Southwest Airlines has recently made a statement regarding elite status, vouchers, and points as the COVID-19 pandemic ensues. Since Southwest notoriously omits change fees for its customers, they haven’t had to updates many policies in that sense. Instead, the airline awards vouchers that expires one year from the original purchase date. Rapid Rewards members now have additional options for redeeming their travel funds.
Travel Funds & Vouchers
Although this feature is extremely convenient and praised by customers, it’s still not fool proof with this pandemic lingering. The truth is, people may not want to be traveling in a year from now, no matter what happens. Therefore, Southwest has put forth a new policy stating that funds set to expire or that are created between March 1st and September 7th of this year will now have a new expiration date of September 7th, 2022.
That gives anyone holding onto a Southwest travel voucher within those time frames two years to utilize the funds. This announcement has certainly lifted the burden from many uneasy customers. To make things even more convenient, Southwest has offered another way to redeem those vouchers.
Rapid Rewards members can now choose to convert travel funds into Rapid Rewards points. Any funds created during the above time frame may be converted into points at the same rate you would be able to purchase tickets with points today. Roughly, this converts to 76-78 points per dollar spent. The company is still working to fully implement this feature, but when it’s live it will be considered groundbreaking.
This new policy is great for those hoping to boost their status within the Rapid Rewards program, and especially for those uninterested in flying for quite some time. Plus, points with Southwest never expire and may be redeemed for anyone, not just yourself.
In addition to this amazing feature, the airline is making it even easier for its loyalty members to gain status. Rapid Rewards members will be given 15,000 qualifying points and 10 flight credits toward A-List and A-List Preferred, and 25,000 qualifying points and 25 flight credits towards Companion Pass.
Following in the footsteps with many other airline loyalty programs, Southwest will be extending the status of its members. All current A-List and A-List Preferred members will receive a 12 month extension, having their status extended through December 31st 2021.
Companion Pass members will have their status extended by 6 months. This extension will go through June 30th 2021.
Airlines are taking huge financial hits right now due to the circumstances. Many are taking steps to make sure their loyal customers are still being taken care of. Southwest is regularly updating customers in regards to coronavirus concerns on their website.