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If you have status with another airline, Southwest is no longer making a secret of the fact that it wants you to test out its A-List status and see how you like it.
On Friday, Southwest detailed its status match challenge on its website for the first time, allowing flyers with status on another airline to register and try out its A-List status. The airline’s status match program isn’t new, but it previously wasn’t advertised — you had to call and find an agent who was familiar with the rules and knew how to enroll you in it.
But now, if you want to match your existing airline status to Southwest A-List, you can register on Southwest’s site or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, Rapid Rewards number and proof of your current airline elite status with a domestic airline other than Southwest. Once Southwest verifies you and your status, you’ll get promotional A-List status for 90 days. Then during that 90-day period, if you fly three qualifying round-trip or six qualifying one-way flights, you’ll maintain your A-List status for an additional 12 months.
According to the terms and conditions, qualifying flights are defined only as revenue flights, not award redemptions, and current A-List members whose status is expiring are not eligible for a status match. Additionally, only new reservations booked within the 90-day period are eligible — existing reservations don’t count. However, since Southwest makes it easy to cancel and rebook flights without penalty, you should be able to turn existing bookings into new ones without too much trouble so long as the fare hasn’t increased since you originally booked.
In our most recent elite status analysis, TPG values Southwest A-List status at $685. With it, you’ll get priority boarding, a 25% point bonus, free same-day standby, priority check-in and security and a priority phone line. Earning A-List normally requires 25 qualifying one-way flights or 35,000 Tier Qualifying Points in a calendar year, so this is a great shortcut if you’re planning to take a half-dozen or more Southwest flights in an upcoming 90-day period.
For more information on the various airline elite match and challenge options available at many major airlines, check out our in-depth guide on “Airline Elite Status Match and Challenge Options for 2018.”
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