For the first couple years of the pandemic, we saw many airlines either extend elite status altogether, or make it easier to earn. We’re seeing less of that this year, though Southwest did just roll out a promotion that some members will find to be valuable.
Southwest A-List easier to earn in 2022 (for 2023)
A-List and A-List Preferred are Southwest Rapid Rewards’ elite status tiers, offering perks like priority boarding, bonus points, and more. These elite tiers require the following amount of activity in a calendar year:
- A-List requires 25 one-way flights or 35,000 tier qualifying points
- A-List Preferred requires 50 one-way flights or 70,000 tier qualifying points
With Southwest, you ordinarily earn 6-12x tier qualifying points per dollar spent, depending on the type of fare you’re booking. Note that this is separate from Companion Pass, which is Southwest’s amazing value perk, whereby you can have a companion fly with you for free.
Anyway, Southwest has just announced two initiatives that make it easier to earn elite status this year.
Southwest award flights count toward status
Southwest is counting award segments toward A-List and A-List Preferred for roughly 11 months this year:
- For award flights taken between January 1 and September 19, 2022, you’ll automatically earn qualifying segments, even without registering
- For award flights taken between September 21 and November 30, 2022, you can earn qualifying segments if you register
Qualifying segments will post to your Rapid Rewards account within 72 hours of competing a flight, and those who took award flights on September 20 are out of luck. Obviously this doesn’t help you if you qualify based on tier qualifying points rather than segments, but for those who fly a lot of segments with Southwest, this will be valuable.
It would be great if Southwest made this permanent. We did recently see both Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and Delta SkyMiles start counting award flights toward status, so it would be great if this becomes a consistent trend in the industry.
Southwest offering double tier qualifying points
Not only is Southwest counting award flights toward status, but Southwest is also offering double tier qualifying points toward A-List or A-List Preferred status for revenue flights. This promotion exclusively gets you double tier qualifying points, and not double segments. You must register prior to booking your flight, and travel by November 30, 2022.
If you have any existing travel on Southwest booked and are going for status, it could be worth trying to rebook it, if the fare hasn’t changed too much. With this offer you’d earn 12-24x qualifying points per dollar spent, rather than 6-12x qualifying points per dollar spent.
Southwest Rapid Rewards has two offers that make it easier to earn A-List or A-List Preferred status. You can earn double qualifying segments on award flights, and double tier qualifying points on revenue flights. Just make sure you register and follow the rules regarding dates, booking requirements, etc.
Will you benefit from these promos from Southwest Rapid Rewards?