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Southwest Airlines New Rewards Program Begins

March 1 - Today, Southwest begins its new Rapid Rewards program for all customers.  Gone are the simple Rapid Rewards credits--16 one-ways for a free flight--and they are replaced by a complicated point system.  We attempted to call Southwest's toll-free phone number to clarify a few issues, but alas, all we heard on the phone was a busy signal--uh oh.  Scroll down for additional information.




Important #'s to know:

Redeeming points = 60 points = $1 (i.e., 6000 points for every $100)

Earning points (more complicated):

"Wanna Get Away" (cheapest fares) = earn 6 points per $1

"Anytime" (midpriced) = earn 10 points per $1

"Business Select" (highest price) = 12 points per $1



1) Passengers who fly longer-haul flights (eg, SAN to MDW) will receive a greater number of points than short-haul fliers (eg, SAN to SFO).

2) No "Black Out" dates for reward redemption

3) Rewards can be redeemed for international and Hawaii/Alaska flights via Southwest's travel agency partner -- Maritz.  You will have to be a Southwest Visa cardholder to take advantage, however ($59/year).

4) Short-haul flights will cost less (in points) than long-haul flights.

5) Limited reward expiration - as long as there has been activity in the mileage account within two years, your points will not expire.


1) Travelers who previously accumulated credits in a hurry by taking cheap, short-haul flights (eg, SAN to SFO) will not receive as much credit under the new system.  In the past, a $149 flight from San Diego to San Jose had equal reward value as a $600 flight from San Diego to Chicago-Midway.

2) New program is much more complicated

Wordpress category: 



Well SWA just earned top spot

Well SWA just earned top spot for having award mileage seats available. They're doing some things right.

Southwest Airlines will

Southwest Airlines will definitely increase their their sales in tickets and gain a lot more passengers if that's the case.

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