1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

If you fly Southwest (WN) - Great Changes Announced

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by nostresshere, Apr 16, 2020.

  1. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    18,224
    Location:
    TN
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    • Love Love x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  2. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2014
    Messages:
    8,893
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    100
    Just received this via email:

    To our valued Customers,

    As we continue to navigate our way through this unprecedented time and deal with extraordinary challenges, we are committed to keeping you informed and updated on the steps we are taking to manage through the COVID-19 pandemic. The health, Safety, and well-being of our Customers and our Employees remain my highest priorities at all times and a responsibility the entire Southwest® Family holds sacred. In this midst of the heartbreak and hardships this crisis has imposed on our neighbors, our families, and our friends, I am also inspired and deeply moved by the compassion, resiliency, and the human spirit that has surfaced all around us. Thank you for being there with us. We are here for you.

    We've been working around the clock to adapt to this new landscape, to adjust our procedures and policies to take care of our Customers, keep our operation running, and maintain a clean and comfortable cabin environment. I know many of our Customers have questions and concerns regarding your travel funds and tier status. We previously extended travel funds that are impacted due to the pandemic to give you more time to use them. I'm pleased to report that we are making some additional changes:

    Tier Status & Companion Pass Benefits:

    For our current A-List and A-List Preferred Members, we are extending your current earned status through December 31, 2021.

    For our current Companion Pass Members, we are extending your current earned Companion Pass benefits through June 30, 2021.

    For all Rapid Rewards® Members, we recognize that your normal flying behavior has been interrupted, limiting progress you may have been making toward qualification for A-List, A-List Preferred, and Companion Pass. For that reason, we are giving all Rapid Rewards Members a "boost" of 15,000 tier qualifying points and 10 flight credits toward A-List and A-List Preferred status, and 25,000 Companion Pass qualifying points and 25 flight credits toward Companion Pass status.

    These moves represent additional ways to either work toward or to use these benefits once you're ready to begin traveling again. These adjustments will happen automatically and will be reflected in your Southwest Rapid Rewards My Account page over the coming weeks. Learn more on the extension and the boost by visiting Southwest.com/RRcoronavirusupdates.

    Travel Funds
    •Previously, Customers' travel funds that have expired or would have expired between March 1 - June 30, 2020, or travel funds that were created because of a cancellation between March 1 - June 30, 2020, had an expiration date of June 30, 2021. We are now expanding the window of funds eligible for extended expiration dates and extending the expiration date of these funds. Funds that are set to expire or funds that are created between March 1, 2020 and September 7, 2020, will have an expiration date of September 7, 2022. This gives Customers who had travel funds created in connection with this pandemic–or who won't be comfortable traveling this summer–additional time to retake that same trip or explore a different destination. It will take our Technology Team a few days to make these changes and more details on this extension can be found at Southwest.com/RRcoronavirusupdates.

    •Additionally, we have added a new benefit for our valued Rapid Rewards Members. Those Members who have travel funds that are set to expire or funds that are created between March 1, 2020 and September 7, 2020 will have the option to convert those travel funds into Rapid Rewards® points at the same rate you would be able to purchase a ticket with points today. We hope this provides our Members ultimate flexibility as Rapid Rewards points never expire, never have cancel or change fees (fare difference may apply), and you can redeem your points for anyone you choose. Our Technology Team is working to build this conversion capability, and we will be in touch when it is ready for you to use. In the meantime, you don't need to take any action - your travel funds will be automatically extended for the two years mentioned above, and you will be able to make this conversion once we bring this new functionality to fruition.

    We ask for your patience as we implement these benefits and new exceptions. It's our hope that the policy changes above bring you more comfort and confidence that we will be here, ready to serve you, when you're ready to travel.

    In addition to the changes we have made to our policies, we're continuing to modify the way we operate and serve you—from enhanced cleaning procedures, social distancing guidelines, onboard service offerings to limit personal contact, providing more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for our Employees, and much more. You can learn about these efforts on our Travel Advisory and our Company Blog.

    No doubt, this has been an incredibly challenging environment for us all, but we've been uplifted and found special meaning in the term "essential travel." From transporting medical professionals to hospitals and hotspots around the country, to partnering with organizations to ship important cargo and medical supplies, to serving Customers on their way to see loved ones and lend a helping hand—there is so much good that has filled our hearts with pride—every day on every flight.

    Today and every day, we're committed to reconnecting you to the people and places you love. We're in this together. Thank you for your patience as we navigate through these changing times.

