Southwest Airlines announced some changes to its Rapid Rewards program. These changes are pretty minor in the grand scheme of things, with the biggest being that earning Companion Pass benefits will be increasing 125,000 to 135,000 qualifying points.
Additional updates include Companion Pass holders and companions can board together, as well as a new cancellation policy for award travel that requires cancellation 10 minutes prior to departure (which seems pretty fair) in order to receive your points back.
Increased Companion Pass qualifications. Starting January 1, 2023.
We’re increasing the points required to earn Companion Pass benefits from 125,000 to 135,000 qualifying points in a calendar year. As a new benefit, Rapid Rewards Credit Cardmembers will receive a boost of 10,000 Companion Pass qualifying points every year.
No-show policy update for Rapid Rewards points bookings, starting summer 2023.3
When you book Wanna Get Away or Wanna Get Away Plus travel with your Rapid Rewards points, if your plans change and you want a points refund, you must cancel the reservation at least 10 minutes before the flight’s original scheduled departure time. Failure to cancel the trip 10 minutes before takeoff will result in forfeited points, starting summer 2023.
Get onboard together: Companions now board with Companion Pass holders.
Companion Pass holders can now board together with their Companions (unless the Companion Pass holder purchased a Business Select fare, purchased Upgraded Boarding, or added the Companion after they had been assigned a boarding position).
New way to redeem Rapid Rewards points. Starting 2023.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Cardmembers are getting even more ways to redeem and enjoy the points they’ve earned.
The biggest negative with these changes is that Companion Pass status will increase from 125,000 to 135,000 qualifying points per year.
Additionally, it was nice not having to cancel Rapid Rewards tickets and to automatically get the miles back, but it does seem fair to have to cancel these 10 minutes prior to departure to receive your points back.
What are your thoughts on these Rapid Rewards changes from Southwest Airlines? Feel free to share in the comments below.
I can see the change in the cancellation rule… If someone wanted to game they system and had a companion pass, they book the flight and add their companion, companion boards but they don’t and then once their companion is on the way, then they cancel. Miles are retuned and companion flies for free.