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Southwest Airlines’ No Expiration on Loyalty Points Rock the Airline Industry

Travelers Today       By    Staff Reporter

Updated: Oct 23, 2019 04:01 AM EDT

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No need to book and take a flight or purchase from any Southwest partners to keep your points valid, Southwest Airlines announced October 17 this year that effective immediately loyalty points will no longer expire. "We believe the points you earn should be yours forever." This is what Southwest airlines revealed in their site. Mixed reactions are noted among users but mostly positive.

What is a loyalty point? Loyalty points are loyalty programs offered to customers by airlines to encourage them to accumulate points by taking a flight, airline purchases, credit card purchases, or purchases through airline partners. These points can then be redeemed for air travel and other rewards. Southwest Airlines has Rapid Reward as its loyalty program.

Previously, it takes two years before loyalty points will expire and no matter how hard-earned those points were if already expired is of no use anymore. "This action is a way to stand out among competitors," as one commentator says. Southwest Airline is one of the major American airlines.

Recently in August, United Airlines announced similar move which were preceded by JetBlue in May and Delta in 2011. This is good news for all but mostly for non-active members.

While this one is good, Southwest Airlines also announced increase of companion pass requirements to effect in 2020. It is widely known how Southwest Airline companion pass is advantageous compared to others, but will it be the same if this would effect?

For those who are not really familiar yet with companion pass, it allows a companion pass qualifier to fly with him another for almost free. He just needs to pay for taxes on their tickets. In the first calendar year of companion pass he is allowed to fly four different companions and three in the next calendar year. Why Southwest Airline companion pass really valuable, because it applies to both paid and award tickets.

There is change but not much. Today it requires 110,000 qualifying points or flying 100 segments. But in 2020, you will need 125,000 qualifying points but the same 100 segments. What does this mean? It means that the number of segments does not change, but if you want to qualify using points an additional of 15,000 points is needed.

The announcement of the increase of companion pass to effect 2020 will serve as reminder to qualify for the first year 2020 thus also for the second year 2021. But if you fail for the first year, you will of course fail for the second.

Since, qualifying for companion pass through points will increase you need to know how points are counted. No question about earning points by revenue flights booked through Southwest and by making purchases with a Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Card. What is not so defined is earning points by Rapid Rewards partner. Here are Rapid Reward partner that counts: Rapid Rewards credit cards which includes sign-up bonuses, shopping and dining partners also includes Rapid Rewards dining, and home and lifestyle partners. Here are also that do not count: any transfer from Ultimate Rewards, purchased points, bonuses earned on flights or with partners and points transferred from hotel programs.

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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southwest airlines, loyalty points, no expiration, 2020, American Airlines, loyalty program, flights
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