Southwest Airways had a tough finish to 2022 because it canceled hundreds of flights across the Christmas holidays and suffered what might be the biggest operational meltdown in its historical past.
Now the provider is extending olive branches to a number of teams of affected flyers. Apart from providing refunds to vacationers, Southwest can also be giving factors to pick vacationers and increasing the qualification interval (and for choose vacationers, the profit interval) for A-Listing elite standing and Companion Go. A few of this information was first reported by Thrifty Traveler and View from the Wing.
This is what it’s essential to know.
25,000 Southwest factors as an apology
On Jan. 3, 2023, some Southwest members reported receiving an e-mail entitled “A message from Southwest CEO Bob Jordan.” A number of TPG staffers acquired this e-mail, together with senior reporter Zach Griff, who was touring as a gaggle of 4 over the vacations. This is a screenshot of the e-mail Zach acquired:
Zach acquired codes for every of the 4 vacationers in his get together. Every of the 25,000-point codes is price about $375 based mostly on TPG’s valuations. Zach mentioned he acquired codes for 25,000 bonus factors per passenger along with:
- Full refund for the canceled flights.
- $250 per traveler Southwest journey credit.
- Refund for last-minute substitute flights on Hawaiian Airways.
It is unclear how Southwest decides which passengers get these emails with codes. However, we suspect that Southwest should be within the strategy of sending these emails. And it appears chances are you’ll get the e-mail even for those who already accepted journey credit, refunds and expense reimbursements. So, in case your journey was affected by Southwest’s vacation operational points and you have not gotten an e-mail but, maintain checking.
Associated: The best way to redeem factors with the Southwest Fast Rewards program
A-Listing and Companion Go extensions
Some Southwest members whose Companion Go, A-Listing or A-Listing Most popular standing expired on Dec. 31, 2022, acquired an e-mail about an extension. A Southwest spokesperson advised TPG, “Members who have been both impacted by or prone to being impacted by the operational challenges acquired an e-mail final week.”
The spokesperson went on to state:
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“For our Members, A-Listing, A-Listing Most popular and Companion Go Members that had not but certified or requalified for A-Listing, A-Listing Most popular or Companion Go for 2023, we have now prolonged the date by which they need to requalify from the tip of December, (as is typical yearly) to the tip of January 2023.”
So, Southwest is extending the qualification interval by way of Jan. 31, 2023, for all members who hadn’t but certified or requalified for Southwest elite standing or Companion Go by the tip of 2022.
Though Southwest is extending the qualification interval for all members, solely choose vacationers will get their A-Listing, A-Listing Most popular and Companion Go advantages prolonged by way of Jan. 31, 2023.
Nevertheless, my Companion Go expired on the finish of 2022, and I did not get an e-mail about an extension, nor do I see an prolonged Companion Go in my account.
I requested Southwest about this and acquired the next response:
“In case you had the Companion Go in 2022 and have been impacted throughout our operational occasion, then your standing must be prolonged to Jan. 31. If you go to make a reserving in January, it is best to be capable to see and have the power so as to add your companion (tell us for those who don’t see it).”
As such, Southwest is just extending elite standing and Companion Go advantages by way of Jan. 31, 2023, for vacationers affected by the airline’s vacation operational points.
Nevertheless, observe that Southwest cellphone brokers have given some vacationers conflicting info. TPG’s Emily Thompson did not have any vacation journey booked with Southwest, but a number of Southwest cellphone brokers advised her that her Companion Go, which expired on the finish of 2022, could be prolonged by way of January 2023. Each brokers defined that the extension would take a number of days to seem in all eligible accounts.
A Southwest spokesperson advised us that solely those that had journey affected by the operational meltdown would see elite standing and Companion Go extensions. So if you did not have any bookings to journey with Southwest throughout the affected interval and do not see an extension in your account, you will possible solely get an extension of your qualification interval (not your profit interval).
How does the elite-qualification extension have an effect on Companion Go incomes?
All Southwest members who did not qualify for a Companion Go by the tip of 2022 could have additional time to earn a Companion Go legitimate by way of the tip of 2023. In case you have been counting on flights or different actions on the finish of 2022 to earn a Companion Go, you now have till the tip of Jan. 31, 2023, to achieve the qualification necessities.
You would possibly marvel what this extension means for those who have been trying to earn a Companion Go legitimate by way of the tip of 2024 by incomes 135,000 Companion Go qualifying factors in early 2023. Southwest confirmed to AwardWallet that “all incomes exercise in January 2023 may even depend towards your 2024 Companion Go (earned in 2023, legitimate by way of 2024).”
In case you’re trying to shortly earn the Southwest Companion Go, now’s time to earn the sign-up bonus on any new Southwest bank cards you could have opened on the finish of 2022.
Whereas there isn’t any technique to make up for misplaced time with family and friends throughout the holidays, it is nice that Southwest is providing refunds, bonus factors and standing extensions to passengers affected by its operational meltdown. It is the suitable factor for the airline to do after wrecking many journey plans over the vacations.
Nevertheless, it is disappointing that Southwest’s cellphone brokers gave some vacationers incorrect info. These vacationers presumably known as in after studying different web sites reporting that Southwest would lengthen elite standing and Companion Go for all members. Nevertheless, a Southwest spokesperson advised TPG the airline was solely extending elite standing and Companion Go advantages for vacationers affected by Southwest’s operational points over the vacations.