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264,230 SW points disappeared in a very deceptive way

New Arrival

I just lost 264,230 points a few days ago.  I have tried every possible avenue at SW and all I get "nothing I can do".  Keeping your account active....it's not that difficult SW.  I understand you have all kinds of rules to help points disappear but to keep an account active????  really.  

 

I received an email for my 2018 summary "Thank you from the heart" email which listed my 264,230 points and the fact I traveled 2 segments.  That has a footnote 1 which says 1 One-way revenue and/or reward flights.  They even charged my Amex (3) times for the flight

The problem being the charges were for a points based flight which apparently doesn't count to "Keep your account active" which is a joke.  

 

A week later I received another "Rapid Rewards Report" which is filled with advertisements and promotions.  There is one section that says "hey we miss you" and "Act now to maintain your account activity" with nothing else but a learn more you can click on....so I did and it took me to the rapid rewards page with a header of "Rapid Rewards Promotions" so I ignored it since I flew twice last year.  

 

The issue I have is the deceptiveness.  At no time did I feel like my points were in jeopardy.  I've traveled 35 years and never had this poor of an experience once I realized what had happened.  I'VE PATIENTLY WAITED FOR THEIR HAWAII LEGS to start for years.  Always leading us on that they are close.....and the same friggin month they get going to HAWAII they yank points I spend thousands and thousands with them to collect.  

 

Customer service has a script...nothing I can do.  Well after spending tens of thousands with them to build up points there is no understanding or flexibility when (4) days after the points disappearing I've tried contacting everyone.  Don't you think I would have bought points or taken a quick flight to preserve 264,230 points if they'd have at least been kind enough to let me know?  

15 REPLIES 15
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Re: 264,230 SW points disappeared in a very deceptive way

Top Contributor

Definitely hurts to lose points and there have been no reports of Southwest restoring expired points, but please post if you have better luck.

 

The terms do require qualified points EARNING activity for your account to remain active so redeeming points for a flight does not count.

 

Here are the exact terms from southwest.com:

Points will remain active as long as you have at least one qualifying earning activity every 24 months. Qualifying earning activity includes 1) completed revenue travel on flights flown through Southwest Airlines® and posted to the Member’s account prior to the expiration date; 2) points earned by transacting with any current Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® partner (including transfers from applicable Rapid Rewards partners and completed Southwest Vacations® hotel stays) and posted to the Member’s account prior to the expiration date; 3) points earned using Rapid Rewards® Credit Cards and through points transferred from Diners Club® and posted to the Member’s account prior to the expiration date and 4) points purchased for personal account use through Southwest.com and posted to the Member’s account prior to the expiration date. 

 

 

--TheMiddleSeat

 

 

Re: 264,230 SW points disappeared in a very deceptive way

New Arrival

Why send an email one month before expiration that says I have 264,230 points and flew two segments in 2018?  Why not send an email specifically to alert the customer that that have a significant amount of expiring points?  Why hide that little tidbit in fine print and buried in a promotional email?   It’s all very shady and really doesn’t help the customer who spent tens of thousands with the company building up significant points now does it?  Do you really think they made any effort at all to HELP the customer realize the deadline???

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Re: 264,230 SW points disappeared in a very deceptive way

Top Contributor

@jmschedler wrote:

Why send an email one month before expiration that says I have 264,230 points and flew two segments in 2018?  Why not send an email specifically to alert the customer that that have a significant amount of expiring points?  Why hide that little tidbit in fine print and buried in a promotional email?   It’s all very shady and really doesn’t help the customer who spent tens of thousands with the company building up significant points now does it?  Do you really think they made any effort at all to HELP the customer realize the deadline???


 

 

Sadly, as you've discovered, Southwest puts the responsibility to keep points from expiring on the customer, and unlike other carriers 1) doesn't count redemption activity, and 2) doesn't send multiple notifications regarding upcoming expiration. 😞

 

Most unfortunately, once your points are gone, they're gone. The only way I've heard to get them reinstated is if you had point earning activity within the last 6 months that wasn't credited to your account. If you can prove so, reach out to Customer Relations. 

 

 

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Re: 264,230 SW points disappeared in a very deceptive way

New Arrival

Yes sadly.  What does it really take in todays digital age to keep an account active.  Lets think about that.  It's certainly not any big deal to keep it active at all.  I did so by booking a flight last year.  Also by checking periodically on my account.  IT'S REALLY ALL ABOUT HOW TO LOSE THE ACCOUNT AND DEBT.  Let's be honest here.  What does it really take in the digital age to PREVENT this from happening.  Revenue producing activity....Ok they charged me $$ to turn in the miles (their fee).  They charged me to $$ upgrade to early bird check in (their fee)......that's revenue correct?  But not enough revenue to keep my account active?  Again, it's really about how to LOSE the account and thousands in credit owed for 264,230 miles.  What other company you deal with on a regular basis would let you just lose thousands of dollars you've paid for without any system in place to ensure that doesn't happen?????

