Is Southwest Airlines Making Reward Flights Cheaper???

Southwest Airlines was one of the first airlines in the US to move to a revenue-based frequent flyer program.  For years, they used a credit system that was based on the number of flights you flew, regardless of length.

It’s been a few years now, and they’ve done plenty of tweaking.  The interesting thing is that they’ve changed the value of points more than once.  If you think about it, that’s odd.  Redemptions for “free” flights are based on the cost of a paid ticket at the time you’re redeeming.  Prices up?  That ticket will cost you more points.  So, it was definitely puzzling when Southwest announced it would cost you more Rapid Rewards points for some award redemptions.  Still, Southwest has an extremely loyal following, and there wasn’t much customer uproar.

Color me surprised when I read news that the “old” award pricing started popping up again on the Southwest website.  60 points per dollar is considerably better than 72.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to connect those dots.

What’s even more surprising to me?  It doesn’t appear Southwest has said anything about this change.  They’re pretty good at communicating, between newsletters, blog posts and their website.  And yet, I didn’t find any reference to them lowering award pricing.

Maybe this is a bug and not a feature?

The post Is Southwest Airlines Making Reward Flights Cheaper??? was published first on Pizza in Motion


  1. Oil is cheap, planes are full, and airlines are cranking out profits like no tomorrow. I really don’t see a reason why WN needs to lower award pricing at this point of the business cycle (unless their internal data is really showing a slowdown)

  2. The reason I quit flying Southwest was because they moved from segment to revenue based awards. I think I’ve flown with them once or twice since (against my will) thanks corporate travel Concur booking rules.

    This is an odd occurrence. My wife flies Southwest some and we usually redeem her points for friends and family (because I really don’t want to book myself there). I have seen some odd situations lately regarding prices for awards but really didn’t do the math.

    By the way I heard you on one of the travel podcasts awhile back. It was fun to hear you “live” and in person give perspectives on travel.

    1. Dan, I used to think the segments were one of the coolest way to earn award flights. Sigh, the good old days. Thanks for the kudos on the podcast. Do you recall which one it was? I actually have something in the works on that topic.

  3. Southwest revenue-based awards have always been variable. It has never been a fixed amount; awards on unpopular flights have had a higher point value. The variation is not great though. 1.5 to 1.7 usually. High season is over.

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