Southwest Airlines quietly counted award travel towards the flight segments needed for award status for travel January 1 – September 19 of this year. They’ve finally emailed members to say they’ve done it, and they’re doing two more things to make status qualification easier:
Registration is required.
Southwest A-List status normally takes 25 segments or 35,000 points to earn. Points-earning is based on fare type and status paid. A-List Preferred requires 35 segments or 70,000 points. I honestly just value A-List status for an early boarding number, and for priority check-in when checking a bag.
There are several things to note.
- Award travel on September 20 doesn’t count towards status.
- For paid travel it’s double qualifying points, not qualifying segments (since award travel doesn’t earn points, it’s segments only for award travel under this offer).
- Paid travel booked prior to registering doesn’t earn double elite points. You’d have to cancel and rebook any existing flights to qualify, and that might mean a higher fare.
- These promotions do not count towards Companion Pass, just elite status.
At Delta award travel counts permanently towards status. Virgin Atlantic was first to do this.
The end of the promo – prior to December – suggests that the offer isn’t permanent. Southwest hasn’t had status boosts outside of these offers this year, and 2022 started quite badly for travel (with Omicron) and managed corporate travel especially hasn’t returned (remember that New York City office occupancy remains below 50%). I’d like to see this made permanent!