Rapid Rewards sticking to ‘core tenets’ says Clarkson

Southwest Rapid Rewards, notwithstanding recent currency valuation changes, remains popular with its members which is evident by the Program winning “Best Redemption Ability”, “Best Airline Customer Service” and “Best Loyalty Credit Card” at the 27th annual Freddie Awards held on April 30th 2015 in Atlanta.

Wandering Aramean Seth Miller caught up with Rapid Rewards Director Jonathan Clarkson to discuss the program’s April 17th announcement that effectively created a variable rate redemption system and devalued the program’s points on certain routes.

The concept of revenue-based accrual and redemption has been long practiced by European carriers but has recently caught on in the US notably with United, Delta and Southwest. When Southwest initially re-launched the program a few years ago, the airline told members they could redeem “Wanna Get Away” fares at 60 points per dollar, but that lasted about a year and increased to 70points/$1. The recent April 17th announcement puts further downward pressure on the value of member’s points by decoupling from a strict cash value. Although not all routes will not be adversely affected by the change, and in some cases become more attractive. We’ll see what members think of the changes after the results of next year’s Freddies.

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