Southwest Doubles Reward Credits for Faster Free Flights

Posted Apr 8th 2010 03:45 PMUpdated May 5th 2010 10:15 AM



jurvetson, flickr

A free flight for every four round-trip tickets? Sounds too good to be true, but that's exactly what Southwest Airlines is offering its frequent flyers this spring. Southwest's Rapid Rewards members normally earn a single credit for every flight, accumulating in a free flight award for every 16 credits. But under the new frequent flyer promotion, Southwest is doubling the credits earned, meaning a customer can earn a free flight after only eight trips (or four round-trip fares since the airline counts both legs of the journey).

"It's going to be hard to find a better deal out there anywhere -- this is one you won't want to miss," said Southwest's Director of Customer Loyalty Ryan Green in a recent press release. "We're thanking our members for their loyalty and inviting new customers to fly Southwest with an even faster and easier way to earn free travel."

The only catch is that the promotion only runs through May 26, so unless you are travel a lot on business you probably won't be able to cash in on the quick "four round-trips = a free flight" steal of a deal. If you are a frequent business traveler, you can earn the free flight even faster during the promotion though, since Rapid Rewards flyers who purchase a Business Select fare will receive 2.25 credits for short-haul flights and 3 credits for long-haul flights.

Southwest's Rapid Rewards is a more simplified version of the popular "frequent flyer miles" programs offered by airlines like Delta and American Airlines, where loyal customers can earn miles points for flights and overnight stays at affiliated hotels. These frequent flyer programs are so popular in fact that they've spawned the phenomenon of flyer-miles "fanatics", as featured in the recent film "Up in the Air" starring George Clooney.
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Oh yeah best fares to Florida and free baggage..can't beat that!

April 10 2010 at 12:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love SWA, excellent service, friendly staff and always a smoothe landing...what more could you ask for.

April 10 2010 at 12:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Comment to Florida Gator

I wonder...

1) I have been on many Southwest flights, in which passengers have exchanged seats for a family to sit together, even before being asked by the flight attendant.

2) Southwest has a separate pre-boarding area for families with children and they board before the other passengers. it possible that your "sunny disposition" provided your fellow passengers with a reason for not extending the courtesy that I have seen numerous times(I have seen this happen)?

April 09 2010 at 4:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Southwest does it again! They are making all the other airlines look like greedy monsters, which they are. While other carriers raise rates, charge for luggage, and now charge for carry-ons, Southwest thinks of the customer and offers double credits. How cool is that?

April 09 2010 at 1:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bill mc grath

Southwest has changed the policy on getting reward flights to the point of being an absolute joke! The majority of flights now require 4 rewards to get a RT ticket. I transferred 100000 AMEX points in to get 4 tix, and now, unless I travel at riduculous times, I have to use all 4 for one person!

April 09 2010 at 1:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This doesn't help Kevin Smith!

April 09 2010 at 1:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Thomas Hofer

For the past few years, I have travelled Southwest, and have found it to be a good airline. My last trip took me to Orlando and back, and I have no complaints at all. I am hopeful that I can take Southwest on my next trip.

April 09 2010 at 12:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nancy Laurent

I'm looking for a fare to Houston in June but i'mnot going topay 6 or 7 hundred dollars forme and my husband, does anyone know of any good deals

April 09 2010 at 11:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

SWA is the best airline to travel. the only problem i have is withthe rapid rewards. unless you are a frequent flyer , probably 8 rounds trips a year, you cannot benefit from the rapid rewards. i have it for several years, and still do not qualify for a free flight. their credit card, well you have to charge over $17,000 a year to get any benefit. other than that, this is the best airline to fly, you get a person on the phone when you call, and they are most helpful. and they do charge you if your suitcase is over 50 lbs

April 09 2010 at 10:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No other airline offers the great deal that SWA offers price wise, and you get great service besides.
It's a shame they don't fly to every destination, but perhaps they will expand.........

April 09 2010 at 10:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply