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As one of the final steps in its merger with Southwest, AirTran will ending the A+ Rewards loyalty program on November 1, 2014. You can still earn and redeem A+ Rewards credits until that date, after which all accounts will be converted to the Southwest Rapid Rewards program, and credits will be converted to Rapid Rewards points.

This must be one of the slowest mergers in history.
After a merger years in the making, Southwest and Airtran will fully merge loyalty programs this week.

It has been over 3 years since Southwest bought Airtran, and 5 months since the airlines announced this phase of the merger. While the process has been slow, at least the airlines have given customers plenty of notice about program changes. For A+ Rewards members whose accounts haven’t already been converted, here’s what you need to know:

  • If you don’t already have a Southwest Rapid Rewards account, one will be created for you.
  • Until November 1, you can transfer AirTran credits and Southwest Rapid Rewards points back and forth.
  • All unused A+ credits will be converted into Rapid Rewards points at the current rate: 1 A+ credit = 1,200 Rapid Rewards points.
  • Points will be transferred in increments of 0.5 A+ credits.
  • One-way A+ Coach Award vouchers will be converted into 9,600 Rapid Rewards points.
  • One-way A+ Business Class Awards will be converted into 19,200 Rapid Rewards points.
  • A+ Business Class upgrades that haven’t expired by November 1 will be converted into 4,800 Rapid Rewards points.
The companion pass is valid for the remainder of the year plus the following year.
Those with an A+ companion pass valid after the changeover date will earn a Southwest Airlines companion pass good through the end of 2015.

If you have A+ Rewards Elite status that hasn’t expired as of November 1, 2014, you’ll automatically be given Rapid Rewards A-List status through December 31, 2015. Your Rapid Rewards tier status in 2015 will be based on your combined Southwest and AirTran activity from 2014 as follows:

  • Members with 25–49 revenue flights in 2014 on Southwest and AirTran combined will receive Rapid Rewards A-List status.
  • Members with 50 or more revenue flights in 2014 on Southwest and AirTran combined will receive Rapid Rewards A-List Preferred status.
  • Members with 100 or more revenue flights in 2014 on Southwest and AirTran combined will receive a Companion Pass. Those with existing A+ Companion Pass status will receive a Southwest Companion Pass valid through December 31, 2015.
  • Tier Qualifying Points will not be awarded for A+ Rewards Credits transferred to Rapid Rewards.

Overall I think Southwest and Airtran did a good job making this transition a smooth one, and giving customers plenty of advanced warning about these upcoming changes. If you have any last minute transfers to make from one program to the other (like booking award flights at a discount on one airline versus the other), make sure you complete them by this weekend!

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