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Is Southwest The worst frequent Flyer Program ?

New Arrival

 

Like to get your Experience.


My Southwest Experience:

1.) You have to Spend money to keep account active

2.)  Southwest website is confusing and "last Activity" in the 6 months did not stop

      my air miles from becoming  zero.

3.) No way to get the miles back, not even if I want to pay a fee

4.) There is no flexibility even if I proved that the fault was southwest.com .


Delta - Miles Never Expire.

United - Can keep status Active by using miles, allow reactive miles by paying a fee

American - Can keep status Active by using miles, allow reactive miles by paying a fee

 

 

 

8 REPLIES 8
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Re: Is Southwest The worst frequent Flyer Program ?

Top Contributor

It's working very well for me, but I am using it fairly regularly. You must have gone more than 24 months without earning activity, I don't think Southwest is out to trick people - they may have also sent a notice prior to expiration.

 

For anyone trying to maintain their activity, here is some information on how to stay active:

https://www.southwest.com/html/rapidrewards/promotions/rr-points-keep-active.html

 

 

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.
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Re: Is Southwest The worst frequent Flyer Program ?

New Arrival

Good it worked for you. I think if you only Fly Southwest, then it is not a problem.

 

It become a problem for any one:

1.) Business Traveler who fly many airlines (like me).. I traveled to locations where southwest was not convient last 2 years.

Since all the other airlines try to keep you as a loyal customer.  Southwest does not seem to care.

2.) Any one who do not travel very often.  By the time they fly the next time ( after 24 month), their air miles are gone by then.

 

By the way, I accumulated large number of Southwest airline miles which all expired.

 

My advice to any one who do not fly southwest very often, try not to bother with accumulating miles....

 

 

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Re: Is Southwest The worst frequent Flyer Program ?

Top Contributor

So I get the impression you weren't really asking for actual opinions of the Rapid Rewards program, but instead looking to express some displeasure. Regardless, here's a few thoughts I had. 

 

Considering the Rapid Rewards program is frequently ranked as one of the top frequent flyer programs by numerous magazines, blogs, and traveler votes I'd say the consensus is that it's a good program. Now, if you don't fly with Southwest more than once every 24 months you probably wouldn't have a great opinion or care much at all about Rapid Rewards. Yes, you can choose to pay crazy high fees to reinstate miles on other airlines, but, in the case of United, they also expire miles at just 18 months and require a great deal many more flights/miles to earn rewards. Flying Southwest just a few times in 24 months can be enough to earn a free flight, that's pretty impressive. You mentioned that you had a lot of points so surely you know how quickly points do add up when you actually fly. 

 

Overall, if you have such low activity with any airline that your miles/points expire then that frequent flyer account (key word is "frequent") may not be much use for you.

 

I'm not sure what you were expecting Southwest to do to show they care if you weren't even going to places that you could/would fly them and weren't a customer for more than 2 years.

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Re: Is Southwest The worst frequent Flyer Program ?

New Arrival

You can tell I am frustrated. I do want to be convinced that I should accumulate southwest miles again. Having another airline option is always good.

I have been flying southwest since 2004. Some years I fly southwest every week for months and some years I fly Delta,United, Ameican,Jetblue and etc depending where I go.

 

i think what I should have done is 

1.) When I need to fly southwest, use my miles very quick. 

2.) when I stop flying southwest every week. Donate the remaining miles to other people or charity And not worry about losing miles

 

Not sure Where JD power and etc got their input and whether they noticed

1.) I got free reward flights on other airlines  as quick as southwest.

2.) southwest advertisement says “point never expire” which is false advertisement.

Delta miles actually never expires. Maybe they did not do a good job marketing their program benefit.

3.) southwest.com is confusing and tricky. Last activity/recent activity does not mean points do not expire. I hope it is a design issue not done on purpose.

4.) I had no trouble finding reward seats on other airlines. Maybe it is even easier on southwest because many more people lose southwest air miles than any other airline.

 

southwest customer services told me to discuss here.  For other airlines, they usually have me talk to customer service management instead.  If there is another better way to send feedback, please let me know. 

 

 

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Re: Is Southwest The worst frequent Flyer Program ?

Rising Star

Having the Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards credit card solves the problem "Points don't expire" 

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Re: Is Southwest The worst frequent Flyer Program ?

New Arrival

Agreed. I was flying with 5-6 airlines and did not want to carry too many credit cards. that is why I did not get southwest credit card.  I also travel internationally a lot and southwest is mostly domestic flights. So I did not bother applying. Looking back, if any one is serious flying southwest and does not travel outside of US, credit card is a solution. Otherwise you will lose all your hard earned southwest air miles easily.  As long as there is no annual fee, having another card will save you from a lot of frustration like I had

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Re: Is Southwest The worst frequent Flyer Program ?

Top Contributor

@victorjunluwrote:

Agreed. I was flying with 5-6 airlines and did not want to carry too many credit cards. that is why I did not get southwest credit card.  I also travel internationally a lot and southwest is mostly domestic flights. So I did not bother applying. Looking back, if any one is serious flying southwest and does not travel outside of US, credit card is a solution. Otherwise you will lose all your hard earned southwest air miles easily.  As long as there is no annual fee, having another card will save you from a lot of frustration like I had


You could also rent a car or hotel through their portal one time, or use the shopping portal to make a purchase.

 

I'm not sure if the JD Power reference was for flying in general, or specifically for Rapid Rewards. 

 

  • Getting to A-list is great for fly-by if you don't already have PreCheck, automatic check-in is analogous to other airlines offering boarding status or one bracket upgrades.
  • New benefits this year for same-day standby with A-list.
  • No blackouts on reward bookings - if a seat is open, you can get it.
  • Companion pass.

For the airline in general the WGA fares are often low (not universally), no change fee, two checked bags...those are very good reasons not specific to Rapid Rewards.

 

Anyway - they sent you here to discuss - nobody can actually do anything about your lost points, we're all users too.

 

The only suggestion in that regard is to call back with the screenshot of your last activity and show them why you thought that you were good and you want the reinstated. There's a subtle different between checking and thinking you were good when you weren't as an honest mistake, as opposed to showing up 25 months later and going "whoops!".

 

I don't think that will work, but otherwise I think the terms are clear and there should have been an email notice about forfeiting points and also your monthly rapid rewards account status email. Maybe these went to an old email address, or possibly lost in the flood of emails everyone gets these days.

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.
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Re: Is Southwest The worst frequent Flyer Program ?

New Arrival

If you go with the Chase card with 40k to 50K miles offer, plan on being disappointed. I signed up for a 60K offer and met my side of the agreement, only to have chase "award" me with 10K mikes and a $200 statement credit. Bait and switch all the way with Southwest's good name attached to it. Very disappointing.