Dear Chris: Hope all is well! I wanted to get your take on something. Do you think Southwest will, in any way, recognize those of us who have Elite status with AirTran? My status expires 2/1/2011 and I’m wondering if it is worthwhile to try to maintain my status by taking 3 more AirTran flights before that time. Or is it better to just let it expire.
Good question, Todd! I’d go for it. The merger is not expected to close until April or so, and I don’t think we’ll see a whole lot of change until the end of next year, so your status will retain value.
Right now, neither airline is talking specifics about anything regarding combined operations, so all we can do is speculate.
I predict that Southwest will match your AirTran elite status in its Rapid Rewards program….its elite level program is all called “A-List.” (See A-list benefits)
One thing we do know is that Southwest does not plan to keep AirTran’s business class seating, so your status is not going to help you get to the front of the plane.
But it will get you to the front of the line. With Southwest’s “cattle call” boarding, passengers board in groups based on their status and the time they check in for the flight. If you have A-list status, Southwest says you’ll nearly always board in Group A, the first group allowed on the plane, which means you’ll get first dibs on the best seats and overhead bin space.
If you are a super-frequent traveler– flying at least 50 round trips per year, or earning 100 credits from flying or with Southest partners, Southwest give you a free companion pass for a year. This companion pass lets one designated person fly free when traveling with you anytime for an entire year– not bad! (See Companion Pass details)
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Gene Maggard says
I’m a Delta guy through and through, thick or thin, now a Diamond Medallion, and won’t be flying Southwest. But I do know that wherever Southwest competes with Delta, it drives the fares down significantly. Being from Atlanta I haven’t been able to capitalize on that much, but now hopefully our time will come and the Atlanta market will be ripe with cheap Delta fares!