Question: Suppose someone has 13 active A+ credits and wants to convert them to Rapid Rewards credits. (AirTran has discontinued service to my city.) Once converted to Rapid Rewards credits, is there a way to get to 16 credits and an award ticket? Can Rapid Rewards points be used to generate the 3 additional needed credits?
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Wow. You are certainly taking a lot of incoming rounds. I haven't seen this level of passionate disdain since the boarding process was reformed. But that worked out pretty well, after all the sound and fury.
The additional complexity introduced into the RR system is a drawback. But, if people would look at the particulars, they will find that, upon examination, it is not really so confusing after all. The uncertainty of not knowing what the redemption cost of an Award Ticket will be from one day to another is, in my mind, the biggest problem with the new system. Nevertheless, there are some attractive new benefits. We will have to see how things work out. I suspect that after all the sound and fury this time, things will again turn out okay.
Overall, while some of us might not like the fact that the RR value of our short-haul discounted tickets has been reduced, it really IS fair that the purchasers of more expensive tickets should get greater benefits. It is hardly a secret that a major reason for the change is to rectify the imbalance in benefits and attempt to attract more "Customers of Size", dollarwise. It's just a good business move. Each of us will have to evaluate how it affects us personally, and act accordingly.
Still, Southwest is taking a gamble. They are risking alienating the regular short-haul travelers in the hopes of attracting a more lucrative longer-haul clientele. (A big drawback to this strategy's success could be the absence of a forward cabin. Maybe during the AirTran integration, some observations could be taken. But, I digress.)
While no company wants to make its loyal customers unhappy, the plain fact is that the level of benefits accruing to the regular short-haul travelers was probably unsustainable, and had to altered in any event. So, it just makes sense to make the change in conjunction with offering greater benefits to customers spending more money. To all you people complaining about how you are losing in this new program, consider this: The benefits accruing to you have been very expensive for the company. If the cost of those benefits is reduced, the company will have greater resources to offer better value elsewhere in the travel experience. So, let's just see how this shakes out.
A personal note: My wife and I are loyal Southwest customers, taking around 80 trips per year between us. Our geographic location means that we make very few short-haul flights. So, perhaps we don't have the same sense of loss that some of the other posters are expressing. The changes will not affect our loyalty. We like Southwest for a lot of reasons: No baggage fees are a big thing. No change fees are a HUGE thing. The attitude of SW personnel is generally terrific. Rapid Rewards (both old and new) is a good program. We love the Companion Pass. The A-list is great. The AirTran acquisition opens up more places we want to go. We are looking forward to the new Rapid Rewards credit card. We are anxious to see what the possibilities are for international travel in the new system. I could go on.
Sorry to be so long-winded. I almost never post here. (I think the last time was right after the failed Frontier deal, when I stated that Southwest should purchase AirTran instead. Little did I know.)
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WOW! This turn of events is truly surprising. If news reports are correct, F9 pilots were offered an amazingly generous opportunity to come on board with Southwest. Their union turned it all down. Perhaps they thought they had some time for posturing before making a deal, but the clock struck midnight while they dithered. Now they (and everyone at F9) are out in the cold.
The idea that with Southwest out of the picture, everything can just go on with Peace and Joy at Frontier is pure fantasy. F9 is a failed business, which is why they filed bankruptcy in the first place. With Republic's recent history (think Midwest), F9 employees are now facing a bleak future.
Frontier has a fine product. In fact, they offer one of the best flying experiences around. (So did Midwest, until recently.) Those of us who really like F9 will continue to fly their planes, for as long as it lasts.
Frontier is famous for its tail animals. Is one of them a goose? In any event, their goose is now cooked. Thank you FAPA. Peace and Joy sans Southwest is a fantasy. You could have had LUV, which is real. But it is not to be.
Good luck to everyone.
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Frontier is an airline that gives really good service and cares about its customers. In this respect it is a lot like SW.
A few quick reactions to the story, some already discussed: 1) The Airbus/Boeing integration just won't work. Frontier in bankruptcy probably means that aircraft leases & orders can be easily terminated, so not a big problem. 2) Does SW really want Frontier, or is this just a strategic move to make sure that Republic has to pay a higher price than the sweetheart deal they have previously negotiated? 3) Is this an entree into Mexico? F9 flies there now, so SW can fly their own planes there in the future without having to establish Mexican infrastructure from scratch. 4) Frontier code shares with AirTran, another fine airline almost as good as SW. What would be really great is for SW to acquire AirTran. Alas, they are not for sale, as far as we know.
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Great idea, but may need some fine tuning. Needs to include Companion Pass holders and the companion. Could also include persons traveling with someone who qualifies. Splitting up people who travel together diminishes the value of the benefit, and will result in unnecessary annoyances. If the purpose of the policy is to reward your best customers, please fine tune the policy to eliminate alienating some of those same customers.
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