Southwest Airlines has just become the latest US airline to extend status and make it easier to earn, following in the footsteps of Delta SkyMiles, United MileagePlus, Alaska Mileage Plan, and American AAdvantage.
Not only is Southwest extending status and making it easier to earn, but they’re also extending vouchers, and letting Rapid Rewards members convert them into points. Let’s take a look at the details:
Southwest A-List extended by 12 months
All current Southwest A-List and A-List Preferred members will have status extended through December 31, 2021, representing a 12 month extension.
For those of you not familiar with these status levels:
- A-List ordinarily requires 25 flights or 35,000 qualifying points, and offers perks like bonus points, priority check-in, priority boarding, same-day standby, and more
- A-List Preferred ordinarily requires 50 flights or 70,000 qualifying points, and includes many of the above perks, plus 100% bonus points, free inflight Wi-Fi, and more
Southwest Companion Pass extended by six months
All current Southwest Companion Pass memberships are now extended through June 30, 2021, which represents a six month extension.
For those of you not familiar with Companion Pass:
- It ordinarily requires 100 flights or 125,000 qualifying points
- The most valuable perk is that you can always have a companion fly with you for just the cost of the taxes, regardless of whether paying cash or redeeming points; this is one of the best deals in travel
I wouldn’t be surprised to see this extended even further, but I’d say a six month extension is fair for now, given that we’re only a few months into the year, and given how much this benefit can potentially cost Southwest.
Southwest makes it easier to earn status
For those who don’t have any status, there’s an offer for all Rapid Rewards members. In recognition of normal flying patterns having been interrupted, all Rapid Rewards members are getting a boost of:
- 15,000 qualifying points and 10 flight credits towards A-List and A-List Preferred
- 25,000 qualifying points and 25 flight credits towards Companion Pass
This potentially gets you 40% of the way to A-List, or 20% of the way to Companion Pass.
Southwest extending travel funds
Southwest is extending the validity of travel funds that have expired or would have expired. This applies to funds that:
- Would have expired between March 1 and June 30, 2020
- Were created because of a cancellation between March 1 and June 30, 2020, and had an expiration of June 30, 2021
These funds will now have an expiration date of September 7, 2022. That’s awesome, as these funds will be valid for well over two years.
Southwest will let you convert credits into points
Not only will Southwest be extending travel funds, but for members who prefer, travel funds can also be converted into Rapid Rewards points:
- This will be valid for funds created between March 1 and September 7, 2020
- Funds can be converted into points at the same rate you would be able to purchase tickets with points today, which should be 76-78 points per dollar
- They’re still working on the technology associated with this, so it should be available soon
This is a fantastic announcement from Southwest. A-List and Companion Pass are being extended, it’s easier to earn status, travel vouchers are being extended, and these vouchers can even be converted into Rapid Rewards points.
What do you make of this announcement from Southwest Airlines?