Southwest delivered an interesting email to my inbox yesterday.  It’s been years since I’ve flown a single segment with them – none since they’ve gone to a points/revenue based program from their prior segment-based system, in fact.  However, yesterday Southwest targeted me with what amounts to a fairly easy A-List status challenge.  The challenge offers A-List status for the rest of 2015 after flying 3 round trips, 6 one ways (flights, not total segments), or earning 8750 tier points with any combination of the above.

Update January 23, 6:10pm:  Hat tip to Giddy for Points – she posted her link without her name in the URL.  I took that a step further and removed the Rapid Rewards hash.  The link seems to direct to a blank form, which you can fill out and see if you’ve been targeted.

Southwest A-List Challenge Email

Southwest A-List Challenge Email

This is an interesting offer simply because I didn’t know Southwest was doing anything like this.  Personally, if I were to go after Southwest status, I’d probably try for the companion pass.  For others who maybe don’t have the desire or need to manufacture a companion pass, an offer like this is an easier way to get some perks like priority boarding and security.

Southwest A-List Benefits

Southwest A-List Benefits and Qualifying

Southwest A-List status normally requires 25 one way flights or 35,000 points.  Since Southwest is already giving you free bags and doesn’t have change fees, the benefits are minimal compared to other elite programs.  You’ll get the usual priority phone number, security, boarding and check-in, as well as a 25% bonus on point earning.

Now, I don’t currently fly Southwest for a number of reasons – first and foremost, they offer exactly one year-round non-stop flight from PWM, and it’s to BWI.  Second, their fares aren’t particularly competitive when connecting from PWM to the places we travel.  Third, the combination of a  revenue-based rewards program without international routes/partners is a bit of a turnoff for me – I tend to use my mileage earned from domestic travel and credit card spend for European trips.  Last, with a toddler, I’m not confident in my ability to always be there to board with the family group after the “A” group – for those that don’t know, Southwest doesn’t assign seats, so it’s first come first served.  Should we arrive too late, it may mean we can’t get 3 seats together, and that’s a situation I’d like to avoid.  For that reason in particular, I don’t really like Southwest for families traveling with smaller children.  A-List status would help with a lot of that with all of the priority lines and best available boarding pass.  I’ll certainly register for this promotion since it costs me nothing to do so, and if Southwest has decent fares for my upcoming trips, I may end up completing it – but I won’t be going out of my way for it.  I’m no longer running for status in general.

I’m putting this out there for folks to check their inboxes.  You may be targeted for this offer as well, so if traveling Southwest makes more sense for you, it’s a nice interim step on your way to a companion pass, should you choose to manufacture that.


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