    Stay Heart Strong,



    Gary Kelly, Chairman and CEO
     
    Trip to Asia. Jeju Island, Osaka, Fukuoka, Manila, Angeles City.
    Mental Health trip. Playstudios "custom" comp at Bellagio
    • Love Love x 2
  3. FABismonte

    FABismonte Tell my wife I am "about even."

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1,283
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    55
    Hi @nostresshere

    Thanks for the heads up. Odd that A-List and A-List Plus extends to the whole of 2021 but Companion qualification lasts until half of 2021. Unclear to me how to qualify for that half year.

    Do you think it is better to exchange Travel funds for never expiring reward flight credits or for the newly reset date Travel fund date of Sept 2022? In my mind keeping it in travel funds are only useful if you need the flight credits to make companion or A-List.

    FAB
     
  4. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    12,628
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    50
    Those are good changes for frequent customers
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. tmaas21

    tmaas21 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Messages:
    213
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    If this doesn’t make a person believe that SW truly desires to take care of its customers, nothing will.
    Talk about going above and beyond for the benefit of their clientele...
    I’m impressed.
    Thank you SW!!!
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  6. Catzilla

    Catzilla VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    1,016
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    22
    Question, are tier credits the same as reward points to use for a flight? Or do they just count for some kind of status?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2014
    Messages:
    8,893
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    100
    Well, scratch my first estimate, as on the second flight, the points/dollar ratios all changed.

    I'm sticking with cash, since I KNOW that I will use up the funds.
     
    Trip to Asia. Jeju Island, Osaka, Fukuoka, Manila, Angeles City.
    Mental Health trip. Playstudios "custom" comp at Bellagio
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. tmaas21

    tmaas21 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Messages:
    213
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    Separate. They only count towards status, not redeemable for flights in this case.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  9. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    18,224
    Location:
    TN
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    EXTENSION
    A List does not cost them money and is a cost free benefit to customers other than those that might by EB.
    But, CP is a real cost to company, and serious $$ savings to customers.

    On your other comment, not sure about that new option. Need to do the math and think when I might use points. Between us, we have 160,000 miles right now - and been on CP for almost 4 years and until Dec 2021
     
  10. HHFan

    HHFan Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2018
    Messages:
    399
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10
    Companion Pass extension is great news. Hopefully things improve enough to allow those of us with the CP to actually take advantage of the additional time.

    I’ll need to look at the points conversion offer. Seems like it might be risky to convert to points only to find a change in the valuation in the future.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2014
    Messages:
    5,126
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    For so many reasons, BRAVO Southwest Airlines! BRAVO!! THIS is how you treat loyal customers and how to earn new ones in a crisis.

    :clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap:
     
    Celebrating Life & My Birthday In a Different But Special Way
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 3
  12. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2014
    Messages:
    5,126
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    Agree 100%%

    This is actually WAY BEYOND what I thought Southwest might do.

    The companion pass extension is huge + 25,000 towards CP for the following year. I charged everything under the sun on my SW CC, including a lot of charitable contributions. The 25,000 in points will help me get close to renewing months earlier.

    Sadly, the amazing changes in their policies also likely reflect the belief that a lot of their leisure travelers, particular elderly or immune-compromised ones, might not fly this year and hold until next year (post hopefully a vaccine being widely available).

    This is truly stunning, in a great way. Wow. Go Southwest!
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
    Celebrating Life & My Birthday In a Different But Special Way
  13. Catzilla

    Catzilla VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    1,016
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    22
    I wonder if they will extend the upgraded boarding passes that weren't used? There are 4 with the SW Priority credit card. I only got to use one of them and they expire this month. At least I get my $75 travel credit extended. :)
     
  14. tfcoach72

    tfcoach72 High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Messages:
    556
    Location:
    Hotlanta
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    40
    I also had that thought! I think I have 2 upgrades left.
     
  15. tfcoach72

    tfcoach72 High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Messages:
    556
    Location:
    Hotlanta
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    40
    Remember you can transfer your points to another traveler, with a fee I think, but travel funds are for you only. Might come into play for some folks.
     
