. I have been flying Southwest since 1985, but those days are over. Good riddens, and you can thank your stupid management for Southwest's demise.
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I just booked a flight on American due to the new Rapid Rewards BS. BHM to DAL on SWA for my dates is 267.40. BHM to DFW on AA is 266.20. Both are nonstop. Both get me to where I need to be but DFW is actually closer to my destination. I have just always flown SWA because of Rapid Rewards. I guess now I will enjoy reserved seating, proximity to my destination and none of that vapid singing on the PA system. What a bargain!
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This "new and improved" RR program is so very disappointing. I too have gone out of my way to take SW flights exclusively and will not do that anymore. You will lose significant business from myself and others who went out of our way to fly SW due to a very easy, straight-forward and rewarding RR program. This new program is a complete mess, confusing and way over-complicated. It all comes down to the fact that you want more $/ticket and want to give out less- I get it from a business standpoint, but you did not take into account the business you will lose now because the program is not truly "rewarding" and the great reputation you built up that you are destroying.