Call it another sign that travel habits shifted over the past couple years. Southwest Airlines has run, in quick succession, a pair of promotions seeking to boost its Rapid Rewards loyalty program with elite status for 2023 now easier to come by. The moves come despite a general return of travel and strong revenue numbers in recent months.
Earlier in the month the company’s focus was on grabbing new customers, with a two-day promotion to earn a limited companion pass with just two one-way trips. This time around, however, the carrier is offering retroactive credit for reward trips taken during the first two thirds of the year towards A-List status.
All segments flown as reward travel earlier this year will now count towards qualification for A-List status. And as one of the few airlines that still allows elite status qualification wholly through segments flown, this could be the difference for some travelers in requalifying this year. Or in getting them close enough that they would book an extra trip to push them over the edge.
Going forward, passengers who register for the promotion will also earn status credits for reward segments flown through 30 November. Additionally, pair tickets can earn double points over the same period, also with registration.
It is hard to not interpret this push as an indication that the carrier’s repeat business is down, even as planes are full and revenue is strong. The bigger question, perhaps, is how much it matters.
It remains unclear just how much business travel habits will return to pre-COVID patterns. And if the ticket revenue numbers remain strong, does the draw of elite status diminish?
In the meantime, however, Rapid Rewards members can snag status a little easier for next year. Assuming they can afford the flights this year.
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