This is a double win for Southwest.
First they very slyly increase what is needed to earn a free flight by surrounding it with a complicated process to figure our the earning and redemption rates and then there is the other way that no one has picked up on yet.
I think that Southwest has had trouble attracting partners to RR due to the relatively high cost that 3rd parties have to pay southwest for the full or 1/2 credit that they then reward their customers with. From reports I have read, most other airlines make a ton of money selling miles to 3rd party companies/partners because the basic unit, they mile, is so cheap to purchase. Its become a profit center for them. Delta comes to mind.
By going to a points system, the basic unit that could be purchased by 3rd party partner has greatly been devalued. A point is worth much less than a credit. This now allows more 3rd party companies to purchase points and uses as rewards to their customers where before they had to purchase a 1/2 or full point which was too expensive for them.
Good move Southwest for YOU. Bad move for ME........
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