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

Southwest Airlines is a unique player in the airline industry, known for its budget-friendly fares, open seating policy, and free checked bags. People tend to either love or hate Southwest, but there’s no denying that the airline has carved out a niche for itself in the market. One area where Southwest differs from other airlines is in its elite status program. While other airlines offer perks like free checked bags and seat upgrades for their loyal members, Southwest takes a different approach. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Southwest’s elite status program, including A-List, A-List Preferred, and the coveted Companion Pass.

What is Southwest A-List status?

Southwest refers to its elite status members as A-List and A-List Preferred. To qualify for A-List status, you’ll need to 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. In addition to these elite status tiers, Southwest also offers the Companion Pass, which allows you to bring a designated companion with you for free on an unlimited number of flights.

Earning Southwest elite status

You can earn A-List and A-List Preferred status by completing the required number of qualifying flight segments or by earning tier qualifying points. These points can be earned through flights or by spending on select Southwest credit cards. To qualify for the Companion Pass, you’ll need to complete 100 one-way qualifying flights or earn 135,000 Companion Pass qualifying points. Southwest also occasionally runs promotions that allow you to fast-track elite status or earn it for a shorter period of time.

Benefits of Southwest elite status

While Southwest’s elite status program may not offer the same perks as other airlines, there are still benefits to be had. A-List members receive priority boarding, a 25% earning bonus, free same-day changes, and more. A-List Preferred members enjoy additional perks like free inflight Wi-Fi, complimentary premium drinks, and a 100% earning bonus. The Companion Pass, while not technically an elite status tier, allows you to bring a designated companion with you for free on Southwest flights.

Credit cards and Southwest elite status

Southwest offers several personal and business credit cards that can help you earn elite status or the Companion Pass. While these cards don’t come with automatic status, they allow you to earn qualifying points through spending. For example, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card earn 1,500 TQPs toward A-List status for every $5,000 spent annually.

Is Southwest elite status worth it?

Whether Southwest elite status is worth pursuing depends on your travel habits and preferences. While Southwest’s open seating policy may not appeal to everyone, the airline’s elite status program still offers valuable benefits like priority boarding, bonus points, and free inflight Wi-Fi. The Companion Pass can provide significant savings for those who frequently travel with a partner or family. Ultimately, the decision to pursue Southwest elite status will depend on how often you fly with the airline and whether the benefits align with your travel needs.

In conclusion, Southwest Airlines may be a polarizing choice for travelers, but its elite status program offers unique benefits that can be valuable for frequent flyers. From priority boarding to bonus points to the coveted Companion Pass, Southwest rewards its loyal customers in a way that sets it apart from other airlines. If you’re a fan of Southwest’s no-frills approach to air travel, earning elite status with the airline could be a worthwhile pursuit.

Leave a Reply

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