Southwest Airlines Launches Great New Perk for Elite Members

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Southwest Airlines has launched a great new perk for its elite level flyers. Starting September 13, 2016 the airline will be offering  A-List and A-List Preferred Rapid Rewards members free priority standby status to take an earlier flight two hours before their scheduled flight.

Southwest Airlines

Per the Chicago Business Journal,

Southwest suddenly announced it is adding a new perk for its elites — free priority standby status on alternate flights to the same ticketed destination for A-List and A-List Preferred Rapid Rewards members.

The new option, which begins tomorrow, Sept. 13, for eligible travelers, only kicks in, however, two hours before the departure of the traveler’s originally scheduled flight.

Previous to this change, elites on Southwest, which has its largest hub at Chicago’s Midway Airport, had to pay any applicable fare difference if they wanted to switch to a different flight prior to departure of their scheduled flight unless they were traveling on a full-fare ticket.

While the new benefit will give Southwest elite travelers somewhat more flexibility in their travel plans if they want to leave earlier or later than their scheduled flight, it will be most beneficial on routes where Southwest has heavier flight frequency, such as between Midway and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, rather than on thinly scheduled routes where flights may only depart every three or four hours.

Bottom Line

This is a great new change that Southwest is implementing for their elite flyers, and I’m glad to see this new change take place.

What are your thoughts on this latest enhancement to the Rapid Rewards program? Feel free to share below!

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  1. I don’t know if I’d call it “great.” How many city pairs in the WN route network have flights within two hours? I live in a southwest hub (Bwi) and even then the 120 minutes between flights rules out most cities.

  2. 4 hours would have worked, there isn’t much within 2 hours for me. That would have eaten too much in to their pricing by time of day schedule I guess.

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