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Re: 264,230 SW points disappeared in a very deceptive way

Top Contributor

@jmschedler wrote:

Yes sadly.  What does it really take in todays digital age to keep an account active.  Lets think about that.  It's certainly not any big deal to keep it active at all.  I did so by booking a flight last year.  Also by checking periodically on my account.  IT'S REALLY ALL ABOUT HOW TO LOSE THE ACCOUNT AND DEBT.  Let's be honest here.  What does it really take in the digital age to PREVENT this from happening.  Revenue producing activity....Ok they charged me $$ to turn in the miles (their fee).  They charged me to $$ upgrade to early bird check in (their fee)......that's revenue correct?  But not enough revenue to keep my account active?  Again, it's really about how to LOSE the account and thousands in credit owed for 264,230 miles.  What other company you deal with on a regular basis would let you just lose thousands of dollars you've paid for without any system in place to ensure that doesn't happen?????


I have hundreds of thousands of miles earned over 20 years ago at American. I fly 'em as little as I have to which means maybe once every 5 or so years.. I'm enrolled in it's dining for points program, and every year or so I have a $10 lunch and earn 30 points to reset the meter. Same thing with SuperShuttle. It's worked for 2 decades and I still have my points - which I may get around to using some year.

 

The same strategy works at Southwest. Sorry that you missed the part of the T&Cs that specify that you must earn points at least every two years.

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Re: 264,230 SW points disappeared in a very deceptive way

New Arrival

It's funny that you use AA as an example. I also have a lot of miles with AA. You know what they did when my points were about to expire? They called me! Far beyond what I expected, a big email warning is all I expected.

 

Why do some folks always go with the "it's a shame you didn't read the agreement". Just because something is in an agreement doesn't mean it's OK to do this to someone. The issue is not that they expire, it's that they purposely don't notify people.

 

I own a business and it's inconcievable to even think of doing this to a client. But that's because we're a small business and people are more than numbers to us.

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Re: 264,230 SW points disappeared in a very deceptive way

Top Contributor

@jmschedler wrote:

Yes sadly.  What does it really take in todays digital age to keep an account active.  Lets think about that.  It's certainly not any big deal to keep it active at all.  I did so by booking a flight last year.  Also by checking periodically on my account.  IT'S REALLY ALL ABOUT HOW TO LOSE THE ACCOUNT AND DEBT.  Let's be honest here.  What does it really take in the digital age to PREVENT this from happening.  Revenue producing activity....Ok they charged me $$ to turn in the miles (their fee).  They charged me to $$ upgrade to early bird check in (their fee)......that's revenue correct?  But not enough revenue to keep my account active?  Again, it's really about how to LOSE the account and thousands in credit owed for 264,230 miles.  What other company you deal with on a regular basis would let you just lose thousands of dollars you've paid for without any system in place to ensure that doesn't happen?????


 

I don't mean to pile on -- I get how upset you must be to have lost such a large amount of points. But, to be clear, you need point earning activity once every 24 months to keep your account from going dormant and your points being forfeited (not "revenue producing"). Southwest doesn't charge any fees to "turn in the miles," the charge you paid on that points redemption was the 911 Security Fee, a federal tax that is charged on all flights. If you had used a Southwest credit card to pay for that fee or EarlyBird Check-In (or anything else, really) you would have earned points that would have extended your account another 24 months, but otherwise taxes and fees (including ancillary ones) don't earn Rapid Rewards points.

 

I think this is a good opportunity to remind everyone that you should always familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of every financial agreement you enter into. Moreso than ever, customers need to protect themselves, as many companies rely on "breakage" as a significant line item towards profitability. Southwest is no different.

 

I'm sure that you know the answer to most of the questions you ask.

 

Sorry.

 

 

 

 

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Re: 264,230 SW points disappeared in a very deceptive way

New Arrival

That’s activity though.  Transaction on the account.   And it is revenue to pay extra for early bird.   Points producing isn’t anything other than a rule they came up with.  Account activity keeps accounts active.   Again it’s all about how to lose the debt and not how to keep the customer. 

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Re: 264,230 SW points disappeared in a very deceptive way

Top Contributor

@jmschedler wrote:

That’s activity though.  Transaction on the account.   And it is revenue to pay extra for early bird.   Points producing isn’t anything other than a rule they came up with.  Account activity keeps accounts active.   Again it’s all about how to lose the debt and not how to keep the customer. 


 

Well, of course it's a "rule they came up with." It's their program. They write the rules. 😉

 

The "rule they came up with" is the Rapid Rewards terms and conditions. Which require point-earning activity.

 

"Account activity" doesn't keep your account alive. Specific account activity, detailed in the terms and conditions, does.

 

Sorry.