Southwest Rapid Rewards new user - cant use points!?!?

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by aGrandma, Sep 7, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. aGrandma

    aGrandma New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status Points:
    10
    I am a new customer - just got my southwest rapis rewards visa card 3 weeks ago. Before I applied for the card, then again after I got it and before I activated it, I made sure I could book flights and use the rapid rewards when they became available. I was told twice that after I spent $1000 on the new card I could book flights and use my rapid rewards points to pay for the flights. I spent $1000. Then I booked flights very carefully making sure my rapid rewards would cover the price. I got the cheapest flights that are not refundable. It took about 3 weeks to get the rapid rewards in my account. I contacted southwest to redeem the points and they told me that I could not use my rapid rewards for flights I already booked! I asked on two separate times if I could do that and was told yes....I don't want a refund, I don't want to cancel my flights, I want to redeem the rapid rewards points to get credit for the flights. I didn't realize at the time that chase bank and southwest rapid rewards are not working as one, and it may have been chase who gave me this information, but southwest says I can't do it and I am really upset about it. Does anyone have any ideas or insight into this?
     
  2. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,278
    Likes Received:
    5,543
    Status Points:
    4,170
    It's not completely clear from your post, but it's possible that they just misunderstood you and you misunderstood them, with all parties acting in good faith.

    If they said that after spending $1000 (and getting the points credited) you can book flights and use rapid rewards to cover the price, that's true. However, the mechanism for using rapid rewards (or any points/miles, other than some credit-card based programs) to book flights is to book the flights using the miles/points. There is not typically a mechanism to book a "regular" ticket and convert to a points ticket.

    It sounds like there was a misunderstanding of expectations all around, which is unfortunate, but what you are trying to do is not something that any airline program that I know of supports.
     
    IDGflygirl likes this.
  3. MX

    MX Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,215
    Likes Received:
    4,805
    Status Points:
    2,545
    It appears that Southwest may be trying to accomodate you in this predicament. Indeed, you must use Rewards at the time of booking. It's a common process with all airline programs. I also understand that you booked a non-refundable ticket with dollars instead. So if Southwest is offering you to cancel and refund a non-refundable ticket, it's a great gesture! Accept it with no hesitation - they normally don't do that. Then you can rebook with your Rewards. The net result would accomplish exactly what you had intended!
     
    IDGflygirl likes this.
  4. aGrandma

    aGrandma New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status Points:
    10
    Southwest did not offer to refund my tickets. They told me they are non- refundable, which I understood. But I also have a Venture rewards card and they did allow me to use my rewards points applied to a flight I purchased before the points showed up on the account! So they will do it but southwest will not.
     
    SC Flier likes this.
  5. servo

    servo Silver Member

    Messages:
    736
    Likes Received:
    1,031
    Status Points:
    825
    Southwest's system has always been that you pay for the flights with points or awards that have been accrued. I've learned these days never to trust a customer service rep that claims something that I can't find anywhere else without hanging up and calling back to confirm with another rep. I would never think to pay for something in cash assuming that I'd be able to cover it with points later. The Capital One Venture program is different from the Southwest program, in that it's totally cash $1/$1 miles to dollars. They also have a feature that allows you to "erase" a prior travel purchase within the last 90 days once you have the miles accrued.

    Sorry grandma. Now you know though. If it isn't explicitly mentioned in any materials the company offers, don't assume it works the same way as another program. They are separate companies with separate programs who have their own terms and conditions.
     
    MX likes this.
  6. deant
    Original Member

    deant Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    3,129
    Likes Received:
    12,385
    Status Points:
    10,620
    I can see where some of the confusion has come from. In your original post you state: "I made sure I could book flights and use the rapid rewards when they became available." Your question may have been "could you book the flights once the flights become available" or it could have been, "can I book any flight when my miles became available." Big difference is the question. The comment that you could spend the miles once you have spent the $1,000 assumes that SW knows that you have spent the money. The only time they know is when the credit card company notifies SW and that is normally at the end of the billing cycle.
     
  7. afakhori

    afakhori Silver Member

    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    129
    Status Points:
    395
    One thing that you could do if all your points have posted is just book the same flight using points. You would then have two sets of flights. One using $$ and one using points. Fly using the points flight Record locator number, and let the $$ flight lapse. Though you wouldn't be getting a refund, per se, you'd then have the money back in your WN account to apply to future trips.

    This would only be worth it if the flights are the same price as they were when you purchased them (or are cheaper).
     
  8. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,462
    Likes Received:
    3,783
    Status Points:
    2,145
    I dont think that'll work. Grandma is better off canceling the flights and getting the $$$$ applied into Southwest's money vault (or flight credit I forgot what they're called).
     
  9. afakhori

    afakhori Silver Member

    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    129
    Status Points:
    395
    I'm pretty sure it's the same thing, though, I didn't realize you could cancel the flights. I thought you had to just not fly it to have the credits from previous flights applied. Can you show me how to cancel a WN flight? (or a link to how to do it)
     
  10. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,462
    Likes Received:
    3,783
    Status Points:
    2,145
    afakhori likes this.
  11. afakhori

    afakhori Silver Member

    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    129
    Status Points:
    395
    That's great to know! I've never seen that before, I just knew if you didn't fly the flight, the $$$ or points gets credited back to your account to use on another WN flight? Though they may be changing that
     

Share This Page