Battle for Milwaukee

Battle for Milwaukee

Last month, we wrote about Frontier Airlines’ declining presence in Milwaukee and their promotion offering EarlyReturns members the ability to convert all of their EarlyReturns miles into Delta SkyMiles at a 1:1 ratio through Aug. 31, 2012. Southwest Airlines, along with AirTran Airways, flies to around 70 destinations from Milwaukee and tried to attract former EarlyReturns flyers with a competing offer where Frontier EarlyReturns members who donated all of their miles to one of the EarlyReturns charitable donation program participants would receive an equal number of points in the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards program. However, Frontier Airlines quickly shut down the ability for members to donate miles to charity. Southwest Airlines then announced it will simply match the account balances of Frontier EarlyReturns members with an equal number of Rapid Rewards points, up to 50,000 points.

To take advantage of this one-time offer, EarlyReturns members can submit a copy of their Frontier EarlyReturns statement showing their current account balance along with their name, Rapid Rewards account number and phone number to In addition to matching EarlyReturns miles with Rapid Rewards points, Southwest Airlines and its subsidiary, AirTran Airways, are also offering Wisconsin EarlyReturns Ascent and Summit members complimentary Rapid Rewards A-List status and AirTran A+ Rewards Elite status. To take advantage of this status-matching offer, Ascent and Summit members should enroll in the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards program and the AirTran A+ Rewards program, if they aren’t currently members, and submit a copy of their current, valid tier card or statement along with their name, Rapid Rewards account number, A+ Rewards account number and phone number to by Aug. 31, 2012. Visit for more information.

Bottom line: The airlines reserve the right to make changes to their loyalty programs at any time and Frontier was quick to respond to Southwest’s attempt to lure Milwaukee’s flyers by suspending its charity program. Frontier Airlines partners with several charities, including the American Red Cross and Make-A-Wish Foundation, which clearly would have benefited from the promotion.

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