  16. vegaskid74

    vegaskid74 High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Messages:
    806
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    999
    This is my question as well. I just qualified for the companion pass a couple of weeks ago, and according to the way SWA has always handled that, my companion pass will be good for the rest of this year and all of 2021. So does the extension of companion pass benefits to current pass holders to 6/30/2021 do me any good? Those whose passes expire at the end of this year will obviously benefit, but I don't see how I will. I'm losing the use of the pass right along with everyone else during the current travel restrictions, so that's a bummer.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  17. Catzilla

    Catzilla VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    1,016
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    22
    I sent them an email and asked. My annual fee just hit and I hate to pay $149 if I end up losing them again this coming year. I'll let you know what they say.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  18. jsadlak

    jsadlak Tourist

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Crown Point, IN
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    200
    Ok guys, I actually have a lot of helpful input, I fly Southwest A LOT for business and pleasure and am the master manipulator of making my points and travel funds stretch and work for me. Ok here goes some info I think a lot of you will find helpful.

    First we haven't been told yet the conversion rate of dollars to points for switching, they have never offered this before so it will be interesting to see how they value the points. Now if its a fair conversion there are differences in travel funds vs points:
    Reward points never expire as long as you have periodic activity on your account, if you don't fly often this may be an option for you
    Travel funds can ONLY be used by the person the original flight was booked. Points can be used for anyone. So if you have $500 in travel funds in your name and convert them to points now you can use those points for anyone. If you booked a family/friend trip for people who don't often travel with you, it would be in your best interest to convert to points so you have freedom to use them any way you want.
    The value in keeping the travel funds over points are that you can EARN points on flights booked with travel funds (think of them like gift cards) you don't earn points on flights booked with points. For example I will EARN approximately 9,000 points while spending my $1600 travel funds.
    Again this is all assuming that the value of funds to points will truely be relatively even trade.

    I'll give you my personal examples now to help explain this. I currently have $1600 in travel funds, around 150,000 reward points and a compaion pass. I use the travel funds to book travel for myself (I'm the only one that can use those, they are in my name) and I use points to book the flights for my family and friends. I do this for a few reasons. Imagine you plan a bachelor/bachelorette party to Vegas, you have 8 friends you don't normally travel with all going together, assuming none are savy travelers and rely on you to plan. Say you book 8 $200 flights using points, if those flights go on sale 2 weeks after you book for $150 you can adjust those flights and get the points refunded to your account at no penalty. Say its 3 days before your trip and cousin Suzy loses her job and can no longer go, you can cancel her flight, get the points back, no harm. Now its time for the trip, I say ok everyone owes me $150 for their flights. They get the benefit of having the lowest cost flight available and the freedom of being able to cancel at any time with no penalty. You get to plan a trip risk free without having to worry about your flaky friend cancelling on you and sticking you with the cost of the ticket AND you get to convert your points into cash for gambling money.

    Ok now lets go back to the travel funds. I had $400 in travel funds that were going to expire on August 24, 2020 (within the stated extension period that will get extended to a 2022 expiration). I also had $1200 in travel funds that expire November 2020-March 2021. Well hell, I want those funds to expire later too! I'm sure most of you have noticed over the years that if you use multiple travel funds to pay for a flight and then cancel the new expiration date is the earliest date. Do you see where I'm going with this? I just spent the last 30 minutes converting all my travel funds to have the August 24, 2020 expiration date. So what you need to achieve this is at least 1 travel fund that expires within the extension period (March-Sept 7, 2020) then just book any flight where you can consolidate funds then cancel the flight. I had $2.74 that still remains with a March 2021 expiration date as I didn't want to use any new money in these adjustments.

    This post is long enough now, if you need any further explanation or help in doing any of this let me know. :)
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
  19. CalifLovesVegas

    CalifLovesVegas Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2014
    Messages:
    322
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    200
    I'm glad SW did this.

    Been Alist for years, but thought with the way things were going.....
    It would be a challenge to reach it this year.

    This extension takes some pressure off.

    Thanks Southwest :headbang:



    PS jsadlak, very informative. Thanks for taking the time to spell it out.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
  20. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2014
    Messages:
    5,126
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30

    I am similarly situated, with $2k+ in travel credit, about 90k points and CP through this year. I have travel credit that expires this June, this October and in December. I would agree with everything you noted above except as I understand the policy any travel funds created from March until September gets extended, so IMO all you have to do is book flights using the travel credit and cancel the flights, as long as you did it during the March-September 2020 period. I already did that, however, given the previous policy that referred to cancellations (whether by the customer or airline) that caused travel funds to be created between March 1st and June 30th.

    If someone thinks I am looking at this incorrectly, please LMK! TIA!
     
    Celebrating Life & My Birthday In a Different But Special Way