Southwest A-List Status Challenge [TARGETED]

Written by on February 10, 2017 in Hotel and Airline Status

If you fly Southwest Airlines even somewhat regularly, you may be targeted for their A-List status challenge!

Invited Rapid Rewards members can receive A-list status for the rest of 2017. Eligible participants wishing to take advantage of the A-List status challenge must register for the promotion, then book and fly three roundtrips, six one-way flights, or earn 8,750 tier qualifying points from revenue flights — all between January 30 and April 30.

Southwest Airlines A-List Perks and Benefits

Southwest A-List members receive several perks and benefits.  Priority boarding and a 25% points bonus are the two biggest draws.

The priority boarding benefit is a deal-maker: Southwest A-List members are automatically checked in 24 hours prior to a flight’s departure. Thus, A-listers receive (as Southwest puts it) “the best available boarding pass.” You’re pretty much guaranteed a decent spot in line without having to put your life on hold for a few minutes the day before a trip — solely so you don’t end up with a “B” group boarding pass (the horror!) or worse. (Cranky Flier wrote an interesting and amusing post detailing how Southwest’s boarding priority is determined.)

Points bonuses are always great. The 25% kicker brings you closer to award trips sooner than those without status. The points bonus is also attractive for those working toward the Southwest Companion Pass.

Los Angeles, United States - February 19, 2016: A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 with the registration N910WN landing at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in the United States. Southwest Airlines is an American low-cost airline headquartered in Dallas.

 

Free same-day standby is nice-ish feature of holding Southwest A-List status. Travelers wanting to change to a different flight may do so without paying additional fees. There are a few catches, though. “The Points Guy” Brian Kelly notes that your new flight must be within two hours of your originally scheduled departure. Your boarding group is determined by whatever spot is available (yes, you could end up with C-32 or something). Plus, travel companions not holding status aren’t eligible for this benefit.

Other perks include a dedicated A-List member phone line (which, theoretically, provides you faster service when calling Southwest); priority check-in (for those checking luggage); and a priority security lane.

Status holders generally receive another, unpublished bonus: better customer service. When something goes wrong — such as delayed or cancelled flights — travelers with status usually receive get a little more attention. Airlines know their most loyal customers are their bread and butter. They need to keep them happy.

I don’t (yet) hold A-List status and can’t speak to this perk as it relates to Southwest. I do, however, have status with a different airline and five hotel chains — and can attest that companies make extra efforts for their frequent travelers.

Check Your A-List Status Challenge Eligibility

To see if you were targeted for the A-List status challenge, log on to your Rapid Rewards account via the Southwest home page and click “My Account.”

Southwest Airlines website "My Account" link.

Then select the “Promotions” box.

 

Southwest Airlines frequent flyer Rapid Rewards member homepage.

If you’re select for the A-List status challenge, you’ll see something like this:

Register for the Southwest Airlines A-List status challenge on the "Exclusive Promotions" page.

Register for the promotion and start planning your travels!

Important Points to Remember – The Fine Print

Qualifying flights must be revenue flights — meaning trips paid for with money, not Rapid Rewards points. (If you were targeted and have a bunch of Rapid Rewards award flights coming up, you might consider canceling those reservations and rebooking them if you can find a killer fare. More on that in a minute). However: trips booked through Chase’s portal and paid for with Chase Ultimate Rewards are considered revenue flights.

Also note the terms state “Companion Pass, charter flights, reward and group travel and Southwest Vacations® packages, do not qualify as one-way or roundtrip revenue flights for this promotion.”

Personally, the fact A-List status earned through this challenge is valid for only the rest 2017 is sort of a non-starter. (I know, I know. What a first world problem!) At worst, you’ll hold A-List status for eight months (sooner if you qualify before the April 30 deadline). Delta, for example, gives status match recipients nearly two full years of elite status.

Check for Southwest Sales!

This is good tip for all Southwest fliers, regardless of status challenges and other exclusive promotions.

If you already have a trip(s) booked on Southwest, check to see what a new booking would cost. Why? The airline has some great sales right now and you might be able to rebook for cheaper than your trip’s original price. For example, your $224 roundtrip from San Diego to the Bay Area may now cost less than half that thanks to Southwest’s West Coast sale. Cancel your reservation and then immediately rebook your flights at the same price. (Or call Southwest and ask them to do it for you.)

An A-List Status Run?

“But I’m not flying Southwest much before the April 30 deadline!” you may lament. “Most of my Southwest trips occur later this year!”

Join the club. My heaviest Southwest travel traditionally occurs between September and December. By sheer luck, a business trip last week barely eeked into the status challenge’s qualification period. I might knock down another in early April but that’s not a sure bet.

What a great excuse for a mileage/status run!

But is it worth spending extra money and time flying several flights during a short period of time just to earn A-List status? Southwest almost always has some special going. If you a fly half-dozen or so Southwest roundtrips each year, it might be worth it.

Were You Targeted? Do You Already Have A-List Status?

Did Southwest invite you to participate in the A-List status challenge? If so, will you be able to take advantage of the promotion and earn A-List status for the rest of the year?

Or do you already have Southwest A-List status? What do you like about it? What should new A-List members know?

Tell us in the comment section below!

A-List Status Challenges Rules (Per Southwest)

Fly 3 round trips by April 30. Get A-List status all year.

Details
To qualify for A-List status through December 31, 2017, register, book, and complete three qualifying round trip (or six one-way) revenue flights between January 30 and April 30, or earn 8,750 tier qualifying points from revenue flights booked and flown between January 30 and April 30.

Accelerate to A-List status today!

Terms and Conditions
Only the Rapid Rewards® Member who received this email/offer from Southwest Airlines® is eligible for this promotion. Offer is nontransferable. To earn promotional A-List status through December 31, 2017, Member must register for this promotion between January 30, 2017 and April 30, 2017 and either 1) book and complete three qualifying round trip (or six one-way) revenue flights between January 30, 2017 and April 30, 2017, or 2) earn 8,750 tier qualifying points from revenue flights booked and flown between January 30, 2017 and April 30, 2017. A qualifying one-way flight for this promotion is a one-way revenue flight on Southwest Airlines from an origin city to a destination city, including any intermediate stops and/or connections on Southwest Airlines. A qualifying roundtrip flight for this promotion is a roundtrip revenue flight on Southwest Airlines from an origin city to a destination city and back to the originating airport or carrier-recognized co-terminal. Valid on new reservations booked within the promotional time period only. Tier qualifying points are earned through the purchase of revenue flights or through the use of the Rapid Rewards Premier Card from Chase. Companion Pass, charter flights, reward and group travel and Southwest Vacations® packages, do not qualify as one-way or roundtrip revenue flights for this promotion. Changes made to any itinerary after purchase of a one-way or roundtrip revenue flight may eliminate qualification for this promotion. Upon qualifying for promotional A-List status through December 31, 2017, you will receive an email verification. Please allow up to 15 business days after qualifying for promotional A-List status to receive your A-List card. If A-List status is earned by flying 25 qualifying one-way flights or earning 35,000 tier qualifying points in the calendar year while qualified for promotional A-List status, the regular A-List status will supersede the promotional A-List status, entitling the Member to A-List status through December 31, 2018.

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About the Author

About the Author: Chris Carley is a writer, media consultant, voice over artist, dog owner, husband, and recently became a dad! He loves talking all things points and miles. You'll likely find him in an airport lounge while on a trip that involves the most circuitous route possible leading to his ultimate destination. .

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