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Lifetime Awards

WesRB
New Arrival

I have been traveling Southwest for over 20 years. I have been a "premium" customer, currently A List Preferred for as long as the program existed. I have earned Companion Pass for at least 15 straight years. I am - and have been loyal travler to Southwest.

I have come to realize I made a terrible mistake with my loyality. Had I been with Alaska or any of the other major airlines, they would recognize my loyality for Lifetime - at least the A List Preferred status. I have been a Marriott member same time and I am a Titanium for Life!

Southwest just annouced the companion increase for 2020, the change for stand by, and also enticed other premium customers with A List status for switching.

 

If you are switching or considering this airline for the long term - I would advise against it because they are becoming less customer friendly.

9 REPLIES 9

Re: Lifetime Awards

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

If you're continuing to earn A-List or A-List Preferred status every year, what's the difference between what you are doing now and having it as a lifetime status? Sure, at some point you'll probably stop traveling as much and lose the status and also won't necessarily need the status because you're flying less. With a status as easy to achieve as A-List is I just don't see the need for a lifetime status except for people to claim superiority over others. While you pointed out the "negative" changes to the Rapid Rewards program, you omitted the fact that Rapid Rewards points will now no longer expire or require activity to remain active. That's a great positive change. Lastly, having a lifetime status doesn't prevent other airlines from devaluing that status, something the legacy carriers all continue to do while Southwest has added benefits such as the same day free standby. 

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Lifetime Awards

WesRB
New Arrival

Well.... just keep flying and when you get to the point of not traveling as much, then you will understand what this benifit actually means.

Re: Lifetime Awards

elijahbrantley
Rising Star

I get it...when you are a frequent traveller, the thought of scaling back, however wonderful it might actually be, brings anxiety.  I have A LOT of hotel and airline points, and I am always very conservative when I use them.  My wife even gives me a hard time about it: "Why are you stressing about a 30k/night Hampton Inn?" Me: "Because we are only going to be in the room for 8 hours, and there is one for 20k just down the road." LOL!  I wany Hilton lifetime Diamond status very badly, and despite being well over halfway to qualifying, I am still a ways off!

 

That said, I have to argue that while a lifetime status would be nice for airline customers, it would not be a financially viable decision for airlines.  Think about it: you get Companion Pass with SW as a direct result of spending with them in a specific time period.  In other words, they can understand and forecast how the cost of CP will impact their books and for how long.  With lifetime status of some sort, they would not be able to predict that, and that might compromise all the perks that make them famous -- no checked bad fees, no change fees, etc.  Furthermore, the airline industry changes so much, lifetime status with an airline is simply too large of a gamble. Lifetime is a long time...

-A List Preferred, Companion Pass holder, Community Champion.

Re: Lifetime Awards

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@elijahbrantley wrote:

 

 

That said, I have to argue that while a lifetime status would be nice for airline customers, it would not be a financially viable decision for airlines.   

 

I agree. Take me for example. I am lifetime 1k on United. Earned it thru a program on Continental that was discontinued in 1995. I earned it in the last year of the program.

 

I fly United 4-6 times a year- maybe 4-6 times more than if I did not have the program. From a revenue standpoint that's a big "who cares." I get my 8 free drink coupons a year (which I sell on ebay). I don't need the drink coupons because United gives me a free drink regardless of where I sit on the plane. I get a free upgrade to first about half the time. When I'm not in first, I'm in "super economy" at no extra cost. I don't pay for seat selection or checked bags.

 

So United is giivng me these things in return for my buying 4-6 (cheap) flights a year. It makes no sense for United to give me thee things - except for the fact that Continental

promised me these things in 1995.

Re: Lifetime Awards

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@WesRB wrote:

I have been traveling Southwest for over 20 years. I have been a "premium" customer, currently A List Preferred for as long as the program existed. I have earned Companion Pass for at least 15 straight years. I am - and have been loyal travler to Southwest.

I have come to realize I made a terrible mistake with my loyality. Had I been with Alaska or any of the other major airlines, they would recognize my loyality for Lifetime - at least the A List Preferred status. I have been a Marriott member same time and I am a Titanium for Life!

Southwest just annouced the companion increase for 2020, the change for stand by, and also enticed other premium customers with A List status for switching.

 

If you are switching or considering this airline for the long term - I would advise against it because they are becoming less customer friendly.


Have you benefittied from SW's lack of fees (probably significantly) over the last 20 years? Any guess how much you have saved?

Re: Lifetime Awards

jld4z3
New Arrival

Long time SWA flyer, first time poster -- and completely agree. Would love a lifetime option in some capacity. 

Re: Lifetime Awards

tszukala
New Arrival

I agree!

Re: Lifetime Awards

72989420
New Arrival

I completely agree with Wes...   been a loyal RR for 23 years and well over 1 million miles and SWA doesn't seem to care while the other airlines do.    At some point we will all slow down traveling and it would be nice not to remember to check in at exactly 24hrs before etc.   Just make us A list for life... it's zero cost perk for very loyal customers.   I just assumed they would do something.   I was almost to 1 M on American and then they decided not to count my TWA miles any longer, but I though is fine because SWA would... NOPE 

Re: Lifetime Awards

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@72989420 wrote:

I completely agree with Wes...   been a loyal RR for 23 years and well over 1 million miles and SWA doesn't seem to care while the other airlines do.    At some point we will all slow down traveling and it would be nice not to remember to check in at exactly 24hrs before etc.   Just make us A list for life... it's zero cost perk for very loyal customers.   I just assumed they would do something.   I was almost to 1 M on American and then they decided not to count my TWA miles any longer, but I though is fine because SWA would... NOPE 


It would be a nice addition. Companion pass "lifetime" doesn't make sense but the A-list Lifetime would be a good gesture for those reaching 1M miles or some lofty number of years as A-list.

 

I take the counterpoint to @dfwskier if you wouldn't fly United any more without those perks, then the lifetime status does get them a few flights booked that they otherwise would miss out on.

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.