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Surprise! Check your account for unexpected Southwest elite status

Jan. 03, 2020
3 min read
Surprise! Check your account for unexpected Southwest elite status
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Editor's Note

</strong>This post has been updated with confirmation from Southwest that the promotional A-List status some flyers are receiving is legitimate and not a glitch.

Editor's note: This post has been updated with confirmation from Southwest that the promotional A-List status some flyers are receiving is legitimate and not a glitch.

While this month can be a downer for those who didn't qualify for airline elite status last year, some flyers are receiving a very welcome New Year's gift in the form of Southwest A-List elite status.

TPG reader Megan McGuire emailed us to report she'd been awarded Southwest A-List status through June 30, 2020. And she's not the only one — I've got it on my account too, as do TPG Points and Miles reporter Joseph Hostetler and numerous readers in the TPG Lounge Facebook group.

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A Southwest representative on FlyerTalk verified the promotion is not a glitch: "A select group of Chase Cardmember Customers were targeted for promotional A-List status that was automatically granted through June 30, 2020."

Many who are targeted opened a Chase Southwest credit card in 2019 during the limited-time (no longer available) promotion that awarded a Southwest Companion Pass through Dec. 31, 2019 after completing minimum spending requirements. Some who received the status (including myself) had few to no paid segments on Southwest last year.

Normally, to earn A-List status, you'd need 25 qualifying one-way flights or 35,000 TQPs in a calendar year. While this promotional status is only valid for six months, it's nothing to sniff at, especially if you fly Southwest often. TPG Points Lab Senior Editor Nick Ewen values Southwest A-List elite status at $685, assuming you fly a moderate amount with Southwest.

Related: What is Southwest elite status worth?

Southwest A-List elite perks include:

  • Priority Boarding: You'll get a boarding position 36 hours before your flight (compared to checking in and receiving a spot 24 hours prior). While higher-tier elites and Business Select ticket holders will still board before you, you should hopefully get a spot in the A boarding group.
  • 25% point bonus: A-List members earn 25% more points than regular flyers.
  • Free same-day standby: You can also standby on an earlier flight at no charge as an A-List member. This is only available for flights between the same cities before your originally scheduled departure time and on the same date of travel (and note that free standby is also provided for Anytime and Business Select fares, so this perk only offers tangible value on Wanna Get Away tickets). For flights outside this window, you’re still given priority over non-elites, but must pay a fare difference if a seat opens up.
  • Priority check-in and security: This is especially beneficial if you’re checking bags, because Southwest’s policy of free checked bags for all passengers tends to create longer check-in lines than other airlines.
  • Priority phone line: Southwest offers a priority phone line to elite members, which can be a nice perk when major weather events hit.

This is especially timely for those who fell short of earning Southwest elite status in 2019. In the age of airlines tightening up their elite status qualification rules, this goodwill from Southwest is certainly welcome news.

Featured image by Getty Images

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    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
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Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

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  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees