Questions for a live chat with Jonathan Clarkson, Director - Rapid Rewards

Discussion in 'A Conversation With...' started by milepoint, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. milepoint

    milepoint Admin

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    We are thrilled to announce our second "A Conversation with ..." live chat series event, featuring one of the most prominent leaders in the travel industry.

    Join us and our special guest Jonathan Clarkson, Director of the Rapid Rewards Loyalty Program, on Thursday, October 20 at 7 p.m. MDT for the live milepoint chat event.

    You are invited to pre-submit questions in this thread. While we can't guarantee all of the questions posted in this thread will be asked during the event, pre-submitting a question presents an additional opportunity to get your question heard.

    To avoid duplication and maintain the readability of this thread, posts will not be displayed until approved by a milepoint administrator. Please limit your posts to questions only, as general comments will not be approved.

    For more information regarding this event and to signup for an email alert when the chat is about to begin visit:
  2. Andrew72681

    Andrew72681 Silver Member

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    As it appears the single operating certificate won't come until past 1/1, what is the plan for merging points from the two programs.
    Also, thanks for the speedy status match.
    Jimgotkp and jmrich1432 like this.
  3. jmrich1432
    Original Member

    jmrich1432 Silver Member

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    Andrew pretty much covered my question. So I'm going to second what he said!

    Thanks for putting this together, I am excited to hear about the new program!
  4. Peter Silberman

    Peter Silberman Silver Member

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    I'm currently commuting from DAL-ABQ weekly for my dog to get chemo treatment. Would SWA consider allowing me to designate my pet as my companion on my companion pass? SWA would not lose sellable seat as you would with a "normal" companion or COS.

    jmrich1432 likes this.
  5. TravelGuy1965
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    TravelGuy1965 Silver Member

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    Why did you stop honoring drink coupons that did not have an expiry date and some people paid for and others received through loyalty to your program?

    At least offer to give an equivalent value for them toward the new points program... Offer people 500 points just for mailing one in and 500 for each additional. I realize this would would be a small premium but at least it would be honoring what was offered.

    It leaves no trust that the new program points won't expire either.
    Or the point value won't change.
    Unilateral changes .... on statements taken on good faith.

    Then another less visible one; in one day changing to not allow credits to be used for another person. It was announced it was going to be a change then stated on internet forums it was postponed, Then one day - boom - no notice sorry, any flight credit is stuck where it is. A notice that the change was rescheduled and a new specific date that it would be implemented would be professional. The way it was done is really poor and cost customers like myself money who had funds in parents names who are no longer able to travel.
  6. My complaint is with your new program and the lack of a way to have your old credits added into your new program. why not assign a value to an old credit and add it to the current points program. I have 2 credits under the old program and in order to use them on a two flights I was booking to Florida It would cost me more than the price I paid for tickets to buy the credits I needed to use the old credits.
  7. I agree with Travelguy1965 you should honor your old commitments when rolling out a "New program"
  8. I am an A-list Preferred with a companion pass. Can I add [my pet] as my companion? Or are such passes only good for human travellers?
  9. Why does Southwest include its Canadian customers on its distribution lists, which include several contests and draws - but - exclude Canadians from entering these contests and draws? Is there no sensitivity or understanding as to how insulting and demeaning this is to your Canadian customers?
  10. Could we change the name of Rapid Rewards to the Love Club?

    The way I feel after each landing and the same fealing I got after reading the other replies or questions.

  11. I was a Rapid Rewards member for many years until my account was cancelled (a ticket I donated to a family member ended up being sold). I have subsequently joined many airline reward programs, as I fly often for business and pleasure, including AirTran A+ Rewards. I still have a soft spot for Southwest and would like to resume flying on LUV. What will happen to my Air Tran rewards if I am not allowed a Rapid Rewards account when the two programs are merged?
  12. I agree with TravelGuy 1965 as I too found some drink coupons in my suitcase with no expiration date and was told we could not use them. This seems grossly unfair! The new Rapid Rewards program is not nearly as beneficial to me as the old one. I had a companion pass for my husband for several years and usually had one or two RR tickets waiting to be used. I fly the same amount and we use our SWA Visa card the same amount, but I am still a long ways from the companion pass or round trip tickets to places we go. Why does it take longer to accumulate points for both free tickets and companion passes than it did under the old plan?
  13. DeltaExpert
    Original Member

    DeltaExpert Gold Member

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    Have you ever considered status matching elite status from legacy airlines. I have status with another airline and would consider trying SWA if you offered a status match/challenge.
    Lori Liendo likes this.
  14. I am a loyal AirTran customer that recently moved from Atlanta to Denver.... So this merger is perfect!!

    I've done a lot of research and still have the following questions:

    I will have 100 A+ credits next month and will request a Companion Pass from AirTran. AirTran's CP is valid for 365 days instead of the end of the following calendar year.

    Is it safe to assume that AirTran CP will be honored for all routes on SWA after the programs merge?

    Assuming the A+ CP is converted to a RR CP will it expire at the end of 2012 or the original AirTran expiration date?

    When do you expect the programs to completely merge?

