Posted on: 06 January 2011 by Ross McSweeny
Southwest Airlines has released details of what it calls an “all-new” Rapid Rewards, the carrier’s frequent flyer programme (FFP), which will officially launch on 1 March .
In the enhanced programme, members can redeem their points for every seat, every day, on every flight with no blackout dates or seat restrictions, and points will not expire with any earning activity in a 24-month time period. The amount of points earned is based on the fare and fare product purchased, and the same is true for redeeming points.
"We tailor-made the All-New Rapid Rewards programme to meet the needs of today’s traveller, making it faster and easier than ever before to go, see, and do on Southwest Airlines," declared Southwest’s chairman, president, and CEO Gary Kelly.
Members with existing credits and awards in the current programme will retain them, which will maintain their value until they are used or expire. Members’ accounts will automatically be transferred to the new programme on 1 March, so there will be no need from them to re-enrol.
The new program also features enhanced A-List and Companion Pass programmes for the most active members, and includes a new level of status with A-List Preferred. Members with an active A-List or Companion Pass status on 1 March, will have their status carried over to the new programme. A-List Members will also enjoy new benefits, including a 25% earning bonus on flights. Additionally, the new A-List Preferred status level will provide all the benefits of A-List status, plus several others, including a 100% earning bonus on flights.
Another new Rapid Rewards feature allows members to redeem their points for international flights to more than 800 international destinations, for stays at more than 70,000 hotels worldwide (from top resorts to boutique hotels), and for gift cards at more than 45 major retailers.
Additionally, in the new programme, Rapid Rewards Members will be able to purchase points. Points will be offered in blocks of 1,000, with a minimum purchase of 2,000 points.