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Southwest is known for its customer-friendly approach to flying, and its most loyal members of the Rapid Rewards program — A-List and A-List Preferred members — are used to priority check-in. This perk is arguably the most valuable for Southwest flyers because the carrier doesn’t assign seats, but rather allows passengers to board the aircraft based on the time they check-in.

However, in the past couple of days, Southwest elites have been experiencing some major issues with their priority check-in benefit, which automatically checks them in 36 hours in advance. As a result, A-List and A-List Preferred members have had to manually check in 24 hours in advance of their flight, resulting in B and C boarding positions. Southwest has since sent out an email to its elite members, reading in part:

“We are currently experiencing challenges with priority check-in (automatic check-in 36 hours before your flight). This has resulted in boarding positions that are less typical than what our A-List and A-List Preferred Members have come to expect. For any adverse impacts to your travel because of this issue, we sincerely apologize. Our Technology teams are working feverishly to restore priority check-in as soon as possible.”

TPG reader Andy L. alerted us that Southwest was having issue with its reservations for elites. He said that statuses for elites have been removed from all future reservations, and A-List and A-List Preferred members have had to manually add their status back to future reservations in order to make sure they earn points correctly. However, the priority check-in issue still persists.

If you’re a Southwest elite member and are traveling within the next several days, the carrier is advising you to manually check-in 24 hours in advance of your scheduled departure time. If, by manually checking in, you’re given a position in the B or C group, remember that A-List and A-List Preferred status allows you to always board between Groups A and B. The carrier said that if your status isn’t printed on your boarding pass, make sure you see a gate agent who can reprint it with the accurate information.

At this point, there’s no timeline for when this issue will be resolved, however, the Dallas-based airline said it’s working toward a solution. This is an especially unfortunate glitch, as priority check-in is especially valuable for Southwest’s most loyal flyers. As a reminder, A-List status requires 25 one-way qualifying segments or 35,000 tier qualifying points and A-List Preferred status requires 50 one-way qualifying segments or 70,000 tier qualifying points in a qualifying year.

Are you a Southwest elite? Have you experienced this issue on a recent flight?

American Express® Gold Card

With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
See Rates & Fees
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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