What you need to know:
Phone Number: 1-800-IFLYSWA, Priority Number for Rapid Reward Members: 1-800-248-4377
Main Airports Served: (While the legacy carriers have “hubs” in which nearly all traffic connects through, most LCC’s generally operate more point to point service, however even LCC’s place emphasis on certain airports)
LAS(Las Vegas), PHX(Phoenix), MDW(Chicago-Midway), BWI(Baltimore)
Mileage program details:
Name: Rapid Rewards
Earning Details: Earn 1 point for each one-way ticket. Earn 2 points for each one-way to Hawaii, on codeshare partner, ATA.
Points Expiration: Points expire 24 months after earned.
Redeeming: Redeem 16 points for a round-trip ticket in the Continental US. Soon you will be able to redeem 32 points for a ticket to Hawaii on codeshare partner, ATA.
Award Ticket Expiration: 1 Year from date of issue. $50 extends a redeemed award for another year.
Capacity Controlled: Yes
Blackout Dates: No
Elite Status: N/A
Notable: Southwest’s Rapid Rewards used to be able to be redeemed as long as a seat on the plane was available, this was recently axed.
Rapid Rewards Ctowngrade: 1.5 stars/5 stars.
Pros: 2 year expiration is long for an LCC.
Cons: No elite status or upgrades. Capacity controlled seating, Hard for casual flyer to get enough credits(16) to redeem.
Co-Branded Credit Card:
Southwest’s Visa gets you 4 RR credits at signup, and $20 credit on Southwest. Earn 2 points for each $1 spent on Southwest, 1 point per $1 for everything else, 1200 points=1 RR credit, i.e. Spend $19,200, get 1 free round-trip ticket. Annual fee: $59.
Credit Card Grade: 0.5 stars/5 stars.
What you may not know:
-Southwest is one of the only airlines that does not charge any penalties for cancelling a non-refundable ticket, the entire value of the ticket you bought can be used for any other other ticket within 1 year of the date of purchase!
-Southwest is one of the only carriers that do not offer free standby, if you want to go on an earlier flight even that same day you must upgrade your ticket to an expensive fully-refundable ticket. However if you miss your flight by less than 2 hours, then you are eligible for free standby on a later flight.
-Southwest allows you to check 3 bags under the plane for free!
-Southwest has typically avoided large congested airports (i.e. Boston, New York City, Dallas/Ft. Worth) as part of their strategy to keep their planes on the ground for the least amount of time possible.
-Southwest was the original LCC, and currently flies more passengers domestically than ANY other airline!
-Southwest only flies Boeing 737 aircraft.
-Southwest does not fly a single red-eye flight!
-Southwest only offers coach seating.
-Southwest only flies in the Continental US.
-Southwest and ATA are the only LCC’s that have a codesharing program between them, allowing the accrual of mileage on either airline of your choice.
-Southwest offers their lowest fares via the downloadable program, “Ding,” named so for the ding emitted by your computer twice daily when they load new specials.
-Southwest fares are not offered on any 3rd party sites (Orbitz, Expedia, etc.)
-Southwest is the only carrier that doesn’t offer assigned seating, instead they assign you to one of 3 groups depending on what time you check-in, so it’s important to check-in online as soon as you’re allowed to! Didn’t get a “Group A” boarding pass? You may want to check out this site: www.boardfast.blogspot.com
-Southwest is currently testing assigned seating for select flights departing from SAN(San Diego).
-Southwest is the only major carrier to record a profit in every quarter since 9/11.
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