Southwest A-List status: What it is and how to earn it

Southwest Airlines is a unique airline that has captured the hearts of many travelers with its budget-friendly fares, open seating policy, and free checked bags. However, when it comes to elite status with Southwest, the perks are not as glamorous as those offered by other airlines. Still, Southwest does offer some benefits to its loyal passengers through its A-List, A-List Preferred, and Companion Pass programs.

What is Southwest A-List status?

Southwest uses the term “A-List” to refer to its Rapid Rewards customers with elite status. The airline offers two status tiers: A-List and A-List Preferred. In addition to these status tiers, Southwest also offers the highly coveted Companion Pass, which allows passengers to bring a designated companion for free on an unlimited number of flights.

Qualifying for Southwest elite status is relatively straightforward. To achieve A-List status, passengers must complete 20 one-way qualifying flight segments or earn 35,000 tier qualifying points. A-List Preferred status requires 40 one-way qualifying flight segments or 70,000 tier qualifying points. The Companion Pass can be earned by completing 100 one-way qualifying flights or earning 135,000 Companion Pass qualifying points.

Earning elite status with Southwest can be achieved through flying or by spending on select cobranded Southwest credit cards. Points earned through credit card spending can count towards qualifying for A-List, A-List Preferred, and the Companion Pass. Additionally, Southwest occasionally runs promotions that allow passengers to fast-track elite status or earn it for a shorter period.

Benefits of Southwest status

While Southwest’s open seating policy is a major draw for many passengers, elite status offers additional perks to enhance the flying experience. A-List members receive priority boarding, a 25% earning bonus on Rapid Rewards points, free same-day changes, and access to priority check-in lanes. A-List Preferred members enjoy even more benefits, including free inflight Wi-Fi, complimentary premium drinks, and a 100% earning bonus on Rapid Rewards points.

One of the most valuable perks of Southwest elite status is the ability to earn a Companion Pass. This pass allows passengers to bring a designated companion for free on all Southwest flights for the duration of the pass. While the Companion Pass does not come with its own set of benefits, passengers who earn it through flying will also receive A-List Preferred status.

Can a credit card help earn Southwest status?

Southwest offers several personal and business credit cards that can help passengers earn elite status and the Companion Pass. While none of the cards come with automatic status, two personal cards and both business cards allow cardholders to earn qualifying points towards A-List status through spending. Additionally, all Southwest credit cards allow cardholders to earn points towards the Companion Pass through spending.

Is Southwest status worth it?

While Southwest’s elite status may not offer as many perks as elite status with other airlines, there are still benefits to be gained for frequent Southwest flyers. A-List status can be particularly valuable for passengers who regularly pay for EarlyBird Check-In or upgraded boardings, as these fees can add up quickly. A-List Preferred status may be worth it for passengers who frequently purchase inflight Wi-Fi and premium drinks.

The Companion Pass can provide significant value to passengers who travel regularly with a companion. By effectively cutting the cost of flights in half, the Companion Pass can result in substantial savings for those who can take advantage of it. However, passengers who typically travel alone may not find as much value in the Companion Pass.

In conclusion, Southwest Airlines’ A-List and A-List Preferred status offer additional benefits to loyal passengers, though they may not be as extensive as elite status with other airlines. The Companion Pass can provide significant value to passengers who travel with a companion regularly. Ultimately, the decision to pursue Southwest elite status will depend on individual travel habits and preferences.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *