Bargain airfare carrier adds frequent flyer benefits
Southwest changed its online fare structure with the introduction of a new “Business Select” class and special offers for the most frequent travelers in the Rapid Rewards frequent-flyer program.
“In recent months we’ve announced plans to change how we board our aircraft and the look and feel of our gate areas system wide — all to increase customer productivity and comfort,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines’ CEO. He said that Southwest is making a transition “from a one-size-fits-all airline to the airline that fits your life.”
Purchasing a “Business Select” ticket guaranties you will be among the first to board the aircraft. Additionally, you will receive extra Rapid Rewards credit for the flight and receive an on-board cocktail on the house. The Southwest website now displays fares in three major fare columns: “Business Select,” “Business,” and “Wanna Get Away,” which is a catch-all for the web-based specials and standard coach fares.
A change to the boarding policy involves Rapid Rewards Members who will be rewarded for their frequent flight activity by jumping to the airline’s “A-List.” Rapid Rewards members who have flown 32 one-way flights or 16 roundtrips in 12 months will join the carrier’s “A-List” where they will be automatically checked in for their flight in advance of departure and will most likely receive an “A” boarding pass.
In addition, the bargain airfare carrier unveiled enhancements to its Rapid Rewards frequent flyer program by introducing its new Freedom Award which does not have seat restrictions except for a few blackout dates around major holidays.