Southwest adds new benefit for elites

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Southwest has made official a new benefit for their A-List and A-List Preferred elites.  Essentially elites may now board after A60 has been called ensuring a Window or Aisle seat regardless of what their boarding pass reads.  While under normal conditions, an elite can expect a boarding pass somewhere between A16-A60, an irregular operation such as purchasing or changing a ticket within 24 hours of travel or flying standby could cause an elite to receive a boarding pass into the high B’s or dreaded C’s AKA back of the plane in the middle.  Southwest does a good job describing the new benefit below.

“We know priority boarding is a valued tier status benefit. In those rare instances when A-List and A-List Preferred Members may not receive A boarding passes, we’re pleased to now offer the ability to board immediately after the A boarding group and prior to the family boarding group. For example, when you change your flight on the day of travel and all of the A boarding passes have already been distributed, simply go to the front of the line when the gate agent calls for all remaining A-List Members, which occurs immediately after the A31 – A60 boarding group has boarded.”

The bottom line

Additional elite benefits are always a good thing and this does occur to me somewhat frequently so I applaud this move.  On a somewhat related note, I will take this opportunity to mention again that Southwest still has one of the single most ridiculous standby policies for its elites.  The policy applies equally to all travelers though it boggles my mind that they punish their highest revenue Business travelers who greatly desire standby flexibility with a policy that is simply the worst in the industry.

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About alex

Alex loves to travel and does so a lot. Logging 100,000 flight miles each year over the past 4 years, Alex uses points and miles to power his passion. Alex is continuously striving to experience the far reaches of the globe. In his day job, Alex is a Management Consultant frequently on the road advising Technology organizations. I love thinking about, reading about, and talking about all things travel. Feel free to reach me at

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  1. @Stephen – Southwest launched pilots out of select markets over the last month but it is now a stated benefit for all flights.

  2. More benefits = good. This is also good in the rare circumstance where many people are A-List flying on the same plane (in the case of flying through LAS) or a bunch of people bought the “front of line” upgrade.

  3. Southwest is in serious trouble with trying to attract elites right now. They are desperate to find a way to monetize services and benefits that other airlines have successfully monetized – some for years now. And this bizarre need to cling to open boarding is a liability.

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