    Will A+ credits that are converted to RR points be tier qualification points? I ask because AirTran doesn't currently differentiate points earned through credit cards or other programs from points earned on flights. So, when SW converts A+ credits will they be so detailed as to limit TQP to 15,000 a year as is the case with the SWA Visa? Will SW look at the dates the A+ credits were earned since the TQP have to be earned in the same calendar year? Or, (And I think everyone would prefer this option) will they just be converted and considered TQP for 2012?

    What will happen to the AirTran Credit Card issued by Barclays?

    I ask these questions because once we have the CP we'd like to keep it & there are so many unknowns with the programs still being separate that it's hard to figure out the best strategy. Any light you can shed on the program merger details would be great!!

    One LUV!
    ACMM likes this.
  15. Pizzaman
    Original Member

    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    When reviewing flights by points, it doesn't seem that the difference in amount of points between one flight and another matches that of the actual fare difference. For example, I saw a fare today that was a little less than 6000 points for Wanna Get Away, but almost 40,000 points for an Anytime fare. The WannaGetAway cash fare was just shy of $100, and the Anytime fare was $300.
  16. I am a loyal A List Preferred Rapid Rewards member for 10 years. I have been flying weekly for the past two years from Manchester, NH (MHT) to Philadelphis(PHL) and return. I was planning to continue this travel for the remaining three years of the project I am working on. However, Southwest is cancelling service from MHT to PHL in January 2012. I was then planning to fly BOS to PHL, but now have learned that Southwest is cancelling the BOS to PHL service in February, 2012. Is there any chance that this decision will be reversed for at least BOS or MHT? There are 20-30 other people who also take this flight each Monday and Friday. Is AirTran going to provide this service from BOS to PHL? Otherwise, I will be forced to switch to another airline.
  17. Thanks Mr. Clarkson for the opportunity to ask a few questions.

    1) I am thinking of the 50,000 point bonus for your credit card right now (that's a lot of points!), but need to clean up a credit error on my account first (error by a utility company, that's all) as i want the highest credit line possible. Do you have a hint or idea about how long that current bonus will be offered? I almost got it when it was 30,000 points (?) but don't want to miss out on this one.

    Again, thank you for doing this chat.
  18. Question: when i use the new program, there seems to be a 10% rebate when factoring in the WGA airfares I typically use. I think a 10% rebate is pretty good. And on occasion when i buy Business Select and redeem at WGA fares the rebate is almost twice that. I guess my question is if I am able to figure out the math on this type of travel rebate, why doesn't SWA use that sort of idea if their advertising. I know i don't earn a 10% rebate when my travel is on US Airways. I find the program very rich but rebates don't seem to attract the biz traveler, other things like upgrades and stuff do. Can you speak to this being where the program is today and tomorrow or are there other new benefits we'll likely see? Thanks. I like milepoint so far and glad to see you here.
  19. When purchasing points why do they cost 50% more than the value? i.e $100 = 4000 points instead of $100 = 6000 points. Over with the e-rewards partner the conversion is even worse. Its $100 = 2000 points.
  20. Scott McCartney recently published an article in the Wall Street Journal detailing American Airlines and Southwest's moves to prevent mileage tracking sites from helping frequent flyers manage their miles in various programs. Why would you take away a service that helps your customers stay organized and keeps your loyalty program front of mind when they are planning to book travel?
    gleff likes this.
  21. I have .5 credits leftover from the old rewards program, is there any way you could assign a value to the old credits instead of having to accumulate a certain number of points in order to convert it to a free flight? I noticed there were several other people who posted a similar question. Thanks!
  22. I earn a variety miles and points, and find Award Wallet to be invaluable to managing them. Why is it that SouthWest seems to be the only loyalty program in the world that blocks it's program from being used with Award Wallet?
  23. As a 2 time conpanion pass holder, I feel that the new system took me out of the running for a pass that I was close to, can you comment please?
  24. gleff
    Original Member

    gleff Co-founder

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    Years ago, Airtran realized that their A+ Rewards program was limited in the redemptions it could offer, fly a bunch on Airtran and you get to fly more on Airtran! It's was rebate program towards more of the same. So they tried to become a bit more aspirational, willing to buy travel on other airlines as a reward (albeit it cost a whole bunch of credits to do so). That way they could leverage the route networks of other airlines for more aspirational trips.

    Does Southwest have anything on the horizon to make the program more aspirational, catch members' dreams, so that flying Southwest a bunch of times to ABQ doesn't just get you another trip to ABQ?
    2soonold likes this.
  25. Horse
    Original Member

    Horse Gold Member

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    After the new program started, I noticed my Early Bird positions dropped significantly further back in the line. It was near the positions I would normally get if I checked in at T24.

    Out of curiousity, I asked other passengers on line when they purchased their ticket, if they purchased Early Bird, etc. I found passengers ahead of me in line who did not purchase Business Select or Early Bird and had purchased their tickets only the week before the flight. It now seems that EB is assigned on other factors besides in the order of date purchased.

    Is the EB assignment now made based on Anytime fares or higher paid fares getting drawn for EB seating first over lower priced WGA fares regardless of when you purchased your EB?

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